Email is 40 times more effective than social media in terms of customer acquisition. For this reason, it is a marketing tool that must not be kept on the back burner.
When done right, email can be a powerful marketing tool with an extremely high ROI. In order to achieve, and even exceed, your marketing goals, you need to develop rapport with your subscribers.
If you are able to establish rapport with your email list, they will actually be excited to receive your emails, as opposed to being slightly interested and maybe opening the email.
In general, the average email open rate is 15-25%. What if you could do much better? Much better, as in 50%-60% or higher.
Read below and we will show you how to achieve these seemingly un-achievable goals.
Post Signup Stage
You have a new subscriber. They do not know you and you do not know them. All you know is that they want something from you. This is why they signed up for your emails. This could simply be information to help them succeed; such as a special offer, white paper, or a How-To guide.
With today’s technology, it is imperative to deliver this information to your new subscriber immediately upon signup. Most email marketing platforms offer an auto-responder or nurturing campaigns that allow you to send your content automatically.
This is a very important part of the process and it is very simple. If there is one thing that most people have in common, it is this: A short memory.
If you sign up for an offering, and you receive it right away, you know what it is for and you know who sent it.
When people receive an offering hours or days after they signup, they tend to forget that they signed up. This can lead to confusion, annoyance and even anger.
Keep your promise. Deliver immediately.
This leads to me to our next important topic: Expectations.
Set a high expectation with your subscribers for your future emails.
The open rate of the first email is 2 to 3 times higher than the average open rate. What you say in this initial email can make or break you. It can convince people to continue opening your emails, or scare them off altogether.
If you are offering some sort of course, continued training, tip sheets, weekly How-To guides, etc., read this autoresponder example below:
Welcome to your first lesson on How to Analyze Your Customer Data.
Before we get started, I want you to know that you are free to hit reply on any of the emails I send you. I am happy to help.
I would like to introduce myself. I am John Smith and I teach companies how to enhance their customer service through data analysis. I write weekly articles for my newsletter and I offer an advanced training course through my website.
[Insert website link or a Call to Action button (CTA)]
Now, onto the first lesson…..
No matter what the purpose of your emails, it is important to introduce yourself, your product and set expectations by letting your subscriber know how often they should expect your emails.
With this format, you will deliver what is promised immediately, gaining rapport with your new subscriber.
Think about adding a “PS” at the end of your email.
Until next time,
PS. If you like what you read, please share it.
You can also include a reminder at the end as to why they received your email.
(You are receiving this email because you subscribed to my Data Analysis training course. If you don’t want me to email you, please unsubscribe below)
This is a great way to avoid complaints, angry emails and being marked as spam.
Now it is time to look at how to create emails people will want to open and read.
1: Catchy subject line
The subject line can be the difference maker. From a subscriber anxious to open your email to deleting or marking it as spam.
Shorter is better
Shorter subject lines don’t get cut off, they create more curiosity and they are clear.
Run split tests
One great way to generate the most opens is to run split tests prior to sending to your entire list. You can send out the same email with different subject lines to smaller portions of your lists. Run a report on each of these campaigns. Whichever subject line has the highest open rate should be used for your entire sending.
There is power in numbers. They get to the point, they shorten the subject line, and are enticing.
Example subject line with numbers:
[Company Name]: Updated Ordering Options
[Company Name]: Now only 2-item minimum order
Curiosity may have killed the cat, but it is a very powerful marketing tool. I can’t tell you how many times I have clicked on something online because I wanted to know what was behind the door. Typically, the door being the subject line of an email. So, how do you generate curiosity?
You must be specific about the topic and vague about how you get to the topic.
This simple idea led to 100,000 new visitors
2: Create Value
People are going to open your first email because there is something in it for them.
As stated earlier, they do not know you and you do not know them.
Avoid selling early on. Provide knowledge, service, or a tool without pitching them.
Think about the way a relationship is built with someone you are dating. Most people would advise you to take it slow. You typically wouldn’t ask for a hand in marriage after the first date.
The same goes for your email subscribers. You don’t want to bombard them with sales pitches before they trust you and get to know you. This takes time, but in the long run you will maintain your subscriber base and generate even more subscribers through them.
3. Personalize it
Share a story from your experiences. This creates a level of human emotion in your email. People like to know they are reading something from a real human, with interests and a personality. Not some stiff working in a corporate office. You can even add humor into the equation, as long as it is tasteful.
Be limited with your story telling. Talk about a moment or an event. Not everything about your life. Nobody likes to meet a person and listen to them put their entire life on display. It’s awkward and unbecoming.
This concept ties into the previous topic of curiosity.
There is no reason why you can’t leave a reader wanting more. In fact, this is a great way to keep people interested and coming back.
Towards the end of your email, create some buzz about an unbelievable result, achievement, exciting new way to prospect, etc.
Then, let the reader know that you will explain how you got to this result in your next email.
5. Keep them engaged
Rather than just spilling out information, ask them a question. Give them the opportunity to feel like they are a part of something. It could be a question with a link to a group discussion on your forum, a response option directly through email, or even a non-response question to get them thinking.
It is important to stay on topic. Ask a question that pertains to the subject matter. Don’t try and lure people into answering questions off subject just to meet your own marketing needs.
Don’t ask questions with obvious answers.
If the question you are asking is a tough one, maybe let them know that you got it wrong the first time. This will help them feel more comfortable with answering your question and being wrong. They won’t feel intimidated.
6. Short and simple
Although this isn’t the case all the time, generally it is the rule of thumb.
Nobody wants to read a newsletter that talks about the same thing in 10 different ways.
If a subscriber reads an extremely lengthy newsletter, only to gain little knowledge, they may never read your newsletter again.
In other words, if your newsletter is lengthy, it better provide value in the length.
Weekly emails should be shorter than monthly emails.
Keep it simple.
7. Functionality and visibility
Less images. More text. Approximately 60-40% to 70-30% text/image ratio is recommended.
Almost half of emails are viewed on mobile devices. The more images, the higher the load time, the less likely a subscriber will stick around to read your email. Too many images, especially when viewed on a mobile device, can be distracting make it difficult for people to actually read your emails and click on your links.
Make links clear and distinguished.
You want people to click a link on your newsletter, in order to take them to your website. That being said, a best practice would be to separate your links on a different line, use bigger and bold font, and create multiple links to the same page throughout your newsletter.
Remember when we talked about setting expectations. Now it is time to talk about delivering.
If you told your subscribers up front that they would be receiving a weekly email from you, then send them an email each week. This will keep you in line with your promise, as well as keep them engaged.
Don’t send multiple emails per week if you have told them they would receive one per week. This portrays a level of dishonesty and it is overkill. You don’t want your subscribers to feel attacked. Stick to the plan.
When you provide a link in your newsletter, make sure it takes people to where it says it will. Don’t link them to some other marketing page or sales page.
Email marketing is the most cost effective way to reach a mass audience.
It’s what you do with that audience once you have them that makes all the difference.
If you stick to these principles and guidelines, you will gain more subscribers and drive revenue to places you have never been.
These honest and best practices will lead to long term growth and trust. After all, isn’t that the goal?