Small Changes Can Make a Huge Difference!
Check your SPAM folder in your Inbox and you will most likely find countless emails that were sent from a generic email address. The first step to personalizing your emails is to send form a personal email address. Ditch the “[email protected]”, “[email protected]”, or “company [email protected]” addresses.
Sending your emails from a personal email address will increase your open rates and make a closer connection with the subscriber. After all, the goal is to make a connection with your subscriber, so why not start off with a personal email?
The next step in personalization is context. Dump the sales jargon, tactics, and pitches and write your email like a real person. Your mindset should be the same as is you were sending an email directly to this one person.
Now, to take it to the next level include your headshot and contact information at the bottom of the email along with a friendly and personal salutation.
We know the goal of email is to sell your product or service, but you need to keep in mind that “people buy from people” and not brands unless you are big brand like Nike or Ford so make it personal.
2. Focus on Your HEADLINE
All too often we see clients spend a tremendous amount of time creating an email from research to design, and then they slap the first title that comes to mind on it and hit the send button.
Think of your email title as an old school newspaper HEADLINE. The headline is the single most important component of your email that needs to sell to the subscriber and I don’t mean sell your product, but to sell the email itself. The headline is the determining factor to the subscriber in their decision process to either open and read, hit the delete button, or worst of all, hit the Spam button.
We have instituted a policy at IMA that each email created for a client must have three Headlines written by three different people after the email is created. The team will then discuss and tweak the headline and vote on the most powerful one to actually use. Does this take time? Yes, but we understand how critical the headline is to the open rate which is the first level of engagement and want to get it right. We hope you will see it the same way and invest more time into creating dynamic headlines for your next email campaign.
If you don’t have a team to brainstorm with on your headlines then create three on your own and most importantly do it after you have created the email so you can use your content to spark ideas.
3. It’s Not About You
This is easier said than done for most companies, but is easy to understand if you really think about when you are reading an email from another company or even a competitor.
I ask one simple question – “Does the person you are sending the to really give a S*&t about your email or what you are selling?”
This may seem harsh, but it is a reality. Your subscribers or customers really don’t care about what you are selling unless it is going to benefit them or create value for them. The point here is to stop the hard sell and start creating content that your email list will see as valuable.
Imagine this blog article is an email. I am not trying to sell you anything in this blog, but I am trying to create value for your future email campaigns by giving you some sound advice on how to improve your email marketing. If my content provides value for you then maybe you will contact us to help you with your next email campaign or you will click on a link you find valuable and give me your contact information so I can email you with more valuable content and eventually you will become a client of Inbound Marketing Agents.
In our follow up emails we still won’t sell to you. We will just provide more valuable content based on what you have asked for, your behavior, and let you contact us when you are ready. Sound stupid? Not really. We generate over 500 qualified leads per month and don’t have to sell or advertise to acquire new customers each month because we provide value. You should do the same.
4. Segment your List
The cardinal sin of email marketing is not segmenting your list. If you implement one element of this article this is the one to choose if you are emailing to one big list.
The first step in segmenting your list is to start by separating your customers and prospects. Now take your customer list and segment based on products or services they have purchased or even by their last purchase.
For your prospects you will want to segment based on Buyer Personas. If you are not familiar with buyer personas you can click on this link to see how a big brands use buyer personas.
5. Buyer Persona
A fictional representation of your ideal customer based on real data.
When you segment your list by buyer persona you now have the ability to target directly to each persona and customize your messaging and the products or services to their interests. If you don’t have buyer personas start slow and build three to fours to get started.
6. Less is More
A little over a year ago I wrote an article titled Why Your Company Newsletter Sucks. This article was based on some of the above items, but most importantly about how companies have traditionally utilized newsletters. Most newsletters are “all about the companies products, services, or new additions” and they are crammed with too many topics. Sometimes we see newsletters that have up to 20-30 different topics and images crammed into one email. Remember your subscriber doesn’t care because these types of newsletters are designed to provide value for them , but to inform them about every new product you could fit into your email to sell to them.
- KISS. You know what this means and keeping it simple should be your new mantra for your email marketing as it will increase conversion rates which is really the metric you should be focusing on.
- Trust me. Take your newsletter that is chalk full of news and pair it down to one Primary Call to Action and a Secondary Call to Action and see what happens to your conversions. Now that you have at least three buyer personas in your marketing tool kit copy your email template and change the Calls to Actions for your second list, then repeat again. Your click through rates will increase dramatically.
- Add a P.S. In the last section we talked about a Primary and Secondary call to action. Now I know you want more. So do it, but let’s be subtle about it. Let’s add a P.S. line below our email signature and drop in a text link to a landing page as a third call to action.
This is a very subtle tactic that gives you another opportunity for conversion and also gets back to #1 on this list – Personalization. Who uses a P.S. in an email? Only people that want their email to look like a hand written letter, which is personalized.
Have some tips to add to this list? I would love to hear them in the comments below.
image credit: digitalart/freedigitalphotos.net