Email marketing is a great, inexpensive way to reach the people on your list. If done correctly, this type of marketing will take your business to the next level and bring a great ROI for years to come. Here are the most important things you can do to improve your email marketing.
Get better open rates
Are your emails getting opened? Before we get there, it might be good to know if you’re even tracking your email open rates. If not, start doing so immediately. Your email marketing provider should have this information available, and you should definitely start paying attention. Once you determine your rates, you’ll probably want to improve them. There are several reasons why your emails might not be getting to the inboxes of your prospects and/or not being getting opened.
Avoid SPAM words
If your emails contain a lot of SPAMrelated words (such as free, cheap, %, work-from-home, click-here, discount, coupon, special offer, limited time), chances are slim your prospects are even getting them. SPAM filters are becoming more and more sensitive, and they can remove your email before it even gets to the inbox. Try to avoid words that might sound like SPAM, even if you think you’ll be safe this time.
Subject Lines and Sender
Once your email gets through the SPAM filters, your readers have to decide whether or not to open it. The subject line and “from” address will be big factors in leading them to make that decision. Make sure that your subject lines are intriguing, but that they don’t over promise. Consumers have been jaded by companies promising the world and not delivering. Avoid sensational subject lines that claim “800% increase in sales” or “I lost 200 pounds in 1 week.” Besides being unbelievable, these subject lines probably wouldn’t make it past the SPAM filters. Be real, be convincing, be a little mysterious.
Subject lines are only half of the equation. Be sure that the “from” field is full of useful information, too. Typically, your company name is a good way to ensure recognition and trust. Personal names work too, provided that they are recognizable. Don’t insert a name that your prospects or customers won’t recognize. Avoid using “noreply” or “systems” addresses – these are not at all personal and are less likely to be opened.
Send Relevant Content
When you send an email, make sure the content is of value to your prospects. A valuable email could contain a special offer that appeals to the buyer, useful educational content, entertainment or content that gives requested information. Emails should also be sent to current lists. And your marketing isn’t relevant to people who didn’t ask for it. Don’t use outdated lists, purchased lists or lists that aren’t yours…that is a sure-fire recipe for SPAM complaints and poor open rates.
Sending out too many emails will make you a nuisance that ends up in the trash bin almost immediately. Waiting too long in between emails might cause your prospects to forget you, and will also land your “unrecognizable” email in the trash bin. Find a happy medium where you can stay in touch with prospects without bombarding them with daily emails. But the only way to know how often you should be sending is to ask your contacts. You may be in an industry where they want an email a day. Or maybe once a week is appropriate. Take a survey and find out what your contacts are looking for.
Make Sure Your Emails Are Interesting
Your emails should be interesting. This starts with the subject line, but it also includes the headline, design and content. It is important to be personal – think of your target audience as if they were sitting in a room with you. Be yourself, and be different. You have to differentiate yourself from the other emails sitting in that inbox. Email marketing is a good way to communicate with your list, but it isn’t always the best way to educate, entertain or sell. Including links to videos, podcasts, entertaining articles, social media campaigns, contests or surveys, however, is a great way to reinforce your message in a unique way. Don’t try to say it all in the email…use all of your resources together. Email is just a great way to get the word out. Different prospects respond to different forms of communication, so don’t be afraid to try different strategies.
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