Email marketing can be the best marketing tool your business has, if it’s done properly. Too many think it’s a one shot deal where you send off a single email to as massive a number as people as possible but this just simply doesn’t work. If you’re sending an unsolicited email you could see your click through rates be as low as .01%. However, don’t be discouraged because with the right email strategy you could see huge profits and will have no problem making money. In fact email marketing shows a 4300% return on investment for businesses in the United States as shown by The Direct Marketing Association.
Companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads and at a 33% lower cost. And nurtured leads, on average, produce a 20% increase in sales opportunities compared to non-nurtured leads. (Hubspot)
If those two stats don’t convince you that email marketing is a must in your marketing strategy then you might as well stop reading now.
To create powerful, converting emails it takes a long term strategy to build trust, interest and excitement with who you are and what you’re doing. Very, very rarely will you get someone who receives one email from you suddenly say “wow what a great email I’ve got to have that,” so take your time and build interest, and follow these five rules
Make it easy to sign up
We’ve all seen those emails that lead you to some convoluted landing page or website that you have no idea what you’re even supposed to do or alternately you’re greeted with a clear call to action but with a long drawn out form to fill out. When you first get a reader’s interest and get them to click on your link, don’t overwhelm them with multiple promotions. Offer them one clear action for them to do and only ask for their email and name unless there’s some very good reason why you need more and if so still only ask for those items that are absolutely necessary. Later, once you’ve built a relationship with them you can ask them further questions but never at the beginning.
In a recent study by Columbia University, participants had the option of tasting either six samples of jam from one table or twenty-four samples of jam from another. More people ended up stopping at the table with twenty-four options, but when it came to sales only 3% of customers purchased from the table with more options, while 30% of customers purchased from the table with only six options. Therefore, the study helped to prove that there is such thing as too many choices or a concept known as choice overload.
Keep it short
Nobody wants to be sent an email from someone they really don’t know that is a long drawn out story. Keep your sentences short and to the point, use double spacing to make it easier to read and try to keep your initial emails to four or five lines. Anymore and you start losing the reader. Offer them a clear call to action with live links within your email and use the landing page you sent them to, to provide more detail. However, even on your landing page keep it short and to the point using bullet points and great graphics to liven up the page, make it more visually pleasing and build on your story. Again at the early stages you only want to present them with the clear benefits, the problem you solve or why you can make their life better. You can tell them about the why, when and how later.
Get a great email host
Without a great email host everything else will be a whole lot harder, you’ll have your emails being sent to spam folders, you’ll waste vast amounts of time creating stuff that you don’t have to and you won’t have the analytics necessary to make intelligent decisions about your email campaign. You want to use a reputable email host that doesn’t allow purchased lists or spam, if you go through a third rate email provider you’ll find many of your emails will never even make it to people’s inbox. I use getresponse.com and aweber.com, they’re both great providers that allow you to A/B test your email campaigns, they have great stats on all your emails that are easy to follow and compare and they also have a wide range of templates you can use that will save you a lot of time and money on designers. Both are free as well until you’ve got a pretty sizable email list and you’re starting to make money.
Make your emails personal
Know your audience and use the personal options that your email host has. At the very least you should use your subscriber’s name. Most emails use a person’s first name but if it’s a more formal setting you could use Mr or Mrs, Ms. etc and their last name but this is rare. Most people are used to getting emails sent to them and being referred to by their first name. Although most people know this is automatically generated now it still makes a huge impact, the favorite word of everyone’s is their own name so make sure you use it! Also, build a tone and style to your emails, is it light hearted and fun or serious and business like. As your email list grows and people begin to learn about you and your style they’ll ideally look forward to them and ultimately become customers and you’ll make money.
Write a great headline
64% of people open an email because of the headline a report by Chadwick Martin Bailey states. So, if you don’t have a great headline you’re stuck before you’ve even gotten started, no matter how great you’ve done on everything else. Look for headlines that are teazers, that lead to the promise of something that you’ll deliver on, something exciting, time sensitive, breaking news, something nobody knows. Brainstorm as many great headlines as you can and then test, test, and test until you know the headlines for your audience that works.