Successful Email Marketing To Grow Your Business
Email marketing is an extremely powerful and still underused marketing tool – when you use it correctly.
Study after study has shown that marketing and selling via email is a low-cost highly effective way to build relationships and trust, develop awareness of your business, educate your customers and ultimately, increase sales.
Of course, it’s essential to use email marketing correctly. Low cost is is still expensive if you don’t get the results. You need to ensure your emails are opened, read and acted upon and that’s a challenge as we are all inundated with emails.
There are several key factors that will ensure your email message gets opened, read and acted upon… You need to:
1 – Know Your Audience
You must know and understand your audience.
First of all, be clear whether they are existing customers or prospective customers. You will want and need to communicate differently to these different groups. This is why a professional email marketing system which enables you to segment your email lists is important.
Second, you need to know the wants and needs of your email recipients. You must know the problems they need to have solved and which you can provide a solution for. When you know and focus on these issues, you’ll significantly increase the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts.
You can segment your customer base too and send highly targeted messages to each group.
2 – Get Permission First
You must have consent from your prospects or customers before sending any marketing emails. This applies equally to consumers and to business customers. All professional email marketing systems are permission based.
You can obtain permission ideally via “opt-in” commitments on your website, as well as from prior contact or express emailed permission from each recipient.
This is why having an effectively designed “Opt-in” form on your website is so important.
3 – Start by Building Relationships
When a prospective customer “opts-in” on your website, they are effectively giving you permission to start a relationship with them. You need to build trust, before you can sell to them.
The best way to do start building trust and a long term relationship is to offer good quality free advice, without any suggestion of selling.
If you start in this way, generously sharing your expertise, you will build valuable long term relationships, based on trust and loyalty.
You will tap into the power of reciprocity and ultimately you will vastly increase your sales.
If you simply start sending heavy sales emails, you will simply drive prospects away – your emails will generate high unsubscribe rates – and you will have wasted all the time, effort and money which went into capturing the email details in the first place.
A professional email system makes it easy to give good quality information to your new prospective customers. You can set up a series of emails, to be sent at pre-set intervals, using an “auto-responder”. It’s “set and forget” marketing, with emails sent out automatically 24/7.
4 – Define Your Objective for Each Email
Be careful to define exactly what you want to achieve with each of your emails and how you will know when you’ve done so.
If your email is a straightforward sales email, is will be easy enough to measure success – from your sales numbers.
For a relationship building email (or series of emails) you will need to track and measure longer term conversions.
You must set clear goals that will define your success and enable you to measure your ROI.
5 – Identify Yourself
It’s essential that consumers recognise your email as coming from a legitimate source – consumers especially respond best to companies and brands that they know and trust.
Ideally you will have identified an individual who is the “face” of your business. This will help you build trust and connection.
So, make sure the email comes from a clearly identifiable person and that their name is connected to the business.
6 – Write An Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
Open rates are one of the biggest challenges in successful email marketing. The key is an attention grabbing subject line, especially if this is an email to prospective customers who do not yet know your business.
Your subject line (heading) has to leap out and GRAB their attention – it should be so compelling that they are virtually unable to do anything but open it!
Great subject lines also communicate the content of the message to come and will normally promise a product, service or outcome of real value.
7 – Make Sure Your Subject Line Is Spam Filter Friendly
The words you choose are important if your message is to escape the clutches of spam filters – if you use the wrong ones they can send your message into an email black hole.
Obvious ones to avoid include “Free” and anything associated with porn.
8 – Personalise Your Subject Heading
Adding your customer’s first name to the subject line gives a personal feel to the email and will improve your open rates.
It also tells the spam filters that you know the person you’re writing to, so it’s much less likely to be flagged as spam.
Likewise, always use your customer’s first name at the beginning of your email message.
Again, using a professional email marketing system will mean you can easily capture customers’ and prospects first name details, along with their email address.
9 – Start Your Message With A Benefit Laden Headline
Start your email with a headline that encapsulates your offer and the benefit it will give your customer.
Next, explain the benefit and prove that you can deliver it.
Then, use details of the product or service’s benefits to move the reader through the copy, to the call to action at the end of the message.
10 – Get To The Point
It’s important to deliver a clear message immediately. So generally make your emails short and compelling.
Avoid detailed product descriptions or long-winded stories about your business and its history.
If you are sending a sales email, you will still need to include enough information to persuade recipients to buy – eg testimonials and guarantees.
If you are sending people to a sales page, you will have an opportunity to add more information there – in which case your objective is simply to persuade people to click on the link to the sales page.
If you are sending out a “newsletter” type email, that’s fine, but make sure you highlight your most important information and include a clear call to action, at the outset.
If you are sending an email which recipients are expecting, for example an invitation to a regular event, make sure the link appears early on, so they can quickly click through.
11 – Repeat Your Call to Action
Repeating your call to action and any link is important – and well proven to increase response rates.
Adding a PS “Here’s that link again” is a well used device, because it works.
12 – Follow Up Campaigns Increase Response rates
While the number of emails you send for any campaign depends on what you are selling, you will certainly increase response rates if you send a series of emails – at least 3.
Remember that some people will miss your initial email – or may be were too busy to open it, even if they were interested – in which case they probably won’t go back to find it later.
So always send follow-up emails. They also give you the opportunity to focus on a different benefit, which may appeal to a different psychological profile among your customers.
If you’d like to find out more about Professional Email Marketing Systems and how they can help you grow your business, please Contact Us.
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