Written by Todd Bates
Should you ever bring up the topic of email marketing, you will certainly hear people complain about the hundreds of emails they receive on a daily basis. They will tell you sob stories about the endless “junk” they receive and how they try to opt-out from all of that “spam” …all to no avail! They might even give you a strange look (after all, you did bring up email marketing at a party) and start asking you if you are “one of those people” who sends huge volumes of email.
With increased postage rates and the desire to reach your prospect when they are attentive, email has increasingly been the solution. The most recent challenge has become: with so many businesses sending messages, how should you stand out in the crowd? How can you ensure that your message actually gets noticed?
Now more than ever it is essential to have an edge with email marketing when you want to reach new prospects for your business. To cut through the spam filters and be sure that your message is one that someone truly wants to read, consider the following:
The Success You Will Enjoy with Email Starts with Your Offer
When business owners want to improve their success with email marketing, they immediately look at what they are sending. Whether your database holds 200 emails or it holds a million emails, look at how people have come to find out about your company or product before looking at the content of your emails.
Did recipients originally sign up for a newsletter? Did your prospects sign up for information on a specific product line? Did they sign up for a white paper to learn more about a particular offering or service? Far too often the same email messages are sent to every prospect in a database. The person who signed up for the newsletter is looking for something entirely different than the person who signed up for a white paper.
Look carefully at what prospects sign up for and you will start to uncover the issues with your response rates. Look even deeper into your offerings to ensure that they provide enough value that you are actually providing prospects with “real” email. The better you make your offers, the more responsive your prospects will be through email.
An Interest-Piquing Subject Line Can Save the Day
Most business owners take the time to carefully review their marketing pieces before they go out. They might work with a designer on color details for their website or change the layout of a brochure multiple times before it lands in the hands of a potential customer… but what about the time they spend looking at the subject line of an email?
Open your email right now and take a look at the volume of messages. How quickly do you scan the list to determine if you should delete the message, save it for later, or actually read it? Five seconds? Ten seconds? You have just a few seconds to grab a prospect’s attention, which means taking the time to craft a powerful subject line is worth the investment.
Try challenging your original thought as you look to craft engaging email subject lines by asking yourself these questions:
• Interest Piquing: Is there an element of curiosity to the subject line that would make want to find out more?
• Pain: Does the email subject alleviate pain or pound on a bruise that is bothering prospects?
• Benefit: Will your prospect experience a benefit of time, money or wellbeing if they read on?
Take time to craft your email subjects and watch as your response rates increase.
Not Just Any Email Will Do, Each Touch Must Add Value
While the goal of email is certainly to bring more customers into your store, encourage more prospects to call for assistance, and push potential customers to purchase more of your products online, that can’t be what your emails are all about. Sending emails that are only about sales, new products, or services is a sure-fire way to ensure that your messages are quickly deleted. Look at the content of your emails and ask yourself a very simple question: If I were opening this email as a total stranger, does it add any value to my day?
For most emails received, the answer is that the message adds no value at all. It’s merely an advertisement delivered digitally. Regardless of your industry, it is crucial to create emails that add real value. For example, if you sell clothing you could share fashion tips. If you sell exercise equipment you could share fitness tips. Don’t try to disguise helpful tips as sales letters; add real value and your emails will be eagerly anticipated by your prospects… and that’s a win for everybody.
How Many Emails are You Sending?
Even with a database that has a few million records, sending a big “blast” email is not likely to help you achieve your goals. Instead of periodically blasting your database of prospects with offers, consider developing an email follow-up sequence that will keep prospects engaged until the moment they are ready to take action.
A good email follow-up sequence will appear personal, add value, and can allow you to stay in-touch with a prospect for a number of years. In the best cases you will have a different email follow-up sequence for those that have purchased a product or service versus the ones that have not yet purchased anything.
The more time you invest in your email marketing, from crafting subject lines to offering quality content, the more success you will enjoy with your from your efforts.
About the Author: Todd Bates is a leading business consultant, speaker, author, and President and Owner of Todd Bates Systems. A graduate of Colorado State University, Bates immediately made a name for himself as an entrepreneur. Using his talent for business marketing and with years of success behind him, Bates dedicates his career to teaching other businesses and entrepreneurs how to thrive. Over the past 20 years, he has worked with over 25,000 individual business owners and has shared his proven techniques with over 250,000 people at speaking events countrywide. For more information, please visit www.toddbatessystems.com.