We have all been there… carefully crafting an email, making sure each sentence is perfectly polished and taking the longest time to come up with the best subject line. Then hitting publish and feeling relieved…yet not for too long, because quite often the email stats aren’t quite up to scratch. Opens, click-throughs and follow-throughs are perhaps not as good as we expected or needed them to be.
If the above description sounds like your experience with email marketing, then you need to make sure that you not only get your emails written well, but that you actually have a solid plan on how to get people to open, read and click.
First things first, we live in extremely busy times. Nobody has time to read all their mail, but some emails are always opened and some are even eagerly anticipated.
As soon as you start addressing a specific person and their specific needs and problems you will see improvement in your email marketing. Nobody is particularly interested in your company news, they are concerned with their problems and their needs. Speak to that and you will win loyal readers.
These first action steps will ensure you create friendlier emails that your readers actually anticipate.
1. Forget about subscribers. Write the email as if it was targeted at one person only – a human being with needs, interests and problems.
2. Don’t waste people’s time. Let’s face it – today more than ever people value their time and don’t like wasting it on pointless emails. So unless you have something meaningful to offer, don’t send out an email. Be generous and helpful, offer meaningful and valuable guidance, this will allow you to build trust and confidence and position your expertise.
3. Reward people for reading. You can make sure people benefit from reading each of your emails by simply giving them a useful tip or a link to a free download.
Inboxes today – flooded with uninteresting emails that are either dull, dull, dull or sell, sell, sell. Your emails will fall into the abyss of inbox hell unless you craft appealing subject lines that stand out. You need email subject lines that attract attention and here is how to get this done.
5. Use the power of words. The right words will get you where you need to be. Emotional and sensory words tend to stand out in crowded inboxes. Words such as: stunning, sensational, daring, jaw-dropping, magic and several dozen more really get noticed.
6. Use numbers. Statistics have shown that people respond to numbers (as in 6 instead of six) and they respond well to bulleted lists. We are not sure what this says about us people, but moving quickly along…
7. Don’t be scared to be a little bizarre. Want to grab someone’s attention? You need to be a little adventurous too. Use words that are atypical and you wouldn’t normally go for.
8. Quit being Mr. Smarty Pants. One simple truth: simple and specific subject lines beat the clever alternatives. Every time.
9. Experiment. Don’t know what’s going to work best with your readers? Experiment and find out. Dare to be a little different.
10. Learn from the best. Make sure you have subscribed to some excellent email lists and take the time to analyze their subject lines and which make you tick the most.
So if you’ve followed the above tips you have probably got people to open your emails. Now what? How do you keep them interested and make them read each word?
11. Keep it nice and short. Long emails slaughter readers’ interest. Next time you edit, cut your text in half and then half again. Use your blog as the repository for full articles and use the email as the gateway to those longer article.
12. Ask questions. Because thats how it works in face-to-face conversations and showing an interest in your reader is only polite and gets people thinking what their answer would be.
13. Use the most persuasive English word. You. Yes, you, you must use this word and the word yes. Imagine yourself using the words you and yes. Then you should use them for real, yes, you will be impressed with how well you used them and the results you got. Then you will marvel at the powerful persuasion prowess you possess (takes tongue out of cheek…is that even possible?)
14. Avoid automated greetings. Mix up your greetings so your emails sound personal, not robotic.
15. Don’t be dull. Once again, keep your sentences short, but strong. Be specific and avoid boring writing like the plague. There is a place for business talk and email marketing is not it. However, do not sacrifice the grammar. People are often put off by bad grammar.
And now that you got people to actually read your emails, let’s talk business. If you want to sell, you can do so without sounding like a second-hand car salesmen at the end of a quiet month. Here’s how to convert email readers into actual buyers.
16. Don’t push it. Think of this like a normal sales cycle, invest time and in some free resources and useful information. Aim to become a trusted source of valuable information. Be an expert at solving the needs and problems of your readers and the sales will follow.
17. Sell the benefit, not the product. Forget about shameless promotion of your product. Instead, highlight its benefit to the customer.
18. Have a clear CTA. As in an impeccably clear one. Tell your readers exactly what it is you want them to do next and make sure each email has one goal.
19. Have a deadline. People tend to procrastinate. Don’t give them that opportunity. Present a clear deadline and make it sound too tempting and too urgent to miss.
20. Tell a story. That works towards your aim and leads readers to your sales message.
The truth is everyone’s inbox is overflowing and no one is really looking for getting more emails. However, the mere fact that people have signed up to receive yours is an accomplishment. Don’t take subscribers for granted and don’t expect their complete and undivided attention unless you produce quality content that adds value to them.
With each email you send you need to prove again that you deserve a place in their inbox and that your email is in fact beneficial to them.
So put yourself in the shoes of your readers and ask yourself: what problem or need do I want more information about, and then you get on and write it.