In a world where we are constantly bombarded by notifications, emails, pop-ups and generic direct mail correspondence (and the list goes on and on), it is no surprise that we usually ignore the ‘boring stuff’. Love it or loathe it, the Daily Mail has made the most of our indifference to the news. Over the last decade, they’ve become extremely well-versed in writing headlines that get people to click. In fact, the Mail has now become one of the world’s most visited news websites garnering 318.83 million visits in July 2018 alone.
In order to generate those clicks, their headlines tend to be quite ‘juicy.’ I am by no means encouraging the use of misleading click-bait headlines to get your prospects’ attention.
That being said, in order to get their attention you need to employ an effective email marketing strategy and write in a way that jumps out in their inbox.
This is a pretty obvious one, right? Well, no. Despite the fact that GDPR came into force in May this year (more about GDPR here), companies which sell email marketing lists for a living are still in business, believe it, or not. Why? They prey on those who don’t know the ins and outs of GDPR.
Don’t ever get duped into doing it, it is not the ‘shortcut’ you’d hoped for. Not only is acquiring people’s personal details in this way not legal (it is without their consent), it will not benefit your business.
Do it the right way. Build your database organically, by producing content that your target market will value. Then, over time, you’ll build up an engaged database of people who love what you do, who you are, and who will actually buy from you. After all, there is little point having a database of 100,000 email addresses (that’s what we refer to as a vanity metric) if 0 buy from you.
When you get written correspondence that’s properly personalised, it feels a bit like Christmas, doesn’t it? The reason it feels that little bit special, is that it is out of the ordinary.
To stand out in customers’, clients’ or prospects’ inboxes, personalisation is crucial. Numerous surveys back this up, too.
For example, the State of Marketing Survey by Salesforce (2018), highlights that 52% of B2C and 65% of B2B email recipients will unsubscribe and tend to disassociate themselves from brands who do not personalise their marketing activities.
Time is the most valuable commodity we all have. So, how we choose to invest that time is crucial. When writing content and providing value to your subscribers, respect their time. We often hear from potential clients that they’ve actively avoided sharing in the past because they “don’t want to give the game away.” The truth is the only way you can stand out from your competition these days is by being respectful, trustworthy and open-minded.
So, don’t hold back.
When you’re carefully proofreading or editing your content, one of the best things to ask yourself is “so what”, as if you were your recipients. I find that this is a really therapeutic exercise. It’s a bit like when you’re about to go on holiday and your suitcase just won’t close – you soon get rid of the irrelevant stuff.
Similarly, the “so what” approach is a great acid test to make sure your content is waffle-free and provides genuine value. I assure you when you do share openly and without expectation, people will begin to like, know and trust (and buy from you) much more quickly.
So, you’re confident that you’ve spent lots of time planning what you were going to say and how you were going to add value to your prospects. You’re also confident that you’ll be able to get recipients to open your email and read more about what you have to say. You know they’ll love what you’ve written, too. Awesome!
Next, you need to make it easy for them to take the next step. Whether you want to offer them the opportunity to learn even more or find out about how your service has benefitted people like them, just do it!
This is practice is referred to as writing a great call-to-action (i.e. a button with an actionable statement that they’ll resonate with). Would you benefit from more guidance on calls to action? Check out this interactive guide on calls-to-action by Campaign Monitor.
Without well thought through calls-to-action, you’ll stop your prospects before they’ve even got started. It is good practice to put calls-to-action as near to the top of your email, throughout your email and at the end of the email, as possible. As screen sizes differ greatly on different devices, by placing calls to action throughout your email, it will make it easier for your recipients to take the next step, whatever device they may be using.
If you use an email marketing platform you should always test before you send. If you do not use one yet, there are many lightweight options out there to get started with, such as AWeber, Campaign Monitor and MailChimp you could consider. Recommending one for you specifically is pretty difficult as it will depend on which one fits your requirements best and budget most appropriately.
Testing email campaigns is a crucial part of the process. Once you’re happy that you’ve got the content right, the calls to action right and it is something that is personalised well for your audience, you should send a few test emails to yourself.
These test emails will give you invaluable insights into how your email will look on different platforms (i.e. Gmail or Outlook), if your calls-to-action work properly and how it appears on different devices, with different screen sizes, such as; mobile phones, tablets and desktop computers.
If you follow the rules above, you should be well on your way to more successful email marketing campaigns.
Before you click send, if you want people to engage and encourage others to do so, you need to make it easy for people to share your email with people they’re close to. Most email marketing platforms allow you to do so, with share buttons for most social media platforms and by email, by default.
So, the last lesson is a pretty simple one. Add sharing buttons to your email campaigns – as you never know who may resonate with and recommend your content others :).
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P.P.S. Soon, I will be posting a blog on how to improve your email marketing results – after you click send.
If you’d like to be the first in line to receive that, let us know, here.
If you’d like to get more guidance with regards to your email marketing, please feel free to get in touch with us here.
Want to find out how you can simplify your sales process and onboard more new clients/customers? Find out more about Marketing Automation and how it can save you time and money – here.