Delete, delete, delete: That’s what most people do as soon as they open their email mailboxes. Email is an inexpensive and often effective way to reach customers and prospects, but, because it’s inexpensive and effective, it’s hard to break through all the noise to get your message noticed. By following proven techniques, however, you can turn email junk into email gold:
- Know your readers.
First of all, make sure all the members of your contact list have opted in. You can put an opt-in button on your website and make it possible to sign up for your email list on your social media sites. When your recipients have opted in, there’s a better chance your email won’t end up in the spam folder, and it’s much more likely your recipients will open it.
It’s also important to know what your recipients want. Are they looking for a good deal? Information? A solution to a problem? Something else? Construct customer profiles to help inform your marketing communication campaign. Once you know what your prospects want and/or need, you can tailor your message and entice them to read your email.
- Formulate your goals and steps to accomplish them.
Ask yourself why you feel the need to send out an email blast. Maybe you want to advertise a discount, provide information to establish yourself as an expert, drive traffic to your website.
Create a communications plan to help sort out your goals, strategy and tactics. If you know precisely what you want to accomplish with your email blast, you can tailor your message. Include a straightforward call to action so your customers know how to respond. And make sure your goal is measurable; this will help you determine how successful your email campaign is and adjust accordingly for your next campaign.
- Write your message using a friendly, conversational style.
Now you that you’ve determined who your recipients are and the goals for your email campaign, you can start writing your email. Use a clear, conversational style. Also, keep your email concise. People’s in-boxes are inundated nowadays. You don’t want to alienate any prospects with overly long emails that take too much time to read. Keep emails to two paragraphs at the longest. You can provide links for readers to access additional content.
Because most people scan emails, try highlighting the most important bits of information in bold subheads. They have a way of leaping off the screen and can entice readers to spend a bit more time actually reading the body of your email.
- Craft a brilliant subject line.
The subject line is key to getting recipients to open your email. Be creative to make it attention grabbing. But be careful to not oversell. That could alienate your reader. Also, you don’t want to end up in the spam folder so avoid the following:
- All caps
- Exclamation points
- Phrases like “Buy now” or “Earn $$”
- Proofread, proofread, proofread. (Yes, that’s right…I said “proofread” three times!)
Once you’ve written the body of your email and the subject line, proofread your copy. You only have a few seconds to make a first impression with your email, and you don’t want to cause distractions with silly typos or misspellings. So, don’t just proofread once, go over your copy three, even four times. And have at least one pair of “fresh eyes” take a close look, too.
And remember, you can’t rely on spell checker alone. Invest in some writing reference books to help you out.
- Use social media sites to start a two-way conversation.
Ask a question, invite comments, seek out feedback; direct readers to your social media site to post responses. Developing a conversation with prospects helps you establish a relationship with them and to learn more about what they’re looking for so your organization can respond.
- Determine how often you’ll send emails to your contact list.
You want to stay in your customers’ and prospects’ minds, but sending too many emails can cause them to unsubscribe. In fact, receiving too many emails is the most cited reason for people to unsubscribe from an email list. Numerous studies have shown that email blasts should go out at least once a month, but no more than once a week.
But your should always keep in mind the number one rule: “Content is king.” The frequency of your email blasts should be determined by the value of your content. If you have something to say that is important to your subscribers, send it. If you don’t, wait. Instead, work on brainstorming, researching and crafting valuable content, and then send an email blast.
Take the time to create email blasts that have well-written content tailored to your recipients’ needs and wants. It can mean the difference between an email that is considered a valuable missive and one that ends up in the trash.