Now that you have created a rock star website for around $100 (yes — it is very doable), and have written a few blog posts that have your readers intrigued and wanting more, now it’s time to tackle your email list.
Converting your readers to customers via email is very doable and is a great way to generate leads, sales, and eventually those customers will in turn, turn around and tell others about your services, and those will eventually turn into sales as well.
No matter what new means of communication that have emerged over the past decade– tweets, updates, pins, whatever – email marketing is still chugging along as one of the most effective ways to reach your customers.
You want your customers to warm up to you, making them look forward to the next email from you — and it’s hard to do that and manage that from a tweet, right?
I think of weekly emails like a friendly old-school paper airplane that you sail over to your customer’s desk, at the same time every week. So what does your paper airplane look like? Is it black and white and business all over? Is it identical to the other airplanes sailing in to your customer — like credit card companies, other businesses?
Or does your airplane land with a splash, looking very unique and different, with splashes of purple and personality, and folded in a way that catches your customer’s attention?
What are you doing to make sure your customer is intrigued enough to unfold it, read it, smile. . . and peek over the wall next week, eager for the next one?
Here are some easy ways to ensure that your email is not filtered or instantly trashed. Here’s how to make sure your emails are anticipated and wanted.
Here’s how to make sure your emails are anticipated and wanted
1. Don’t make the email to an unknown person
No one likes to think of themselves as one of a hundred fish in a barrel. If you begin your email in a “To Whom It May Concern” fashion, that email is not going to be the concern of anyone. . .except maybe the trashcan. Instead, write your email like you’re writing to a friend. If it helps, pick a real person and when you write your emails, imagine you’re writing to them.
2. Don’t be all business in your emails
Be generous with the words “you” and “I” and “us.” The best email blasts are the ones where folks reply back to you as if it was a real, genuine, one-on-one email. The ones where they have no idea that your invitation to your event was any less personal than a suggestion that you two grab a cup of coffee.
3. Don’t send bulk emails, especially from your home
Don’t try to load your list into the bcc of your gmail account and then send it out to all your customers. Your Internet Service Provider (like Comcast, ATT, Uverse, or whatever home service you use) will take note and either prevent the emails from going out, or worse–flag you as a spammer and shut down your service! Instead pay the extra fee and send your emails out using a service like MailChimp, Aweber, or MyEmma.com. These are all good starter services. If you need a more robust solution, look into Infusionsoft.
4. Don’t just assume that your email will send correctly
Send a test email first. Never, ever, ever send emails out without testing them first. I can’t tell you how many otherwise-killer emails I have seen completely ruined because some coding didn’t work. In other words, the only worse way to open an email than “To Whom It May Concern” is with “[Hello firstname]”.
5. Do put a lot of thought into your subject line
Think of your subject line like the cover of a magazine in the grocery store check out line. Imagine if that magazine was packed full of fascinating articles, images, coupons and content. Now imagine if the cover format was an ugly shade of brown and simply said “Magazine With Articles In It”. Chances are, you’d never bother to reach for that one.
6. Make the subject line of your email stand out
Make it charming, disarming and even a little risky. (The point is to stand out from the crowd–and by crowd I mean a very crowded inbox.) Use words like “you” and fun slang with unexpected turns of phrase. Avoid words like free, money, reminder, and help. Even if they don’t trigger the dreaded spam filters, they’ll inevitably lower your open rate.
7. Keep your character count low
Other subject line hints include trying to keep your character count to around 50 characters, including personalization. Even if you don’t know your customer’s name, but you do know what city they live in, sneak the city name in the subject line and watch your open rates increase.
8. Do make it clear who the email is from
Here you need to be consistent and clear. You want them to know, at a glance, who is sending this email to them. Funnybunny33@gmail.com might not be the most trustworthy sounding email. Instead try something like firstname.lastname@example.org.
9. Your Signature Moves
Signatures count! Don’t forget to go out with a bang. They are your one shot at establishing personality while making it easy for folks to contact you. If you must include an image in your signature, make sure it’s legible when shrunk down. And always alt-text it too in case your customer has images turned off. That way, your information still shows where the image should be.>
Here is an extra tip for you!
Limit yourself to three ways for people to contact you. Stack up line after line of Linkedin, Twitter handles, etc. and you risk overwhelming them. Choose the three easiest ways to contact you — the ones you are most likely to check.
And finally, remember that being charming and personable is the name of the email game–Or rather, from subject line to signature. Lose the dull “Sincerely” or “Warm Regards” sign off and instead inject a little sparkle, humor or tone.
Do you know what else counts? P.S. copy.
P.S.’s have been used by marketing experts since the 1960’s to really capture reader’s attention. Our brains are just programmed to read, if not skip right to, the P.S. So put something good in there. Add urgency, restate the main point of your email or just tease them with the promise of something even juicier if they’ll just. click. here.
Notice that I just mentioned the main point of the email, and not the main points of the email. That’s because there shouldn’t be more than one point to it. Don’t try to cram in a thousand offers or discounts or calls to action. You should be trying to achieve one, and only one, action from your reader.
If your email has done it’s job and has charmed them to the point that they want to engage with you, don’t make them have to choose between clicking on this offer, or signing up for that webinar. Give them ONE task per email.
Remember: A confused mind does not buy, and a confused reader does not click.
What makes you click? What’s the best, funniest or worst subject line you have ever seen? What kind of bone head moves have YOU done with your email marketing?
Tell us your successful or not so successful email stories below.
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