Email marketing is simply formulated emails that have related content that people can expect to receive on a regular basis. The goal is to develop solid relationships with customers that will pay dividends down the road, with the added effect of maximizing your opens, clicks and conversions. You can start getting more out of your email programs as early as today by following these simple tips.
Tip 1: Provide a Solution –
Sometimes we get so anxious to start sending emails that we don’t start with a well thought out plan for our email programs. So our first step must be to determine what problem we want to solve. The first way to do this is to decide what your goal is. Are you looking for repeat business from your past database, one time shots, referrals from partners? From this, make sure the email content and offers you send out provide a solution. Right now, credit repair is one of the biggest problems that America is facing so I use that as a subject for a lot of my emails. You can also read your local paper and find out what the big “buzz word” problems are and then provide a solution.
Tip 2: Maintain Clean “Mailing” Lists –
Do not maintain a dirty list or a dirty database; keep it clean. ISPs dislike poorly organized and cluttered lists, because lists with large numbers of bad addresses and outdated data increase the amount of unnecessary emails that they must block and filter. You can lower ISP complaints and raise reputation scores – both of which lead to higher deliverability- by not sending to customers who haven’t opened or clicked for the past year.
Tip 3: Choose Your “From” Name Wisely–
You may not realize that the recipient decides whether or not to delete the email based on the name in the “from” line and that they decide whether or not to open it based on the “subject” line. Your “from” name should stay consistent, and it should match the brand that your customer recognizes and trusts. Keep in mind that your relationship with the customer will be built on the “from” name. If they see an unknown name, it’s likely that they will delete your message. In our industry, we are building relationships and branding ourselves. Also, make sure your “from” line is your name and not your company’s name.
Tip 4: The Subject Line is Key –
The way you address an envelope has a lot to do with whether it gets open or not. And so it is with how you “address” your email subject line. They need to be to short and to the point. Unfortunately, there is not one single word that you can use that will guarantee delivery, open or action every time. But, here are some tricks that will help.
Same or Different?
If you are using a recurring email program, use the same line over and over again. This creates anticipation and recognition and keeps the “open” rate high. For instance, “Richard’s Wednesday Tip” and “Your December Marketing Strategy” are examples of archetypal program subject lines.
If you are sending out an email that does not have a regular sense of frequency and familiarity to it, write a unique subject line every time.
Caps or not?
Do not include all capital letters and words, it seems like you are yelling. Instead capitalize the first letter of each word (initial caps). This suggests that there is a story to follow. This technique works well in unique subject lines, it looks professional and it is more noticeable in an average inbox of everyday email.
Use Action Words
Action words or money saving coupons will prompt the recipient to act quickly. Note the power of the words “Last Chance” in this email from Hallmark.com: “$10 Coupon Inside – Last Chance to Save.” Also note that the word “Free” is fair game again (it didn’t used to be). It’s now okay to use the word free if you are offering something free. I like to use “Free Report” or “Free Insider Secrets.” Also, don’t use their first name in the subject line. First name usage in a subject line is almost always classified as spam.
Reference previous actions or purchases
Instead of a generic email subject line, making it refer to a past action, like a previous purchase. This will help ensure your email gets open.
Tip 5: Know Optimum Times and Dates to Send Emails -
Sending and response data has become a very important part of email campaigns. Obviously, there’s a great deal of information of varying value. As an email marketer, you are compelled to comb through specific dates and times that emails were sent in search of trends and opportunities.
Tip 6: Use Segmentation to Enhance Content –
If your offer or content is not interesting to the person receiving it, 53 percent of them will unsubscribe. It would be nice to have a 0% unsubscribe rate, but highly unlikely. But there are things you can do to lower your unsubscribe rate. If you segment your database, you can make the content of your messages more relevant, which will help reduce the rate. For example, home based business, online marketing and affiliate marketing will be in different groups. Those who want to receive your Wednesday tip another and those who are interested in video strategies yet another. This list can be constructed by taking surveys or just asking.
Tip 7: Fine-tune Email Frequency –
The frequency of your email marketing will change according to the needs of different audiences and segments. Testing is really the only way to find how often you should email. Really popular sellers can send daily, while others with less cult-like following would see a dramatic spike in unsubscribe rates if they began sending weekly. No matter what, each email sent must convey valuable content to prospective readers, regardless of its intent to either to sell or inform. If the content has value and relevancy, then frequency is secondary. The very low cost of email causes some marketers to abuse it without any effective strategy. Unfortunately, this approach will yield recipient fatigue, spam complaints and list attrition.
Tip 8: Find Out Which Are Your Top Domains and Throttle Based On That Knowledge –
“Deliverability” is a popular email marketing term and is the most common factor in the majority of email marketing choices. Adhering to best practices is the best thing you can do to maximize your delivery rates. It is necessary to know whom you will be communicating through, because you are at their mercy. For instance, Verizon only allows 500 emails delivered per hour, so you must set your email program to send out 1 less than that per hour. Your email-marketing vendor will probably fill you in on who to throttle against and who to abide by. Domain throttling is a requirement for sending through many ISPs and can improve tremendously your ability to get your message to the inbox.
Tip 9: Leverage Partnerships to Build Your Lists –
When contemplating list building and co-marketing to enhance your email programs, choosing the right partner makes all the difference in getting more opt-ins from the partner’s audience. Most email marketers learn by trial and error which partners fit their audience, and which don’t.
Address and data inclusion are the next challenges you face once you have found someone with whom you have similar goals and agree to work in partnership together. You will probably want to gradually release your information to the new partner’s email or customer database. This will allow you to introduce yourself to this newly opted-in audience over time with the least amount of risk while helping you manage deliverability reputation. Partner opt-in programs are an excellent choice to acquire new addresses to your promotional email lists.
Tip 10: Pay Attention to Customers Using Handheld Devices –
The number of people who read their email via a handheld device (i.e. IPhone, Android & Blackberry) is growing rapidly. For them, an email formatted for a large screen, with lines and lines of html links can be very annoying and cause them to delete the message without ever reading it.
Your message should include wording at the beginning of your message inviting readers to click through, as well as a link. You can improve the overall experience of the customer by addressing the environment in which your messages are being viewed.
Tip 11: Keep it Legal –
Never forget that email is a regulated industry both in the US and abroad. You should make a complete inventory of your email programs and make sure you understand all relevant legal requirements. It would be best to speak to an attorney to make sure that your email programs are compliant. You can read the list of US email laws at the link below to get you started. To ensure protection of the channel, keep compliant and understanding e-mail laws.
US Laws: CAN-SPAM – www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/buspubs/canspam.shtm
Tip 12: Be Certain Before You Hit “Send” –
With the click of your mouse, you can send an email marketing campaign to thousands – even millions – of opt-in recipients. With that kind of power, you want to do all you can to avoid mistakes. The following is a broad checklist to help you avoid mistakes.
Be sure that email is coming from the right source by double-checking your data source. Go over the email content. Check your naming and links, as well as make sure your unsubscribe link works and look into all required CAN-SPAM elements. Test the account by sending out live test campaigns.
With email marketing you can contact millions of people in a matter of minutes. Ensure that you are proud to send out the communication.
Tip 13: Improve –
“Improve” is the last tip. Testing is the most prodigious way to improve any email-marketing element, and best of all it’s a simple task. Email is not completely impossible to manage by yourself. It is very likely to improve your email program if you run tests. Testing is a very quick process, and results can be reported in real-time. Therefore test and if you don’t, then don’t attempt a lame excuse about not having enough time.
Courtesy of Carl White who is the nationally recognized #1 expert for email and website video marketing for realtors and loan officers. He has used video marketing as one of his primary platforms for generating millions of dollars in commissions for himself and the members of his exclusive mastermind group, Carl’s Marketing Animals. For more information on how to explode your business with this proven marketing strategy, you may contact him at Carl@MortgageMarketingAnimal.com