10 Tips To Successful Email Marketing
You've written a brilliant email. You've carefully checked every sentence. You're sure you have a cracking subject line. But when you send it, hardly anyone opens it. And the ones that do do not click on the links let alone ever buy anything. What could possibly be wrong? And what can you do to change this?
I want to mention here that if your list consists untargeted subscribers these tips probably will not help. In that case I would urge you to start building a list of targeted readers who have an interest in the topics you write about.
How To Improve Open Rates?
Open rates are the critical bit in any kind of successful email marketing. If the recipient does not open it, it does not matter how amazing the content in your email is. So it's very important – and often quite difficult – to get this right.
1. Check that subject line
Yes, you've already thought about it and you think it's great. But is it really if it gets poor open rates? What really works depends entirely on your list and the only way to figure this out is to test until you find what it is for your list. Unfortunately there is no hard and fast rule that works for everyone.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Ask questions. You are making the reader think which also makes them more engaged
- Keep it short. Some email clients have a limit of characters that they can display on one line. Short subject lines are also often perceived more effective, given the short span of time generally devoted to a subject line
- Be specific. It should immediately be clear to the reader what your message is and why it's relevant to them
- Use lists. Making the subject line to a list can make for easier and quicker reading, eg 3 Common Mistakes In Internet Marketing
But as already mentioned, testing is really the only way you can be sure of what works for your list.
2. Use follow up emails
A well-thought-out follow up sequence is a great way to get your readers to know you and to start building relationships with them. Providing highly valuable content in a consistent manner with effective subject lines can lead to increased open rates as your subscribers get to know who you are and what you can offer for them.
3. Get your timing right
Timing of an email can make a huge difference to whether it's opened or not. People in the IM industry tend to subscribe to many emails and therefore your chances of them opening your email are the best if you catch your subscribers at a time when they are awake and reading them.
Some studies suggest that the best time to catch readers is in the evening where some say it's during normal working hours. Again, testing is the way forward in finding out what works for your list. Of course there's the added trouble of different time zones. With most autoresponders you can quite easily divide your list into segments based on geographic location so you could try scheduling different locations to go out at different times.
4. Send again to those who did not open the first time
This is pretty simple. Just filter your list to "unopened" and send it to them again. Maybe try a different time of the day and also change your subject line. This also helps you with the testing of what works and what does not.
How To Improve Click-Through Rates?
OK, so you've managed to make your open rates better and now more of your subscribers open what you send to them. But they're still clicking your links. There are a few things you can do to improve on that.
5. Write as if you're writing to one person only
This one makes perfect sense if you think about it. Which emails do you generally open the quickest? Is it an email from a friend of an email from a big company? I'm sure that's a pretty easy choice for most of us. Writing in a conversational tone Just as if you were writing to a friend will surely be more interesting for your readers than a generic, salesy email directed at a massive crowd. People like to feel that they are important and not just a part of a big, faceless crowd.
6. Add personality
Be yourself. This is probably the most important thing in my opinion. You want your readers to get to know you . Use words and expressions that only you would use, be unique and do not ever try to copy someone else's style. It will not work and people can see through that. And you probably would not be able to sustain that long-term anyway.
7. Do not sell in every email
If you only email people when you want them to buy something from you, you will probably end up on the wrong side of a lot of people. Most people do not just want to be blatantly sold to and especially not by someone they do not even know. Now I'm not saying this will not ever work but generally you are much more likely to make some sales when you focus on offering value to your subscribers. You need to gain their trust first. They need to feel you know what you're talking about. You must offer them value. Otherwise you're just another one of those marketers who bang out a promotional email after another and are only after their own gain.
8. Highlight the benefits
When you do sell to your list I would advise you to focus on the benefits of the product. Tell your subscriber how it can help them in a particular problem. It's important to make your reader feel that you have their best interests at heart and that there are actual benefits for them in this product and not only to you for getting their money out of it!
9. Have a clear call to action
Make sure it's clear what you would like your readers to do next. Whether it is to read your latest blog post, download a report or watch a webinar make sure it's blatantly obvious what it is they should do. Also tell them why they should do it. Highlight the benefits to your reader, really focus on what's in it for them.
10. Stop making it all about you
Now I hope you're not even doing that in the first place. At the end of the day you should be focusing on your readers' needs and needs and on how you can help them resolve a specific problem. Really build a relationship with them. Make this your focus instead of making money out of them. Ask them questions and reply to them when they answer – whether that's via email or a blog comment. Most subscribers are being sold stuff left right and center by people they do not know anything about so make sure you're not one of them. By all means sell to your list but give them a reason to trust you first.
Now I want to hear what you think. How have you made your emails work for you? I would love to hear your tips, I am definitely on the look-out for any good advice to improve them for me and my readers.