Email in marketing, the things you must do to get results. Email is as good today as it ever was, however, the rules have changed with the volume being sent.
Why send emails anyway?
Emails are the cheapest and arguably the most effective way of selling directly to customers.
They take little time to do and complete an important part of your marketing campaign
We all know about the three keys to selling as Know, Like and Trust and emails can support the first to sections, In fact, they can sometimes complete the circle of faith as they become trusting buyers.
I email most days. It may be the same mail to different customer groups as I segment my list but it provides a point of touch to the customer.
The other Golden rule is the rule of 7. A customer needs to be touched by you seven times before they will buy. Email may be just one touch or all seven depending on you
I don’t want to be pounding rules at you but they are the cornerstone of marketing and if you ignore them it is at your peril.
Do emails still work
I sent out a few emails today to a segment of my list, I offered insight and support on a particular problem that many people were having, No heavy sell just an I can help message.
I had a reply from a guy that wants three services from me. I just checked my records and my first email went to him in May last year, some 16 months later he bought a product
He talked to me like a best friend and sought my advice on his particular problem I had filled the know like and trust and the seven contacts.
Replies vary with the offer but yes they still work.
Plan what you want to achieve
Everything you do will need a plan. This may include;
- What do we want to achieve with this marketing?
- Who will do the necessary work
- Ensure you have a timeline
- Be sure to have a regular review
- claim your results, you deserve them
Write for a mobile phone
A lot of emails now end up on a Mobile phone so you must take particular care that it does look good on a small screen.
Don’t have links or pictures close together because this will show up as an error in the reporting. a great test is to view your blog when finished so you can make changes.
Build your base and segment it
I am not a huge player in this space however I still have 58 different list categories.
I understand that customers vary in their needs so I try and target a need.
My market is small to medium business but that can be a fixed retail premise or even a one man operator.
I don’t generally factor in Mail / Female preferences although at times I do consider this.
For example Ladies, hairdressers are a bit different from the local plumber or even the government departments we deal with. This, of course, depends on the product.
It is always a consideration
Ways to build a list
This is the hard question that most often comes first when discussing emails.
The customer list is an asset that should be used to increase touches on a regular basis.
Everyone you deal with should give you a name, email address and phone number.
Your website should request these details in a trade for providing them something.
You can buy lists but this is fraught with danger and it is not on my recommendations.
Facebook, Instagram, clubs, shows, business cards every contact is a potential customer.
The introduction always comes first
Your very first email should always be a handshake introduction.
Hi, my name is Brian the Plumber and I work in the building Industry. It’s a tough market at the moment but we try our best to give our customers the support they need.
This is no different from meeting someone at a party. You would never say Hi I am Brian The plumber do you want your pipes fixed or shall we dance.
We will get to a closing action further down the page but every page must have a closing link.
They may want to dance on the first date so give them an opportunity to say the magic word.YES!
Not everyone will like you
Sometimes the dance floor is too busy, they have been asked too many times or it is not convenient at the moment.
They may have contacted you about a particular product and have since bought it or moved on
to a new project so you no longer present value to them.
It is not personal! You may hate rejection but we all lead a busy life and only somethings will retain our interest. However, times and subjects change so what was today will be different from tomorrow.
My open rates vary from a little under 20% to a little over 60%. Same base different emails.
This is important for your future. When someone gets an email they did not want and had no past communication with you they think it is spam email and they record it as such.
This is not always easy to control and you will get some.
In fact, I had one guy that sent me a nasty email complaining about my message he had just received and he had never heard from me.
When I checked my history he had been sent about a dozen emails that had all been opened and went back about 12 months.
He was having a bad day.
I recently started a new list and decided to change carriers. My segment was new but my material continued my standard approach that has stood a test of time.
One guy laid a complaint so the carrier black banned me from future business. I had broken no rules but this guy had a real beef about something and laid into the carrier.
My old and existing carrier had handled hundreds of thousands of emails without a problem so I believe it was in their template that was at fault.
Do you need a closer
Every email should have a closer, a reason to subscribe, an email or phone call address.
If you don’t ask you don’t get so give them a reason to click.
One of the things we want is to track is who clicks what and when. Use big coloured buttons and give them a reason to click.
The most important reason is to have your next email looked at. So give them a glimpse of what is to come. Build some anticipation so they will look forward to hearing from you.
Who is the email from
We all get emails every day, some more than others but we generally build a following.
Each morning I scan the emails by name and I highlight them all.
As I go down the list I save ones by name of the sender and then by the subject. This way very few has my attention.
However, one day when I am looking for a solution I will move my eyes to the subject line.
They may have sent me a hundred unopened mails and one will gel.
The reason the first email is an introduction is to have the following emails opened
Title and heading
The title the heading and the footer need particular attention. You may have the best content but if no one reads it you have wasted your, and their time.
My title today in my email was How I had a customer jumping with Joy.
What would make a customer so happy just had to be read?
It was a true story of carrier incompetence that needed something special to solve a problem. That something was me, in this case, achieving more than they considered possible
Build excitement in your emails
During an email, series tell them what comes next to gain interest and hopefully extra opens.
In your next mail, we will show how X company increased sales.
We won company awards because of this one thing.
Our one-time special offer.
What others say about us.
Customer exclusive offers up next.
The idea is to get your emails read
An Autoresponder is a wonderful thing. It saves you a lot of work and regularly keeps in contact with your clients. You just type a series of mails and time them to go out over a period of time.
I often use them with a product release or something aimed at a particular client base.
It is a long subject and I wrote a great post on Autoresponders recently
The email series
Whether it is by an Autoresponder or a manual series the journey is much the same.
- You will introduce your self and try to get some Know factor coming.
- Then what business you are in and why people deal with you
- Problems others have and how they got around them
- a testimonial or two to build some trust
- Solutions you have provided
- How you can help them
- Special offer
- Closing hard hit 1
- More closing
- Say goodbye
- off to a newsletter, however, tell them what to expect
Manage your results
In all marketing results determine action.
You enter a market with an idea that you wish to achieve and when that is not met you make changes.
I always send a test email or Newsletter to determine results. I generally use the same list so I understand the readers.
A bad mark and I rewrite the material or change the header so that I can see what I did wrong.
By using a small list you can soon see your mistakes and have time to make corrections
Re-segment your list
When you load your contacts you put them into an appropriate list but that does not last forever.
When they buy, move them, when products change vary them, when they are stale put them to a newsletter. Just keep them active and contributing.
Start to close the sale
We talked about a closer on each and every email and the essence of that will grow as you get closer to actually asking for the order.
You can start to use statements that will increase demand;
- limited time offer
- Running out of stock
- People in your industry are demanding this product
- Without our product, you will struggle for success.
- Increase your sales or your money back.
- Offer available until Tuesday at Noon
All these are timed to get some action.
Strip out non-openers
There are people that can not say no, they won’t unsubscribe they will continue to ignore you and never read your exciting stuff. So what do you do with them?
Get them off your list and move on. However, it is a bit harder than that because you may believe one day they will strike with you and become a customer.
Be ruthless at times and cut back a dead list.
I sent out an email to a dead list that said along the lines of ” if you don’t want my emails hit the big red Unsubscribe button below”
How many reacted to this? Not one. Why? because they have a delete mentality and would soon spend time deleting than unsubscribing. Do it for them.
Send to a newsletter list
When I have exhausted an Autoresponder or a list I generally transfer them to a newsletter-style campaign.
No heavy selling just a consistent touch and refresh about your business.
You can see the opens and the clicks and work with these to a greater extent.
Keep your Newsletter as just that, it is not a headbanging sales tool, it is an information and entertainment product.
The ones I read are all different, The tyre store that relates to cars both old and new. The curtain guy that has seasonal changes, the signwriter with building wraps are just a few.
The format with newsletters is easy to do.
Mass marketing with emails
If you have the list use it regularly and often. In fact, more is better than less.
Don’t ever be afraid to email, your target people will tell you what is too much as your opt-out rate increases. They are often the people you want off your list
Email marketing is as alive today as it ever was.
We get a lot of our information over emails however they need to be done correctly. The game is to get them to read and responded too.
You have ample opportunities to test and try, change and alter until the formula works.
Set your self a daily task as the first issue on your daily list. As a marketer you are about selling product and that only happens with action.
My first daily action is what can I do to get a sale today. Most often it is some type of email activity, a broadcast, a newsletter, perhaps a follow-up mail to a quote or to someone new.
Nothing is achieved without action