One of the most effective ways to market your business also is one of the most common causes of headaches for work-at-home entrepreneurs; email marketing. Most people have tons of questions about what to do and how to best use this form of marketing. When should I send out emails? How often is too often? What subject line to use? We all want to start off on the right foot, especially when it comes to gaining more exposure for our business. So, we asked our experts what they suggest. Here are our experts favorite email marketing strategies.
Samantha R Strazanac
- Be human and add personality to your emails. Its about building a relationship.
- Use multiple links to the same page to increase changes people will click one of them
- Write as if you’re writing to a friend, its about earning the readers trust to continue reading your emails and acting upon them.
Trigger Curiosity – When participating in an email marketing campaign intended to provoke an action, the subject line is one of your most valuable space of text real-estate, given it is a strong determiner of your emails click-through rate. Getting people to open your email is the first step to increase overall engagement.
An excellent way to help increase your click-through rate is to trigger curiosity.
By developing a sense of mystery, people are more inclined to click on your email simply to satisfy their curiosity. An easy way to do this is to use phrases like: “Find Out How…,” “How To…,” and “Discover How…,” without actually giving an answer or solution within the subject line. This tactic causes the user to start asking themselves questions and helps convince them that your email is where they can find the answers.
Although there are many studies proving that this tactic works, it is not one size fits all. A/B test several different subject lines on the same email and discover which version worked best for your desired target audience. Once you have found the best performing variation, you can then go back and adjust your email subject lines accordingly. The more people you get to open and read your email, the more engagement you are likely to receive.
- Send between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. – this keeps your email from getting automatically deleted in the morning or evening “select all” route
- Send something of value to your list. This could be tips about getting your house ready to sell, if you’re a realtor. Or it could be a workbook or work sheet helping clients think through goals. Give them reason to open and linger over your email. If you’re emailing someone one-on-one about a job opportunity, be concise. Tell them what of your interest in the first sentence. Ask them to tell you more about the job, and attach your resume.
- Tell them what they’re getting in the subject line. Don’t go for click bait – that just damages credibility. If you’re offering tips, say something like, “Get your house ready to sell with my top 5 tips”
- Also A/B split testing is great for subject lines as well. You might try “Get your house ready to sell with my top 5 tips” and also “Selling your house? Here are my 5 free tips to help you prepare”
- Resend your campaigns to subscribers who didn’t open them the first time around. Do this 5-7 days after the original campaign and use a different, but equally compelling subject line. This will give you a quick boost in open rate on all emails if you do this systematically.
- Prune your list regularly. Subscribers who don’t engage with your emails are just dead weight on your list, dragging down your deliverability. Have a system in place to clean up your list, at least once per quarter.
- Engage subscribers immediately after they join your list. In one of your first automated emails, ask a simple-to-answer question that begs a reply. Why? First, replies indicate to ESPs that your emails should be delivered to the inbox, not the spam folder. Second, subscribers who reply are likely to be better prospects.
- Point users to the content you want them to see first. Showcase your highest ROI links at the very top of the email and make sure you compress all your images so that the email loads fast when opened.
- Make it easy for users to unsubscribe. Add a link to the email the unsubscribes them from the list immediately. Don’t present the user with options when they click the link or else you risk getting reported as spam.
- Take full advantage of the Subject line and preheaders. Make your subject captivating and consider using emojis if they fit your demographic. Also take advantage of preheaders as another chance to motivate the user to engage with your email.
- ”Don’t be afraid to send email. Send it often.” Many business owners think once each month should be plenty — they don’t want to appear ‘pushy.’ Once per month is the minimum. Once per week is much better, and once each day isn’t too much. Just be sure to send pack your mail with value.
- Segment your mailing list and create special campaigns for each segment. An eCommerce store, for instance, might segment by product line and send special emails to those interested in gardening or those interested in clothing. How do you segment the list? Use the available info (prior orders and inquiries, for example) and track where the clicks go. Someone who consistently visits the gardening department goes in that segment. Someone who normally browses clothing goes there.
- Never forget the purpose of your email. It is not to sell something. It is to get the right people to click on the right link that takes them further down the road to placing an order. The purpose of the subject line is to get the email opened. The purpose of the copy in the email is to get the click. Period.
- Fight the fear of being “annoying” when following up with prospects- follow up at LEAST 4 times with a prospect. Unless it’s a “no”, it’s a “not yet”.
- Pay attention to your copy; remember, people buy off emotion, then justify that purchase later with logic. SO don’t focus on the features of your product or service- focus on the benefit your customer receives! This is all about psychology.
- Follow the “hut-hut-HIKE” method when emailing. Two setup emails (providing lots of value and education to your prospect.. Actually HELP them), THEN the “Hike!” where you call for the action- to buy or to sign up or something like that.
- To increase opens and click throughs, segment subscribers who didn’t open a given campaign, and resend the message to them with a note like: “Did you see this?” This can double your opens and click throughs, increasing your ROI on any given campaign.
- Be consistent. If subscribers know they’re going to get Monthly emails from you, they’re less likely to unsubscribe and more likely to consume your content.
- Don’t be a robot. Send emails that ask people to act. Ask a question and when you get a response, send a message back.
- Focus – Strip down the message and include only one call to action, once clickable link.
- Be real – Write conversationally, as if speaking in person to your target audience one at a time over a cup of coffee.
- Give value – Only email when you have something of value to your audience that will give them a result and help them solve a challenge.
- Use of Plain Text Format for Emails- I personally prefer plain text email format since the prospects are mostly in for an actual personalized email experience. The open rates are usually higher since the prospect would feel it is coming from an actual person and not from an automated email generator. Friends do not send HTML mails. Replicate the same idea for your business.
- Break your email content into sentences instead of paragraphs-People have incredibly short attention span while reading mails and tend to read stuff, which is easy to consume, precise and to the point. One should break the email content into sentences instead of paragraphs,making it easy for people to skim through the email and encourage to read further and take action.
- Send emails at around 7 AM or 2 PM- Emails dispatched early morning and the afternoon period tend to generate better results as per research reports. The emails tend to have higher open rates than emails sent during other time periods.
- Experiment with subject line for more open rates-I personally spend a lot of time in analyzing various email subject lines that work well with the intended audience. Sampling test audiences with different subject lines presents actionable benefits with nearly more open rates.
- Send mails through a personal name-I have observed repeatedly that tend to open more emails if it’s sent through a name. Additionally, if it follows a particular format like this: Name from Company Name(Boni from Zestard), it gives the person an aligned business or domain inducing more trust from the reader than before.
- Only send your best content: People are bombarded with hundreds of emails daily basis. When you send an email, make sure it’s your absolutely best content, best quality and / or best offer. You want to make it worth someone’s time to open and read your email. The minute someone feels like you’re sending them junk, you’ll go right to their spam inbox.
- Send emails during down times: Send your emails at times when the majority of your recipients will be able to open them — later in the evening (8 or 9 p.m.) or even on weekend mornings. These are times when people most likely won’t be at work, but will have their mobile phones and get notified when your email arrives in their inbox.
- Spice up your emails with personalization: If you have any information about your subscribers (their first name or company name, for example) some email tools or marketing automation systems will allow you to insert that information into an email. Use someone’s name in a subject line to get their attention, for instance. If you don’t have any personal information, you can still get someone’s attention by addressing them directly, like saying “Your business matters.”
- Make sure all your contacts have a first name and that name is capitalized in your database
- Ask people for their birthdays when they sign up for your list – set up an autoresponder that sends them a birthday note every year!
- Try sending out at different times and track the results. Try Saturday! Marketing without measuring is not marketing!
Leslie Truex is an ideaphoric writer, speaker, entrepreneur, social worker and mom trying to do it all from the comfort of her home. Since 1998, she's been helping others create careers they love by providing work-at-home information and resources through Work-At-Home Success.
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