Given a choice, would you prefer to email or not email?
Many, many social media people I know hate email personally, and avoid it – they make a choice not to email. Given that so many people open emails on mobile devices, from social networks, and online, this choice is often one based on prejudice.
After all, email is spam right? The answer to that question should come only after you try it out, and check out the 6 keys I’m sharing with you in this video:
From Groupon to Mobile Marketing, Email Works
The key to successful email is to remember that, despite its reputation, it is one of the highest converting tools you have. Just look at Groupon’s massive, growth, do you think email had something to do with that?
Of course daily emails like Groupon’s are not what’s suggested, that’s a very aggressive, and very successful at times, model, yet it also requires you to constantly gather new emails because with more email, you get more churn.
Before you start calling this spamming, let’s look at the other side of email; those who send infrequently because they’ve talked themselves into sending less, so they can feel better about themselves. The challenge here is simple; the less you send, the less people notice you in this busy world. While you don’t have to send daily 1-2 times a week is recommended in many cases, because once a month is almost like an after thought to the most important person in this equation – your audience, and your customers.
The 6 Keys Explained,
plus a little trick at the end to make this really, really easy to do…
- Your From Line and Subject L ine: When someone gets your email, the first thing they do is ask, who sent this to me, and why is this important? The second question is where the subject line comes in; most businesses focus all their time on the copy and look/feel of the email, not realizing that if the subject line stinks, no one reads it. And if the from line – usually a name is preferred so they know who you are, or at least a company name – and use the same one for each email, don’t change it because that is one of the keys for someone evaluating whether you are spam or not.
- Make Your Email Like a Postcard: One of the common questions I get is how long should an email be…while long emails can work in some cases, keeping it brief, like a postcard, is most often recommended. Be sure to put a blue link at the top and bottom of the email, and don’t rely on graphics if you do HTML emails. Often these images are hidden from people up front, and the email should work with and without graphics – though I do recommend using both text and HTML emails because…
- Testing Text versus HTML emails is Smart: Another mistake many people make is just sending text, rationalizing that people don’t see graphics. By putting just 2 graphics in an email, you give some folks the opportunity to see what you are sharing, and in this increasingly social world driven by visuals and video, why not use a few graphics for those who look? I’ve seen people get an email on their mobile phone, save it, and go home to see it on their computer. Test this and you may be surprised at what you find; graphics in email often generate higher activity than plain text.
- Your Subject Line; Do I repeat myself? Of course I do, because you need to think about this first. So many send out an email at the last minute and rush to write a subject line, as if it’s the last chore. It is the first task, the defining moment of whether or not your email is opened, the real test you are facing. Check out subject lines constantly and play with them to encourage people to open by adding value. Tricking them is easy, but if you trick them and disappoint them, they will hit the Spam button on you so quick.
- Your First Sentence: This is a lesson from journalism and direct marketing, your first sentence is the second barrier, and should flow from the subject line. Just like someone searches for a keyword at Google, and looks for that keyword on the page they go to, a person who sees a good Subject Line wants that headline immediately reinforced in the first sentence. Lose them here and you not only lose their interest, boredom leads to hitting the Spam button, which hurts your chances to get delivered to others.
- Repeat Emails Drive Sales: when someone registers for your blog, or signs up for your special offer, or even buys a product, do you send them a sequence of emails to help them along? Smart marketers always consider the initial contact points, when someone is just getting to know you, as a chance to teach, share, and get them to remember you. Most send a single autoresponder, giving the person what they ask for; experts now to send another email in 3 days – just checking in to make sure they remember you and go to your page or download – then send 2,8, or even 20 more emails sequenced over 30-60 days.
- Bonus Key – Email Trickle Value Over Time: the trickle is so effective when done right; for example, Silver-Investor.com is a client who shares The 10 Rules of Silver Investing; this gives him 10 chances to send the rules, so he gives you the entire report up front, then focuses on 1 of the rules for each follow up email. If you add value, they will love it, and each email gives you a chance to include a call to action (at the bottom of the email, and either the top or right is best) to drive sales. And those who are not interested opt out, so you keep your list clean. One smart tip; include a free offer about half way through your process, because after the first 4 emails, interest can drop out if you don’t give them another incentive.
Why Email? Why Not?
For many marketers this may seem basic, yet what’s amazing is how many people are ignoring email. You can send from your own list, you can send blog updates instead of a separate newsletter so your email has email value AND Google value, and can be automated. You can send from social networks – which is adding 25% of email to people’s inboxes, and connecting via your Facebook Page, or through your own social network, is a great way to send email without always having to market.
A good formula I’ve found for years is 60% content, 40% sales, and if you are wise, you’ll simply focus on the content and frame your calls to action on the top and bottom of the email, which is where people click to leave and go to your web site. Final tip; mobile is so important these days, so include a “Download Here” link for your audio and video; in my tests this has radically increased activity and gives them something to listen to on mobile phones (video can be done, but audio is just so much easier, MP3’s work everywhere!).
When I coach businesses and startups today, especially those focused on social media, they see email as a dinsoaur. Be careful of what you think, it’s all about making it easy for the audience to remember you. Like it or not, email still remains an essential tool in this mobile, social world.
What are you doing with your email? Let me know your questions below and I’ll be glad to share some insights…