Whether you are updating your contacts with new blog content or sending a newsletter, emails allow you to connect with your subscribers and build fruitful relationships. However, this is not going to happen automatically. You will need the best email practices to help you.
Email is still a common form of communication, but as inboxes fill up with thousands of emails on the daily, it becomes icreasingly difficult to attract and retain user attention. Many people just start ignoring emails that do not seem immediately important to them, or unsubscribe altogether. You need to make your emails stand out so that people don't turn a blind eye. Here are a few things to consider as you continue your email endeavors.
1) Create Awesome Subject Lines
The first thing your contact sees of your email is the subject line. If you want people to lay eyes on your email, the corresponding subject is going to be whateither deters them or motivates them to open it. You could have an amazing, life-changing message in the text of your email, but if your subject line reads “Joe's Newsletter: September 8,” then no one will open it. That's the harsh reality. The best strategy is to try to encapsulate the key value that the email offers in a brief and inviting phrase for the subject line. If you sell nutritional supplements, and you want to send an email about your holiday deals in December, don't just say “Joe's Nutrition: Holiday Sale.” You might try: “10 Easy Ways to Keep Off the Pounds this Holiday Season.” Then you can craft your email around this theme, highlighting your holiday sales.
Emails with repetitive subject lines are likely to go right into to the spam or promotions folder. Your contacts may never even see them. Be sure to take the time to make them inciting, unique, and fu.
2) Personalize Your Messages
People read emails that target their key interests. They are not interested in generic, universal appeals. Despite your company's size or stature, you probably have different groups of customers with different interests. The best path is to identify these interests and craft emails specifically targeted to appeal to those audiences. Continuing the example of nutritional supplements, you might have customers that want to lose weight, customers who are athletes, and customers who are diabetics, among others. The more information you can gather and track around your customers to create this segmentation system, the more you can target appealing messages directly to these segments of your list.
Imagine Suzy, who is concerned about diabetes. If she has the option to tell you a bit about her interest in this when she gives you her contact information, then you can place in your list of customers concerned about diabetes. Suzy is more likely to open an email titled “The Best Nutritional Supplements to Beat Diabetes,” than an email titled “Joe's Nutrition Monthly Specials.” By understanding Suzy's problem and targeting emails specifically to that problem, you can get your emails opened and read by people like Suzy.
This means that you have to do more than maintain an email list. You need to engage in customer relationship management to track important information about your customers' interests and activities. It is a good idea to occasionally ask your subscribers to update their preferences. Armed with this information, you can engage in targeted email marketing and lead nurturing campaigns that build valuable relationships with your subscribers.
3) Introduce Yourself
When people subscribe to your email list, one of the best email practices is to introduce yourself or, if you operate through a system like HubSpot, to automate your signature. You want to build a clear expectation that your subscribers will receive valuable content from you in an ongoing way. A creative series of introductory emails coupled with videos can accomplish this. The key is to create some excitement and anticipation for your subscribers. You want them to eagerly look forward to receiving your emails and get to know you in the process.
4) Re-Introduce Yourself
Never presume that your subscribers remember you. They may have signed up for your list, but they might forget about you in the barrage of emails that comes through their inboxes everyday. Always identify yourself and your brand clearly and instanty. The goal is to create familiarity and an ongoing conversation with your taget audience.
5) Give Away Some of the Secret Sauce – But Not Too Much
One of the best ways to ensure that people open your emails is make sure they contain valuable content. If your subscribers know that by reading your emails, they are going to get some valuable information, then they will be more likely to open your emails and engage with your brand. You should provide compelling, insightful information that educates your audience without giving away too much. Providing exclusive offers like eBooks and webinar sessions can build trust between business and consumer, but give readers steps to seek out more in-depth services to create conversions. You want them to keep returning for more, but also stay curious about the value of your company.
6) Make It Interactive
Creating interactions transcends personalization. In order to maintain and cultivate relationships, ask your contacts a question. Then, reply when you get some answers to keep the exchange going. By making your emails more interactive, you can build valuable ties with your contacts that may go above and beyond the value of email. Campaigns should be use d to convert and delight. Establishing interactive communication can lead to great things.
7) Optimize For Mobile
With so many people checking their emails on their smart phones, you must make sure that you have optimized your emails for mobile devices. What looks good on a desktop or notebook may not instantaneously translate on a tablet or iPhone. Make sure you preview your emails from a variety of devices prior to shipping them. Most marketing software comes equipped with this function, so be sure to utilize it every time.
Although the digital environment is continuously changing, email marketingcontinues to be a primary way to build relationships with your customers and prospects. By crafting engaging messages and offering real value to your subscribers, you can ensure that people look forward to and open your emails. The ties that you build through your email list can be a valuable asset to your business and convert users in any stage of the buyer journey if optimized. Don't underestimate the value of email TLC.
Feature photo cortesy of Forbes