Chapter 5: Writing Engaging Emails
Make Your Content Scannable
You have to break you content up into short paragraphs. Your subscribers are busy living their lives, so you have to adapt to this situation, by making your emails easy to scan by including images and subheading.
These images and subheading will lead them through the email easily. A teaser should be added at the top of your newsletter to let your subscribers know what is in store for them. Make your subject-line easy to digest and to the point too.
Leave tons of time for revision and editing. Check your style and grammar, as these components are very important for your emails.
Write using a friendly, informal tone. Since your subscribers will be in a relaxed frame of mind when they check out their emails, a friendly tone will work most effectively. Therefore, avoid using a strong formal tone in your emails; instead make sure to write naturally. In addition, you should include the subscriber’s first name in the greetings to make the email personalized and to make them feel valued.
Knowing Your Audience
You need to figure out what is important for the subscribers of your list. What do they love? Are they young or old? Did they purchase products or services from you in the past? You need to know a lot of things about your audience, as this will allow you to be able to send relevant and targeted copy to them.
The Value Proposition And Unique Selling Proposition
You need to find out the reasons why your customers buy your service or product. What are the main benefits of the product? Why is your service or product a lot better than its competitors? What makes it unique?
This is the kind of information that can make your email copy standout. If your offer really stands out from the competition, you will get a great response.
Therefore, you need to emphasize something that your competitors do not offer or that they will not offer in the future to your subscribers. Your proposition must be so strong that your subscribers feel they are pulled by the features or the proposition.
Creating Compelling Subject Lines
In the subject line, you will try to convince your subscribers that they really need to open the email. “You” is the best word you can use to attract the attention of your readers.
This word says that the message is not about your product but about them. This personal touch allows you to connect with your readers and build relationships.
Writing Emails That People Actually Read
Email Marketing can be a driving force in lead generation and for quite some time now businesses looking for an affordable method of marketing have turned to email marketing.
However, the biggest challenge most marketers face is improving the “open and read rate.” There are a lot of creative ways marketers can explore to ensure that emails targeted towards a specific subset of customers are read and in this part of the chapter we will discuss some of the most common methods.
Develop Catchy Subject Lines
One of the best ways to improve your “open and read Rate” is to develop catchy and creative subject lines for all your emails. A lot of people often decide whether or not to open an email message based on the subject line, so making it interesting and provoking can be a perfect strategy to increase the percentage of emails which are actually read.
You can try to put in some numbers and facts in your subjects but also make sure they are short, non-formal and most importantly concise and straight to the point.
Optimize Your Mailing List
Secondly, it is important to always send out your email messages to people who actually care. There is no value in sending loads of emails to lots of people who perhaps have no idea who you are.
Therefore, when you are developing the mailing list always target potential subscribers that may have some interest in your business or the products it offers. Additionally, try to refresh and improve your mailing list so that every time your email goes out someone somewhere is expecting it.
Know The Right Time To Hit Send
Well, email marketing has since been automated with a broad diversity of software, but you can still schedule your emails so that they are sent at specific time frames. It is important to first of all understand at what time your target audiences check out their inbox.
Ideally, people would normally check their inboxes at mid-morning hours and as such sending your messages at this time can be a great way to improve your open and read rates.
However, this is not definite and it’s crucial that you adapt to your own target audience and understand when they check their inboxes and at what frequency so that you can schedule your email marketing campaign accordingly.
Email marketing is a great tool to maintain customer loyalty and improve sales. The above three tips should help you improve your “open and read rates” with no hassle at all.
Chapter 6: Things To Avoid When Emailing Your List
When you decide to have an opt-in list, it is not just a matter of sending your subscribers your promotional newsletters or catalogs.
There are many things to consider in avoiding many complications. While there are so many ways you can make people subscribe to your list, there are also some things you must do to avoid subscribers from wanting to get off from your list.
Aside from that, you also want to avoid any problems with the law and your internet service provider or ISP. There are now many laws and rules that are applied to help protect the privacy of the internet users from spamming and unwanted mails.
With the popularity of the electronic mail as a medium for marketing because of the low cost, many companies have seized the opportunity and have flooded many people’s email accounts with promotional mail.
But, with an opt-in list, you avoid this annoyance because people subscribe to the list; they want to receive the newsletters and promotional materials.
They have consented to being on the list by subscribing themselves, just don’t forget to put an unsubscribe feature every time in your opt-in list so that you avoid any confusion. There may be times when an email account was provided when the real owner didn’t want to subscribe.
It is essential that you keep your list clean and manageable. Arrange it by using the many tools and technologies available for your opt-in list. Do not worry; your investment in this marketing strategy is well worth it with all the coverage you will get which will likely be converted into sales then to profit.
Keep yourself and your business out of trouble and potential run-ins with the law and the internet service providers. Keep your operation legit and clean. Your reputation as a legitimate businessman and a legitimate site depends on your being a straight and true marketing strategist.
As a tip, here are some things to avoid when emailing your list:
Take Notice Of Your Unsuccessful Sends
These are the emails that bounce. Bounced emails, also known as undeliverable messages, are those messages that, for whatever reason, were not successfully received by the intended recipient.
There are bounces that happen or occur because the server was busy at that time but can still be delivered in another time. There are also bounces because the inbox of the recipient is full at that time.
There are those bounce messages that are simply undeliverable ever. The reason for this is that it may be an invalid email address, a misspelled email address, or an email address that was abandoned and erased already.
Manage your list by putting markings on those that bounce. Erase an email account from your list so that you have an accurate statistics and records as to how many are actually receiving your mail.
You may also want to check the spellings of your email addresses in your list. One common mistake is when an N instead of an M is placed in the .com area.
Always Provide An Unsubscribe Link
Always provide an unsubscribe feature in your site and an unsubscribe link in your mails. When someone in your list files a request to be unsubscribed, always take that request seriously. If you don’t take them off your list and keep sending them your emails, you are now sending them spam mail.
When you are reported as a spammer, you and your business can get into a lot of trouble. You can be reported to the authorities and maybe blacklisted by many internet service providers. You will lose a lot of subscribers this way and many more in potential subscribers.
Do Not Provide Disturbing Content
Do not provide pornographic or shocking and disturbing content in your newsletters. It is hard to decipher the age of the recipient and many complaints may stem from these. Controversial issues also are to be avoided to not be branded by your subscribers. Stick to the nature of your site and business.
Always remember these tips in this chapter so that you can have a healthy relationship with your subscribers as well as be kept within the boundaries of what is allowed in sending mails to an opt-in list.
Staying Within The Lines
There is a fine line between advertising and spam and unfortunately many business owners do not understand the difference between the two.
This is important because while a cleaver, well planted Internet marketing campaign can help to attract new customers and keep existing customers loyal, spam is likely to alienate both new customers and existing customers.
This can be extremely damaging to profit margins for the business owners. This chapter will take a look at a few basic Internet marketing strategies such as banner ads, email campaign and message board posts and describe how each can quickly cross the line from cleaver advertising to spam.
Banner ads are one of the most popular strategies which accompany an Internet marketing plan. These ads are usually ads which appear at the top of websites and span the width of the website. It is from this appearance that they earned the name banner ads, but actually banner ads can refer to ads of a variety of different sizes and shapes which appear in an array of different locations on a website.
In many cases the business owner purchases advertising space on these websites, but the banner ad may also be placed as part of an exchange or an affiliate marketing campaign. Banner ad exchanges are situations in which one business owner posts a banner ad on his website in exchange for another business owner posting his banner ad on the other website.
These agreements may be made individually between business owners with complementary businesses or as part of exchanges facilitated by a third party.
In the case of affiliate marketing, an affiliate posts and advertisement for your business in exchange for compensation when the banner ad produces a desired effect such as generating website traffic or generating a sale. The terms of these agreements are determined beforehand and are generally based on a scale of pay per impression, pay per click or pay per sale or lead.
Now that you understand what banner ads are, it is also important to understand how they can be overused and appear to be spam. Judiciously placing your banner ad on a few websites which are likely to attract an audience similar to your target audience is smart marketing, placing your banner ad on any website which will display the ad regardless of the target audience can be construed as spam.
Internet users who feel as though your banner ads are everywhere, they turn will not likely take your business seriously and are not likely to purchase products or services from you as a result of your banner ads.
Email campaigns can also be very useful tools in the industry of Internet marketing. These campaigns may involve sending periodic newsletters filled with information as well as advertisements, short, informative email courses or emails offering discounts on products and services.
Loyal customers who opt into your email list will likely not view these emails as spam and may purchase additional products and services from your business as a result of this marketing strategy. Additionally, potential customers who have specifically requested additional information on your products and services will also find this type of marketing to be useful.
However, email recipients who did not request information are likely to view your emails as spam. Harvesting email addresses in a deceptive manner and using these addresses to send out mass emails will likely always be considered to be spam.
Finally, message boards provide an excellent opportunity for business owners to obtain some free advertising where it will be noticed by members of the target audience. If the products and services you offer appeal to a specific niche, it is worthwhile to join message boards and online forums related to your industry of choice.
Here you will find a large population of Internet users who may have an interest in your products. You might consider including a link to your business in your signature or posting the link when it is applicable to the conversation.
However, care should be taken to carefully review the message board guidelines to ensure you are not doing anything inappropriate. This technique is smart marketing. Conversely, replying to every message with a link to your website when it is not relevant to the conversation is likely to be construed as spam by other members.
Once they begin to view your posts as spam, they are not likely to visit your website via the links you post.
Chapter 7: Target Your Email Marketing
In theory email marketing is not any different than other types of marketing.
This means the basic principles of marketing apply to your email marketing efforts as well. One of these most important principles is the importance of reaching your target audience.
The ability to reach your target audience and convince them to make a purchase cannot be underestimated. This chapter will provide some insight into how Internet marketers can effectively reach their target audience.
The simplest way to reach your target audience is to allow existing customers as well as potential customers to register on your website and decide whether or not they want to receive emails with additional information and advertisements.
When the users register, they should be required to enter an email address. This registration process will allow you to compile a list of email addresses from each potential customer who expressed an interest in receiving additional information.
Sending your email marketing materials to the members of this distribution list is much more effective than sending out a mass email to recipients whose email addresses you purchased.
This is because the group of email addresses you compiled all have an interest in the products or services you offer while there is no information on the other set of email addresses to indicate whether or not the members will even have an interest in the products or services you offer.
Another tip for reaching your target audience is to do adequate research to determine how to communicate with the members of your target audience.
This may include changing the language of your emails to suit the preferences of your target audience members, designing the layout and colors of the email to be appealing to the target audience and tailoring the emails to include content which is of interest to the members of the target audience.
This type of research can really pay off because it will make your emails significantly more effective. Still another tip for reaching your target audience when email marketing is to keep your message simple.
Being subtle is important so your email does not seem like a blatant sales pitch, but it is also important to present your message in a clear and concise manner which will be easily understood by the members of your target audience.
If you have any doubts your target audience will be able to understand your message, you can certainly leave information for the email recipients to contact you with your questions. This interaction can prove to be extremely useful. Through these communications you can learn about the needs of your target audience and how you can tailor your email marketing strategy to meet these needs.
Finally, it is important to solicit feedback from the members of your target audience to ensure you are meeting their needs with your email marketing campaign. This should be done on a continual basis as the needs of your target audience may change over time.
When you solicit feedback from your target audience you should be sure to ask specific questions which require answers which can be interpreted easily.
This is important because ability to interpret these answers will greatly impact your ability to further refine your email marketing efforts to conform to the expectations of your target audience members.
Types Of Email Marketing
If you are currently participating in other types of Internet marketing but not email marketing, you should seriously consider why you are avoiding this type of advertising.
This is important because email marketing can be a very important part of an Internet marketing campaign. Many business owners avoid email marketing for fear of being accused of spamming.
Internet marketers may not have a clear understanding of what is spam and what is not, so they avoid participation in email marketing campaigns to avoid the potential for being labeled a spammer.
Why are Internet marketers so afraid of being accused of being purveyors of spam? This is a common fear for a number of reasons. First of all, there may be harsh penalties associated with sending spam emails. Recipients of spam have the option of reporting the spam to their Internet service provider who will investigate the validity of the claim. If the originator of the email is determined to be a spammer there can be harsh consequences.
Internet marketers are also afraid of email marketing because they believe it will not be well received by potential customers. This is an important concept because Internet users are bombarded with spam each day.
Receiving this quantity of spam each day can be frustrating and can anger some Internet users. These Internet users are not likely to be receptive to email marketing. The fear that these potential customers will view email marketing and stray to competitors keeps many Internet marketers from taking advantage of this type of marketing strategy.
However, it is important to note that despite the prevalent problem with spam, many Internet users are quite receptive to email marketing. This is especially true in situations where they specifically requested to receive more information from the business owner regarding his products and services.
Potential clients are particularly receptive to email marketing which provides something of value to the recipient of the email. Emails which contain in depth articles, useful tips or product reviews may be appreciated by consumers.
Additionally, items such as newsletters and correspondence courses offered via email can be of particular interest to potential customers. Newsletters are typically longer documents than traditional email marketing pieces and can provide a great deal of additional information to the email recipient.
Email correspondence courses may be offered in short segments and typically amount to a significant amount of information which is likely to be greatly appreciated by the email recipients.
One final way to prevent email recipients from viewing your email marketing efforts as spam is to only send the emails to recipients who register with your website and specifically request for you to send them additional information and promotional materials. This opt in formula is ideal because it ensures you are not wasting your email marketing efforts on recipients who are not interested in your products or services.
It also ensures the recipients of the email marketing campaign do not view the informative and promotional materials they are receiving as spam. This technique for compiling an email distribution list is quite effective but it is important to remember you should always include information on how recipients can opt out of receiving future emails.
This is important because the email recipients may have once been interested in receiving marketing emails but over time this may change. If they are no longer interested in these emails, they may begin to view the emails as spam if they are not given the option of being removed from the distribution list.
Email marketing may include sending email advertisements to a large distribution list, publishing and distributing a newsletter and sending informative emails with a soft sell approach to encourage recipients to make a purchase or visit your website.
Whether you opt to utilize one or all of these email marketing techniques, you will be faced with one specific dilemma and that is writing the content which will appear in these emails.
This is critical because these emails may be the first impression potential customers are receiving for your products and services. Superior content will give the potential customers a good first impression which may make them more likely to purchase your products or services.
To end, we will discuss some proven techniques for ensuring the content you use in your email marketing campaign will reap the maximum benefits.
The importance of hiring a professional writer to assist you in your email marketing campaign cannot be stressed enough. It is one of the most critical elements to the success of your campaign.
You may be a decent writer or you may have a staff member who you think can do a good job creating the content for your email marketing but unless you or your staff member is a professional writer by trade, the quality of the work will likely not be of the same quality as a professional can produce.
This can be very damaging especially if your competitors are hiring writers to create their content. Your emails will likely not be viewed as favorably as the emails written by professionals.
The content you decide to include in your email marketing efforts is largely a matter of personal preference but there are some methods which have traditionally been more successful than others.
The type of content which may be effective often includes informative articles, short useful tips, links to relevant websites, advertising for complementary products and even some subtle forms of advertising which are meant to persuade the recipients of the email to either make a purchase or visit your website.
Full length insightful articles which are likely to be of interest to the members of your email distribution list are an excellent idea for your email marketing campaign. These articles are a good idea because they will likely contain information which the recipients of your email will appreciate.
Additionally, these articles give you the opportunity to include information about your products or services in the copy of the email. This can be a subtle form of advertising when it encourages the recipients to purchase a product or service or visit the website without actually asking the recipient to do so.
Short product reviews can also be very useful and helpful when you include them in your email marketing campaign. These reviews can help to attract a great deal of attention especially when the reviews focus on the products you offer and provide favorable reviews for these products.
This type of information can either be subjective in nature or can remain objective by simply specifying the features of the products and offering other concrete pieces of information as opposed to opinions of the products.
Advertising is often a quite important part of an email marketing campaign. This advertising may either be direct or indirect in nature. Direct advertising may include banner ads or other graphical advertisements which encourage website visitors to click through the link to reach either your website or a sponsor’s website.
Indirect advertising may apply to content in the copy of featured articles which subtly encourage visitors to make a purchase or visit your website.
The indirect marketing in an email marketing campaign is usually supporting the products or services you offer while direct marketing will likely promote products and services offered by sponsors who paid to receive advertising space on the email.
Email recipients are usually well aware these graphics are part of an advertisement and will choose to click on these links when they have an interest in the products or services being offered.