Email marketing is relatively inexpensive, and it is typically effective for getting subscribers to your site. As such, it has one of the highest returns on investment for many e-commerce merchants. However, because of this very fact, there is so much competition when it comes to email campaigns! Some estimates place the number of emails sent each day at 205 billion , which means you are up against a lot of other people when it comes to getting screen-time from your readers.
As is true of pretty much everything, if something is worth doing, it is worth doing well. With that said, there are good ways and bad ways to send emails. Whether or not your sales emails or email campaigns will be successful and will speak to, engage, hook, entice, educate, and ultimately close a client for you will depend on how you pitch the content you are sending out. If you’re wondering how to execute an effective email sales campaign, read on below.
Know your market segments, and speak to each segment appropriately.
New subscribers respond slightly differently from regular customers. A customer may click an item directly from an email and place their order, whereas a new subscriber may visit your site, poke around a little, and do some comparison shopping before actually making a purchase.
Some simply ways to segment your markets are using recency (how recently a customer last bought from you), frequency (how often a customer buys from you), or dollar value (how much the customer typically spends with you). Large companies use complex statistical models that factor in many different data types, but for even the average company, basic segmentation will give you an edge over the competition.
It may take months to see the results of a successful email-marketing campaign actually come to bloom. However, you cannot lose steam or soften in your determination, because it is only by consistently being placed in front of customers, being easy to reach, and providing useful, informative content that you will land more visitors and convert those leads to paying customers.
Perfect your pitches, and automate where possible. Craft succinct subject lines that are short and to the point. Be direct, avoid ambiguity, but keep the element of surprise open (examples of good subject lines and pre/post-meeting templates are given below). Also make sure to set up auto-response emails for the right actions: a welcome email when somebody signs up to your service, a thank you email when they make a purchase or complete a form, a referral request wherever needed, and similar custom emails for actions or events specific to your line of work.
Pro-tip: If you’re savvy when it comes to tracking where exactly your customers are in the purchase cycle, you’ll be better able to send them relevant material. A useful link, a customer review, or a product comparison would be more useful to someone in the research phase of things than a casual visitor who is just browsing. Effective targeting is key, so do your best to not only understand who is whom but keep tabs on what they’re doing and how they’re interacting with your site as well.
Simplify your content, and give whatever you can of it away for free. Email is great because it forces you to be simple, and you absolutely must be to the point, otherwise your audience won’t give you their attention. Ask yourself if you would want to read what you’re writing, and whether or not the content is written in a compelling or encouraging voice. The next thing is to see if any bloat or excess can be cut out, and finally make sure to include a call to action. All your copy and content should aim at doing one specific thing, whether it’s getting a customer to sign up for a service, or to visit a link. Whatever it is, make sure the objective is clear and obvious, otherwise you’ll have lots of fancy text that achieves no tangible goal.
Although many businesses dislike giving away information for free, customers love being given your product or business secrets. Help and educate your readers by teaching them about what’s what in the industry, and you’ll develop a loyal fan base on this initiative alone.
Try and test things to see what works. Don’t write blandly; your content, subject lines, meeting requests and follow-up emails should all speak to your customers in one way or another. You can emphasize a pain point (“How we can help you solve X”, or “How we went from X to Y in 5 easy steps”), talk about common ground (“Thought you might like to discuss X”, or “My suggestions re. Proposal A discussed last week”), or directly ask what you want to ask (“Can you refer me to X?”, or “Help me close this deal with X”).
Pro-tip: Once you’re in the groove of writing catchy subject lines and meeting invites, you’ll notice that they can be broadly categorized into a few distinct groups as below.
- Question subject lines (“Do you do X?” or “Do you know the benefits of Y?”)
- ‘How to’ subject lines (“How to improve X”, or “How to avoid Y”)
- Limited offer subject lines (“Offer expires tonight!”, or the classic “Call back when operators are available”)
- Basic announcement subject lines (“Introducing X”, or “Visit site Y to see XYZ”)
- Curiosity-gap subject lines (“You’ll never guess what happened to X”, or “Most people don’t know this established fact”)
Like every art, writing convincing, professional emails in a tone that is true to you and your business is something that takes a lot of practice. You might get things right some of the time and wrong at other times, but by knowing your customer base, being persistent in your emailing efforts, crafting your emails the right way, and continuing to plug away with lines and approaches that work, you’ll be able to hook more people more effectively. In doing so, you’ll be able to consistently grow your network and your reach, and since email isn’t expected to go out of fashion any time soon, you’ll be set to reap the benefits for a long time to come.