Shedding Light on Effective Email Marketing
Pol Cousineau, CPA (Quebec)
President, The Digital Navigator
Let’s face it, most of us have a love and hate relationship with email marketing. If you can master email marketing you will see a noticeable impact on your sales: 40 times more clients than what you get through Facebook and $38 for every $1 you invest according to a report by VentureBeat.
The flip side of this is that we’ve all been annoyed with a storm of spam, overly sales-oriented emails and a bottomless inbox. Who ever taught it was a good idea to send us all those distasteful emails?
You don’t want to be that gal or guy, right?
Not to mention that the art of engaging with your email list can seem mysterious.
I’ve outlined several ways for you to get better results in generating dollars without annoying your email list. Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Build a 2-Way Relationship
Successful businesses interact with their audience and grow relationships. This implies a two-way street meaning that every email should get your recipients to take a specific action.
If they’re just reading your content and moving on, then your email is no better than glorified direct mail and will be classified as having a low importance to your readers. When you do want them to take an action, such as download a special guide or purchase your new program, you will have already conditioned them to open-read-close your email.
That’s hardly conductive of making sales!
How to do it: In each email encourage your reader to take a specific action and communicate back to you. Get them to reply, click a link, post a comment on a social media video AND validate their action once they’ve taken it.
2. Get them to reply
Having people reply to your emails is worth its weight in gold. This goes back to relationship building, what better way to provide value, build trust and learn about your audience to communicate back and forth with them?
This also sends a signal to the major email services that you aren’t a spammer. Remember that annoying person that keeps sending hundreds of promotional emails, the one you seem to unsubscribe from but keeps coming back like a boomerang?
If people are responding to your emails… that’s clearly not you!
This means that more of your emails will get placed in the inbox instead of the nasty spam folder. It also signifies that your readers might actually ask questions about your upcoming program when you send them details on how to sign up, the benefits and their options to get the support you offer.
You might have noticed in my welcome email from The Digital Navigator I encouraged you to reply to me, even dared you to put me to the test so I could prove that I’m actually human (and if you haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for? Click here to join and optimize your marketing machine!).
Adding a touch of humor will also benefit your emails. Who doesn’t like a fun guy or girl at a party?
How to do it: Give a reason or incentive for your readers to reply to your emails. Give them a special discount, send them a cool bonus, promise a secret reward or give a funny reason for them to reply.
3. Make it worth their time, every time
There’s a reason people signed up to receive your emails. Unlike the random ad you get through regular mail, people must sign up to get your business emails. That means that they thought they would get value and benefit from this action.
The first email you should send a new subscriber should re-iterate the benefits they will get from reading your emails. How will this improve their life and business? How are you committing to helping them?
Just like any relationship there should be a reason for both people to invest their time in it. Set clear expectations on the type of resources you will provider your readers… and then stick to this!
Every time you go off topic you will lose some subscribers. That’s like ordering takeout only to arrive home and realize that they gave you the wrong order. That might be okay the first time, but if it happens every other order you will probably start ordering elsewhere.
The Digital Navigator is all about helping you optimize your online marketing system and we won’t talk this cool new breathing technique or the next promotion from a billion friends we have (yes -- I am calling out affiliate marketers that pretend to be personal friends of people doing multi-million dollar online product launches). We will talk about marketing, technology, software and online business strategies… because that is what you expect from us!
How to do it: In your welcome email set expectations, let your readers know the benefits they will get from you and then stick to what you said you would write about in your future emails.
4. Talk like your human
I get really annoyed when I get messages that are impersonal. I feel like the other person does not get me. They do not seem to have my best interest at heart. They also do not stand out from the lot.
Let’s face it, personality shines in “real life” and it does in emails too!
Do not be afraid to show some character, make jokes, point to the obvious and reference personal events. Maybe you have a picture with your employees at a fundraiser or a marathon. You could also share a personal story as a way of teaching and conveying an important concept.
How to do it: Do not overthink it and let your personality shine. Read your emails before sending them out, and ask yourself, would I really said that if I was in person?
5. The magic happens OUTSIDE your email
There’s several reasons why you want people to click and access your content outside your email:
- You tell email providers you aren’t a spammer and avoid.. you guess it.. the spam box
- Most people don’t read long emails, by providing your core content outside of it they are most likely to consume your content and get value from you
- You condition your readers to act and engage with your content
- Drive visitors to your website where you can offer promotions, products and resources
- You can refer to content from 3rd parties to provide value without doing all the heavy lifting
- When you have a promotion, they are more likely to read your sales page and make a purchase
How to do it: Tease some of your content and share it through an email link to your website blog, a video page or a post on your favorite social media platform.
At the end of the day, your email marketing sales depend on this…
When all is said and done, none of these tips will work if your emails don’t get delivered to your subscribers and they get eaten up by spam blockers.
Email providers such as Yahoo, Google and Hotmail (which make up more than 50% of email addresses) are becoming increasingly stringent on how they filter good and bad emails.
There’s a few things that should be configured with your personal business email service as well as the automated marketing email system you use if you want to ensure your communication gets read. These services include MailChimp, ActiveCampaign, Infusionsoft, Ontraport, Aweber, Constant Contact, G Suite for Business, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, GoDaddy, and more!
In the worst scenarios if you don’t setup a digital signature, think of this as the modern version of the wax seal on carrier pigeon envelops, someone could impersonate you and you will end up on the spammer blacklist of SpamCannibal. In the 3 weeks prior to writing this article I met 2 people for whom this unfortunately happened.
Configuring things like DKIM and SPF can mean the difference between and 8% and a 27% open rate, or your most important clients receiving your offers. We believe every business needs this, especially considering the average 1$-to-$38 return on investment in marketing emails.
I realize that I threw up a few technical terms in the previous paragraph so I’ll keep this simple.
Meet with us for a Digital Content Sales Strategy Call to get insights on how you can use your current business system to land you more deals. We can also go more technical and discuss your configuration and setup if it's something you want.
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