Email Marketing is Dead?
It seems like every time you get on Facebook, twitter, etc… you see some “guru” claiming that email marketing is dead. We’ve been doing email marketing since 2000 and we know that not only is email marketing not dead, it is alive and well and growing in a big way.
Recently, I had someone trying to convince me email marketing is dead. He offered me his free report that would prove it. How could I get the free report? All I had to do was go to his capture page and fill out his capture form. His autoresponder would then send me the details and follow up. “So, you’re using email marketing strategies to prove to me that email marketing is dead?”, I asked.
Companies who rely on email marketing know how very effective email marketing can be and are happy to see the positive Return On Investment (ROI). Millions of consumers prefer to receive marketing via email. We believe it is safe to say that email marketing is not dead. If anything, it is booming. As we look around major retail shops, service businesses, clubs, and restaurants, we see more and more businesses using email marketing as a way to attract new business and bring in repeat business. It just makes too much sense.
Take a look at these facts:
- Almost ⅓ of customers actually prefer to receive communication from brands via their email over any other marketing channel (including social media and print ads)
- Sixty-six percent of consumers have made a purchase as a direct result of viewing an email.
- Email marketing delivers a return of 4,300 percent, which means that for every dollar you spend on email, you can earn $43!
So we have to scratch our heads a bit every time we see the claim that email marketing is dead. We know better.
But there are marketers who are not using email marketing effectively. This may lead them to believe that email marketing is dead. We want to help. This guide is designed to show you how to use email marketing effectively in your business.
Ready to get started? Keep reading to see why we do NOT believe email marketing is dead:
Step 1: Start Right with the Sign-Up Process.
Someone has given you their email address. This means they are inviting you in to their inbox. Something about your offer on your capture page or web site was compelling enough that they are telling you, “Yes. You can have some of my time and some of my inbox space. What have you got for me?” This is where your real job starts, email marketing professional. Make sure you deliver on what you offered.
After they sign up, make sure to be clear about what they can expect from you. We recommend setting up a custom landing page on your web site or blog that:
- thanks them for subscribing
- reminds them to check their email for a confirmation message
- recommends they add your email address to their address book so your messages don’t end up in the spam folder.
As soon as they submit the form, they should see your landing page with the above information. The next thing that they will do, when they check their email, is to get your confirmation message. Rather than using a default system confirmation message, create a custom confirmation message that reminds them what you are going to be sending them, and reminds them to click the confirmation link.
Step 2: Know Who You Are Emailing
It is important that you consider WHY someone joined your list. What is the pain point you will be helping them with? When you first start out, your subscriber may see you as a faceless email address trying to pitch them. Let them get to know you a little bit.
Start your messages with something that lets them know you can relate to their pain or need. Maybe you’ve experienced it yourself and found the solution. When your subscribers feel like they can relate to you, they are more likely to open, read, and respond to your email marketing messages.
Step 3: Know Why You Are Emailing
Be specific about your email marketing messages when you write them. Is your goal to sell something? Get more information? Provide education and training? Get referrals? Know exactly what your message should accomplish so you can create a clear call to action in your message.
While your overall goal is to increase sales, each email you send should have one clear goal. The message should be written to reinforce that goal and should be designed to get your reader to take the desired action. For example, if your goal is to get your subscriber to attend an upcoming webinar, that should be the only call to action in the message. Don’t include multiple other offers and calls to action. This will only serve to confuse and alienate you reader. By focusing your email marketing message on a single call to action, you will be able to direct your reader’s attention to your desired outcome.
Step 4: Let Your Readers Know Why You Are Emailing
This brings us to the subject line of your email marketing. The question you have to answer before you get started creating your email marketing message is: “What will my reader get by opening this message from me?” If you do not know how to answer that question, stop. Think about it. You need to offer your readers an immediate benefit to opening and reading your email. Focus on the benefit. Solve a problem. Here is an example:
**FIRSTNAME** – Open this message and start learning more.
**FIRSTNAME** – Open Now and Grow Your Business!
The second subject line gives a benefit: “Grow Your Business” and is going to appeal more than “start learning more”.
But … and this is important … be “real”. Making outrageous claims will result in unsubscribes, or worse: complaints. Build trust and rapport with your readers by keeping the benefits authentic and clear.
Also, note the use of the name tag (**FIRSTNAME**). Personalizing your subject line can have a big impact on your open rate. Your subject line is the first thing your reader sees. Get their attention by using their name to improve your open rate.
Step 5: Know Your Preview Line
Did you know that the first sentence in your email can impact your open rate? If you are using gmail, for example, take a look through the subject lines that appear in your inbox. You may notice that some subject lines give more benefits than others, some have personalization, and some include an opening sentence.
Ask yourself if that opening sentence makes you want to open the message to learn more. If it does, then that author has done well. If not, they need to do better. Spend a little time deciding what your opening sentence will be since many of your readers will see that along with the subject line.
Step 6: Get To The Meat
So far, we’ve focused on the signup process, personalization and creation of a strong subject line, and your opening sentence. The next part of your message is the body of your message. Once they open your message, you need to draw them in and deliver on the benefit you promised in the subject line.
If you are struggling with what to write in your message body, refer to the subject line and put your call to action in the message. Then fill in the gap between with your content. Write your content so that it bridges the connection between your subject line and your call to action. Be keeping this in mind, you will build a reputation with your readers that shows you deliver on what you promised.
Keep your emails brief. Don’t overwhelm your readers with too much information. Keep it as “conversational” as you can. Try to imagine sitting across the table from your reader as you write your message.
You should be able to get your message across in a few paragraphs. If not, maybe provide a link in your message that lets your readers click through to your blog or web site to read more.
Once your message has delivered on the benefit you offered in the subject line, close our your message with a clear call to action that will take your reader to your desired goal.
Step 7: Close The Deal
After everything you have been through to get these subscribers to join your list, confirm their interest, open your message, and then read your message, the way you close your message could have a massive impact on your overall effectiveness.
Your next move is to be clear about your call to action. Let your reader know exactly what they should do next and why they should do it. If there is a time limit, let them know.
Here is an example call to action:
Register for your Free 30 Day Trial and
Start Building Your Business with
Email Marketing By Visiting This Page
This call to action has two benefits (the “why”):
- Free 30 Day Trial
- Start Building Your Business
and it tells them to “visit this page” (the “what”).
The reader knows exactly WHAT to do and WHY.
Note: We didn’t use “click here” as the link because many of the big email service providers will send messages to spam with that link.
As a general rule, include your call to action twice in your email if your message is longer. A call to action in the middle of the message and once again at the end works well. If your message is short, your call to action at the end should be fine.
A shorter message can have your call to action appear on the screen without the reader having to scroll down. We call this appearing “above the fold” and it can have an impact on your click through rates.
We wish you tremendous success with your email marketing.
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