Every company should have a list of the email addresses of the people who are interested in their business. Whether it be for products, services, advice, communities, etc. It takes barely any time to collect these email addresses, and the value it provides for your company is invaluable.
Every company should use that list to stay in touch with these people, to garner their support, share news with them, and occasionally, to sell to them.
But remember to make sure all your contacts have opted in to your list and that you are following the CAN-SPAM Act guide of rules for commercial email. More important than having a large email base is to have a healthy database.
With a list in hand, here are some tips to help you get acceptable results from your time and investment in building a list.
1. CAREFULLY CHOOSE WHO YOU ARE CONTACTING- SEGMENTING
Segmenting your email list means choosing specific names on your list to contact. By doing this, you can personalize your communication, which gives you a better chance of being successful with your email.
For example, let’s say you have been collecting email addresses from people interested in your company for several months and putting them in a list.
Now, you go to an event and collect a few hundred more emails. Instead of adding them to the current list, start a new one in your email program (all autoresponder emails have this feature) and name the new list, accordingly. When you write an email, you decide what segments will receive it.
Why put different contacts in a separate list?
Now you’ll be able to speak to these people individually. Say:
“Hey, I’m so glad we met up at the XYZ event. I was happy to get your email address, and to learn more about your needs. If you have any questions about XYZ, let me know. In the meantime, here is the latest blog post I wrote, I hope you find it useful.
Have a great day,
They’ll remember you more easily and feel a greater connection with you. But this segmenting works for other purposes, too. Say this was a conference for contractors, and the next one is plumbers, now you know that one list is contractors and the other plumbers, and you can send them information based on their profession.
Segmenting Leads to Personalize Your Emails
Another way to make email marketing more successful is to personalize your emails. As we discussed in segmenting above, being able to get specific about the person who receives your email allows you to build rapport and trust.
The email seems to come from you, instead of a faceless person behind your company, yet it is still sent to hundreds of individuals at once.
Luckily, you can personalize emails fairly easily. All autoresponders have the options to include certain pieces of information in your email, for instance, their name, city (if you’ve collected the information), even their Title at work. In most cases, you can easily drag and drop the personalization options.
These little details make the recipient feel like you are talking to them directly instead of to a large group of people, where they don’t feel like they matter.
2. GETTING PEOPLE TO OPEN YOUR EMAILS- SUBJECT LINES
The first step in getting people to open your email is to make sure it has a subject that gets their attention.
For instance, if you are sending an email to invite them to an event, you might say the subject is New XYZ Event.
But, most people probably wouldn’t understand what you were talking about, and they would delete it. Instead, you might say:
Join Us For An Exciting Event
Now, people think “oh, an exciting event, I’d love to,” and they click to open the email.
It won’t always be this easy to get people to open the email. For one thing, spam is common in an email, so all autoresponders monitor for certain words and score your subject for spam, based on the contents.
The higher your spam score, the less likely it is that your message won’t be delivered through the person’s email provider (that is, Yahoo or Google will send the message to spam or trash).
Words you can’t use in your subject line:
So, your subject wording needs to be carefully worded. Since it’ll be hard to choose your subject, try to make sure it does the following:
- Grabs their interest
- Is related to something important to them
- Expresses immediacy (you don’t want them to wait to open it)
Here is some help from SumoMe, a company that helps you build email lists on your blog or website, with free plugins. They’ve put together 62 subject line templates you can use.
3. WRITING A MESSAGE THAT ENCOURAGES ACTION
Before reading this post, you might have thought if you send an email it will be opened, people will read it, and they will take action based on the email. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen like that.
But, once you’ve gotten them to open your email (by using an enticing subject) you’ve got to get them to read it.
The Number 1 mistake people make here is writing emails that are too long. As the writer, we think “I want to give them all of the details, and every reason to do what I want. But, the reader is thinking “I don’t have time to read long emails, I’ll save it for later.” and then they never return, or delete it for taking up space in their email software.
So, what can you do?
Start by thinking what’s in it for them? Not what’s in it for you.
What benefits are there to reading your email?
Why is it important to them to come to your event, or look at your sale?
Then, you add in the MUST-have information they have to see, such as when and where the event will happen, what interesting people will be there when it is over, what they need to bring.
In most cases, I suggest just a couple of lines of text in your message.
One last tip on writing your email- Make sure it is very easy to skim, as up to half of your readers are skimmers and won’t read the entire email. Use bolded text near the end that tells them what to do next.
4. DESIGN YOUR EMAIL
Designing your email is an optional step in your process. If you decide to create your email with graphics, images, or gif, you’ll want to follow these simple rules. But, you can send regular emails, they have a lower spam score.
The design is important for branding, which is why a lot of companies opt to at least include their logo in their emails. But some go the extra mile, and do full designs like the following:
You’ll want to:
- Include imagery that helps the reader visualize your event or sale.
- Make sure it is obvious what your sale or event is about and what they’ll get from it.
- Use a theme of colors.
- Not use anything too flashy or distracting.
- Use gifs if you want to, as a lot of people enjoy these.
5. CHOOSE THE RIGHT TIME TO SEND YOUR EMAIL
You only have one more step to finish your email, sending. While it’s as easy as hitting Send, let’s take a moment to think about when people will receive it.
And how can you tell the best time to send your email? That all depends on your buyer persona.
Would they be more receptive at the end of the day, after work, when relaxing at home?
Are they more likely to take action during the workday when their boss is near?
Or would it be best to get it the first thing in the morning when it can affect their entire day?
Now, you’ll schedule the email according to how you think it will be most effective, and hit Schedule or Send.
As much as any other part of your business communication, email marketing is an art all to itself. But with simple guidelines like those described above, you can begin to see a decent return on building your email list, and turning it into another stream of income for your company.