If you’ve grown a healthy list of people who have an interest in what you’ve got to offer you’ll need to do something to build and maintain your relationship with them. You might have them in your customer relationship management (CRM) system or they might have signed up with your online form and be held in a MailChimp, AWeber, Get Response, Constant Contact or similar online system. Wherever they are – these tips apply!
Tip 1: Don’t send out spammy sales pitches. You hate getting them so why would anyone else take any notice of them. It’s the quickest way of getting people to unsubscribe (and maybe getting your online system account suspended). Offer value in every email.
Tip 2: Create a good subject line – this is what gets people to open your message. If it says something boring like ‘Acme Newsletter July 2014’ why would anyone except your Mum open it? Be creative to intrigue your reader and use subject lines that get them to want to find out more.
Tip 3: Personalise your opening. Dear Jo is so much better than Dear Customer or, worse, Dear firstname. If you’ve got people on your list you should know their name, using something generic says you’re spamming them. If you have not managed to get people’s names during the sign up process, change your form NOW so you do in future, for now don’t use any salutation; it’s better than something generic.
Tip 4: Start with value that’s relevant. We all get so much information to process these days that anything that doesn’t get attention quickly simply doesn’t get read. If you know your audience well you can create something that will be relevant to them right in the first paragraph. If you find it tough to do this then, at the very least, use that paragraph to get them engaged. This might be talking about their problems and indicating that there is a solution coming.
Tip 5: Don’t talk about yourself or your company. You may be proud of the award you just won or the new staff you’ve hired, but your customers (and potential customers) aren’t really that interested. They’re interested in what they’ll get and how you can improve their lives in some way, stay focused on what’s in it for them.
Tip 6: Keep it short and simple (KISS). Don’t fall into the trap of rambling on at length; remember how many emails your reader may have to get through, they don’t have time to read a lot. Be considerate of their time and they’ll appreciate it. A good marketing email should be able to get the message across in less than 250 words. And, yes, I know that the American online marketers write much longer emails than that, but they are for a very specific market and bear in mind they go out in hundreds of thousands. You’ll turn more people off than you engage with long content. Stick to simple, plain English and your message will get through better.
Tip 7: One message is not enough. Some people are too busy when message 1 lands and simply never get around to reading it. If you send a series of emails at intervals with the same subject, but different wording you’ll reinforce the message for those who read all the message and still reach those people who miss one or two. I recommend a minimum of 3 messages, but 5 would be even better at 8-10 day intervals.
If you follow these tips you’ll be when on the way to really effective email campaigns.