CREATIVE TIPS WHEN USING A PROSPECTING EMAIL LIST
- FOCUS ON ONE MESSAGE
Stick to one primary message for each email sent out. The more information you pack into an email, the higher the chance the recipient’s eyes will glaze over and they’ll reach for delete. Keep it to one focus point and put it right in the subject and first lines of the message to make it easier for those just skimming to absorb your message.
- CUSTOMIZED YOUR MESSAGE
Use the recipient’s name in your message whenever possible as this simple step can make the recipient more likely to read through and act on your message.
- SUBJECT LINE & B-2-B E-MAIL OPEN RATES
Some studies have shown that BTB e-mail open rates are 20 percent when the subject line does not mention the brand, company or product, and 32 percent when the brand or company name appears in the subject line. That’s a 60 percent lift in open rates just from adding either the brand or the company name to the subject line. But beware of using both: The study found that open rates fall to only 24 percent when both the company name and the product name are in the same subject line. Even though the subject line is only 40 characters or so of text, tests conclusively support that a simple change in subject line can increase click-through rates by 25 percent to 50 percent or more.
- WORDS TO AVOID IN SUBJECT LINE
Email marketers are familiar with words such as “free” which are generally to be avoided in emails since they tend to trigger spam filters. Another study found a negative impact with three innocent innocuous words that won’t trigger a spam filter, but will negatively affect your open rates. They are: Help, Percent off, and Reminder. And here some other words/characters to avoid:
- LET READERS DRIVE DESIGN
As there’s no such thing as guaranteed delivery in the email business, design is especially important. Because filters often block logos, graphics, and Flash animation, they can determine whether or not a customer or prospect even sees your message. Filters are getting extremely thorough in what they’re filtering out. If you’re not careful, those filters can filter out legitimate email.
To help minimize the filtering consider using flat text with hyperlinks to your Web site. It’s text so it’ll go through. You can put all of the graphics in the world on your Web site and once they click through to your Web site you’re better able to capture their identity and their information for future follow up. Many companies offer both plain and rich text email editions, giving customers the option of registering for theHTML edition on their Web sites. In those editions, design becomes especially important. But email requires something different than traditional creative marketing design. Studies have shown that users are most likely to respond to images and copy to the left of an image. Some studies claim to have seen increases up to 75 percent in response rates by moving the call to action button up next to an image instead of below the image, or by literally changing a link to a button so it stands out more prominently in the text. Some say the use of industry,-company-, and brand-specific words and phrases enhances the response. For instance, the word advice generates a high response for companies considered to be the thought leaders of their industry, but companies with consumer products, such as Apple with its iPod, will generate a better response using words like new or sleek.
- B-T-B EMAIL – BEST TIME?
When is the best day of the week to send a BTB e-mail marketing message? According to a new survey by eROI Inc., high-level executives read most of their e-mail messages on Mondays and Tuesdays. And the best time to send messages on those days is during lunch hour.
- INCLUDE A CALL TO ACTION
Each email you send should spell out exactly what you want the recipient to do. Make links obvious and call attention to any special directions you are providing. And it’s okay to be repetitive when it comes to the call to action – include it toward the top of the message and mention it again at the end. Some emails have everything except a clear call to action. They’re beautifully designed, a joy to read, and they get me in the mood to do something — if only I knew what the sender expects me to do. I don’t know where to click, what link to follow, where to order. Create a Clear Call to Action:
- Lay out exactly what you want the recipients of your message to do and design the message to make that path clear for the recipient, and easy to follow.
- Call to Action Example – don’t distract with too many links or offers, and make not only the call to action clear but also what recipients can expect when they click through. This can be as simple as Click here for a 20% discount on your next weekend trip.
- DON’T START WITH THE PRODUCT
Many emails start with the product. But the reader, your prospect, doesn’t care about you, your company, your product or your technology. The readers care, first and foremost, about their needs, fears, concerns, problems, challenges and desires. The more you answer the primary question readers ask when they see your e-mail – “What’s in it for me?” – the greater your click- through and conversion rates will be.
The headline is what will get the email read. Be careful to avoid keywords that will flag the spam filters. A good headline is under 50 characters and is the hook to get them to open. Headlines that entice people to open are ones that appeal to the emotions; a need, want, desire or problem solver.
- ADOPT A STRATEGY OF PERSISTENCE
It takes time to build customer relationships. They used to say it takes something like 7.3 impacts to make an impression with an ad, and that was long before the Internet. Some now say it takes 20 imprints to make an impression. So if you aren’t touching your clients in some way at least once a month, chances are they’re going to find somebody else to do business with. Successful email marketing starts with a foundation and uses the email to drip the story, to have it gradually unfold.
That foundation requires an entrance strategy to greet new prospects and set up expectations for the relationship. After the customer has registered for future emails or responded in some form, there often is nothing to enhance that relationship. Companies need to think about what should happen next. Research shows the first three emails are the most critical. Consider an introductory message in which customers accept an invitation and give permission for future communications, followed by a second that sets up customers’ expectations by explaining future benefits (discounts, coupons, or high-value informational newsletters). The third should begin to deliver on their expectations by sending the promised newsletter, whitepaper, or discount offering.