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How to Plan Your Indoctrination Email Series

 

I realized not everyone will understand the word “indoctrination” or “email series” for that matter. So, let me begin with a few definitions.

What is An Email Series?

An email series is an automated way to send information to your prospects and/or clients on your email list. The reference of “series” means more than one. This could mean 3 to 5 or more emails in one series.

What Do I Mean By “indoctrination”?

Well, it’s a set of things someone needs to know about you when they first meet you.  It’s helpful information that encourages the person to get to know more about you.

For example, when you sign up for Digital Marketer email list you are immediately added to their “indoctrination” email series. You start receiving emails that help you understand who Digital Marketer is, what they stand for, and how they can help you grow your business.

And it should be the same for your business.

As you get new subscribers, you need to provide a few emails to help your subscribers get to know you better.

An Example of An Indoctrination Series

1. Welcome Email

The first email you send should be a welcome email.

You’ll want to thank them for joining the family. Next, you’ll want to address how you help improve their business.

Share what they can expect from you. Give them an idea of the type of information you’ll be sharing and how frequently you’ll send emails.

In the latter part of the email, you’ll want to educate the reader on how to “whitelist” your email address so your messages don’t end up in the spam folder.

Ask them to connect with you on social media platforms by providing buttons and/or links for easy connection.

Then wrap up the email with a P.S. providing a sneak peak about what’s coming next. This will help them look for your next email.

2. Because You’re New Here Email

Always provide value in the eyes of your subscribers. They signed up with you for a reason, so don’t let them down with dull emails.

In the second email, send them a round up of some of your best content and why you think they should read it.  Again, close the email with a strong P.S. that whets their appetite for what’s coming next.

3. Just Like I promised

In the third email, you’re fulfilling your promise to send whatever you hinted at from the second email.

In the P.S. you may want to share testimonials so the readers start to get a good view of you. Maybe add a P.P.S. to hint at the next topic you’ll share.

4. About Me

In the fourth email, you might to craft a message to share something personal about you.  Tell a story of why you started your business, or how you came to be in this line of work.

People love hearing stories of how you got started in business, and why you do what you do.

In the P.S. encourage the reader to hit reply and share something about them.

 

Now you know what an indoctrination series looks like.

How Do You Plan an Indoctrination Series?

Have you ever heard the phrase penny wise but pound foolish? Skimping to save in one place but foolishly overspending in another area.

Well, writing emails without a strategy behind them is like being penny wise and pound foolish.

You see, every email you send must do two things:

  • Cause the reader to know, like, and trust you.
  • Guide the reader to take action.

If your emails don’t do that, you’re missing the potential of email marketing.

After all, you want to increase your sales, right? When you build relationships with your prospects, the sales follow.

Step 1: Assess Your Content Assets

The first thing you need to do when planning your indoctrination series is identify all your content assets. Everything from web pages, blog posts, videos, brochures, direct mail, training material, ebooks, special reports, etc.

Armed with what you have available, you can then move to Step 2.

Step 2: Map out the Storyboard

In this step, you’re going to create a storyboard of the various emails that will go into your indoctrination series.

email follow up with indoctrination series

Figure 1 Storyboard of Indoctrination Series

Notice the template above has the following columns:

  • Day – On which day do you want to send the email?
  • Email Type – Specifically what type of email is it going to be (welcome, content, personal, etc.)
  • Subject Line – List the actual subject lines you plan to use here
  • Content ideas – list the ideas you want to include in the email

This storyboard is a great tool to help you organize your thoughts and validate each email is building the case to get to know you better and helping to guide the reader to take action. It’s also good to provide your content creator guidance on what you want written.

Step 3: Identify Your Goals

The last thing you need to do before you move to the content creation step is to identify a goal for each email.

For example, in the welcome email we want the readers to connect with our social media profiles or click a link for more information.

In the Because You’re New Here email we want readers to click links to valuable content we share.

You get the idea. Every email has a purpose and you want to be able to track it. And in order to track it, you must identify what you want to track.

These goals will be used later in the on-going maintenance process, which is a topic for another day.

 

There you have it in under 1,000 words…How to Plan Your Indoctrination Email Series.

If you need help planning your indoctrination email series, email me at Elizabeth@SmartCopyClicks.com.

 

 

 

 

Lead Generation B2B: Necessary or Not?

There are many forms of Lead Generation for B2B. Organic search, paid search, advertising, blogging, social medial, content marketing, email marketing, direct mail, cold calling, appointment setters, database marketing…should I go on?

No matter what method of lead generation you choose for your B2B business the fact remains…Content is a critical component.

The goal with any tactic is to build your internal list of email addresses by getting as many names as possible on your mailing list.  But it’s not as easy as collecting a bunch of business cards, entering them into your “system” and sending emails. Not with the GDPR law now in effect.

This new law makes it more difficult to marketing to your mailing list. You need to ensure the people on your mailing list, actually requested information from you. Gone are the days when you got a someone’s business card and added them to your list. That’s a big No-No.

The best way to ensure you’re compliant with GDPR is to gather names and emails by offering something of value that people want.  This is done by offering potential prospects valuable content, special reports, discount offers or free trials in exchange for their email address. This allows you to send the information they requested.

But just because you have an email address doesn’t mean all of those names are really true prospects.

For example, say you offer a free widget to those who opt in. They are on your list just because of the free widget and have no real interest in what you can do for them.

However, if potential prospects click to opt in for a special report or another offer, then they may have an interest in the topic of the report they opted in for.

 Lead Generation Sales Funnel

Lead Nurturing

That’s where lead nurturing comes in. Lead Nurturing is different from lead generation because you want to identify the true prospects from just those that signed up for whatever free thing you offered.

Staying in contact with the potential prospects over a period of time by providing valuable content, newsworthy updates, or other special offers through email is a great way to determine whether they have further interest in what you offer.

If they continue to respond to various offers you send, there’s a good chance they might turn into paying customers.  The goal in lead nurturing is to get your prospect to take action.

This where email marketing shines through. With a well thought out plan, you can guide your prospects through a series of emails that will “convert” them into a paying customer via the call-to-action within the emails.

 Call-to-Action

That action could be as simple as asking them to visit your website for more details about your company. Or asking them to sign up for a free trial. There are many possibilities.

The diagram below shows some of the possibilities. At the top of the sales funnel, tactics like email, landing pages, newsletter, direct mail, web site, sell sheets, blog and articles are used to collect names for a mailing list. These are primary lead generators.

Lead generation B2B sales funnel activities

Over time different informative or educational offers are used in the email marketing to the mailing list. These materials are classified as lead nurturing type because it is content job to help the prospect solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal.

You can see the bottom of the sales funnel is when the prospect becomes a customer by buying your product or service.

 Keep in Contact

Throughout the process, another purpose is to stay in touch with prospects so they begin to know, like, and trust you. When they are ready to buy, they will check out your store or site to buy what you offer. All because you offered them great content and you were looking out for their best interests.

Remember your prospects are looking for a way to solve a problem, satisfy a need, or achieve a goal.

They are on the search for anything to help them with those things.

Email Marketing Customer Cycl

That’s where lead generation B2B comes in to play.

Educational material, webinars, special reports, and other offers can be effective ways to help your prospect reach a place of decision.  All of these are used in a series of emails designed to peak the prospect’s curiosity and cause them to take action.

By providing helpful pieces of content to answer questions, point to solutions, and guide them in their buying decision process, you set yourself up as an expert. This builds your reputation and brand because you seem like someone who knows and cares about what a prospect might be facing.

Save Time

As a result, I can write all the content for you, which can save you time and effort.

In conclusion, allow me to help you plan a marketing campaign. I’ll help you identify a way to measure the success before you start. Let me develop the right lead generation b2b tactics for your business. I’ll write lead nurturing emails causing your prospects to take action. Then, we’ll measure the results so you’ll know for sure you made the right choice.

Finally, let me help you save time and money by hiring me for Lead Generation and Lead Nurturing emails. Find out how to get started by contacting me.


 

Email Marketing

Email marketing is used for many reasons as we’ll discuss below in a moment. Specifically, it’s the most convenient and least expensive way to communicate with prospects and customers.

But is it really effective to send out personalized emails one at a time? Well, no of course not. As your business grows there’s no way to scale such a manual process.

As a result…enter the Autoresponder. (aka drip marketing or email marketing).  An autoresponder is a series of planned emails sent out to an email list over a period of time. Because the emails are planned in advance, it’s an automated way to stay in touch with your prospects and customers. Therefore, no matter how many names you get on your list, you will always be able to ensure they hear personally from you on a regular basis.

In conclusion, an autoresponder within email marketing is the only way to scale your personalized communications as your list grows.

Let’s look at the Purpose of Email Autoresponders

  • Stay in touch with prospects and customers
  • Share about who you are, so your prospects will begin to know you
  • Inform your prospect and customers of what you offer, so they will consider you when they have a need.
  • Educate your prospect and customers on solutions to solve their problems, help them achieve a goal, or satisfy a need.
  • Promote special offers to drive prospects and/or customers to your store/site.
  • Build relationship with your prospects
  • Project creditability
  • Earn trust

As you can see, there are many reasons for the use of autoresponders within email marketing digital marketing. When setup correctly, they become an effective marketing tool. These emails guide your prospects into a relationship with you. When done poorly, autoresponders can drive your prospects further away.

It’s all in the strategy and planning.

The Multiple Phases of a Prospects

Email Marketing Customer Cycl

Prospects are potential customers who have a problem, want to achieve a goal, or have a specific need.

Your product or service may be what they need.

As a result, email is one of the best methods to help position you and your product or service as the solution.

In an email marketing digital marketing campaign, begin with the end in mind to quote from Steven Covey’s Highly Effective People.  There are two fundamental questions to ask yourself.

What do I want the prospect to know? What do I want the prospect to do?

First, plan out all the things you want your prospect to know.

Start with what’s personal: This builds trust.

  • About me
  • About why I started my company

Move to discussing the prospect’s problem, goal, or need. This builds your reputation through empathy. As a result, the readers feel you understand their situation.

What do I know about:

  • the prospect’s problem
  • their goal
  • satisfying the prospect’s need

Then, highlight what you know. This builds authority through mentor/coach/advice process. As a result, your readers begin to trust your knowledge.

  • What I know
  • How I can help
  • What potential solutions are out there

Next, position products/services as the solution the prospect is looking for. This builds creditability. As a result, your readers find a way to solve their problem.

  • How my products can help
  • How my service can help
  • What my clients have said about my products/services

Finally, plan out what action you want the prospect to take with every interaction.

Email 1: About Me

  • Call to action: Go to website to learn more

Email 2: Prospect’s Problem

  • Next step action: Sign up for Special Report

Email 3: What You Know

  • Take next action: Sign up for a free One on One assessment

Email 4: Products/Services

  • Call attention to action: Sign up for a free trial

Do you see how that works?

For each “sign up for” action, create another series of emails to draw them closer to making a decision.  After a few of these email series your prospect may turn into paying customers.

Therefore, well thought-out plan for email marketing digital marketing campaigns can increase your sales. And turn one-time customers into repeat buyers and build better word of mouth referrals.

Contact me today to see how I can help your email marketing efforts.


 

Grow Your List by Giving Stuff Away People Want Now

86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

People are interested in you or your products and services. They want to know more. So give them what they want.

What is an Email Opt-In Used for?

Using an email opt-in form, ask your potential clients to sign up to receive something from you. That something can be the latest news about your company or some other free content that’s of value to them.

What content do I send?

Think creatively. What might a potential client want to know? What kind of problems do they have? What type of problems have you solved? What are industry resources available to share?

Is it helpful? That’s what you need to verify before sending out to your list. The content you share should answer a question, help solve a problem or help them get closer to achieving a goal. Otherwise, you shouldn’t share it.

What do I send content in the first place?

This allows your potential customers to take some time to get to know you. It’s a low-stress way to be informed about your company without a lot of sales hype.


Let’s take a look at one business intelligence company called Alteryx.com. They provide a number of reports and ebooks for the exchange of a few pieces of information from the potential customer.

FIGURE 1 ALTERYX E-BOOK LINK

FIGURE 2 ALTERYX SPECIAL REPORT OPT IN

FIGURE 3 ALTERYX EBOOK OPT IN

But special reports and ebooks are not the only things you can give away.  Remember 86% of consumers want to hear from you.

You might consider a newsletter sign up to provide latest updates on your company and send helpful how-to tips.

Running a contest or an actual giveaway is another reason to use an email opt-in form.

Email opt-in forms can be used in a variety of ways. Don’t limit yourself to one type only. Mix it up and try several types to see what works for your audience.

What resources can you package and give away free through an email opt-in? Do you have a series of helpful How To tips? Do you have an ebook to share? Do you have White Papers or Special Reports?

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

If you find yourself including the 61% of B2B marketers who don’t have the resources for this, contact me today to help identify and/or create resources for your target audience.

Read how to build your brand with webinars.

Which is Better? Warm or Cold Leads? Find Out How to Always Have Warm Leads Today

Newsletters are a simple way to provide useful, helpful information to prospective clients.  It’s a non-threatening way for someone to get to know you and your business.

Typically, email newsletters contain multiple elements. First, there may be an educational article. There might be a quote from an industry expert. Maybe a section for quick How-To tips.  Also, include might be an offer but not always.

Newsletters provide multiple benefits to companies who employ them.

  1. Saves Your Money

The first obvious benefit is to grow your in-house list of potential customers. Most companies offer a sign up for a free newsletter to help grow their own prospect/customer list. The more names on your email list, the more eyeballs you can market to. And it’s FREE for the business to collect.  There’s not having to buy a list from an industry directory.

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying “the money’s in the list.” Well, it’s true.

As you build your email list, you cultivate a relationship with these targeted prospects. Over time, you might find these prospects turn into paying customers when the time is right.

  1. Warm Leads Instead of Cold Ones

A newsletter is the best way to help your target prospect get to know, like, and trust you.

Included in your newsletter are helpful articles about solving problems, how to tips to improve performance, or personal stories of why you’re in business, or case studies on how you help other customers.

All these updates will build your reputation and help your target audience feel more connected to you.  This means these prospects warm up to you over time. When they have a need, they will know you can help them with that need because of all the great content you’ve already shared with them.

  1. Improve Your Reputation and Demonstrate Credibility

A newsletter is non-threatening to the audience, as long as you share useful, helpful, value-packed content on a regular basis. Over time, the audience begins to trust you.

Therefore, providing a steady stream of helpful content will boost your creditability and build trust with your potential clients.

There are several places to promote your newsletter sign up.  For example, in the footer section of Gooddata.com, you’ll notice “Get our newsletter.” This opt-in form asks for just an email address which is a very good example of the minimum barrier to overcome.


From the customer’s perspective, they need only provide an email to get regular content that may help educate, inform them regarding GoodData’s services.

FIGURE 1 GOODDATA FOOTER NEWSLETTER OPT IN

Sign up boxes can be anyway on your website.  Sometimes they appear on the right-hand side of regular content. Other times it is a pop up that displays only after someone reads an article on the website.

However, you decide to implement, the point is to do it.

Do you have a Newsletter Sign Up offer on your website? If not, what are you waiting for?

Don’t miss the opportunity to be known by your target audience and grow your business at the same time!

If you need ideas for your newsletter or want help with the content, contact me to get started today.

Read about other opt-in ideas for growing your list of emails.

Ideas for Using Email Opt-In Forms to Grow Your Own List Now

86% of consumers would like to receive promotional emails from companies they do business with at least monthly, and 15% would like to get them daily. (Statista, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

People are interested in you or your products and services. They want to know more. So give them what they want.

What is an Email Opt-In Used for?

Using an email opt-in form, ask your potential clients to sign up to receive something from you. That something can be the latest news about your company or some other free content that’s of value to them.

What content do I send?

Think creatively. What might a potential client want to know? What kind of problems do they have? What type of problems have you solved? What are industry resources available to share?

Is it helpful? That’s what you need to verify before sending out to your list. The content you share should answer a question, help solve a problem, or help them get closer to achieving a goal. Otherwise, you shouldn’t being sharing it.

What do I send content in the first place?

This allows your potential customers to take some time to get to know you. It’s a low-stress way to be informed about your company without a lot of sales hype.

Let’s take a look at one business intelligence company called Alteryx.com. They provide a number of reports and ebooks for the exchange of a few pieces of information from the potential customer.


FIGURE 1 ALTERYX E-BOOK LINK


FIGURE 2 ALTERYX SPECIAL REPORT OPT IN


FIGURE 3 ALTERYX EBOOK OPT IN

But special reports and ebooks are not the only thing you can give away.  Remember 86% of consumers want to hear from you.

You might consider a newsletter sign up to provide latest updates on your company and send helpful how-to tips.

Running a contest or an actual giveaway is another reason to use an email opt-in form.

Email opt-in forms can be used in a variety of ways. Don’t limit yourself to one type only. Mix it up and try several types to see what works for your audience.

What resources can you package and give away free through an email opt-in? Do you have a series of helpful How To tips? Do you have an ebook to share? Do you have White Papers or Special Reports?

Lack of resources, such as staff, funding, and time, remains the biggest obstacle to successful lead generation for 61% of B2B marketers. (BrightTALK, 2015 Source: https://www.hubspot.com/marketing-statistics)

If you find yourself including the 61% of B2B marketers who don’t have the resources for this, contact me today at to help identify and/or create resources for your target audience.

 

Customer-Driven Marketing

In today’s rapid-paced, highly competitive landscape, and uncertain economic conditions, dollars are tight.  When we launch an expensive marketing program we need to know it will address the customers’ real needs.  Because if the programs don’t address the real needs, we won’t achieve the kind of return on investment we’re hoping for.   Spending that kind of money without some kind of guarantee of attracting customers is a poor business decision.

So how can we be sure our programs meet the customers’ needs?  One way is by integrating customer feedback into program design.

Step 1: Start with the customer.

Find out what customers need.  How? Ask them.   There are many methods of obtaining information from the customer. Depending on your budget you may opt to implement more than one of the following methods: face to face conversations, telephone calls, email communications, surveys, focus groups, advisory councils, social networking, blogging, etc.  In fact, the more methods you deploy the greater chance for success.

Step 2: Ask the right questions.

Begin by asking for honest feedback about what they like and don’t like about doing business with you.  Customers value a company who asks for their opinion. Move to questions around what their expectations are.   Ask specifically what is it about your company or product or employees that make the customer buy your products.

Step 3: Don’t stop asking.

Every interaction with a customer should reveal a little more about what’s important to the customer.  Track your conversations by logging customer interactions in a database.  If you’re not learning more about your customer with every conversation, you’re losing valuable insight to use to strengthen your relationships.

Step 4: Anticipate the basics.

There are basic needs which are global in nature.  For example, every customer wants more for less.  Don’t wait for the customer to tell you they want better price.  That’s a given.   Think like the customer. Give them what they want, when it makes good financial sense to do so.

Step 5: Read between the lines.

Once you have gathered customer needs data, begin to analyze it.  Look for ways to improve on what they are asking for.  Customers can only envision what’s available today.  It’s our job to provide more so customers are compelled to try us over the competition.  If a customer asked for a specific color for your product, perhaps offering a variety of colors would be a delighter because a person’s tastes or style may change over time.  Having the flexibility of color might interest them in your product.  Look for ways to give the customers more than they asked for.  It shows you value the customer and want what’s best for them.

Step 6: Prioritize Program Elements

Rank the program elements to ensure program elements address as many customer needs as possible.  Elements offered as delighters will rank high too.  As you assess which elements to implement, prioritize the items directly linking back to a specific customer need and/or a delighter for the customer.  These are the items that will compel customers to buy.  Therefore, put your resources where they bring the biggest bang for the buck.  If you have a great idea for the program but it doesn’t address a current need or delighter for the customer, hold off.  Save it for another program at a later date.  In this way dollars are spent on items we are confident have a direct impact to customer.

So you want to capture customer mindshare? Build your marketing programs with customer needs in mind.  Be selective about the marketing elements you include.  Choose elements directly impact or satisfy the customer’s need.  Then build a marketing story around how you listen to your customer and designed the program specifically for them.   Nothing says you care more than following through with action based on something the customer told you previously.

The 3 Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Writing E-Mail Marketing Copy By Robert W. Bly

             In this column, I want to share with you the three most important things I’ve learned about writing winning e-mail marketing campaigns.

1. Reference Current Events

The first is: when your e-mail copy makes reference to what’s going on in the news the same week – or even better, the same day – you distribute it, your response rates soar.

Financial publishers were probably the first to discover this: e-mail messages that reflect what’s going on in the market on the day they are distributed – for instance, “gold hits $700 per ounce … should you sell or buy more?” – pull much better than generic promotional e-mails or those with evergreen content.

Example: the publisher of a financial newsletter boosted subscriptions by referencing the Martha Stewart case during her trial. Headline: “Stay one step ahead of the stock market, just like Martha Stewart … but without her legal liability.” The HTML e-mail even included a color photo of Martha looking contrite on the courthouse steps – an image the reader probably saw daily on TV and in the newspapers, and which therefore immediately attracted his eye.

The idea of including news in your copy is not new. But e-mail marketing makes it easier to more precisely coordinate and time your e-mail messages with current events and developments.

Of course, it is easier to tie in with news and current events for some products than others. A company that sells aluminum siding to homeowners might find it more difficult to link their e-mail copy to Bush’s latest speech than a company promoting penny stocks.

But it’s not impossible. And anytime your e-mail can reflect news or trends, readership and response are likely to soar.

2. Give Away Content in Email Itself

My second tip for writing winning e-mail messages: giving away content in the e-mail itself is, contrary to what you might expect, a way to strengthen copy and results.

I say “contrary to what you might expect” because, you might reason, “If I give the information away in the e-mail, the reader’s curiosity is satisfied, and he does not have to click through to find the answers he is looking for.”

The trick is to give “partial content” – as a sample of the kind of help your product, service, or firm offers.

Ideally, this could be something as quick as a simple how-to tip embedded in the e-mail copy. Then, you promise many more useful tips and advice when the reader clicks through.

This works for two reasons. First, people are trained on the Internet to expect free content, so this technique fulfills their expectation.

Second, including actual content in your e-mail marketing – and not just teasing the reader with promises to provide valuable content when they respond – demonstrates your expertise and knowledge right then and there in the e-mail. The reader is quickly convinced that you know what you are talking about — and therefore, may be a resource he wants to know better.

3. Be Consistent

My third tip for writing winning e-mail messages: open rates and click-through rates both increase when your e-mail marketing messages match – in look, content, tone, and style — the other e-mails prospects get from you or the list owner on a regular basis.

For instance, if your e-mail is going to an opt-in list of subscribers to a text e-newsletter, your response will be better if you send a text e-mail rather than an HTML. If people on your list are used to extremely short e-mail messages, a long-copy e-mail blast probably won’t work as well as a short teaser e-mail linked to a landing page where they can read the rest of your message.

Take a look at past e-mail promotions to the list that worked as well as issues of e-newsletters these readers receive. If they all contain graphs … or technical information … or pictures of pets … or news … or a pithy how-to tip … or survey results … then your e-mail probably should, too.

Reason: people on a given list are “trained” to accept e-mails with a similar look and feel to the ones they get regularly. When your e-mail matches their expectations, they believe it’s something they read regularly and open it. When your e-mail looks wildly different, they view it as spam and delete.

This is contrary to the creative approach Madison Avenue favors in print advertising, which is to make their ads look different from all others the reader has seen.

This article appears courtesy of Bob Bly’s Direct Response Letter

Emails Not Getting Through? Try Four Techniques to Increase Your Email Open Rates Now.

An Article on Email Marketing Issues to Avoid in Marketing.

Email marketing issues happen all the time. The purpose of this article to help you avoid some of them. The average number of business email sent/received in a day is 122 in 2015 and growing says Radicati.com. That’s a lot of emails to go through. It’s no wonder it takes time to get a response. Imagine having to read every one of those emails! When would you ever get any real work done?

The average number of business email sent/received in a day is 122 in 2015 and growing says Radicati.com. That’s a lot of emails to go through. It’s no wonder it takes time to get a response. Imagine having to read every one of those emails! When would you ever get any real work done?

Most people don’t read every email they get. It’s too time-consuming. Instead, they scan the subject lines and delete anything that it isn’t immediately relevant.

67% of marketers say that email is key for attracting and engaging prospects, and the best path to increase email marketing ROI according to Forbes. So how do we cut through the cluttered inbox to reach our potential customers?

It’s all about the headline

Before you write a headline you need to know your audience. Do the research to understand who you are writing to. You miss the mark if you forego this step.

Why is research so important? Through research, the typical customer is revealed. Research helps answer many questions about our potential customers. Questions like:

  • “Who they are?”
  • “What do they like?”
  • “What don’t they like?”
  • “How do they want to connect?”
  • “What words do they use?”
  • “What problems do they have?”
  • “What have they tried to solve their problem?”

In-depth research helps the writer to craft messages using the phrases and language the potential customer actually uses. The result is an email that resonates with the reader because it speaks their language. It connects with the reader on their level.

The next step is to craft a great headline or subject line for the email.  Using the trusted 4U formula ensures a greater chance of getting your emails read.  Here’s why.

When an email shows up, the reader scans subject line to determine if it relevant or worthy to open and continue reading.  If the headline doesn’t capture the reader’s attention, the email won’t get read. Worse yet it might get trashed before it’s even opened!

64% of people say they open an e-mail because of the subject line according to Mark the Marketer. Email subject lines are critical. It’s life or death of the email. So write your subject lines using attention-grabbing methods to compel readers to click through and read the rest of your email.

Important points to remember for upping your open rates:

  • use words that suggest urgency, such as alert, news, bulletin
  • include special offers
  • don’t mislead – don’t suggest something that you’re not going to deliver
  • spark curiosity
  • consider running A/B tests for subject lines to see what works best

Don’t get stuck in the spam filter

Obviously, your email will never get read, if it gets stuck in a spam filter.

There are certain words to avoid at all costs. Check out this list Hubspot put together.  It contains a huge list of words to absolutely avoid in your emails.  Verify your emails don’t include any of these words.

The next step is to test out your emails using spam content detection tools. There are many free options out there. Here are a few highly rated options by many email marketers:

http://spamcheck.postmarkapp.com/

http://www.mailingcheck.com/

http://www.jam-software.com/spamassassin/

Try each of those and see what works best for you and help you avoid email marketing issues.

Personalize or not?

Another way to avoid the spam filters is by using personalization. This seems fairly intuitive. Emails that are personalized have a greater chance of being opened. You want to open any letter you received when your name is handwritten on the envelope. It could be someone you know, right?

Personalization of email content yielded the highest average open rate for all email campaigns, with 17.6 percent of all personalized emails being opened according to MailerMailer.

Personalization means including your recipient’s name in either the subject line or the email body content. Campaigns without any personalization achieved a lower email open rate of 11.4 percent. With this in mind, ensure your email marketing is set up to include personalization in both the subject line and the body copy of your email content.

As a general rule, personalization is the best approach. After all, your emails are meant to foster a relationship with your customers. If you don’t treat your customers with respect they won’t stick around for long. One way to respect your customer is to call them by name.

Of course, this means you better have a way to capture their information so you can personalize the email you’re sending. More on that topic in another article about email tools.

So, don’t get stuck with email marketing issues like this one. Personalize your emails for impact.

Add Value

Adding value goes hand and hand with the research phase. During the research phase, you discover what problems, needs, or goals your customers have. Once you know those things you can craft content that helps your customer.

Content that:

  • Helps your customers overcome their problem.
  • Meets your customers’ need.
  • Enables your customers to reach their goals.

Email marketing is informational on purpose. Choosing not to be informational is another email marketing issue to avoid. Email marketing should be designed to help customers solve a problem, meet a need, or reach a goal.

So what’s the best way to do that?

  • Answer questions. Again, through research, you will discover what’s ailing your customer. When you know that you can write emails that help them answer their most nagging questions.
  • Make lists. Content with lists works nicely for conveying many helpful hints, tips, or suggestions.
  • Add value. Another way to add value is to lay out the plans to reach a goal. Providing a step by step approach to reaching a goal can help a customer reach theirs.
  • Offer solutions. Lastly identifying a problem and writing about the solution can also add value for your customer.

In conclusion, contact me to help with your email campaigns. I’d be happy to do the research, craft email subject lines using the “4 U’s” method, and brainstorm an email series that will address your customer’s problem, needs, or goals.  I also provide email proofing and make recommendations to improve existing campaigns.

For more information on how I write click here.

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