If you’re new to email marketing or simply want to brush up on your skills, then this article is for you. Here we’ll explore the dos and don’ts of good email marketing, including some real-life examples.
Set The Right Tone
A good rule of thumb in email marketing is to set the right tone from the very beginning. This means crafting a welcome email that’s concise, not overly promotional, and shows a genuine interest in the recipient. Here are some examples of bad email marketing and how you can avoid sending these types of messages.
• A potential client emailed me to ask about price estimates for a new piece of equipment. The email started with, “Hi John,” and went on to say how much they enjoyed my blog post on [insert topic]. The email then discussed the equipment and the benefits it provided. It didn’t mention price once but, instead, focused on how my blog post and the equipment in question were a great fit. The price was mentioned only after I responded, and even then, it was only briefly and in passing.
• This client called me and, although we were on the phone at the time, I could tell she was playing with her iPhone. This is very distracting, and I felt like I was missing an important message because I had to multitask. She finally got to the point and, once I ascertained she had a question about a product I recommended, she asked, “How much does it cost?” The question was completely out of place since I hadn’t mentioned price in our email correspondence up to that point. It didn’t fit with the rest of the email, which was conversational in tone and focused on the product.
• Another example of poor email marketing is when a dealership emails a potential customer to ask for a quote on a vehicle after the customer has already visited the dealership and expressed interest in a specific model. These types of emails are obviously not personalised and, as such, come across as disingenuous. They don’t take the customer’s interests or concerns into consideration and miss out on an opportunity to connect with this key audience in a more personalised way.
Use Personalised Subject Lines
The subject line of your email communicates the importance of the message inside, and since people are increasingly receiving email, they’re getting suspicious when they see generic subject lines. It’s a good idea to personalise your subject lines by incorporating the recipient’s first name or last name into the string. The personalised subject line for a sales email might look like this:
“Dear John, As a longtime reader of your blog, I was excited to hear that you’ve started a business offering product reviews. I’ve been looking for a service like yours because I want to be able to trust the reviews I read. With your help, I know I can be confident in purchasing a product with my eyes closed. Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I’m looking forward to working with you.
Best regards, etc.”
This kind of subject line doesn’t seem overly formal or corporate, and it makes the email more personal and approachable. The example above uses the salutation “Dear,” which is slightly more personal than simply “Hi” or “Hello.” The use of “dear” shows that the author is not just another anonymous emailer but, instead, is taking the time to craft this particular email to address the recipient by their given name.
Build A Subscription List
An email list is like a magazine subscription; you receive regular deliveries of content that you value and, in return, you’re given the opportunity to advertise to a group of people who are already showing an interest in the subject matter you communicate. In addition to gaining advertising space, you can use your list to engage with your audience via email marketing. You can send out personalized emails to your subscribers telling them about events and promotions you’re hosting on your blog (and, hopefully, drawing them to your site), or you can use your list to send out short blog bursts of content to keep your audience engaged and interested.
If you’re looking to grow your brand in a meaningful way, then investing in email marketing is a good idea. You can use tools like MailChimp to easily and efficiently create a list of email subscribers and to send out regular communications to this group. In addition, you can use tools like HubSpot to create lead lists and to track the behaviour of your leads to better understand which stage of the buying cycle you’re in, what content is resonating with your audience, and how you can best move forward with your marketing plan.
Use Calls To Action
A call to action (CTA) is a phrase that you use at the end of a sentence to ask the reader or viewer to take a particular action. Examples of CTAs include “read more,” “watch now,” or “visit site.”
If you build a successful blog and gather a following, you can use your site’s email list to your advantage by sending out periodic emails with CTAs that help to further drive traffic to particular areas of your website. For example, let’s say your blog is covering the topic of fashion and style, and you’ve built up a decent-sized email list. You can use this list to send out a periodic email with a CTA to drive more traffic to a particular fashion or style blog post you’ve written. This is called an “email retargeting” burst and, in the example above, the email has a CTA to “read more” about fashion and style. When the reader clicks on the CTA, they are taken to a different part of your site where they can read more about fashion and style. You might also choose to send out a similar email with a CTA to introduce a new blog post or to promote a specific product, service, or event the company you work for is hosting.
Email marketing is a valuable tool in your arsenal, and using personalized subject lines, calls to actions, and a little creativity can go a long way. Don’t be afraid to try something new — even if it’s a little risky at first — because, as long as you can prove that it works, you’ll end up doing more of it. This is how you get to be known as “that local business that everyone trusts.”