Email Marketing – It’s A Number Game
It’s the battle for your readers’ attention. And it’s worth winning. Because people take time to come to a buying decision and you need to stay in step as they do so. Although many things change in the Internet, some of the advertising and publicity principles remain the same. Repeated exposure is what it takes to get to a “yes” on the part of your customer.
To get the multiple exposures that precede a sale, you may be using an autoresponder to automatically generate emails to your customers. It’s a powerful way of programming your communications so that you can jog their memory at regular intervals and gently move them towards a purchase.
A major point to be aware of in the use of autoresponders is the quality of your contacts list. If you are sending out emails automatically to people who are just as automatically putting them in the trashcan, then sales will be disappointing to say the least. Check to see how you are generating your contact lists. If you are asking people to opt in just to receive a one time free gift, this is not the same as promoting a regular newsletter where people who sign up have an expectation of regular contact from you.
Wherever possible, set the customer’s expectation right from the start and possibly use other tactics for the one-time signups. That’s also the benefit of autoresponder services. You can segment your contacts lists and then have different emailing campaigns best suited to each segment.
Content needs to be adapted to what interests your customers. It sounds obvious, but so many times marketers online and offline fall into the trap of finding their product so beautiful that all they can to is to talk about the product. Customer needs and requirements are left unheeded as the marketer mistakenly focused on the technical specification of version X of product Y.
The exit for customers is always just a click away. If they don’t like what you are saying or if it all just washes over them, they will leave your site before you can blink. So your content has to be laser focused on what is of interest to them. That means their needs, their wants and their requirements. When you talk about your product, do it in that sense, relating the product features each time to the advantage specific to your customers.
Whether it’s your title or your main content, your email has to be interesting right down to the final conclusion. However, your title does have a special role to play. Your title in effect “sells” your email. If the title sparks your customer’s interest then the motivation is there to open the email and to read it.
To do this you have a number of possibilities. Use the classics of advertising to put across an idea of getting something for nothing or an exclusivity or indeed a time-limited offer. You’ll have to be smart about this. At the moment, there’s a trend to put “Time Limited Offer…” in the title of emails. This probably worked at the beginning, which is why so many people carry on doing it.
But the magic wears off quickly and in this case customers receiving an email with those fateful words in the title are more than likely to throw it out. They’ve seen too many, the time limited offers were contrived or artificial and they have learnt that an email starting with those words is usually not for them.
So keep the idea, but change the words. Slightly better is “Before March 31st…” (select an appropriate date here – don’t use March if you are already in July!). “Before membership closes…” might be another one. Try some ideas for yourself and see how you can distance yourself from the run of the mill slogan that has already lost its credibility.
Finally, test. Test your emails with changes in their title, in their content and / or in their frequency. The easiest and one of the most effective ways is split or A/B testing. In this you start from a base, perhaps something that works for you today. You then select a smallish group of customers to whom you send the same emails but with a change say in the title. Which version of the email does better in percentage of people clicking to open or clicking through to your site? Keep the one that does better and make that your new base. Then repeat the process.