There are plenty of e-mail marketing services available, like MailChimp, JangoMail, Infusionsoft, Campaigner, Vertical Response and AWeber. These services offer what you would expect: a variety of templates to choose from, easy uploading of data, good metrics to track campaign responses, integration with customer relationship management (CRM) applications and affordable pricing. But the most important feature that an e-mail service can provide is e-mail delivery.
That’s their job. And it’s easy to tell if they’re doing the right job. You can see from metric reports and out of office replies that your e-mails are reaching their recipients. And as long as they’re doing this job then you shouldn’t complain. You shouldn’t blame them if your e-mail campaigns don’t provide results. Because if that’s the case then you’re not doing your job.
And what’s your job? Your job is to consistently send excellent e-mails to the right recipients. Some tips to help you do just that are:
Be sure to use a catchy title. The title is usually the only thing you can guarantee someone will read, so take the most of that advantage and make your subject lines as catchy and interesting as possible. Mix up your titles as well; if you only ever put a special offer in the title then people will get used to thinking that you always have special offers and will be less inclined to open them. Try using questions, facts, statistics, jokes or extracts from your blog, really anything that might provoke curiosity and get the reader to open the email. Just make sure the title is relevant and in keeping with the rest of the email!
Keep your messages short and to the point. People don’t usually want to spend all day reading emails. That means short and concise messages. And information that is useful to the recipients. If you’re a landscaper then your e-mails should be all about landscaping and gardening tips. If you’re an accountant then I want to see financial advice. I don’t want to see sales messages. I don’t want to see lots of splashy graphics. And I definitely don’t want to open a Word attachment. I’m going to spend about ten seconds max on your e-mail message so give me as much info as you think I can digest in that time. If you want to include more information then link it back to your blog. This way I can choose the level of information I get, and you know that those who click through are likely to be more interested in what you are offering.
Always provide value. Don’t just send emails for the sake of it. Make sure that if you are trying your best to get someone’s attention that it is worth them giving you their time. If people recognize that the mails you send them will be interesting and add value to their day then they’ll be glad to open them, on the other hand if your mail is useless spam then you’ll have so many unsubscribers that you’ll soon have no-one left to email! Try including industry news, special offers, links to useful resources, blog updates, competitions or surveys.
Always include a call to Action! If you want people to do something, you have to ask them. Make your calls to action easy to understand and easy to do: Phone this number, click this link, complete this questionnaire.
Each marketing email that you send should have a measurable call to action. Really good e-mails have lots of reasons to click. Some times a reader must continue the article by clicking on a link to the company’s blog. Or maybe he or she’s given the opportunity to request more information, download a ebook, follow your company’s Blog or like your FaceBook page. Clicks are good.
More advanced e-mail marketing services, like some of the ones I mentioned above, often give their customers the ability to track the activities, via cookies, of those who click on links in their e-mails so that every time they visit the company’s website it’s known what page their visiting and what interest they have. More importantly, actions provide better metrics and better reporting on the results of your campaigns. You have to read these reports.
If email marketing is not something you’re currently doing, then start, you can track deliver-ability using AWeber.