Email marketing is definitely alive and well. It is utilized by so many top brands and companies online, including Best Buy, Amazon and TeeFury. The right kinds of email newsletters can be hugely successful, helping you increase sales and improve customer retention. If you’re struggling with the open rates or the conversion rates on your email campaign, you might be wondering what you’re doing wrong.
Content Marketing Specialist Kristen Dunleavy recently published an article on the AWeber blog that outlines many of the most common email marketing mistakes, explaining why your emails aren’t getting the results that you desire. From these mistakes, key lessons can be learned.
Sell the Benefits, Not the Product
This is a piece of advice that has been told time and time again, well before email marketing even existed. A customer doesn’t want to be told to just buy your product or sign up for your service. They want to be told how their lives will get better if they buy your product or sign up for your service. Demonstrate the value of what you have to offer, rather than necessarily focusing on the actual item for sale itself.
If you’ve already signed up for the John Chow dot Com mailing list, then you’ll already know that all the messages John send out are written in a very personal matter. He’s writing them as if he is talking to you in person. Your email campaign should feel much the same (unless you really are a giant mega-corporation like Amazon… and even then, Amazon send-outs are pretty personal). Personalize the “From” address so it looks like the message is being sent by a real person and not just another piece of software. The personal aspect should be reflected in the message itself too; there are easy tools in Aweber and other email marketing solutions that let you address each individual message to each individual subscriber.
Have an Obvious Call to Action
A great email campaign starts with exceptional copy (a freelance writer, ahem, can help you with that), but it doesn’t help when the recipient of the message doesn’t know what to do next. Make it easy. Make it obvious. If the goal is for someone to sign up for your upcoming webinar, put an obvious button or easily visible link to the sign-up page in the email, featuring it prominently. Internet users can’t be bothered to search for things themselves; they’re really unlikely to manually type your website URL into the address bar and look for the webinar signup link.
Stick to a Consistent Schedule
This is a lesson that you may have learned in the context of blogging and it easily applies to nearly everything else you do online too: be consistent. Your blog shouldn’t have 10 posts in one day only to have no posts at all for the next three weeks. Your Twitter account shouldn’t have one update in a month and then suddenly explode with a new tweet every few minutes. Email marketing works in much the same way. Keep up with a consistent schedule–many Internet marketers do about once a week, but it’s entirely up to you–so that your subscribers know when to expect a new message from you.
Leverage a Follow-Up Series
Did you just offer a free trial period for your online software? You sent out the welcome email and now you’re wondering why your conversion rate is so low. Did you forget to send a follow-up email to anyone who doesn’t automatically switch from the free trial to a paid account? What about suggestive selling and upselling them on related products and services? A follow-up series is critical for your ongoing success.
Write a Killer Subject Line
It doesn’t matter how great your offer is or how interesting the material inside the message may be if the reader never actually opens your email in the first place. The subject line needs to be compelling and it needs to be descriptive. People are turned off by subjects like “Click Here Now! I Promise It’s Worth It” because it’s too much of a sales pitch and it tells them nothing about the contents of the message. If the subject line is “How I Earned $25,000 This Weekend (And You Can Too),” you’ll likely get a few more eyeballs.
Take these six critical lessons to heart and consistently apply them to your email campaign. It’s not guarantee of monumental success, but you’ve got to start somewhere.