Email is the pervasive medium today?

Taming the Social Media Marketing BeastIf you want to communicate directly with people who actually grant you permission to market to them, get in the email game. Hit “send” and your message will be received.

  • Email is more popular than any social media. It’s more private. More personal. More vital.
  • If you ignore email, you risk missing business opportunities.
  • If you’re prone to number crunching you’ll discover email trumps social media and search for conversion in a very big way.

You need to build an email list.
Your email list is your online marketing bank account. You want to make it grow. You want to see the interest compound.

You accomplish this by asking the people who visit your site to give you their email address. But it’s not an act of charity. You have to offer them something.

Offer free content

The most effective way to capture email leads is through landing pages. For optimum conversion, your landing pages should have a singular focus.

Your landing page should offer a free resource you make downloadable or instantly available online. Of course, to accomplish this, you place an email opt-in form on your landing page. Don’t make it tricky or time-consuming. Request only a name and an email address.

Invite visitors to subscribe

Your blog is an ideal venue for getting new subscribers, that is, if you set it up to do so. Place opt-in forms in the sidebar of your blog post pages, preferably at the top.

Another effective tactic is to create a dedicated newsletter page. Your page should explain the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter.  Use inspiring action words here and you’ll inspire the action you’re after.

Make emails customers will love

Curious readers click

The big secret: invoke your reader’s curiosity and compel them to take action.

Neuroscientists gave us research on the “information gap theory,” which teaches when people encounter things that pique their interest, but don’t reveal “the goods,” they are compelled to delve further.

What do you do with this insight? You create suspense in your e-newsletter to inspire readers to follow your lead, your link. That is, to click-through to a page you want them on.

Extreme focus

Overwhelming readers with choices often results in no action. Avoid this phenomenon by sending emails that focus on a desired outcome.  Less is more. You may have occasions to offer a variety of links, however, email studies will prove a single or extremely limited number of choices for next steps foster greater results.

Be clear

“Click here to read [blank]” hardly seems like advanced copy-writing advice, but clarity and simplicity are your allies in your emails. Avoid the temptation to overwrite. Help the reader help themselves with crystal clear directions.

Use names

Everyone’s favorite word is his or her first name. Readers will be more engaged and trusting of messages in which their name appears. Gather your readers’ names and use them. Your email service makes it extremely easy to do this.

What’s worth emailing?

Here are some popular email types that have proven useful for online marketers.

  • Newsletter
  • Digest
  • Offers
  • Auto-responders

Auto-responders—often called drip campaigns—are created for the purpose of lead nurturing. Your prospects are sent a tightly connected series of emails introducing multiple pieces of content over time.

Transaction emails

The following tips will improve your open rates.

  • Simple subject lines win
  • The shorter, the better
  • Nix the punctuation
  • Perfect your timing
  • Stay away from spam filters
  • Be a trustworthy sender

Segment subscribers

A proven way to increase ROI in email marketing is segmenting your email database into groups with specific interests and sending unique messages to each.

  • Treat new subscribers differently
  • Reheat cold contacts
  • Give responsive subscribers special treatment

Understand email metrics

You shouldn’t be overly alarmed by a small percentage of unsubscribes because the goal is to send email to those that really want it. However, if you find a sudden spike in this rate it suggests there is an issue. You may be sending email too often or somehow not meeting the expectations of your subscribers.

Test and refine your email tactics

Email is easy to test. Doing so will give you valuable insights into your prospects’ behavior and preferences and help you perpetually improve results.

It’s easy to test your email in a variety of ways, so there’s no excuse to not do some testing. Your email marketing service should offer features to facilitate simple A/B tests (often called “split tests”).

Subject line split tests

  • Timing
  • Day of the week
  • Copy
  • Structure and layout
  • Personalization
  • Call to action (CTA)
  • Offers

Email is the purest form of permission marketing and the most effective way to boost your bottom line and grow your business. It’s the only channel of online communication that remains private and provides a direct connection to your prospect.

About Michael Stuart

Mike's experience in the technology industry is quite extensive, serving both as a designer of complex enterprise applications and as a corporate executive. In his previous life, Mike was founder and CEO of AssetWorks Inc. the industry leader in facility management solutions. Currently living on the Texas coast helping with digital strategies using Amplified Content Marketing.