Have you ever sent an AMAZING marketing email and gotten almost no response? One of those emails that a tiny fraction of your list opened, and maybe your Aunt Mildred clicked on? It’s OK, we’ve all been there – but don’t worry, I’m here to help.
A lot of “marketing experts” make it sound easy – they’ll tell you, “Just email your contact list and you’re sure to end up with business.” Or, that consistency is the key, and it’s really just about being top of mind at the right time. Now, don’t get me wrong, consistency can help, but it surely doesn’t get them to open email number 1, let alone the 20th email down the line that you’ve sent them. So what should you do?
Well, I’ve been in this email marketing game for over a decade, and I have developed a number of strategies over the years to get responses, and ultimately clients. For this article (and corresponding webinar), I’ve boiled it down to the top 5 strategies I’ve built over the years, ones we even use today at Agent Inner Circle (and I’ll even show you some of the stats that we see – image left), to help you get results from your email campaigns.
The Top 5 Strategies
#1. The most important thing to focus on, when writing any email, or even marketing copy is, as funny as it might sound, my favorite radio station. Want to know what it is? WIFM. You might be asking yourself what that is – but what it actually stands for is – “what’s in it for me?”
We all lead incredibly busy lives, with inboxes that are practically overflowing, so getting through that noise is no easy task. What we try to do is make sure that every email we send truly includes some piece of valuable content for the recipient. Something that will, as many of the greats have put it, move that person toward pleasure or away from pain. Many times – what that valuable content is can make or break the email you send. (Don’t be afraid to get super-specific with your valuable content and thus email – I go much more in depth on this in the webinar below.)
#2. Now how do you get this email opened, after you’ve made it valuable? Most online marketers will say you need a great Subject Line The subject line piques the interest of your recipient – then, the email contents follow up and provide the value that you’re giving your reader. Most of the time, your content is going to dictate much of your subject line and email content, but below are a few examples to give you some ideas.
- Who else wants _____?
- Are you ______?
- How to _____ without ____.
- If you are _____, you can _____.
- Thousands (millions) now ____ even though they ____.
Hubspot even ranked the top subject lines from the emails sent through their system, and I’ve included a few of my favorite below.
7.) 1,750 points for you, Valentine’s flowers & more for them.” – JetBlue
8.) Rock the color of the year – Etsy
10.) *Don’t Open This Email* – Manicube
12.) Zillow: “What Can You Afford” – Zillow
15.) Where to Drink Beer Right Now – Eater Boston
#3. Now that you have an email – it’s time to send that email to a list. Remember, the piece of valuable content could be something REALLY specific, which is why someone will respond. The only way to do that correctly, is if you’ve spent some time categorizing, “tagging” or whatever you’d like to call segmenting your lists.
By breaking your lists down into specific categories, and focusing your message, you can increase the rate at which people respond to your emails. My biggest tip, is to at least group the contact by the source of where they came from, and many times, add a “tag” or “group” for every piece of valuable content they’ve downloaded or that you’ve sent them.
#4. Beyond the Big 3 there are a few “Tech” tricks we use to get into more inboxes, and stay out of that SPAM folder. The first one that a lot of folks don’t know about – is that “list quality” matters. Just like Google checks your website to determine “SEO” and where it’s ranked, email servers check your incoming email to see if it should make it to your inbox, or maybe a SPAM folder. You may have even noticed that GMail has started breaking up emails into “Inbox”, “Social” and “Promotions.” So – sending to 80,000 people with an open rate of say 7% or 8% is actually doing your business a disservice, when you could be sending to 50,000 within that group and getting a 15% open rate. Not just in how many people have opened, but in the bigger picture, how email servers now look at your “list” of people.
One more big trick we’ll share is that you NEVER ever, want an email coming from something like, “[email protected]” or “[email protected]” or even “[email protected]” when you’re sending a mass email. Email servers want to see email coming from actual people so ideally, these emails should look like they’re coming from you! In my case -> alexc at agentinnercircle.com. (That’s right – I just gave out my email.)
#5. Last but not least, we want to know how our email campaign has done, and what numbers to look at. Certainly, the % of people that opened your email matters. Beyond that though, a few we focus on are not just the % of people who clicked through, but what’s called “Unique Clicks Per Open.” What this means is, out of the people who read the email, what % of them clicked through to your valuable content. That way we get a better understanding if your subject line, email content or both might be the thing to improve.
As promised, above, I’ve included a full length, 90 minute webinar, of an exclusive course where I taught these strategies to roughly 50 local business owners just 2 weeks ago, but I want to remind everyone of something that might get lost in the shuffle.
We are all humans! When we try to get too tricky with our emails, we can often hurt what we’re trying to do. If you spend a little time putting yourself in the shoes of the person who is receiving your email, and then provide that person with valuable content, the response to your emails might just surprise you. What would YOU respond to? That’s what your recipient will respond to.