Email has resulted in a revolution in marketing-an explosion in messaging. For some it is a god-send, a technology and a method that allows people to sell products and services quickly and effectively. For others, it’s a doomsday machine, a spam filled mailbox filled with angry mail from people who will never again be customers. Website Conversion Expert Dan Lok says you have to learn several special techniques before you can truly leverage and make maximum use email — the Internet’s wonderchild.
Here are some of the Dan’s most important keys to successful email marketing campaigns:
1. Get Permission. Use web page sign up forms or post card return cards, but get permission in a valid way. Create and offer incentives for people to sign up online to receive value-added information.
2. Target carefully and make it relevant. Send only relevant email to opt-in subscribers. Develop and give people what they wanted and what you promised. Don’t send email that is outside the scope of what was promised to people who opted in. Target and segment your subscriber base and tailor your messages to specific demographic characteristics.
3. Your Subject Line is Critical. Don’t make it look or sound like spam. The purpose of the subject line is NOT to sell, but just to get people to open the email, that’s it! Be careful of the words you select. Check your email against a spam checker to see that it doesn’t contain words that will automatically result in deletion.
4. Use your personality. Talk in the first person. Develop your persona as a friend or as an expert. Define your persona based on your customers’ needs and desires and based on professional behaviors.
5. Don’t sell. Advise, advise, advise. Offer value-added problem solving information, advice, tools and help. Use email to get people to use your email as a reason to call you or visit your web site. Offer people more of what they like to build and your personal relationship and their satisfaction and your personal connection with your customer.
6. Create a single, clear and benefit laden call for action. Focus on getting people to take one action. Don’t offer more than one action. Identify the action clearly and persuasively and track the results. Get them to click and go to a relevant landing page to net them to take further action.
7. Create a life-cycle campaign. Design a program that results in you sending out four to six messages over a six to eight week period. These recurring campaigns can be created in advance and operated in a totally automated fashion.
8. Use triggered email. Design and set up automated email campaigns so that when clients order product or sign up for items or request information online, that a suite of email messages are then sent to them periodically automatically.
9. Use email to get them to Click! Keep the email short – no more than 3 or 4 pages. Relate first paragraph to subject line. Drive people to a web page and then close the sale, don’t try to close the sale with an email. Don’t mention price or cost in email. The purpose of the email is to PRE-SELL, not to sell. Again, it’s to get them CLICK, then go to your web page. Then you can do the selling there.
10. Comply with CAN-SPAM Act requirements. Send from a valid address. Respect all remove requests promptly. Never send a second email to someone who has requested removal.