When it comes to using email effectively it’s helpful to think of it as one of the more “business-like” communications channels. It’s almost like a planned meeting: you have a clear purpose for being there, there is some level of interest from your prospect, there’s an expectation of clear next steps. Of course, getting that level of buy-in prior to sending an e-mail isn’t always feasible, but even so, for a lot of busy people, an inbox is still a to-do list. And nobody likes surprise additions to their to-do list.
But theory is one thing… real-life marketing situations are often a lot messier. And as much as we’d all like there to be “one crazy secret” that’d guarantee email marketing success, the reality is that successful email campaigns must rely on balancing a number of principles:
- Know your prospect – It doesn’t matter how great your offer is, if it doesn’t speak directly to the immediate needs of the person you’re writing to it’s going to find itself on a one way trip to the trash can. If you’re hoping to get an opt-in for future communications, be sure you customize your emails and landing pages based on the audience segment you’re writing to.
- Subject lines – If the subject line doesn’t grab your prospect, you probably shouldn’t have written the rest of the email. Subject lines should be concise and direct. Don’t make the mistake of trying to be cute and definitely don’t try any “tricks” to fool someone into opening your email. As wacky and counterintuitive as it may seem, people actually appreciate someone respecting their time and intelligence. Considering the state of most of the commercial email we run across, respect in and of itself can be a major differentiator.
- KISASS – Keep it short and simple, stupid. From the subject line to the body copy, recognize that your email is adding another item to your recipient’s to-do list. You’re asking for a small share of their dwindling supply of attention and time. Don’t squander either one. Be brief, to the point, and respectful of their time. Lead with how what you’re offering is going to benefit them and quickly let them know what they need to do to receive that benefit.
Want the rest of Pete’s tips in idfive’s January whitepaper? Then check it out at idfive’s Top 10 Email Marketing Tips. If you enjoyed this snippet of informed tips, then subscribe to our monthly whitepaper.