Nothing else in email marketing is more important than having a strong relationship with your email list subscribers. Do things right and you’ll have a super responsive list of recipients, which is gold in the email marketing game.
Most likely your list is in QuickBooks or a spreadsheet. The most common is a stack of business cards collected over months, maybe even years.
Be Polite: Get an Invite First. You’re taking a huge risk if you email that list of people. Think of an inbox as someone’s home or inner office. Now imagine you’re knocking on their door after only meeting them once at a networking event months or years ago. Most likely they’ll tell you to leave. Where I grew up and some unknown person came to the door, we just wouldn’t answer the door. The key is to know the people you are emailing and to have them eagerly awaiting your emails.
Confirm Your List. Actually, you can email your entire list of contacts. It’s called a confirmation email and it’s risky. Most email marketing firms only let you send this email once. Whoever doesn’t click on the link is lost and will not receive any of your future emails. Since you only have one shot, make it good. Write an eye-catching headline and be as friendly and engaging as possible; showcase your personality and the character of your business.
What to Say and When to Say It. Once you have a lean and well-developed contact list you have to determine how long you’ll “come over to visit” their inbox. Weekly is actually best. But monthly works too. Anything more and you’re risking being marked as spam because people will forget you. Quarterly is not a strategy!
Here’s what to say when you do come over:
- “This recently happened in our industry and here’s how you can avoid the consequences.”
- “Check out this case study of a business/person who is facing the same challenge you are but came out with a great success story.”
- “Want to overcome this challenge? Here’s your 5-step plan to make it happen.”
When you have content like this, it doesn’t matter which day of the week you send, or even what time of day. It’s about the relevance of the content that truly matters. Your key tidbits of advice are like gold to them – if it solves a nagging problem for them.
Make It Brief, Make it Sweet. You’ve heard the term, “Less is more.” If your emails are too long you’ll begin to be an unwanted guest and the recipients will lose interest. Make sure you remain relevant and on top of the latest trends in your industry. One way to do that is to give your audience just one quick and effective tip to solve a problem they’re facing.
Don’t be considered SPAM. When you contact people without their permission, you could be considered spam. If someone marks your communication as spam it is the equivalent of calling 911. It brings more trouble than it’s worth. It could get your email privileges rescinded.
Key Action Steps For Successful Email Marketing
Create a simple design for your newsletter: One column is the best format. Two and three column emails divide the attention of the recipient. And they don’t know what you want them to do.
- Go easy on the graphics: Keep a ratio of 60% text and 40% graphics.
- Call to action: Make the majority of the content of your email educational. Give them secrets, tips and key insights that get results for them. Then include a promotional paragraph about your business with a call to action for an offer for your products or services.
- Show your personality: When you’re writing show your personality to keep your client interested.
Stick to these rules and you’ll start right out of the gate with high response rates, a bevy of solid leads for business and a stellar reputation for being a good “guest” in the email inbox.
About the author: Lisa D. Sparks is the CEO of Verity Content, a content marketing strategy firm. Lisa has more than 10 years of experience in small business marketing. Here’s where to find out more: http://www.veritycontent.com
Image “Hand Pushing Mail Sign” courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net”