Today’s marketers indeed put emphasis on webinars, video campaigns, shoppable posts, and other opportunities to engage their customers. But modern marketing tactics should not distract you from one of the most effective messaging channels around — email.
Sure, it has been around a long time. But is it worthwhile? Totally. Email generates $42 for every $1 spent, making an effective option available. Every company needs to invest in it regardless of what they are doing with other types of marketing.
Done correctly, email can forge strong business prospects who will reach out to you, rather than you having to bombard them with messages across social media or any other platform.
Of course, there is an art to getting email recipients to write back, and it requires practice and strategy. Here is a handy guide to start you off:
1. Invest in creating your email list
All too often, so many emails go unread because they are not relevant to the receiver (or prospect).
Therefore, it is essential to take the time to draft a list of target prospects, who are the people at companies likely to be interested in your product or service. An excellent way to do this is by filtering people out on LinkedIn by job title/designation and function.
Then, examine their profiles and LinkedIn activity and figure out how what you offer can best serve their individual needs — which you can incorporate into your email text.
More so, email subscribers can still go stale over time. Some people could have changed their email addresses or may simply not be interested in your offering anymore.
In this case, you can send a last-ditch-effort email to all your contacts asking if they still want to stay subscribed. Some people may respond, but all others will get purged. Here is a template you can customize from HubSpot.
2. Use a custom email address
Far too many emails come from addresses ending with yahoo.com or gmail.com for the receiver to care much about yours.
Plus, those usually indicate personal accounts, which means that your attempts to tell the receiver about your product could look like some sort of scam and get you blocked. Imagine receiving an email from the particular address shown below regarding your finances.
Your email service provider will flag such emails and send them to the spam folder. Instead, use an email address that includes your company name so that people know at once where you are from and know that you are authentic — giving you a higher chance of a response.
3. Make sure to add your professional signature
Email signatures offer a great opportunity to you to clarify who you are, make it easy for people to approach you, and give your recipients a chance to click on the links in your address to find out more about you and your business.
Therefore, do not forget to include your complete name with designation, company name, website URL and logo, and email address and phone number.
You must also add social media icons with links to respective profiles and a legal disclaimer, CTA, or a booking link as needed by your company.
If you cannot decide the design, choose one from 100s of Gmail, Mac Mail, and Outlook email signature templates on WiseStamp and personalize it.
4. Time your emails well
Timing is everything, as you may have heard, and it applies to emails as well. There is no golden hour for sending emails out, but specific times will work much better than others, depending on what you are selling.
For instance, if you are talking about weekend getaways in your email, sending it out on a Thursday or Friday afternoon can be appropriate for people who are likely winding up their work and thinking about fun things to do.
However, if you send the same email on a Monday morning, it might be an annoyance amidst the work emails that require a prompt response. Use an email scheduling tool like CampaignMonitor or Aweber to send your emails out at a go.
Make use of their analytics dashboard that shows data on open rates and time, and use that information to optimize your campaigns. According to MailChimp, the best time of the week to send emails is weekdays, more specifically, Thursdays.
So it is best to A/B test your emails; test different time periods and days until you have found a sweet spot to fetch the most responses.
5. Have a captivating subject line
If your subject line does not immediately spark your reader’s interest, off to the Recycle Bin you go. Craft subject lines so that they get immediately to the heart of the matter, i.e., why your reader should care about opening that email.
Keep it as short as you can, address the recipient by name, give them a hint as to what is inside the email, eliminate filler words, and use relevant keywords. If that seems like a lot to take in, keep practicing and testing, and you will soon ace your subject line game.
If you have trouble coming up with an interesting copy, use an email subject line generator. ActiveCampaign’s tool allows you to choose a keyword category (e.g., topic, benefit, or pain-point) and generate subject lines based on that.
6. Tailor each email to each recipient
Speaking of addressing your recipient by name, that is not where personalization ends. Your recipient will likely be smart enough to detect if you are using a copy-paste approach with the email content — and thus be more likely to ignore you!
Invest in crafting emails that specify how each recipient matters to you and how your product can help with their specific needs. This demonstrates that you have taken the time to read about them and what you are looking for.
That indicates genuine investment on your part. This will help you stand out from generic emails and boost your chances of a response.
Therefore, make your purpose evident. You are writing your emails with a clear goal in mind. Make sure that the purpose shines through in your email content, whether getting people to sign up for a webinar or taking a free trial of your product. If your recipient knows exactly what you expect them to do, they are more likely to get back to you.
7. Be mobile-friendly
With most people checking their inboxes on the go, there simply is not a scope for emails that take forever to load on a mobile device. Some studies indicate that over 50% of emails are accessed on mobile.
Therefore, structure your emails to load quickly and look uniformly attractive across multiple mail systems and devices. This means a clean layout, fast-loading graphics, and CTA buttons that take people where they need to go with one tap.
8. Keep it short
Even if your email does not involve heavy graphics, too much text can overwhelm the reader and make them switch off. The last thing you want is to have them keep scrolling the email to get to the bottom.
Craft your emails to get quickly to the point so that even someone with a busy schedule (as people at the office will likely have!) can quickly read it and understand what you are saying. Then, they can either respond right away or during their next break.
9. Have a compelling call-to-action
Your call-to-action (CTA) indicates where you want your readers to go after reading your email. It gives them a clear sense of direction, thus increasing their likelihood of taking action. You can include a CTA button that they can tap or a link to whichever page or product you are promoting.
Be sure to have impactful text in your CTA, such as ‘download now’ or ‘get your copy here.' You can even include a line that increases the urgency to push your response rates upward, such as ‘offer valid only for the first 100 downloads’.
10. Follow up smartly
It is a common misconception that following up on an email comes off as pushy. If you do it correctly, it is an excellent way to indicate genuine interest on your part.
It also serves to grab the attention of the people who may have missed your email the first time or who intended to respond and then forgot.
Make sure your follow-up email text is not too demanding, and schedule follow-ups at a reasonable frequency to avoid spamming. Once a week is okay in most business contexts.
Over to you
Email is one of the best ways to create a personal connection with your recipient from the get-go, and these best practices will help you achieve just that.
If you have not invested in an email campaign before, do not worry — with time and patience, and a good eye for grammar, you will learn how to craft emails that get the response rates you aim for. Keep going!