Before social media and contextual advertisement were introduced, email was the primary online means for staying in touch, as well as accessing new information. We have come a long way since then.
The Internet has expanded and, to a large extent, changed in nature. Now the web is so much more diverse and overwhelmed with information, that our mailboxes seem something like a safe retreat – when well tuned, we only have the important information in there. They are easy to navigate, and we can rest assured that every bit of information that did not end up in a spam/junk folder is valuable and meaningful.
Putting it simply, email does not waste our time or our attention, at least not so much as social media or conventional browsing do.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Social media engineering (SME) are big things today. Still, it is this unique email marketing environment that is a dream of any marketer. There is little we want more than to get into the comfort zones of our target audiences and persuade them to let us stay there for good. The main challenge is that it has become so much harder to convince our esteemed potential clients to share their email address and hit that subscribe button.
Still, as we have mentioned, a good marketer is the one who plays fair. This is the golden rule. It can be broken down into several guidelines:
Fair Invitation and Representation
No user will ever simply “sign up for updates” anymore. There are two main reasons for that:
- We like to be special. Even if we don’t admit it, we still like to feel as if every particular offer (even so much as to sign up for updates) has been designed especially for us.
- We need to know what we will get. The text of the invitation to join the mailing list needs to include the following information:
- W hat will the emails be about (be as specific as possible)
- How often it will be send
- A motivation to join that mailing list (free stuff, beta testing, discounts, etc.)
- A guarantee that all the information in your emails will be relevant.
It is not hard at all to address all these things when putting together your invitation for your users to join your mailing list.
The Subject Line
You can spend hours or even days putting together a great email to send out to the people who had subscribed to you, but once you have finalized the body of the email, remember to pay special attention to the subject.
While people do tend to treat their inboxes with care, they are still often busy. It hardly matters what is in the body of an email that does not get read.
Being whitelisted by your user’s email provider is somewhat of a technical issue. Such things often lie outside the marketer’s field of competence but don’t let it scare you.
The point here is that the email providers today (especially those that charge their users for it) take great precautions to safeguard their users’ mailboxes from spammers and all sorts of other ill-intended people. The most popular way to do it is to block all emails from “suspicious” domains and IP addresses. For better or worse, “suspicious” here often means so much as unknown or unverified.
There are several ways (non-exclusive) that you can tackle this issue:
- The most obvious way to get whitelisted instantly is to ask your client to add you to their address book. You can do it either in the invitation to join their mailing list or in the first email you send to them.
- Some action can be taken on your side: you can look up the instruction from your online provider about how not to end up in your client’s spam folder.
Suppose your invitation did suggest that your client will get emails from you on a weekly basis. Mind that this means only those weekly emails that everybody from the mailing list gets. There are several kinds of additional emails that do not fall into this category:
- Initial thank-you letter. The one that you send to you client right after they share their email address with you, to notify them thereof.
- Follow-up letters. If your client finds anything unclear about the contents of your regular letter, then it is only logical for them to ask their questions in a response letter right away. It is equally logical for you to answer such questions in follow-up letters without delay.
Related Article: 5 Five Minute Tips: Write Effective Follow-Up Emails
One can never work too hard on making one’s writing as concise as possible. This is important on the Internet in general. The email ultimately consists of the following sections:
- A hook-up. This is where you talk about a possible problem that you call to be solved.
- Personalization. Don’t hesitate to look through your previous email history with this particular customer. If the issue was mentioned somewhere in the conversation, make sure you mention it again to let your client know how important s/he is to you. Such warmness buys everybody.
- A solution. Here you suggest a solution to the problem that you talked about earlier and repeat your call to action.
Ben Settle of Copyblogger often makes a point of “infotainment” your reader as opposed to giving out the information plainly and straightforward. As one may guess, “infotain” means inform and entertain. Remember that your email is not automated, it is meant to be written by a living human being as a part of a lively conversation with another person. Don’t be formal, keep it safely casual.
Aren’t we all tired to death of everyone everywhere trying to tell us something. Whenever we read an email that is too straightforward in such attempts, we get a bitter taste in our mouth. Getting a little bit casual and personal with your client does help to avoid this. Yet, there is one more thing you can do to convince your client that you are not just trying to sell stuff to them. That is by occasionally dropping one or two links to external resources on the topic. This way, you win additional trust and – ultimately – loyalty from your client.
Keeping an eye on it
Finally, you need to be constantly aware of how right you are doing it. This means regularly monitoring all the relevant analytics. Most email service providers will give you this data. It is all important, but the most important ones are the following:
- Open rate – how many people have opened your email.
- Click-through rate (CTR)- how many people clicked the links in the email.
- Unsubscribes – how many people have chosen not to receive your email any longer.
If the former two are high and the latter is low, then you are getting it right. If not – there are necessary changes to be made. Do not hesitate to find out more about email marketing in detail.
About the author:
Lori Wade is the content writer and a career specialist for college students. She is a content marketer, sharing experience on writing, education, and self-development in her publications, for example https://eliteessaywriters.com/blog/how-to-write-a-thesis-statement/. Connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.