Email marketing can be a very effective tool in your marketing arsenal. It is cost effective and will often produce a greater ROI than your traditional marketing channels. This is because with email marketing, you are in total control. You decide what gets said, when it gets said, and to whom it gets said. Then, you can track everything down to the smallest detail. By having total control, with lots of information at your fingertips, you can constantly refine your tactics to become an even better email marketer.
For those who are just starting out and don’t yet have past email marketing campaigns to rely on for information and guidance, there is a tried, tested and true formula you can follow.
This three-part formula works really well for retailers/e-tailers, but can be applied to any industry.
Part 1: Who Are You? What’s Happening? Start The Conversation…
The first part of your email should be about you. Obviously, your recipients will already know who you are, since they gave you permission to contact them, so this may sound a bit redundant. But, think of this as the “Hi, how are you?” part of the email. In this first section of your email campaign, you are really starting the conversation. You don’t want to just slap someone in the face with your offer. You’ve got to work your way into that. So, instead, you can start off by telling them something exciting that has happened at your organization, something new you are releasing, an award you received, some recent media coverage, or anything else you can think of.
You definitely don’t want this section to be too long and you do want to try to make it captivating. If you’re opening line is “we recently painted the walls a new shade of blue and watched it dry for the past 3 days” then you probably need to give it some more thought. Try to imagine that a friend came up to you and asked “What’s new at work?” The first two things that pop into your head are probably good candidates for this first section of your email marketing campaign.
Part 2: What Are You Offering? What Are You Promoting?
Now it’s time for what you, as the business owner or marketing manager, probably deem the most important part of the message. In this second section you should present your readers with the specific ‘offer’ or ‘promotion’ you are featuring in this campaign.
It is best to only pick one or two things to promote or offer in each email. All too often people get excited about creating their marketing campaigns and cram a ton of offers into each email. The end result of this is that it dilutes the amount of focus each specific offer gets. You are much better off exercising some self-restraint, picking just one or two things to focus on, and only including those. Remember, you can always save the other offers for future campaigns.
Once you’ve picked what you are going to offer or promote , be sure to write some compelling ad copy. Remember to think of your audience as you write this text. Think about how they will use the product or service you are promoting. It is often best to be ‘solution focused’ as opposed to ‘feature focused’. This means your text should answer the question of how this product/service will benefit your reader, as opposed to the core features of the product/service. It is fine to include some features, but focusing on how it will benefit your reader will make it a lot more captivating and lead to a greater ROI.
Part 3: What Do You Want Them To Do Next?
This is an important part of your campaign, although often times it goes overlooked. You may think this is implied or totally obvious, but explicitly telling your recipient what you want them to do next will lead to much higher conversions.
Do you want your reader to click a link to buy something on your website?
Do you want your reader to reply back to you and request more information?
Do you want your reader to phone you to discuss the offer?
It is important to know exactly what your end-goal is otherwise you can’t measure the success properly.
Once you know what it is you want to achieve, then you can make sure you place it explicitly in your email. For example, if you want people to go to your website, put a big button or link that brings them to your site. (Tip: Don’t just link people to the homepage of your website, link them to a page related to your offer, ideally where they can make a purchase online.) If you want to get people calling you, put your phone number in big bold letters and tell people right in the email to call you. This is known as a ‘call to action’ and while you may think it is the logical next step for your reader, by doing a little hand-holding you will get a better response.
By including these 3 parts in your email, your email marketing efforts will get off to a great start. Of course, as you gain more experience you will be able to modify your emails to better suit your specific audience. But, even as you move forward with your email marketing, if you keep these three parts in mind, you will put yourself in the best position to achieve great success.
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