Inspired by the excellent Social Media Scientist and webinar extraordinaire, Dan Zarrella.
Most of you partake in some sort of email marketing and you have been for many years, whether you realize it or not. I’ve been a part of it since I started purchasing products online, and I didn’t even know it. Just like many consumers today, I simply felt lucky to receive regular, exclusive, and targeted offers and coupons!
When Groupons began faithfully showing up in my inbox every morning, I knew I was hooked as a happy participant. About 50 Groupon/LivingSocial/LocalTwist/DailyDeals coupons later, I suddenly realized how well EMAIL MARKETING WORKS.
People do not subscribe to email lists to hear a sales pitch.
Hopefully, you knew that already. It is important to provide value to all members of your subscriber list. Sure, you’re allowed to have a shameless plug, and it’s definitely important to have multiple calls to action, but make this secondary to the user’s experience.
We look to our inbox for answers.
For those of us that spend the majority of our time online, we get inundated with tons of information each day. I’m subscribed to at least 20 different newsletters, but I’m often too busy to read them. These days we delete emails that are irrelevant, and archive and label emails that we want to read later. Make sure your subject line includes an easy-to-search keyword such as, “Weekly Best Practices for Pay-Per-Click
.” You want subscribers to look to you for tips and advice. Being viewed as an expert in the industry is never a bad thing.
Email is homework.
An interesting part of Zarrella’s study highlights email as homework. Most of our email is from clients, coworkers, and vendors; this can take several hours to sift through. Rather than adding to the drone of daily tasks, you can a) try sending email at unique time (such as the weekend) and b) stand apart from the crowd by making your email as useful and interesting as possible.
Mobile Doesn’t Like HTML.
This is one that we all suffer from. It is incredibly difficult to read an HTML email on your mobile phone. Many people, Peter Shankman included, read 95% of their email on the go. If you want to communicate with these individuals, it is important to know that they will probably delete or ignore your HTML emails indefinitely.
Timing Is Everything.
True for blog posts, press releases, company announcements, and email marketing. Test out different times throughout the day and even over the weekend to see when your subscribers want to read your emails. Most of our emails are B2B, so we tend to send them during the week. Test what works best for your industry! (This graph is a sub-par screen shot from the webinar. The peak is 6am! Visit HubSpot
to learn more.)
More Links = More Clicks.
Increase subscribers’ opportunities to click through to your website and you increase the chances that they will. Be sure to experiment with link location, buttons vs. text, etc.
…three things that I took away from Dan Zarrella’s excellent webinar are certainly true for how I got hooked by Email Marketing in the first place.
- Create Expectations: Using terms like “weekly” and “monthly” let your recipients know when and how often your emails are being sent. They will start to expect your emails, and even look forward to them.
- Flaunt Exclusivity: Everyone wants to be in the know, and if you have exclusive offers that are ONLY available to your email subscribers (and you remind them of this), they are much less likely to unsubscribe. We all want to feel like we’re getting something exclusive, whether it is a white paper, a coupon, or some insider news and advice. Let your subscribers know they’re special.
- Send Targeted Content: Don’t send irrelevant deals. Not only can you lose potential customers, but you can tarnish your brand. You can often avoid this issue by using the double opt-in feature, which makes doubly certain that your subscribers want to be on the list.
For those of you just getting started, here are Popular Email Marketing Solutions:
Companies that listen to their audience, and combine information and sales-speak tend to have the highest success rates. (It doesn’t hurt to have a great product or service either.) My arrival to San Diego was perfectly timed with discovering Groupon. Suddenly I was able to try tons of new restaurants and new businesses in my new town, all for a discount! While daily deals might not be your email marketing focus, you can see that email marketing is a great way to target those desirable tech-savvy twenty-somethings, thirty-somethings, and forty-somethings.