Originally published on www.elearningindustry.com
Email marketing is worth your time, for sure. But how do you do it in a positive way, so you don’t annoy buyers and diminish your brand?
9 Tips for Using Email Marketing the Right Way
Email marketing is not as effective as it used to be. It’s so easy to do and so cheap that inboxes are overflowing. Over time, buyers have developed an intuitive SPAM-radar so they know which emails to delete with very little thought. However, email marketing should still hold an important place in your marketing arsenal.
Millions of words have been written about how to get good at email marketing. To save you the time and effort of wading through a whole lot of advice, here are the top nine best things I’ve learned about email marketing:
1. Always Add Value
Self-centered emails rarely work and tend to alienate buyers. Faster than you can say SPAM, you’ll burn out your expensive prospect list. The key to success is long-term nurturing of your database, not one-off promotions. To do this, you need to be always adding value. Don’t rely on sales gimmicks and marketing clichés. Instead, do some market/audience research to find out what information they need and get it to them.
2. Establish a Personal Connection
Your email needs to sound like a real person wrote it and not someone from marketing. This is surprisingly hard to do for most people in marketing. Ask some colleagues to read every marketing email before you click that send button. Does it sound organic or robotic? This also gives you a little time away from the email so you’ll have fresh eyes to catch any errors you overlooked.
3. Focus on the Subject Line
For some reason, the subject line is almost always the last thing you write before you send an email. However, it’s the most important part, because if buyers don’t open the email, then nothing else matters.
Think of the subject line as the way to get past a gatekeeper. You don’t have to sell the gatekeeper; you just need to get past it. So, sometimes a “mysterious” subject line is enough to get the email opened. Make it clear, concise, and don’t try to make it catchy. Again, buyers detect marketing hype from far, far away and they’ll delete your email without a second thought.
4. Text-Only Emails Work Best
Text-only emails are also easier to design than graphic-intense emails. This is counterintuitive to most marketers because we like to think that “flashy” or “attractive” is what gets people’s attention. However, in an email, you’re not trying to get people’s attention. You’re trying to keep them from deleting it. Flashy emails are usually the first to go.
That means no buttons, no large logos, and no headers. The general rule of thumb is, if you were writing an email that you’re sending to one person, would you include any of these things? The one exception is the signature line. Some of them are highly produced, so that’s fair game.
5. Do Three Types of Emails
Different buyers prefer different types of email. So, your marketing calendar should mix up text-only emails, highly produced emails (for things like newsletters and webinar invitations), and low-volume, personalized prospecting emails. Keep in mind that prospecting emails need to be highly personalized and almost always sent individually.
6. Send Forwarded Emails
People open a forwarded email at a much higher rate than the “original” email. This is because they don’t look as spammy and appear to be important. However, don’t overdo it and send a seconded forwarded email in every email campaign you do. It has to be really relevant information your sending hat the buyer will truly appreciate.
7. Don’t Bombard Inboxes
Nobody wants to open their inbox to find a flood of marketing messages, even if they are interested in your learning technology. Don’t bombard your mailing list with numerous messages a day or repetitive promos. The goal is to stay fresh in their minds, but for the right reasons. You don’t want to be the tech vendor who bothers prospects to the point that they block you, unsubscribe, or worse yet, tell all their friends and colleagues about the annoying influx of marketing emails they got from you.
8. Always Include a Call to Action
The tricky thing about email marketing is finding an ideal balance between adding value and selling. You want to provide your subscribers with valuable info, but you still need to get the marketing message across. A call to action at the end of the email is always expected. They can reply or click on the link to go to a landing page. It’s all in how you word the call to action. Don’t be too pushy or over-promise. Simply tell them how to proceed and the benefits involved, such as what they stand to gain by signing up for a free trial or meeting with you.
9. Follow-Up for Maximum Impact
I’ve already mentioned that you shouldn’t overload their inboxes, but that doesn’t mean you should be standoffish either. It’s always wise to follow-up so that they know you mean business (literally). This may be an important part to everything from webinars campaign or any other content marketing. You can also encourage them to like your social media pages.
For long-term success, every email you send should add some sort of value and leave the world a better place. Forget about the sales gimmicks and give your subscribers tips, tricks, and advice they can use in real life. Last, but not least, don’t overdo it. Stay consistent so that they know you want their business, but never flood their inboxes with marketing messages that will do nothing more than diminish your brand and get you blocked.
If you want to get more tips and tricks for LMS marketing, download the free eBook 10 Marketing Strategies That No Learning Tech Vendor Can Live Without.
About the Author
Gordon Johnson has been a marketing leader in the corporate L&D industry for over twenty years. His specialty is developing transformative marketing strategies that generate qualified sales opportunities, employing the latest digital marketing channels, coupled with traditional techniques to achieve industry-leading brand awareness, widespread web presence and high-impact value propositions. Other marketing concentrations include content marketing, messaging, social marketing, positioning strategy, analyst relations, events, account-based marketing (ABM), email marketing, customer success and lead-generation. Contact Gordon.