Email can be an effective way to generate inbound contacts if, and only if, your messages are not considered to be spam.
The question is, “How do I create emails that are not spam?
Here are some guidelines:
Invest in a Robust Email Platform
There are a number of good ones on the market. Here are some must-haves:
- A tagging system, which allows all records to be in one database, yet easily selectable for a particular mailing by various criteria
- A simple way to unsubscribe, so you keep your good ‘Email Karma’
- White Label capability, to link the From Address to the URL of your website, which indicates to your recipient’s email platforms that you are a legitimate sender
- Emailed open/bounce/unsubscribe statistics, so you can track what is and isn’t compelling to your contacts
- Nurturing campaigns, where you can automatically send related emails to recipients based upon how they interact with a particular email or webpage
- Built-in CRM or an easy interface to the one you use so it automatically creates a CRM record when someone joins your email list and keeps track of how each individual interacts with your emails. Bonuses: a scoring system so that you can target prospects farther down the sales funnel with appropriate content and a way to track the web behavior of those who have clicked on the links in your emails.
Figure Out What Your Audience Wants
Too often, organizations send the same thing to everyone on their email list. Invariably, their list shrinks because “one size fits all” doesn’t work. The solution is to send an email to everyone on your list and ask them to indicate, via clicking on a link, their area(s) of interest. If you have a decent email platform, you can use this information to trigger the sending of content that most interests each respondent.
Create Useful Content
An excellent example of this is an email that I received from an insurance company. The subject line read: “10 Ways to be a Good Neighbor at the Campground.” Although I don’t camp, I found the subject line intriguing. The email lived up to its promise, containing a list of logical points. The name and contact information of the RV insurance department of the company was at the bottom. No sales pitch, just useful content. I also thought, “I didn’t know that company offered RV insurance?” A job well done.
Create and Implement a Nurturing Campaign.
Most businesses have too many prospective customers in their sales funnel and not enough people to keep track of them. You have those whom you wish to make aware of your company, those who are considering a purchase, and those who have received proposals. A nurturing campaign can be set up to send appropriate content to people at the right time. For example, someone who has clicked on the “Beer Lover’s Club” link should receive the “Beer Lover’s Club” email. Someone with a score of XX (as calculated by the CRM scoring system) should receive an email from the sales rep in their territory. The sales rep should also receive a notice of the potential customer’s increased interest.
The only way to get better at emailing is to test, test, test. Split your list in half and send each emails with different subject lines. Review the results. Which one performed better? You can do the same with images and copy, but only have one difference between emails.
As you can tell, we know a thing or two about email marketing. If you would like to hear what we can do for you, Let’s Talk!