20 Sep 5 Quick Tips for Successful Customer Emailing
How do you maintain a great relationship with your customers? Stop sending them crappy emails and start sending them something they actually want to read. Email marketing matters. While people can easily delete their social network profiles, they very rarely change their email addresses.
Here are 5 Little Tips That Don’t Require Too Much Time and Effort:
1. Subject Lines
We all get a huge number of emails daily. So, I guess it comes as no surprise that I don’t open ALL of them, neither do you. How do I choose which ones to open? Probably the same way as you – I look at the sender name and the subject line. It takes me a split second to decide whether it’s worth my time to click on it. In fact, 69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line.
Use the Headline Analyzer
Luckily, there is a great tool I’ve recently come across called the headline-analyzer created by CoSchedule.
It helps you
- finding the right balance of common, uncommon, power and emotional words in your headline
- defining your headline’s ideal length
- to get an insight into the way the headline is perceived by readers
Why should you use it? While there is still no guarantee that you will get more clicks on your headline when using this tool, you can eliminate those that get less than a 70% score according to the analyzer. I’ve tried it and it’s amazing what a change there is!
Questions and Numbers
“How to” and “7 quick tips …” are proven to be successful methods to get your readers to open your emails. Why? Questions open the window for finding a solution. Our brain “forces” us to keep reading after the question has been posed. We want to know the answer, find the missing piece to solve the problem and discover the benefits for us.
Ask a question that cannot be answered with “yes” or “no” immediately. Get people intrigued. Use “this” and “these” in your questions to increase the opening rate of your emails.
Now, let’s look at the numbers. This is another great way to grab peoples‘ attention even before they actually read the content of your email. Today, we get overwhelmed by information which is the reason why most people skim the text looking for buzz words. We all know this feeling of frustration from poorly structured articles and emails. We want specifics. That’s exactly why numbers work so beautifully in the subject line.
They subconsciously promise us:
Clarity and simplicity
Organization of the content in our heads as we scan the email
Interestingly, odd numbers work better than even ones and digits work better than numbers spelled out as words. The more personal the questions and statements, including numbers, in your subject line, the higher the chance for customers to actually open and read your emails. Give them something they can empathize with.
Personalized promotional mailings have 29 percent higher unique open rates and 41 percent higher unique click rates than nonpersonalized mailings
Another basic for better emailing is avoiding generic sender names. Even the company’s name can have the same kind of effect. Unfortunately, there are still a lot of companies sending out emails that go straight into the spam/trash folder. Why? The sender name doesn’t make me feel special. Impersonal. Yet another company trying to knock out as many emails as possible.
You can set yourself apart, by
- making sure you personalize the sender’s name
- making sure that the sender’s name is reflected in his/her email address
Don’t: Sender name: Sales team company X
Sender email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do: Sender name: Julia Brownless
Sender email: email@example.com
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication
Leonardo da Vinci
Simple shouldn’t be confused with shallow, plain and boring. In fact, simple but great content requires hard work. So, what does simplicity actually mean in email marketing? Simply put, it means presenting your customers with information that they understand after their first reading. Let’s split your content into segments.
Got some news to share? Whatever it is you want to say, your messages should be short, concise and tailored to your audience.
Depending on the products/services you sell, you need to write your content with words that reach them. While the bank notifies their customers about some changes to services in a very professional, corporate way (which is expected), online shops tend to inform us about sales in a more personal way. Learn about your ideal customers and then choose the language.
Always write as if you’re writing your email to a single person (even if your messages are automated) and use the word “you”. Include the reader’s name in the greeting line. Why? It’s the sweetest word to the person’s ears. It’s telling us “You are special”. Similarly, close your emails with something more personal. You are not a robot and neither are you writing to one.
Don’t: Dear customer
Do: Hello Patrick or Hi there
Don’t be boring! Avoid those moments when you’re pressing out the words. Write fast until you get to the end of your email. It keeps your creative juices flowing and sounds exactly the way you want it to – enthusiastic and authentic. Once the first draft is ready, adjust and correct, then cut your text down.
Yes, shorten it as much as you can without losing the red line and the wit. We don’t have time for long emails; remember, we get a whole bunch of them! Are you using overly complicated words and phrases? Nobody needs those. Seriously, nobody (unless you’re selling dictionaries).
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I’d like to emphasize that while a picture adds value and visuals support your emails, too many pictures can actually spoil the soup or – in this case – your email.
Don’t try competing with big brands in terms of design. A young company is always low on resources and time, so it’s nearly impossible to create emails with great content and great design in a short period of time. Instead, make sure to include pictures that jump out at your readers as soon as they open them. Visuals can be also used as links.
I get annoyed at times when I open an email and see a long list of articles and a bunch of links suggesting to click on them. It destroys my whole experience as a reader because it feels like I’m forced to go on the pages and read further. Granted, that’s the point of marketing. Still, how can you avoid too many links in your email?
By adding links to images in your email, you can spare the blue line somewhere in your text (plus, people are used to clicking on pictures).
If your email is short and sweet then you don’t need more than 1-2 links. The best way of arranging them is putting one somewhere at the beginning (that way people can decide to click on it right as they begin reading) and one at the end, in the final lines.
Additionally, you will definitely include a…
4. CTA – Call to action
What do you expect people to do next? The message to your readers should be crystal clear, especially since you are not there and they can’t hear your voice or see your face. Certainly, you know what you want people to do next. You want them to click on that button and download your whitepaper or go on your website and order another piece of clothing.
Here is the truth: unless you clearly state to your customer what you expect them to do next, how they should do it and why it’ll benefit them if they do, they will most likely close your email and you lose the audience. I rarely go back and re-read emails like newsletters or promotional content. Why should I? Tomorrow there will be new content coming to my inbox.
Note that a CTA button creates a deadline and therefore urgency. You want to pursue people to make a decision now. If you don’t include a CTA you’re running the risk of never getting any benefit out of email you send except for maybe higher opening rates.
5. Frequency – Don’t Blow Up Their Phones
This is a tough one, I mean, how often is too often? If you’ve ever been subscribed to companies and services that have a lot to say then you know how annoying getting dozens of emails a day can be. Most people unsubscribe because they were emailed too often.
44.7% of email opens occur on a mobile device — more than desktop or tablet opens (Source: Informz)
If you are a retailer or running online shop then it’s probably a good idea to update your customers on some sort of regular basis, be it weekly or bi-weekly. Our advice is to test the time and day before setting a schedule for emailing your customers.
However, if you don’t have anything wise to say and no special offer to share then you may decide to reduce the number of emails you’re sending out to 2x per month. The bitter news is that people become numb to you if you flood their inbox every day. Sometimes less is really more. By deciding to send emails bi-monthly you can create better content and allow people to wait with anticipation for the next message.
- Create bombastic subject lines that get opened
- Make it personal so people can relate to the way you’re describing the content
- Keep your messages as short and simple as you can. Remember to optimize the language, design and links you include
- Tell your readers what you want them to do after they read your email, include precise CTA
- Have a strategy for email frequency