I’ve acquired a list of prospect emails. Now what do I do?
Congratulations! You’ve achieved the first step of direct marketing, you’ve obtained emails (and thus permission) from your prospective customers. But now what? Consumers receive hundreds of emails a day, so how can you make yours stand out and achieve the results you desire?
Most email campaigns are measured by open rates. But what if your prospect opens your email and finds the information irrelevant or uninteresting? That open means nothing if they immediately close the email.
There are many facets of an effective email marketing campaign that will ensure not only opens, but interactions. Here are three key elements to ensure success.
Solve a problem
For many marketers, our first inclination is to begin telling our story: how we are the best and the many reasons the reader should choose our brand, product or service. This thinking will likely result in immediately closing the email. Or worse, opting out.
Instead, put yourself in your prospect’s shoes. What can you tell them that will help them solve a problem or meet an unfulfilled need? Putting their concerns first will help develop trust in your brand, keep them reading your email and get them closer to taking the actions you desire.
Know your audience
The more you know about your target audience, the better you can tailor your message and content to keep their interests. Think about who you are talking to and where will they be reading your email.
Who: What is the age of your audience? How familiar are they with your brand, service or industry? Knowing these details will help you develop appropriate content and tone.
For instance, if you are a university sharing information about your undergraduate programs, you would speak to a prospective high school student differently than you would speak to the parents of that student. Additionally, it’s important to know the degree to which your audience is familiar with your product or industry. If you use technical or industry terms, be sure you’re not talking above or below their knowledge level.
Where: What devices will your audience likely be using to view your email—phone, tablet, PC?
Thinking about where they may read your message will affect the length, format and amount of links or multimedia that you may include in your message.
Make taking action easy
One of the biggest misses of email marketing is not having an easy, clear call-to-action—or too many calls-to-action—where the reader isn’t sure of what they should do.
Don’t be afraid to be blatant! Want them to click for more information? Want them to buy? Make the call-to-action stand out with a button or bold links. And don’t always wait for the end of the email to offer the option to act. Knowing from the start what you want them to do can entice them to read more.
Finally, make the action simple. Don’t bog things down with too many logins or required information that can discourage your readers.
In summary, direct email marketing can be a cost-effective and successful marketing strategy—if done correctly. By stepping back at the start of your campaign and ensuring that you use these three key elements, you’ll be on your way to high open rates, click-throughs… and success!