If you’re like me, you get a lot of e-mail. More than you could ever read. I was sitting at my desk choosing which e-mails to send to the “delete” folder and which to keep when it struck me: What’s the difference between the e-mails that I open and the ones that I delete? All e-mail marketers should consider this very question.
Here are some tips for developing an effective e-mail marketing program:
1. Target the e-mail message to your audience. Make sure your audience has an interest in your product or services. To ensure you are emailing an audience who is most appropriate for your marketing program, acquire a list from a reputable business directory. When searching for the best list, you might begin by identifying the key characteristics of your target audience; then create a profile of the audience based on these characteristics, listing the types of publications they are likely to subscribe to, organizations they likely are members of, licenses they likely have, and products and services they likely purchase.
2. Use e-mail newsletters. Newsletters are a great way to stay in touch with prospective customers. For best results, include helpful tips as well as product information.
3. Edit carefully. Nothing says “spam” to a prospective customer more than an e-mail filled with typos and grammatical errors.
4. Focus on how the product will help your client. Explain clearly how your prospective customer will be better off because of your product or service.
5. Everyone loves “free.” Giving away a sample or a trial period is a great way to get your readers to try your product or service.
6. Watch that subject line. Use a subject line that is both honest and interesting. The wrong subject line can get your e-mail sorted to the spam folder before your prospect ever sees it.
7. Use a good “hook.” The first few lines of an e-mail are the most important. Use the right words so that the rest of your e-mail is read.
8. Use opt-in and opt-out. Every e-mail should contain a way for your reader to opt-out of receiving further communications from you. Readers who opt-in to receiving your materials make better prospects.
9. Ask for the sale. A good e-mail should have a clear call to action. Your prospect should know what to do and be motivated to do it.
10. Always follow the law. Know the current law concerning e-mail communications and adhere to it.
With the right approach to e-mail marketing, your e-mail messages will generate sales instead of ending up in your prospect’s “delete” folder.