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Use Email Marketing To Regularly Generate New Clients

Email marketing is one of the most reliable ways to generate new clients.

This last week I was also contacted by two people from my email list both of whom need help with their websites.

I communicate with my list every Wednesday, as I have been doing, without fail, for the last 5 years.

I don’t expect to be deluged with responses – in fact I couldn’t cope with it if I was.

What I aim for and what I get is a regular trickle of people who respond to my emails because they need help.

And there you have the point of email marketing.

I keep in people’s consciousness. I demonstrate my expertise but it is left to the recipient to contact me when the time is right for them.

Of course I don’t know when the right time is which is why it’s important to be consistent and persistent.

Right there you have one of the key points – a large part of marketing is just turning up regularly.

People get to know you, hopefully they get to like you and crucially they get to trust you enough to make contact.

 

So what are the secrets of successful email marketing?

There are three crucial stages in the email process.

  1. Getting the email opened

You can have the best content in the world, but if no one opens it, it’s wasted.

The subject line is vital in getting your email opened.

My strategy is to use intriguing subject lines.

Ones where the recipient isn’t sure what the email will open it to find out.

  1. Valuable Content

The second important issue in email marketing is to deliver valuable content.

If your subject line persuades people to open the email, the content has got to make it worth their while to actually read it.

If you add value to your list through the quality of your content, then you can email them as often as you like.

Conversely if you’re providing rubbish content, emailing once a year is too often.

  1. The call to action

Your whole objective is to make people take action so at some stage you must tell them what you want them to do.

It’s important to give them as many communication options as you can. Some people will not want to pick up the phone, while others will want to talk to you there and then.

So with that in mind, if you want some help with your email marketing, but you don’t have the time or confidence to do it yourself, get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk, call me on 01483 200387.

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Why is Email Marketing So Important?

There are many different marketing channels to communicate with your audience.

A key one is email marketing.

Email marketing offers many benefits for your business. It helps you to build relationships with your audience, provide valuable content and demonstrate your expertise.

There are many factors that make email marketing so important. Read more

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How To Write The Most Compelling Email Subject Lines

Email marketing is still one of the most effective marketing channels.

  • It’s highly targeted
  • It’s immediate
  • It’s very cheap
  • It enables you to build up relationships over time.

 

All small businesses should be doing it.

 

But ………. Open rates can be very low.

 

Emailing a warm list is likely to give you a 15 -30% open rate while a cold list may give you figures as low as 5%.

Email Marketing

Your email has got to stand out, to immediately shout “ You must open me”.

 

This, therefore, comes down to the subject line.

 

This is what recipients see in their inbox and determines whether the email will be opened or not.

 

So how do you write subject lines that will get your emails opened?

 

There are two different approaches to this.

 

  1. To describe precisely what the email is about so that people can decide whether it’s relevant to them.

 

My inbox is full of emails like this and I open very few of them.

 

  1. The second approach is to use more creative, more engaging lines in which the subject matter isn’t immediately obvious.

 

This is the approach I normally use – I’m trying to intrigue and interest people so they say “That sounds interesting – I’ll have a look”.

 

The bottom line is that your subject line has got to grab attention and stimulate a reaction.

Email Marketing

For me the all time worst subject line has to be “February Newsletter”. There is absolutely nothing in that that suggests I’m going to get value out of opening it.

 

The great thing is that modern email systems allow you to split test subject lines with the email being automatically sent to the more successful one.

 

Whichever approach you take, here are a few tips to help you write better subject lines.

 

Appeal to a human need – highlight a problem that your audience suffers from and then obviously supply the solution in the body copy.

 

Ask a question – questions immediately engage the reader and if it’s a question that’s relevant to the reader, they’re likely to open the email.

 

Make a special offer – although you have to be very careful with spam filters, special offers are always attractive to the right people.

 

Include the word “You” – by including the word “You”, you are immediately talking to and involving the reader.

Email Marketing

Make it extraordinary – whether extraordinary facts or extraordinary words, you’re aiming for stand out in the inbox.

 

Make it relevant – you must ensure that your subject line is supported by the content of the email. If the body copy of the email doesn’t relate to the subject line, your readers will feel cheated.

 

However good your subject line, you must remember that it is only the headline to the email. It’s the content of the email that has to do the selling.

 

If you need help with drafting impactful subject lines that get emails opened or emails that make sales (or even how to reduce your site’s bounce rates), get in touch on mikejennings@marketingsurrey.co.uk  or call 01483 200387.

 

 

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5 ways to sell more with your emails

Email marketing is one of the most powerful and effective ways to sell…  just about anything.

But it only works when you do it right.

So here are 5 ways to get more sales from your email marketing:

1.      Stop trying to sell so hard.

This is counterintuitive but probably the best lesson you’ll ever learn from anyone about email marketing.

Yes, you need to sell to make a living, and yes this is ultimately your reason for writing the emails. But people are being bombarded day in day out by countless emails all trying the same hard-sell. And in the main, they’re sick and tired of it. There isn’t a slick, sneaky or secret copywriting technique they haven’t seen — and yawned at — a dozen times already this week.

2.      Get your emails opened and read.

Obvious, but easily missed, this one. Your subject line plays the same role as a headline does in your print ads or sales letters: it tells the reader, “hey, you need to read this because it’s going to benefit you“.

So clever and witty subject lines are out, and short, direct, specific and benefit-orientated subject lines are in. If your email is about saving money on washing-up liquid, then your subject line should be “How to save money on your washing up liquid“, and not “Are you being taken to the cleaners?

3.      Email regularly and often.

I email my list every week and my unsubscribe rate is very low.

Why?

Because I deliver quality content about marketing issues which are relevant to all businesses. If the content of your emails is irrelevant to your audience, your open rate will be low, your unsubscribe rate will be high and your sales rate will be abysmal.

4.      Offer real value

If your emails don’t contain valuable content and are just thinly-disguised sales-pitches, no one is going to buy from you.

Why?

Because your emails are your ambassadors. If your emails are low quality they won’t create the rapport and trust needed for people to decide to buy from you.

If your emails are slipshod and  poorly executed  isn’t it likely that your products or services will be the same.

5.      Remember the call to action

Remember the golden rule… if you want them to do something… tell them exactly what they need to do in terms even a child would understand.

Be clear and unambiguous. Tell them what to do, why they need to do it and to do it NOW. Simple — yet so few business owners do it.

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How To Write Email Subject Lines That Get Opened

Your email subject line is really important. Those few little words can be the difference between getting your email opened or not. While the only really important measure of your email success is sales generated, open rates are still important because unless your email is opened you certainly aren’t going to make any sales.

So how do you write successful subject lines
To get your email opened, your email must appeal to the reader therefore having a real understanding of your audience will help. If you can segment your database by their interests, you can then send them emails with subject lines tailored to their interests. As an example if you were a sports shop, you would want to segment your list into the different sports your audience are interested in ie football, running, cricket etc. Your subject line would then make it obvious that the email is about their favourite sport.

Appeal to their curiosity
I find that intriguing subject lines work well. Try to create subject lines that pique the readers’ curiosity so they think “ I wonder what that’s all about”. The converse of that is the emails you receive where the subject line merely states “Boring Co’s newsletter”. I mean really – who is going to be motivated to open that?

Be careful with humour
We all like to be amused. Well I do so I assume other people do as well. If your subject line brings a smile to people’s lips then you have a great chance of them opening the email. I’ve advised you to be cautious with humour because what you find amusing others may not and there’s always someone looking to be upset and offended, which could easily lead to people unsubscribing. Now whether you worry about these delicate flowers unsubscribing is up to you, but you get my point.

Avoid too much hype
You must be careful not to try to oversell in your subject line.

  • Avoid using all capital letters. On line using all capitals is the equivalent of shouting and none of us like to be shouted at.
  • Don’t use too much punctuation!!!!!!!!!! Again this looks to hypey and your audience is likely to be turned off.
  • Don’t try to sell too hard – words like Free, Sale and Discount are likely to result in your email ending up in the junk box which is obviously death to the success of any email.

So there you are – a quick guide to some of the do’s and don’ts of writing successful subject lines.Good luck.

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Improve The Impact of Your Email Marketing

Let’s face it we’re all inundated with emails these days.

They come in various guises, from order confirmations, requests for feedback, promoting webinars or training courses or just straight forward selling emails..

So how do you make sure your emails get noticed?

If you’re not getting the results you’re hoping for from your email marketing, there are a whole range of things you should consider:

The Strategy

  • How have you determined whether your email was a success or failure and what have you benchmarked against?
  • Is email the right way to communicate with your audience?
  • Was your email part of an integrated campaign or was it a one off?
  • Did you make it clear what action you wanted your audience to take. If not how can you be surprised if they didn’t take it?

The Implementation

  • Where did you get your mailing list from? You’re always going to get better response rates from lists you’ve built yourself but I fully understand that this takes a considerable length of time and that sometimes you have no option but to buy a list.
    If that was the case then of course you’re going to get different results to mailing a list you’ve built yourself.
  • Did you segment the list and send content appropriate to the profile of each segment. The worst thing you can do is to send one generic email to a diverse recipient list as you’re likely to end up being relevant to no one.
  • Was the subject line relevant and interesting enough to entice them to open it? A boring subject line will result in a poor open rate. However open rates are not really the right measure of the effectiveness of an email. The only real measure is sales.
  • What about the layout? How attractive and easy to read was the email. Did you have large blocks of text or did you break the paragraphs up into easily consumable chunks?
  • Where in your email were your calls to action? At the top, in the middle, at the bottom or throughout the email? I mean you did have calls to action didn’t you?
  • When did you send it? Was it at a convenient time when the recipient is likely to be able to engage with your email?

Email marketing isn’t rocket science but nor is it just simply putting some text together, adding an image and pressing the send button!

When done correctly, email marketing is extremely effective and can generate some impressive ROI figures.

 

 

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When Should You Send Your Email Marketing

As with all marketing, timing is an important factor in the success of email marketing. We all know that the key to marketing is sending the right messages to the right people at the right time.

The time of day can make a big difference

While we can’t know each person’s individual circumstances, there are certain timings which are obvious whether for example that’s summer holidays in the first couple of months of the year or back to school during the summer.

Email is a great medium for building relationships whether that’s cementing relationships with existing customers or even building credibility over time with people you don’t know so well. It gives you the opportunity to remind people who have expressed an interest in your business that you’re there when they need you.

Email marketing specialists, Pure360, carried out a study of the best times to send emails and how open rates vary. The findings are based on analysis of 40,000 email campaigns sent by more than 140 companies between January and December 2012 and covering 24 business sectors.

One important point to make here is that open rates while important are not the be all and end all. Of course if 50% of your emails are opened then your chances of success are higher than if only 5% are opened but the only really important measures are sales and ROI.

What would you rather have – an email that was opened by 50% of recipients that generates nothing or one that was opened by 5% of recipients that generates £5000? Whether either of these scenarios is realistic is irrelevant but you get the point.

The best day of the week

As you would expect the day of the week that you send your emails impacts on open rates. If your business is concerned with leisure, travel or lifestyle products or services, the best days to send emails are Fridays or over the weekend when people are in relaxed, social and family mood and have time to think about personal things.

By the same token if you’re sending B2B emails, you should avoid Mondays or Fridays as lots of people aren’t in their offices on those days and those that are aren’t at their most receptive. Tuesdays to Thursdays are best. Personally I always send my emails on Wednesdays.

The best time of day

The secret here is to send your emails at a time of day when people are most likely to read and engage with them.

Historically I have sent mine first thing in the morning, working on the theory that the first thing that most people do every day is check their emails.

However there is now a school of thought that says that late afternoon is the best time of day. The thinking is that at this stage most meetings will have finished, people will be at their desks, clearing up and finishing off the last things they need to complete. Statistics show that 26% of emails sent at this time are opened which is 9% above the average.

The fact is that this is not a hard and fast science and the only way you’re going to know what’s the best time for you is by testing.

Keep your recipient database the same and trial sending emails at different times of the day and see what works best for you.

Good luck

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It’s All About Open Rates

Is email part of your marketing repertoire?

If it isn’t, it certainly should be.

With email you can communicate with 000’s of people as often as you like for no cost or virtually no cost.

The issue I hear you say is how effective is email?

Let’s face it, we all get bombarded by thousands of messages every day – whether that be ads on TV, radio or the press, social media, direct mail, things through the door and of course email. Most of us get loads of junk email every day.

So what do we do? We delete it without reading it.

And why do we do that?

Because it’s come from someone we don’t know or the subject line doesn’t interest us at all.

This brings us to two key points about email marketing.

Your list

To get decent open rates you need to be emailing to an opted in list. By that I mean a list of people you know or who have opted in and asked to receive emails from you. The most common source for that will be an opt in form on your website, where people give you their contact information in exchange for an ebook or something similar and the promise of regular contact from you.

Your subject line

The other variable which dictates open rates is your subject line. I am always amazed when I receive emails with a subject line of“X Company’s Newsletter”. Surely the person sending it can work out that I will only open an email if I’m going to find the subject matter interesting. With the best will in the world, a subject line about your newsletter is hardly going to fill me with enthusiasm and excitement.

Your subject line has got to sell the email. It must tell me that the information inside will be of great value to me or it has got to intrigue me.

I more commonly use the intriguing route as I find I get better open rates with this approach.

The last few I’ve used have included:

  • Is it all it’s cracked up to be?
  • Only if you’re bonkers
  • How was it for you?

When you see these subject lines, you don’t immediately know what the content is going to be but you may well be intrigued enough to open the email.

Split testing

If you’ve got a couple of subject lines and you’re not sure which to go with, email services like Mail Chimp will allow you to split test them.

The system will automatically send emails with the two different subject lines to a small number of recipients and monitor the open rates. It will then send out all the remaining emails using the subject line that had the better open rate.

How neat is that!

It’s worth giving your subject lines serious thought because they will determine the success or otherwise of your email marketing.

 

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When Are Your Prospects Ready To Buy?

Sales people are very fond of the line “A no doesn’t necessarily mean no – it  may mean not now”.

This is very true.

Be there when your customers are ready to buy

As a marketer you don’t know what stage in the buying process your prospect is at. If they don’t respond to your approach, it may mean they won’t be interested ever or it may mean that they’re not interested right now.

The point is everyone is at different places in the buying cycle.

Understanding that buyers are continually at different stages reinforces the need you have to build relationships with your list of prospects because the better the relationship you have with your database the more likely they are to do business with you when they are ready to buy.

Here are five things you can do to continually introduce people to your business, establish a relationship with them and be ready when they are ready to buy.

Always have something to invite people to

This can be a webinar, a tele-seminar, a live event etc. Pick a topic or idea that relates to your product or service and get started. This helps you connect with many potential clients all at one time.

Build a community

Communities are powerful because they give people a sense of belonging to something. From a business standpoint, communities build credibility by establishing that other people like you and trust you.  Holding an event , creating a forum or getting them to “like” your Facebook page allows people to connect and engage with you.

Keep your name in front of your prospects by providing valuable content.

Once a lead is in your system, your objective is to create content that will keep your products, services and brand in front of them.  The key here is to give away something that your prospects perceive as having value–something that will benefit them or solve their problems.

Have multiple points of entry

Create multiple ways to introduce people to your products and services. One point of entry might be through your website.  You can also use free reports, books, events, referral strategies, speaking engagements, articles written for publications in your niche or industry as points of entry.

Use a variety of media channels

Once you have figured out different points of entry, send content in a variety of formats so that you are sure to hit your customers’ communication preference.

Different people like to be communicated with in different ways. Make sure you communicate in ways that will appeal to as many people as possible.

Remember to get more clients and make more sales, you need to have a lead generation system in place that will continually supply you with potential buyers in different stages of the buying process. Create a system that starts the conversation and makes a connection, and when it’s time for them to buy, you will be the only logical choice.

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Email – A Key Element Of Your Small Business Marketing

If as a small business, you’re not using email, you’re ignoring one of the cheapest and most effective marketing channels.

One of the cheapest and most effective marketing channels

Here are three ways you can use email to increase your profits

1. Set up auto responder campaigns to improve response.

Email can dramatically improve your conversion rates.

Set up an auto responder campaign that automatically sends emails to welcome new subscribers, follows up on important events or campaigns or as part of a sequential campaign, that sends prospects a tailored email dependent on how they have already responded to your marketing activity.

For example, let’s say you send a postcard to your customers driving them to a landing page advertising an upcoming event. A portion of your customers won’t sign up on that first visit to your landing page. That means you need a way to drive them back to that landing page.

Setting up an auto responder campaign that has a sequence of messages that address different objections your prospect might have and then drives them back to your event landing page in the right frame of mind can significantly increase your response to that event.

In fact, using this type of follow-up email sequence has been shown to double, triple and even quadruple your initial response.

2. Use email to get valuable information.

These days everybody is crunching numbers to ensure they are being effective and efficient with their marketing spend.

Some of the most valuable statistics are the response numbers that roll in after an email campaign is sent out.

Reviewing your numbers will help you spot effective offers, stand out content or subscribers who’d respond well to follow up.

Use this information to see what messages are working and incorporate them into your other marketing.

3. Use email to build brand loyalty.

In today’s tough economy, it’s more important than ever to keep your customers happy and engaged.  Consistent emails with interesting and relevant content give you an easy, friendly way to remind your subscribers why they love you.

Plus you can use your email to highlight your company’s strengths, reward your most loyal customers, convert leads into customers and turn your one-time buyers into repeat customers.

But remember, every email you send has got to add value to your database. You must be giving them useful information or a special offer or a tip to help their business. If you start taking your list for granted and start sending them stuff that has no value to them or that isn’t consistent with your brand, you can start to damage your reputation and potentially lose your customers, even loyal ones, forever.