How to Maximize your Email MarketingReading time: 4 minutes

We’ve talked before about how your website has only ONE job — to capture leads that you can follow-up with and move along the path to becoming a client. There are several ways to follow-up, but the most effective for new leads is still email.

You might ask why, given that our inboxes are swollen with app notifications, work communications, newsletters, and more spam than a Monty Python convention in Hawaii.

Well, while there are other effective methods of follow-up, email provides the lowest bar to entry for your leads. Phone calls, text messages, and direct mail are great for generating conversation, but not everyone is as comfortable handing over their phone number or postal address. You have to provide a lot more value in your Lead Magnet to justify asking for more than an email address.

If you’ve setup your Lead Magnet correctly, people must provide a working email address in order to receive your information. That at least gets your foot in the door, even if they give you a disposable or secondary mailbox.

The key to successful email marketing is continuing to provide engaging content to your leads once you have that address.

Engagement is the key

All online marketing is moving toward Engagement as the key factor in controlling distribution. Email monitoring systems track opens and clicks for nearly every message that passes through their servers, and use those results to score the “hygiene” of the sending domain.

The result: If you send a lot of messages that people don’t read, click, reply to, or forward on, eventually you’re going to see more of your stuff going to the spam folder.

You MUST focus on the reader. Professionals commonly report on their achievements and news items from their industry. But this content is all about you, which isn’t of much interest to your audience. Instead, if you’ve had a successful result for a client, write up a case study that highlights the results that similar prospects could achieve. Interpret news for how it can benefit your readers. Finding ways to provide information that helps them is a sure way to continually produce engaging email messages.

You MUST focus on the reader to create engaging email content. Click To Tweet

Here are some more tips to create email that gets results!

PLAN your message first

Don’t just fire off an email without knowing exactly what kind of result you want to achieve. Are you making an offer, or are you sending goodwill information with no strings attached? (Hint: do more of the latter.) Do you want readers to simply open and read, or click a link, or reply, or share? What about length? Plan out the goal for your message and then draft it accordingly.

Write great subject lines

The subject line is the headline for your email. If it doesn’t generate interest, busy people will pass over it, or even delete it without reading.

Drafting the subject is the trickiest part of email marketing, and volumes have been written on how to do it well. Some of the most important tips are:

  • Use a maximum of 50-55 characters, which is generally the visibility limit for most email systems.
  • Don’t be dishonest or gimmicky. Even if you get the open, do you want to look like a spammer? Avoid using “Hi” or “Re:” or anything that makes the message look like something other than what it is.
  • Refer to what’s actually in the message. The subject line sets up an expectation – meet it.
  • Try subjects that create an open loop for the reader. Ask a question, or introduce an intriguing idea.
  • Experiment with an emoji or two in the subject line to draw the eye. But do this VERY sparingly, and make sure the emoji is relevant to the message.

Check your message before sending

Most email marketing systems will grade your message against common spam filter rules, which gives you a chance to adjust the content before sending. If yours doesn’t do this, look for a free spam check tool to screen your messages through.

Check your length

An email message should only be “as long as it needs to be” to achieve the desired result. Long messages often get passed over by busy people. However, if you have a good relationship with your audience and you’re purely sending information, a lengthy, highly-engaging email could be appropriate. Often, though, you should consider saving really long content for a blog post, with a link from a short email.

Consider the format

Newsletter-type emails with fancy graphics and multi-column formatting look great, but they’re also undeniably business-like, which can often be impersonal. You can do just as well by using text-only messages. These read as more personal.

Be responsible

Know your email marketing rules and regulations, and provide appropriate unsubscribe links in your messaging. This is done for you by all the major email systems. Business owners sometimes worry about making it too easy for people to unsubscribe, but to maintain deliver-ability you really don’t want to have people on your list if they’re not going to read your stuff. Let them clean themselves off the list. Write engaging content and you’ll have far less people unsubscribing.

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Email Marketing is just one of my “9 Ways to Get More Clients in 7 Days or Less!” Get your free copy of the report by clicking here.

About David Raitt

Many professional service providers lack access to good information on actually running a business. I love to help business owners learn online marketing strategy and make great decisions about growing your practice.

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