I got an email from someone I wasn’t sure I knew. The subject line said, “Lunch?” So I opened it and found a solicitation for a webinar. I immediately hit unsubscribe. Why? Because the sender had broken trust by fooling me into opening his email. I’m sure his stats for opens looked good, but I’d be curious about his click-throughs. I’d also bet that he was new to direct email campaigns.
There are lots of sources of information and best practices for email campaigns, but here are five key steps I’ve found that help.
1. Get Their Attention
The most important step, and the one most often ignored is to craft a compelling subject line and clearly identify who the email is from. I tend to err on the side of more provocative subject lines. But since most people scan their emails, if you can’t capture their attention in three seconds, it doesn’t matter how compelling your email is when it’s not opened. Subject lines which promise information that is relevant to your prospect work best. For example, “Five Steps for A Successful Email Campaign.”
2. Respect Their Intelligence
I’ve often said B2B marketing needs to be more like B2C. But the caveat is… you must respect your reader’s intelligence. Don’t make the email about you and how great your company is. Rather give them something they need. Give them access to information that will make their jobs easier. (See my post Quid Pro Nada)
3. Get To The Point
Put the important information at the top of the email rather than building a story. As Strunk and White say, “Eliminate Needless Words.”
4. Have A Clear Call To Action
Avoid multiple calls to action and repeat your call to action in several ways in the email… for example, once in the body of the text, and once as an action button. Be careful of action buttons that manipulate or put up a psychological barrier. Would you rather “Register,” or “Join Us,” or “Reserve Your Spot”?
5. Make Your Email Different Than Your Landing Page
Too many emails say everything that is in a landing page. The purpose of the email is to gradually step a person into your nurturing cycle. Giving them everything in the email is like showing up on a first date with your family and a proposal for marriage. Email nurturing should be more like Ravel’s Boléro.
6. Test, Test and Re-test
Yes this is more than five steps. But testing all of the above is the second most important thing that you can do. If you get a 2% uptake in opens by testing subject lines, what would that mean to your campaign? How many more opens? How many more click-throughs by testing different offers?
How would you feel about a B2B subject line that said, “Are You Fukushimaing Your Emails?” Send me your best subject lines.
Do Great Things
Prairie Sky Group
Making Sales Cry With Qualified Leads
651-357-0110 (Cell 24×7)