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Ask GH: In two sentences or less, what's your single best email marketing tip, trick, hack or piece of advice?
Cut the length of your email copy in half.
Now cut it in half again.
Design your emails as if your readers will only scan it. Don't make it too formal and wordy, and aim for one CTA.
My nature is to get this one wrong every time. Gotta force myself to live by this advice!
Im with you, still catch myself being wordy
Great point, the one CTA is perfect and have noticed great results with one click option instead of 15.
Send email on a more aggressive cadence than you're initially comfortable with (you can always throttle-back if necessary) and have a very specific call to action in every email - including specifically asking for the sale if that's the ask. That plus AIDA and you're golden.
That said, @lincolnmurphy's got a top-secret Customer Success bot: http://growthhackers.com/customer-success-bot-method-for-engaging-prospects-customers/#comments
To add to this (and something I don't see enough people doing), you should look at offering a less aggressive cadence option on your unsubscribe page. Sometimes people want fewer rather than no emails.
Build something so valuable you'd be insane to give it away for free.
- Specify your customer, like, dear Jimmy
- Clear CTA to get the highest CTR as possible
- Relevant landing page
Just do it.
Send out emails, accept that you are not perfect in your first round. Be aggressive in learning to get better over time.
Do the exact reverse of what your AB test tells you (apparently, time is a confounding factor that creates false positives more than half the time)
Automation + perfect timing
Format your emails so they look like they're plain text, as opposed to a fancy newsletter template.
Recipients seem to trust emails more when they look like they were written in Gmail (especially if they're personalized).
Look for opportunities to send more transactional email (you've been ousted as mayor, someone liked your post, etc.) Highest engagement rates by far.
Measure different levels of interest by device type opens per email address. A large percentage of first opens will be on mobile devices. If they really like what you are saying, or want to spend time with whatever your CTA provides, they will return on a proper computer to do their research/reading/etc. These prospects are more valuable and easier to convert, so treat them as a different segment where you can be more aggressive.
Your subject lines should have C.U.R.V.E.
C.U.R.V.E — Curiosity, Urgency, Relevancy, Value, and Emotions.
I would agree with @lincolnmurphy on his "specific call to action" advice. In my experience emails with one, big call to action (especially 1 big button) get up to 150% higher click through rates than long emails with multiple CTAs.
Lots of great stuff here already. My 2 cents:
Send from a real person (none of this email@example.com stuff) and ask people to respond
Great advice. I would also add that you should send it TO a person as well. None of this "Dear loyal customer", or even "Mr./Ms. Smith". If I get something addressed to "Mr. Horowitz", I tend to assume it is either a bill or a jury duty summons.
Furthermore, don't just limit it to the salutation. In the text of the email, use "I" instead of "we", and remember that while you're sending to a large list, the customer will be reading it alone. So don't say, "Thanks to everyone who responded to our survey" Instead, "Thank you for responding."
Use your Call To Action twice, once in the body and in PS. Also make one link a naked URL one a Hyperlink.
I find HUGE gains generally when I give both link styles, people seem to have very personal responses to type of link. Whowuddathunk?
LOL I didn't realize my advice was polar opposite to @katelyn - that's why this stuff is so fun. There are no "answers", MMV
I know many people are going to highlight design, execution, and timing but those are all general best practices in my book.
My small hack/tip: Having people STAY on your list is crucial. Often times people forget that they ended up on your list and get mad at an unexpected email. So you can try one of two things-- all of which you would think would increase unsubscribes but for me, don't:
1) remind them gently in a sort of pre header, "Hey! You signed up to receive this email from me, [name of author] who runs abc.com. I provide tips and tricks on ______ if you are no longer interested you can unsubscribe here or choose to select fewer emails. Thanks!"
2) I have the day and time for when each subscribers are added to the list and use it in a merge field at the bottom, "You signed up to receive emails from abc.com on Monday, August, 18 2014. For whatever reason, if you are no longer interested in this communication - no worries! unsubscribe here."
Separate to this point, we use Customer.io to create behavioral campaigns that do wonders. Using prompts for actions or inactions and ALWAYS asking a question at the end of the email has increased conversion (of whatever we are nudging) and response #'s tremendously.
Use the email as the amuse bouche rather than the main meal.
I've just received an email from AirBnB about the apartment I was checking a lot in the afternoon, but didn't book. A few hours have passed.
Don't buy email lists. Ever.
Great add, James. This is a surprisingly common mistake marketers make. So important to stress this point.
It's amazing the number of times this still comes up when I meet with clients. They've either purchased or repurposed a list from a previous business and think they have permission to email them. It's never a good idea :)
I'd say don't buy email lists to email directly, but CERTAINLY buy *HUGE* lists if they're in the demographic you want, and then upload into a Twitter, Google or Facebook custom audience and run ads to THEN bring them back to a landing page with obviously email opt-in.
Haven't tried that but sounds worth a test
A good way to cut down on unsubscribes is adding a few lines of dynamic content by the unsubscribe button reminding your customers when and where they first subscribed. If they haven't heard from you in a while or haven't been actively tuning in, they might have just forgotten why they signed up to hear from you! A little reminder will keep them engaged.
Less is more.
1. Send e-mail as person (name.surname@..)
2. Use subject line "Last warning" :)
You can break any "rule" about subject lines, length, topics, frequency, CTAs, etc, as long as you establish a deserved expectation that an email from you will be *delightful* to read.
"Why do you write 8,000 word emails, Patrick?" Because several thousand people read every last word and several dozen rate them as "transformative for my business."
When I was first trying to understand my market, I emailed local companies saying I was a student needing help with a class project. Received great responses because they wanted to help a student.
Adding to these great suggestions already sent:
Choose carefully the moment you'll send, so you can optimize your open rate and provide a LARGE (REALLY LARGE) CTA.
Never ever forget to follow up.
Your first email will probably go unnoticed. So always send a followup email. Such email gives you crazy advantage in customer's inbox.
Could you explain this one a little more?
Don't think too hard - just hit send.
Test everything from subject lines to calls to actions.
Include only one call to action consistent with what it in the subject line, never bait and switch your subject line to your email..
Don't SPAM. Even if you are sending to a list that you have not sent to before, or one that has not opted in, tell them why they care..."You are receiving this because we found you on LinkedIn" People will appreciate that and they perform so much better.
Use GIFs to train your audience to open your emails.
Create an incentive that has real value to collect email addresses. Deliver regular value that YOU would want in your inbox after that.
Remember that they signed up to your mailing list because they want to hear from a human being, so make it clear that you are one. I always have my sent from set to Roger from code(love), I write with a personal tone, and I sign off as myself---it works wonders from what I've seen.
When you are aiming for a higher open rate, optimizing the subject line is a must.
Forget complicated email design. One column, one focus, one CTA is usually best.
Send text only emails (unless it's ecommerce). HTML campaigns get lost in the filters.
Stop using email as a 1-way "here's what I want from you" channel. The real power of email is in establishing thought leadership and a 2-way conversation with customers and prospects alike.
Other tips to hammer this home:
*Don't use your company name as the "from" field. Use the name of a person within the organization.
*Omit header images and fancy graphics, format the email as if you were sending it to a friend (this will make you stick out like a sore thumb in the B2B arena).
*Build entertainment value into each email (generally through relevant storytelling) and get your audience to anticipate the next with open loops and curiosity.
*Give value in your emails that has nothing to do with your business making more money. This is key for establishing legitimate thought leadership vs. crafty salesmanship/marketing. Read up on Jay Abraham's preeminence strategy for more on this.
This is really great advice, Tom. Especially the last point you make. Providing educational content is a great way to help a customer use a product. A very underrated aspect in the world of email marketing IMO.
In my experience. The most valuable email in a b2b context is personalised transactional email from the CEO sent when an on-boarded trial user has not been seen in 24 hours for the first time.
Just a very direct question asking how their trial is progressing. For me this email has a very high response rate, has rescued a lot of users who were about to drop off and given priceless insight into the pain points of users who are just one funnel step back from the checkout.
-short paragraphs within the email: 1 idea per paragraph
-personalised (use "you", "your")
-one single CTA in the email, more would confuse them; state it twice, make it obvious.
The main idea is: don't make them work to figure out what you want.
Stop worrying about arbitrary rules - subject line character length doesn't matter - and focus your attention on determining: "Is this actually something my customer wants?"
Know your audience. Everything comes down to that—most importantly, ensuring your message is relevant and knowing which email clients to target with your design and code.
Get others (thought leaders for your customers) to email their list for you. Figure out win (emailer) - win (customer/emailed) - win (you) scenarios.
The medium is the message.
1) Personalize - get your data right.
2) Size - Be polite and to the point.
No template, no design, no BS. Short and sweet plain text that gets replies and clicks.
if people mark as unread after reading the first paragraph of your email, that is the perfect emailing. So make it worth to read.
Remember that you're running a marketing marathon, not the 100-yard dash.
Quality over quantity
I usually get better responses by asking questions and waiting for interest
Design your emails as if your readers will only scan it. Avoid making it too formal and wordy.
I would say offering true value to the customer is a very underrated aspect of email marketing. Not always trying to sell, but to educate them.
Basically, helping the customer use YOUR product.
For example: if you sell commerce software, you could talk about how to implement SEO or PPC techniques to drive traffic to your site.
Adding educational value via email isn't always at the top of the priority list, but it should be.
Only ask people you know will take the action you ask of them & get the call to action right.
Occasionally try sending a simple text message, not pure text, use bold, italics and colour if you must, include links. Send a message similar to what you would send yourself in the normal course of business and see what happens, just see.
Ask yourself, "Would you read this?" or better yet, "Would you subscribe to this?". Basically a test to see if you're putting out anything of value. I rarely subscribe to newsletters.
Lots of good stuff here. Also if you're overwhelmed by all the great advice and guidelines just start by asking yourself what would make me open emails and click through? Work backwards. Do that.
Get your emails delivered.
That means have a process for doing the basic setup right for every new client / account.
1. Add an SPF record
2. DKIM (domain keys at dns level)
3. Reverse PTR record
This will improve delivery rates and also make sure the recipien's email client doesn't include that annoying "via aweber" or "via mailchimp" next to your name.
Before you send the first email use a tool to test all three settings.
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