This is a guest contribution from Luke Guy.
Email is the key to a strong online presence. Like a binder to a book, so is the email list to blog/website. If used incorrectly, email marketing can destroy your business or it can build it into an empire. Strategy combined with creativity creates amazing profits and engagement.
What’s the best way to write successful emails? You must think as if you’re the receiving email user. What would you hope to see?
As an email user I look for emails that do one of the three if not all three:
- Connect with me
- Add value to my life
- Helps me reach my goals
People think because of poor content, and scams, that email marketing will die. I have received my share of spam and marketing emails, but you know what? I’m still coming back. Why? I’m waiting on the emails that change my life. Value and connection has never came any purer than through a simple email.
I’m willing to be spammed, get boring emails, and go through tons of junk just to get that one email from a friend or blog that will connect and enhance me with information that I need.
Think about it. The same thing happens to you, but you keep coming back. It’s like eating watermelon: it’s all good when you learn how to spit out the seeds.
So what’s the major reason why people have email?
- Talk to a friend, or a business connection
- Stay updated with the favorite blog
- Get notified when you receive money
- Know when a deal is being released. “A survey conducted by Harris Interactive found that people actually like emails based on previous shopping behaviors and preferences. In fact, 81% of US digital shoppers surveyed said they were at least somewhat likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of targeted emails” –Business2Community
All of this revolves around staying in the loop of some kind. People want to stay connected and updated on their interest. They want to keep a hot connection with the things they love. It’s the purpose of email. It’s more personalized and private compared to Facebook.
Facebook is great, but would you want Paypal to send public updates to you, letting you know how much money you received this month? No, that wouldn’t make sense at all. Is Facebook capable of sending personalized messages with your name in it from a Fanpage of 100,000? Nope.
So by using email to connect with your readers you could turn that list into your fanbase who’s dying to get your next email. And yes it can happen just like that.
Email is still the best when it comes to delivering private and personal information. Therefore email is the way in keeping the connection constant, private, and strong. Email can either make this happen, or make you look spammy.
So what’s something you shouldn’t do in an email?
One thing, never be general. Quit talking about the ways of nature and the purpose of life when people joined the list to learn about SEO. It’s okay to slip personal things within your email, that’s great! But make sure the point is still SEO-related in every email.
Second, once you’ve made your point, end the email. Never gab just to gab. Connect with your reader, and deliver the goods.
Third, if your email address says [email protected], it’s giving off bad signal. You’re emailing them, but they can’t email you back? You’re not about connecting when you do this and I believe these addresses shouldn’t exist for any blog unless it’s a notifier of some sort.
I’ve heard Gmail has a new filter system, could it hurt my open rates?
Just in case you’re not aware, Gmail now filters all emails based on key factors. So if you don’t make the cut, your open rates could sink if you don’t land into the Primary Tab. I talk more about this here.
No matter how sincere you are with the reader, if Gmail doesn’t like your email, your open rates are going down. Some feel like this filtering system will not affect their open rates because Gmail isn’t the largest email provider.
That was true a few years, but not anymore.
According to Gigaom, Gmail dominated the world market of email and broke the tie with Hotmail back in 2012. Gmail has over 425 million monthly users as of 2012 (last update by Google). So if you’re seeing low open rates, the Gmail filters could be why.
What are things you can do to improve open rates with Gmail?
By adhering to the Gmail’s filter system, it could raise your open rates. By making simple tweaks, it could increase open rates by leaps and bounds.
I once performed a case study of my own in my article The #1 Reason Why Your Email Open Rates Are Diving. And within that article I discovered one little thing that was hurting most businesses who used email. I examined over 640 emails, in my case study, and found something quite interesting.
FACT: 98% of emails that were sent to the Promotional Tab had a header.
FACT: 95% of my Primary Emails had no header. (Excluding sites like Paypal and Disqus)
So by simply removing the header it could help increase open rates. The reason being is because most headers have companies brand within them. Which means that the message most likely will have a marketing agenda. Thus, Gmail sends you to the Promotional Tab.
So let’s say the header is removed but the email is full of marketing gimmicks. Does it still land in the primary tab of Gmail? Sometimes it does. But soon Gmail will find you and send you into other tabs. There are other things you must do to maintain a high open rate.
To increase your chances try the below:
- Create A Great Subject Line (64% of people say they open an email because of the subject line.) – Chadwick Martin Bailey
- Amazing Content With Call-To-Action
- Email Frequently (1-4 times a month)
- Personalize emails with name and relevant information This report by Experian Marketing Services shows that including personalized product recommendations into emails can generate a 20% increase in revenues.
- Hold the images and links I’d suggest no images and 2-3 links at the max.
By doing the technical aspects along with creative writing, your readers would become raving fans. Which is what you want.
So what does this look like? I once received an email from someone and it really impressed me. Look at it here:
Subject: How to Write Blog Posts That Generate Leads
Hey, I just wanted to share with you the latest Quick Sprout blog post. Let me know what you think.
Do you know why I started blogging back in 2006? It was to generate leads for my consulting company. And boy, did it work well.
It worked so well that for every three blog posts I wrote, I generated one new customer that paid $5,000 a month for one year. In essence, I was generating $20,000 for every blog post I wrote. [click to continue]
To me this does the job. I may would try to connect more with the reader, but besides that this was straight to the point. He gave call-to-action, and he delivered content that blew me away. That article was amazing and I look forward to Neil’s email.
So there ya go! Implement this and see if you’re open rates, profits, and engagements aren’t soaring!
Luke Guy blogs at Lukeguy.com. He researches email marketing and how to grow businesses doing it. He talks about other things but usually it involves emailing. If you need further help with your email challenges, you can join him here!