Email Marketing (2nd instalment)

Subject matters
What you put in the subject line should not be underestimated. Make sure your name or the business name features – after all, if your customer has ‘opted-in’ they’ll …

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2nd August 2007 at 2:11 pm

Subject matters
What you put in the subject line should not be underestimated. Make sure your name or the business name features – after all, if your customer has ‘opted-in’ they’ll be expecting something from you and are more likely to open your mail.

No spam thanks
Avoid spam traps by making sure you don’t over capitalise your heading. Don’t include exclamation marks, or use words like ‘Free’, ‘Offer’, ‘Money’ etc. Spam filters are on the look out for this stuff and will relegate you to the junk box, if they let you through at all. If you’re in doubt, find a free on-line spam checker and run your message through that.

Test a patch
Test your subject lines before you send out mass mailings. A couple of days before you’re due to send out a mailing, take a small sample from your list and divide into 3 or 4 and try a different subject line to each segment. Track the results to identify the ‘banker’, by looking at how many people open the mail and importantly how many people respond. Keep testing. Refining content and the detail of your offer may make a real difference to your results, depending on the numbers you are targeting. (Obviously if your database is very small and very, very targeted – much better to invest your time into hand crafting communications that address the specific needs of these individuals).

Give, and you’ll be more likely to receive
Add value through your content. Unless you really do have the best offer in the world, being overtly salesy in a way that fails to engage with your audience’s needs on a personal level, are unlikely to get you the returns you want, (this applies to all of your communications, not just emails!). And make sure it’s your name that appears in the ‘from’ field. People like communications from people – rather than from a faceless business.

Structure your content
If you don’t hook your reader straight away, they’ll click close, or delete. So say it well and say it fast in the first couple of lines. Don’t make the mistake of writing an emailer in the same way you’d construct an old fashioned letter. In its most simple state, my formula would be this: make a provocative statement or ask a question that connects directly with a customer problem or issue, spell out what you can do in respect of that statement (your proposition) and give some key benefits in a way that resonates with the customer’s situation. (Easy huh??. . .ok it’s not, but don’t make the mistake of making things more complicated than they need to be. Vague is bad. Short and loud and clear is good). For a full and easy to understand guide on all things email, try here.

Sara Scott

Sara is a marketing specialist with a wealth of on-line and traditional experience. With award winning credentials as an advertising writer, her career also spans the disciplines of planning and strategy for both B2B and consumer clients. Having worked for one of the the UK's biggest non-London agencies, Sara now works on a consultancy basis for clients large and small. http://www.smallbizpod.co.uk/blog

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