Email is still one of the best ways to market on the internet. You can use Google and Facebook to drive traffic to your landing pages and websites. Once you have them on the site and have their email address, now you can begin to really market to them.
Find tips and hints on how to get your emails opened and read. It is a primary goal of every marketer. We all get too many emails these days. How will you get your emails opened and read?
Why Your Marketing Emails Are Going In The Trash Bin
By Forbes Editors’ Picksforbes.com View Original
Post written by: Jeff Fleischman
CMO at Altimetrik, overseeing company’s brand strategy, marketing, communications, public relations, and social media.
As marketers, we love email marketing. In fact, research shows it’s still the most relied-on channel for business-to-business (B2B) marketers looking to nurture their audience. There are few other tools in the marketing toolbox with such power and reach.
But you wouldn’t know it by reading many of the marketing emails I get in my inbox. Most of them go right in the trash.
Here’s an email I got that really steamed my espresso:
The subject line simply said, “Coffee?” The body of the email was no better: “Jeff, do you have five minutes to connect Monday? Coffee on me! Seriously, I’ll send over a Starbucks gift card.” Nothing about why I would want to talk to the sender or what the company even did.
It costs next to nothing to send an email, so many marketers make the mistake of playing a numbers game. If even one person in a thousand responds, they think it’s still cost-effective. Companies don’t realize that the true cost of a poorly targeted email is the lost opportunity, not to mention the negative brand image it builds among potential customers.
Here’s an email that did get me to buy:
It was from a video producer. In my experience, emails that contain the word “video” in the subject line typically receive more attention, so the email was off to a good start. Like most everyone in marketing these days, I am interested in producing videos, so the topic was relevant to me. More importantly, the firm made it clear that it specializes in doing videos on complex topics that resonated with what my company does. Finally, the company put links to samples of its work in the body of the email, and I clicked through all of them. I liked what I saw enough to launch a pilot project with them.
The bad news is that I continue to get this same email from the company, again and again, even though I’ve now become a customer. While the company has the email part of the equation right, it’s not well integrated with its sales process. Instead, the marketing team should now be nurturing me as a customer, segmenting their lists so that their marketing emails become an integral part of the complete customer experience.
It’s all about segmenting.
My own experience in running email marketing campaigns highlights the importance of segmenting your lists and focusing on the customer experience. This was early in the move to online financial services, and we wanted to increase customer engagement with our online offerings. We looked closely at customers who were already registered on our online site, and we created segments based on what they had done with us before. Our email campaigns were then specifically tailored to each segment, each with its own call to action. For some, the call to action was simple, just getting people to log in and look at their account balance. For others, the goal was more complex, like applying for a credit card online.
We also created a four-part email newsletter series that would help engage people in things we wanted them to do. The newsletters were very short and focused on one area, but each also previewed what would be coming in the next issue and had links to earlier issues. The series built on itself, reinforcing what people had already learned. Both the email campaign and the email newsletter were wildly successful. The point is, they were highly targeted, based not only on who the recipient was but also what we knew of their behavior. They were also relevant to the needs and experiences of the recipients.
Here’s what you should know about building a great email campaign and avoiding my trash bin:
• Know your goals. Yes, your goal for sending an email is to make a sale, but what are your specific goals for this particular email? Do you want the recipient to set up a meeting, go to your website, attend a webinar, read your white paper? The email should be written in a way that drives toward that goal.
• Make the messaging count. Unless you are Starbucks, you don’t want to sell me coffee. What makes you different and will make me want to know more?
• Keep it relevant. It’s not about you; it’s about me and my needs. Why is this important to me?
• Always segment. All email campaigns should be segmented for a greater chance to reach each audience with a specific message more relevant to their needs.
• Nurture, nurture, nurture. Think of your emails as an ongoing conversation with someone. How should you introduce yourself? What can you do to keep the conversation going, to keep this person engaged and interested?
• Don’t let the salespeople do it. I know a lot of salespeople who are great at building relationships, but so many of the emails I get are clearly from salespeople who are only interested in closing the next deal or setting up the next meeting. It’s a numbers game to them. Instead, the first contact should come from marketing, handing off to sales once the prospect has reached a predetermined milestone in the buyer’s journey.
Email marketing can be one of your most powerful and cost-effective marketing tools in reaching B2B decision-makers like me, but you must take the time to do it right. Otherwise, you’re going in my trash bin.