Want more sales, clicks or opens for your emails? This article is the second of several in which I’m sharing a ton of effective email marketing tips to help you level up your marketing. Just like in the last article, be sure you stick until the end to learn how to get more of my email marketing tips sent straight to your inbox for free.
Tip #1: Mirror your customer’s words.
The easiest way to tell the difference between a email marketer that understands their customer’s needs and one that doesn’t is based on the way that they describe the problem that their customers face. Your ability to align to the needs and wants of your customers is crucial.
The easiest way to figure out what your customers want is to go into communities where your customers can be found and figure out the exact language that they are using to describe the problems that they’re facing.
As an example, let’s say that we offer consulting services for sales managers that are struggling to get their team to meet their quota. If we were to dig into the communities where these sales managers are found, whether it’s on LinkedIn or Reddit, we might find statements such as, “Every single day, I’m just hassling my sales reps to try to get them to do their daily prospecting action.” Or maybe they’d say something along the lines of, “I’ve read every single sales book on the planet and it’s still makes no sense to me.”
These sales managers would probably all say a statement along the lines of, “I’m struggling to get my team to hit its quota.” If we were a sales consultant targeting these managers, our email campaign might have copy along the lines of, “Stop struggling to get your reps to hit their quota every single month. I’ll help you set up systems that your reps can use every single day to hold themselves accountable. This way you won’t have to read yet another sales book and just pray for the best.”
Do you notice how different and more compelling our copy is when we’ve positioned it around the needs of our customer? By doing so, we are speaking their language. And as a result, we’re resonating our message with that. Try this out in your next email marketing campaign.
If you don’t know exactly how your customers are speaking or describing their problems, you can learn more by joining a Facebook group, a Reddit, or by sifting through Amazon reviews of similar products to the thing that you might sell.
Tip #2: Keep your subject lines short and personal.
Tip number two is to keep your subject lines short and personal. Think about how your email is going to appear in your customer’s inbox. If it does get cut off, is it cutting off at an exciting part in your email subject line? There are a ton of email preview tools that you can use such as Stripo, which will help you to see what your email actually looks like in different clients. But personally, I like to just send myself a test email to see how it looks on my own phone and my personal devices.
Typically, I try to keep my subject lines to be seven words or less. Once you’ve shortened your subject line, you want to think about how you can personalize your subject lines even more. This will help you further increase the open rates of your emails.
For example, let’s say that you’re an SEO pitching local SEO services to small businesses. The bad subject line would be something along the lines of, “SEO Services for SMB.” A better subject line would be something along the lines of, “Three SEO Improvements for [Business Name]”, or you could have something along the lines of, “Three Ideas for Boosting SEO for [Business Name].
Notice the difference between our bad example and our two good examples. The difference is that one is more personal to the business owner that’s receiving this email. Whereas the former example is just a generic templated email. We want to keep it short and clear as to what we’re offering in our email.
You can also stick to short and simple, tried and tested subject lines. I like to use things like, “quick question” or “a quick question for you” when it comes to a simple email campaign where I’m not feeling particularly creative.
Tip #3: Prioritize plain text emails over HTML emails.
People often think that HTML emails perform better than plain text emails, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, Marketo has done a study in which they tested five different email campaigns and found some shocking results.
In 2017, they found that text emails have roughly the same open rates as HTML emails. They also found that there was a 21% higher unique click open rate to an offer with a 100% statistical significance. Finally, they found that there was a 17% higher unique click through rate to an offer with a 99% statistical significance. Bottom line, plain text emails work, and for my own personal experiences and multiple different niches, I have consistently found the same results of the Marketo study in that plain text simply works.
I almost exclusively stick to plain text emails now, and it’s not just because it’s simpler and more likely to hit an inbox, but also because it comes off as much more natural. When you send a super well-designed HTML email, it can sometimes feel like you’re talking to a big corporation as opposed to an individual one-on-one.
The difference between talking to a big company versus a another human being makes a big difference when it comes to outbound prospecting emails if that’s what you’re doing with your email marketing. So, the next time you think about creating that pretty HTML email, consider how you can make that into a plain text email.
Some additional tips here as you write your plain text emails, be sure you break up your text a lot. People often fall into the trap of creating long paragraph emails that don’t get read, and it’s much simpler to keep your paragraphs super short. That means one to three sentences, max per paragraph.
Also connecting to my prior article, make sure you limit your call to actions. If you have a call to action in your plain text email, try to stick to just having one or two.
Tip #4: Always write in with “what’s in it for me?”
In case you haven’t noticed by now, this is an overarching theme of my email marketing tips. And it comes down to if your message is not relevant and contextualize to the person you’re sending it to, then why should they even care? Think about it. When was the last time somebody emailed you something important that was relevant to you? Did you respond to it? Of course you did, because it was something that was personalized enough that it compelled you to answer to the email.
You need to do the same thing in each of your email campaigns. Before you send out your next campaign, ask yourself, is this important to my recipients? Maybe it’s a limited time deal in which if they respond to you before the end of the week, you’ll throw in some sort of freebie. Whatever the case may be, just make sure that it’s super clear as to why a response is necessary and what you’d like them to do next.
Tip #5: Tell stories
The easiest way to make a plain text email pop is to tell a great story. I’ve tested this in a ton of different niches, and I can tell you that it is one of the most difficult skills that any email marketer can learn, but it gets you results.
Ultimately, when you’re trying to apply this tip, there are a few things to keep in mind. You need to be able to answer what was the problem that they faced and what was the journey that they took to overcome this problem. And lastly, how has that problem actually solved? The important thing here is to keep it simple.
Let’s say for example, that we’re a mom and pops tailoring shop. That’s been around for 25 years and we’re just getting into our email marketing. You tell me which one of these sounds way more effective.
Mom and pops tailoring. Founded in 1995 to serve your alteration needs. Over 10,000 suits tailor. Versus version two: Mom and pops tailoring. We started from humble beginnings in 1995 after working a decade in a clothing factory. We went door to door asking local salesmen. If they had suits that they needed specific tailoring for. After a week of knocking, we had our first 10 clients. 25 years and over 10,000 suits later, we remain committed to serving and meeting your alteration needs.
As humans we love stories. So, the more that you can incorporate them into your sales material, in your email marketing and in your copywriting, you will be able to convince and convert way more potential customers.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is to mirror your customers. Talk like they talk and try to empathize with their needs and wants. It’s when you speak their language, that you’ll be able to resonate with them and connect with them.
- The second big takeaway is to keep things simple. So many of today’s tips are based on the idea of remaining grounded when it comes to email marketing. It doesn’t have to be hard. All you need to do is stick to plain text emails that are focused on what’s in it for me, for the end user, and to limit your call to action.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to check out my YouTube channel to get new videos every single week I’ll help take you from zero to self-starter as you grow your business, get more customers, and hone your business acumen. Also, feel free to share this with anybody that you know, that might benefit from learning about these email marketing tips.