If your email marketing is falling flat, stick around. This article is the first of several in which I’m going to share email marketing tips that gets you more clicks, sales and opens. Stick around with me until the end when I go over my number one method for getting an additional 10% email open rate with less than five minutes of work.
Tip #1: Use mail-tester.com
Tip number one is to use mail-tester.com. If you’re new to email marketing, then you’re probably a chicken running with its head cut off right now. And so using a tool like mail-tester.com can help you out. It’s a free tool that you can use to send a test version of your email too to see whether or not it’s going to get triggered by any spam detectors.
It also run a check for your domain to see whether or not your domain is on any black blacklist. In case you didn’t know, if you send too many emails, they get marked as spam it’ll impact your deliverability. So, it’s really important that you’re sending emails that pass the filters and aren’t getting marked as such. That way your future email campaigns don’t get impacted negatively. What this means is that in the case, in which you are blacklisted, your email might not even end up in the mailbox of the person you’re trying to reach.
Mail tester is also great for detecting potential words that will flag these sorts of filters. Common words are things like free or discount or reward. Look, the reality is that in today’s day and age, everybody is getting bombarded with sales emails every single day. So, the first and most important rule of email marketing is to make sure that your emails are even making it to people’s inboxes.
Tip #2: Use Less “I”, or “We”, and more “You”
Tip number two is less “I”, or “We”, and more “You”. If you want to know the number one way that you can have somebody not give a hoot about your email, it’s by talking about yourself. That could be talking about your sales, for business or your life. But the reality is that honestly, no one cares.
And so one of the easiest ways that you can improve your email marketing is to focus more on your customer. In other words, look for the situations in which you’re talking about your own business or yourself by using words like “I”, or “we”, and try to think about how you can reposition that phrase to me more focused on your potential customer.
This isn’t rocket science, but we make this mistake all the time in email marketing. Even the biggest brands make this mistake. So, make sure that you don’t. I know that when it comes to my company, whenever we release a new feature, we are super tempted to send out an email, sharing all about this feature in all the work that we put behind the feature.
But the reality is that your customer won’t actually care about the feature unless you position it around them. No one cares about the background research that your product manager did in order to make this feature reality. They only care about how it’s going to help them. Find key opportunities to work in more words like “you” or “your” into all of your emails. As a result, you’ll start to see that there’s an increase in your open rates when you use this in your subject lines, as well as engagement and click throughs in your actual email body.
Tip #3: Make your CTA ELI5-proof
What that means is to make sure that it’s super simple, that a five-year-old could understand it. A call to action is exactly what it sounds like. It’s when you want your user to take a particular behavior. That could range from doing things like clicking into an article, clicking into a page or submitting a form.
The reality is that unless you’re this skim or morning brew and you have a full-time team of dedicated copywriters, you can benefit from cutting down on your CTAs. I want you to ask yourself, what is the one CTA that you want your reader to take from this email that you’re sending them? Think about it from the lens of your ideal customer profile. If they were to read your email message, is it crystal clear what they need to do next?
Since I went over how to start a tutoring business in a prior article, let’s assume that we’re an online tutor trying to sell bundled services to our clients. A bad CTA would fall along the lines of, “feel free to get in touch with me if you’d like to schedule a block of sessions.” A better CTA could be something along the lines of “click here to save on your next five tutoring sessions.” That button would then take the user to an explainer page where they could then check out.
Notice the big difference here. In my first example, I’m being super passive about my ask. Whereas in my second example, I am being much more direct and aligned to the benefits to my client. So bottom line, if a kid would struggle to understand your CTA, then it can be made even better.
Two more easy ways that you can improve your CTAs. The first one is you can use carrot tops to essentially signal to the user to click a particular link in a plain text email, or if you’re creating a nicely designed HTML email, you can make sure that you use a button that has a bold color, like a Royal blue and put it against white color text.
Tip #4: Tease out your next email.
Tip number four is to tease out your next email. Have you ever watched a Marvel movie and thought about how brilliant the directors are? The reason why I say that is because they get you to watch an entire movie. And also, in most cases, the end credits for that extra 30 seconds to a minute that teases out the next film.
What’s brilliant about this tactic is that it builds anticipation for the viewer. Here we are just sitting back in our chair. We just watched a great movie and we’re watching end credits for three to four minutes at a time just for that extra 30 seconds or a minute. This teaser gives us just enough excitement in order to look forward to the next time that we’re going to be back in theater, watching the next Marvel movie and waiting for that next exclusive trailer. However, this behavior didn’t happen overnight. It had to be conditioned with our audience and the same thing applies to emails.
An easy way to boost your list engagement and to get more users excited about the next time you email them is to tease out the next thing that you’re going to tell them about. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say that we’re sending an onboarding email sequence and we want our user to create their account. Your first email would be something along the lines of, “Welcome aboard to our service. Here’s the next steps in order to set up your account.” Most email marketers would simply stop there. They wouldn’t actually outline the next steps after they’ve initially set up or confirm their account. But a better email marketer would then take that opportunity to tease out the next thing they’re going to go over.
They could do this with a simple line along the lines of, “Tomorrow we’re going to go over how to create your first XYZ.” Most people would save all the next steps for the second email. But the problem with this approach is that it doesn’t build any anticipation or excitement with our user. A simple way we can improve this is by simply wrapping up our first email with something along the lines of “Tomorrow we’re going to go over how to create your first report so that you can X, Y, Z benefits.”
Notice the difference here by simply teasing out what they’re going to get tomorrow. They have more of a reason to open up the next email. I’ve done this strategy before with five day and seven day campaigns in which I’m emailing a person every single day. And I’ve seen the same sorts of open rates as normal campaigns that are more spaced out. And I think the reason why is because when we’re able to build some anticipation for our next email, people are more forgiving and more accepting of receiving more correspondence from you. Ultimately, we just want to give them as much value as possible.
And that’s one of the benefits of this approach. It absolutely works. And I know you’re thinking, Oh, they’re just going to unsubscribe even more, but I promise you, as long as you manage the expectations, it can actually help your email engagement quite a bit.
Tip #5: Top performing sales reps always embrace the concept of Kaizen.
Tip number five is super simple. And it’s to resend your emails. Guys, if you’re not doing this, you are missing out. I’ve tested it in multiple niches before on different lists and it always works. It’s honestly as simple as exporting your first campaign and figuring out who has opened your email and then resending them that email. You can either change up the subject line if you want, or just send the actual same email because they might’ve missed it the first time in their inbox.
Personally, I like to include a line that goes along the lines of, “Just wanting to follow up since I know you could benefit from this email, let me know what you think.” By doing so you’re not just following off with somebody. You’re actually telling them again and reaffirming to them why you are emailing them in the first place.
Every time I’ve done this, I get on average, 10% more opens to that original message that I wanted to send. Ultimately things come up. So you want to give your prospects and your customers multiple opportunities to see the message that you are trying to communicate to them. If you use a service like ActiveCampaign, they make it super simple for you to resend your campaign to those that don’t open. So, be sure to check them out if you haven’t already.
There are two things I want you to remember from this article:
- The first one is to keep your emails focused on your customer. At the end of the day, they don’t care about you or your business. They only care about what you or your business can do for them. So, keep the subject and all eyes on your customer. Ultimately, if you can’t speak on why your email benefits them, then you shouldn’t be emailing them.
- The second big takeaway is to make sure that you tease your emails and that you’re resending campaigns. It’s really important that you’re building excitement every single time that you’re reaching out to your customers and that you’re resending value when you know that it’s an important message that your customer may have just missed the first time.
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