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There are typically four reasons why businesses start email marketing – to boost sales, drive brand awareness, build credibility and relationship building. Although the main reason that most business owners and marketing managers take up email marketing is to drive additional traffic through to their website and into their sales pipeline. In this guide I am going to discuss a few of the key factors that influence whether someone clicks or does not.

Going back to basics is something that many marketers forget to do. If you received the same thing every month wouldn’t you get a bit bored? Newsletters and promotional emails are great for brand awareness and sharing knowledge, but on their own they are not that successful at generating sales.

The reason for this is that with a regular email, readers know that there is going to be a sales hook in there at some point. So, when you know that you are being sold to, you/we all take steps to avoid it – taking the free advice/promotion and ignoring the sales hook. By implementing the practical tips and advice in this guide I hope that you will be able to increase the click-through-rates of your established databases by over 40%.

Who are you emailing?

In an ideal world, you will have had your data segmented to the ’N’th degree, so that you can send targeted emails to smaller groups, that will solicit higher response rates that convert into real sales. However, from our experience the majority of businesses have a couple of lists that they send everything out to on a regular basis. So, there are a few tricks that you can do to start segmenting your data.
  1. A quick way to grow your database is to collate your Data from across your company and identify the readers who show regular and multiple activities and target them with additional special offers or advice.
  2. Don’t target people who have just opened your emails as many smart phones will automatically download them in the background which can be classed as an open.
  3. When importing data, add as much information as possible, including tags to help with segmenting as your database grows.
  4. Use lead scoring across both your email and website to identify hot prospects and respond to specific actions. These prospects can then be targeted with specific emails or moved into campaign folders for future activity.
  5. Always ensure that you readers have at least soft opted-in to your mailing list or you will be breaking Data Protection Laws.
Bianca Ackermann On Unsplash

Refining your message

Okay, let’s imagine you have been receiving a regular newsletter from a company. You often have a quick look, but rarely do you act upon it, as you know that you will hear from them soon enough. But what happens when you receive a personal email from them? I’d put money on it that you’d pay a lot more attention. By adding personalisation to your emails, you can increase your unique click-through-rate by up to 41%. Try mixing up your emails – maintain your regular brand reinforcement email, but also send out occasional personal looking ones at irregular times/dates. Here are a few tips to add a personal touch.
  1. Change the tone of your emails to be more personal – Hey, Hi, Hello, Dear etc… what would you write to a friend?
  2. Drop the predictable and impressionable openers, would you write ‘I hope you are well?’ to a friend or colleague?
  3. Don’t forget your manners – it’s amazing how many emails I see where the sender has not signed off properly or where instructions are barked at readers.
  4. Use sincere language to help make yourself appear more personal.
  5. ‘Thanks again for joining our newsletter … I really hope that this helps …’
  6. Always include the recipient’s name in the introduction of your Emails and where relevant insert other personalised details, just be careful not to become overly personal.
  7. Always tell your readers how you want them to contact you.
  8. Ask questions at the start (if your data is segmented, it’s a lot easier) – it tells your reader what you going to be talking about and engages with them.
  9. You don’t always need to be clever, sometimes you just need to ask for help… g. ‘I’ve just launched a new product, I’d love to know what you think?’ I’m sure you’ve noticed, but most people love to share an opinion.

Sending the right type of email

Over the years, I’ve seen thousands of emails. Some of the most effective have been the simplest, as the less there is to get distracted by, the more likely it is that your readers will do something with it. So, here are a few pointers to help you structure your emails for greater engagement:

  • Keep your email short and sweet. Aim for up to 20 lines of text to improve you click through rate.
  • Keep your subject lines to a maximum of 60 characters – as well as increasing your open rate by 3.1%, you can be confident that the whole of the message is going appear in the email client’s preview panel. If you can keep it below 15 characters you can typically get an additional 2.6% on your open rate.
  • Make the click your best friend. Nothing is ever free, so let your readers earn your knowledge and drive activity to a landing page on your website. Some of the most popular terms for getting Clicks are: ‘Read More’, ‘Sale’, ‘Exclusive’ & ‘Alert’.
  • Always set up targeted landing pages for your links, this gives you greater tracking and data capture opportunities and gives the reader specific information.
  • Don’t over use images. Email with only one image can have a click-through-rate of up to 18 times greater than multiple images, and having multiple images can impact upon your delivery rate.
  • Always include a strong call to action to tell your reader what you want them to do next. This can either be as part of the text or try adding a banner/ button in your Email.
  • As they say, timing is everything and a brilliant campaign can have average results if it is sent at the wrong time. Saturdays and Sundays typically have a strong click-through-rates and unless you are sending something fun, avoid emailing on a Friday afternoon as people are usually thinking about the weekend at this point.
  • Always use a non-serif type font like Ariel. This is easier to read at first glance which means it’s easier for your readers to take your call to action in.
  • Once you have crafted your email, leave it for 24 hours, then come back and review it.
Matthew Henry On Burst

What to do once you've sent your emails?

When it comes to following up emails, the key thing to remember is that you need to be looking for behaviours/activity patterns, rather than focusing on opens and clicks.

REMEMBER – only 5% of sales are made at first contact, which is why follow-up is vital.

Here are our top five ways for generating more sales from your email marketing campaign:

  1. Good email marketing is about building trust with your reader. Just ensure that you constantly test and measure and have a strong call to action so your reader knows what to do when they are ready to engage.
  2. Set up auto-responders on your account to trigger targeted emails to your readers when they are ready to find out more.
  3. Targeted messages – segment your readers into different campaign folders, so that you can quickly send emails to ‘hot prospects’, specific locations, etc.
  4. Pick up the phone – people buy from people and a quick ‘Hi’ can be the most powerful marketing you will ever do.
  5. How about going ‘Old Skool’ and try sending something through the post? Changing your communication technique can often solicit a positive response. Why not post a targeted offer or a few tips that you know would help them out?

All of the above are important points, but the most important factor of all is delivering regular communication to your contacts, because without this you will not build the trust and confidence that your contacts need to be able to ‘click’ through to your website and make the purchase. So if you are just starting, put together a simple plan that you can be confident of following and if you are already doing this start testing and measuring all the above tips to start building upon your successes.

All of the above are important points, but the most important factor of all is delivering regular communication to your contacts, because without this you will not build the trust and confidence that your contacts need to be able to ‘click’ through to your website and make the purchase. So if you are just starting, put together a simple plan that you can be confident of following and if you are already doing this start testing and measuring all the above tips to start building upon your successes.

This article was written by Simon Washbrook and originally published in eGR Marketing.

popcorn is a smart, easy-to-use and efficient platform that not only helps you compose beautiful emails and newsletters but also helps you manage your sales funnels and leads. If you would like to test popcorn and see if it could help improve your email marketing game, you can sign-up for the free trial here.

Enjoyed this article? Comment below or read through our blog for more sales and marketing insights.

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