Email is 40 times more effective at getting new customers than Facebook and Twitter combined. — McKinsey
We do a ton of email marketing for clients and Red Barn – some of it is thought leadership focused like my Thursday morning Tribe Mail. (sign up here), but much of it is done primarily for prospecting.
So how do we get consistent above average open rates and click through rates AND conversion with our email marketing?
Consistency, Great Content, and yep – a lot of trial and error with subject lines.
Consistency. They don’t call them “Drip Email Campaigns” because you just do it once. Effective email campaigns do just that – drip like a leaky faucet until someone takes notice and takes action. AHA moment – you immediately thought annoying leaky faucet. But think deeper – most sales people give up after 1 or 2 connections yet people don’t take action until after 10-12 touch points.
For thought leadership emails, I’m a fan of weekly. Same time, same place. No visuals – just great content that spurs thinking. It’s all about building your personal brand and connecting it with your company brand. Having people see you in a different light – you know, showing off your secret sauce.
For Drip Campaigns, you need multiple touches weekly and they run over several MONTHS. Visuals happen when they take action – so going to a landing page or your website, otherwise I keep them text only. WHY? One word: mobile.
Content. Once someone clicks on your email – you need to give your prospect something valuable to read! Remember people buy from people they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST – in that order. So, if you are prospecting to a cold list – don’t go in for the kill immediately. Let them get to know you and like you first – this can happen all in one email or it can get built up over time. Why should someone take the time to know you or even like you?
I’m a fan of giving something to get something. Offer a free download, give them some “tool” for free or some free insight into what you offer. Again – you need to build up to the Trust phase before they will buy. Toss in some testimonials, send them back to read a blog you’ve written. Give them something valuable.
Subject lines. Depending on what stats you look at – up to 50% of people will decide to open or not open an email based on the subject line. More daunting, subject lines can also toss you in a SPAM folder depending on what you write and to whom you are sending it to! In the end – it takes some A/B testing depending on your Target Client Profile. Here are some quick stats from our friends at Hubspot:
- Emails that contain the word “you” in the subject line are opened 5% less often than those without.
- Emails that contain the word “tomorrow” in the subject line are opened 10% more often than those without.
- Emails with subject lines containing 30 or fewer characters have the best open rates.
- Emails with personalized subject lines are more than 20% more likely to get opened.
- Emails with the word “Meeting” in the subject line were opened 7% less than those without.
- Emails with the word “Newsletter” in the subject line had a 18.7% lower open rate than those with out
- Use the word “Alert” – and see 61.8% higher open rate
- The top 5 subject lines in recent studies all included “Re:”
Of course, these are some general observations – you need to try and see what works for you!
Email marketing works.