Writing a good email is art mixed with science, with a smidgen of common sense thrown in. Your emails should be conversational, but not salesy. People are tired of being “sold to”.
They want information and help with their problems. If they get that from you, they’ll buy your products. If they get one whiff that you’re only there to sell them, they’ll unsubscribe.
The way you craft your email is crucial. Doing the following three things can cut down on your unsubscribes and help you stay in your readers’ inboxes.
1. Make the subject line as attention-grabbing as you can–but it better relate to the product. This is not to say you can’t connect flying green monkeys to computer software. However, if you put it in your subject line, you better be able to link the two and make the reader laugh, think, or buy…otherwise they are going to be annoyed.
2. Don’t use the reader’s name more than twice. When you talk to someone, you don’t say, “Mark, you know how it is, Mark, when you turn on your computer, Mark, and see the blue screen of death, Mark…”.
That might be a tad exaggerated, but you’ve seen emails that overuse the name. I suggest once in the salutation and once in the body or closing, at the most.
Some email experts suggest using the name in the subject line, some do not. When reading emails, I delete those with my name in the subject if I don’t know the sender well…I assume it’s a sales pitch. If it’s an email from a list I’ve been on for a while, it doesn’t bother me…because we have a relationship.
If your subject line is crafted well, you may not need to use names. Try split-testing and see what happens!
3. You are cultivating trust. Make sure you know it and show it. You are positioning yourself as an expert in the eyes of the reader. Sound professional, but let your personality shine through. People want to get to know you and they want to trust you.
Don’t lie to your readers–it will trip you up every time, and then the trust is gone. Yes, you can be informal, but keep in mind your relationship with the readers.
Your list is the goose that will lay your golden eggs. Don’t jeopardize what it can do in the long run for some short-term success.
Today was graduation at my old high school. I love to check out the graduates’ pictures in the local newspaper. Recognized several of my classmates’ kids…congratulations to all.
Then I noticed something else.
I grew up in a small town of about 3,500 in southern Wyoming. It’s your typical Mayberry kind of town, where everybody knows everybody else. The graduation insert in the paper isn’t just for congratulating the kids and parents. It’s an opportunity for businesses to advertise.
Most of the advertisers blew a great chance to grab more customers.
I counted over 30 ads from retail businesses. Not banks, lawyers, or accountants, but stores, restaurants, and commonly-used services like auto shops. This would have been the perfect opportunity to get people through their doors with a great graduation deal.
Out of the 30+ businesses that advertised, guess how many gave readers some kind of special for graduation?
One. The theater offered a small popcorn if the customer brought in the ad.
Why didn’t these businesses take advantage of this perfect opportunity?
How come one of the fast food joints didn’t offer a buy one, get one meal deal after 8 pm on graduation night? The restaurants couldn’t have offered free desserts after dinner?
Why didn’t the flower shop offer 10% off all orders that mentioned the ad? They could have put a time limit on it, as the paper came out on Wednesday. Some dads could have made some moms very happy indeed.
The grocery store could have snuck in a $5 coupon, or offered a special on photo albums. Their bakery could have thrown in half a dozen cookies for every graduation cake ordered.
The ideas are endless. Why don’t they get creative with their advertising?
Because many have never had to. Rather, they’ve never felt like they had to. In a small town, many businesses don’t have competition and use the same old ad in the paper and yellow pages every year.
What they don’t understand is that it’s not always about competition (or lack thereof); it’s about getting as many people into your shop as possible, giving them good service and products at a fair price, and getting most of them to rinse and repeat.
And if you DO have a competitor, the need to do this is even more urgent. Effective marketing can put you head and shoulders above the other guy, who is likely cutting back on marketing.
Using the flower shop as an example, let’s say there were just 5 orders for flowers averaging $30 a pop, or $27 after the 10% was deducted. My math says that’s an extra $135 for the week.
Big deal, you might say. But what if the flower shop started running a monthly special? What if every third Monday was 10% off day? Using the same 5 orders per month, that’s over $1,600 in a year.
When every penny counts, that’s nothing to sneeze at. For some businesses, simple marketing changes like that could keep the doors open.
These businesses can’t be the only ones who make this mistake. What marketing opportunities do you see businesses missing?
Let’s be honest. Most businesses, especially offline businesses, don’t treat their current customers like the gold they are.
Once customers buy, there they sit – largely forgotten. Oh, they might get a sales flyer now and then, but they’re not marketed to very effectively.
By and large, businesses are so busy chasing those shiny new customers that they let current customers fade away. Sometimes “old” customers drift into indifference (forgetting about you completely), or they’re miffed that you don’t check on them to see how they like your product.
After all, they spent good money on your product and are seeking a relationship with you — and you’re blowing it.
These customers would be your biggest cheerleaders if you’d just put forth a little effort to contact them. Instead, they aren’t impressed…and worse, they let others know it.
Don’t Make the Huge Mistake So Many Do
Is it easier to sell to someone who has already bought from you and knows the value of your product, or someone who doesn’t know you from Adam?
And is it cheaper to keep in touch with current customers or go after new ones?
You don’t have to do much to keep up with customers, especially if you have their email addresses. You can create a list and contact them whenever you want to. They want to hear from you, especially if you treat them like the preferred customer they are.
Keep Your Customers Close
If you haven’t yet done this, send them a letter offering some kind of freebie or bonus if they’ll just give you their email address. Let them know you’ll be contacting them regularly with tips and information.
Then do it. Build your list and contact them once a month or so. Give them some killer info to help them with their problems (I can help you with this if you can’t or don’t want to.) Make them feel appreciated with special deals or coupons. Get them in the door or to your website by offering something free. Heck, send them a card on their birthday, or send their spouse or child or dog a card.
Make it a Win-Win
If you find quality products others sell that you think they would like or use, you can offer them and make even more money from the same customers. I’m not saying you should cram their inboxes with sales pitches, but if you find something you know would benefit them, offer it.
A word of warning here: that product better be relevant and it better be good, or you’re not doing yourself any favors. Customers can smell hype and insincere pitches a mile away.
The name of the game is relationships. Establish a trusted relationship with your customers, and not only will they buy from you, they’ll send their Aunt Sally and the receptionist from work to buy from you too. When your competition tries to sell these folks, they’ll be loyal to you and turn them down.
If you need help getting started building relationships with your customers, let me know and I’ll be happy to see what I can do.
What do you do now to make your customers feel special?
Any ideas on how to improve on what you currently do?