How to Get More Leads with Email Marketing

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Email is one of the most intimate and effective ways to communicate with your audience.  If you can get them to open your email, you pretty much have their undivided screen attention to say whatever it is you need to say.

Unfortunately most businesses (and even a lot of marketers) misunderstand how email marketing should be used.  They send out irrelevant sales messaging with no strategy behind it.  They bombard their prospects to the point of insanity and end up creating the exact picture of what most people hate about email marketing.

So here is the challenge: how do you stand out in someone’s email box when they are getting upwards of 150 emails a day?

The answer is more simple than you might think.  It’s to make them WANT to hear from you.

Doing that is a challenge but there are tried and true strategies that work and we’ve compiled some of them here.

 

Personalize your emails

Research consistently shows that personalized email messages are 40% more likely to be opened.  I’m sure there is all kinds of psychological data to back that statistic up and it’s not hard to understand that people hate to get messages they know were send to 5,000 other people.  It makes you feel replaceable, it makes you feel cheap, and it shows that the person sending the email really doesn’t care.

When you personalize your emails using information about your contacts, the message comes across as much more genuine.  It appears that you really care about them and how you can help solve their problems.  It can also help you stand out among all the other businesses and marketers that don’t have access to that contact’s name.

So do you have to hand-write every single email you send out?  No!  We said we had tips to help you generate leads with email not to make your life harder.

You can achieve personalization and automation in the same stroke.  Here’s what you do:

  • Use an email marketing program like Mailchimp, Constant Contact, or iContact.
  • Make sure the emails you are sending have names associated with them (if they don’t take the time and try to find this data.  You’ll thank yourself later).
  • Don’t make your emails too long and stuffy.  People are busy.  They are checking their email while they are in the drive through at Starbucks.  All you need is a casual greeting, a few lines of your message, and your call to action (more on the content strategy behind your email in a moment).
  • If you feel comfortable enough (and you have the data) personalize other aspects like the company name in your email.

People like when businesses know what they are talking about.  They like when you can relate with them and if you’ve taken the time to learn something about them.

Emails Need to Be Mobile Responsive

Mobile first is the mantra today. Look around you right now. Everyone has their head down and they are checking their emails on their phone. In the store, on the elevator, on the street. Make your emails look as good on phones as they do on a desktop.

In fact, the MAJORITY of emails are read on mobile devices.  If you’re using an email marketing platform that does not produce mobile-responsive emails, you are at a huge disadvantage already.

If you’re wondering what you need to do to make this happen, don’t.  Leading email marketing programs already have mobile responsive templates built-in.  If you are using one of these programs you’re probably good to go.

  • Mailchimp
  • Aweber
  • Constant Contact
  • iContact
  • Infusionsoft
  • Active Campaign
  • Drip

Many of these leading programs have free versions for small databases so you can test them out without committing.  All of them have good mobile responsive templates so you don’t have to worry about looking like a rookie.

According to the latest research, email opens on mobile devices now account for nearly 67% of all email opens, and it will continue to grow.  So if email is a part of your marketing mix, make sure you are using best practices.

 

Have a compelling subject line

Hands down, your subject line is the most important part of your email.  It’s often the first thing people see when scanning their inbox and if it isn’t interesting or otherwise click-worthy, you’ve already lost them.

Here are some tips for a strong subject line:

  • Keep your subject line short, no more than 50 characters. Be short and succinct.
  • Use personalization like a name in the subject if it works well.
  • Make your subject relevant to any over-arching campaign you have going on (more on this in a moment we promise).
  • Avoid phrases that will get your email flagged by a spam filter.  Common phrases you should avoid include free, acceptance, chance, never, solution, password, click, opt-in, and increase sales.
  • Hubspot has a phenomenal list of terms for a lot of different verticals to avoid in your subject lines.

 

Design A Strategic Funnel

All of the stuff mentioned above is important but it’s importance pales in comparison to your overall email strategy. In fact, having personalization, a mobile responsive email, and a compelling subject line won’t matter in the slightest if you don’t have a sound strategy to begin with.

We mentioned in the beginning of this post that the best way to get people to open your emails and actually read them is to make them WANT to hear from you.  Unfortunately, that can’t happen until you’ve get them interested in what you have  to say.  This takes place back when you actually acquired their email to begin with.

Opt-ins

Your email marketing will be far more effective if you get people to give you their email by offering them some sort of content they find valuable.  Once they have done that, it is important to follow up with more helpful content combined with a call to action to buy your product or service.

Here is a simple sequence:

Email marketing sequence

Notice that each email has two distinct elements:

  1. Some type of helpful content
  2. A call to action for what you want the prospect to do (i.e. buy from you, call you, fill out a form, etc)

Also notice that this type of strategy does not involve sending random messaging hoping that someone will respond or click on your links or whatever.  The whole process is methodical, strategic, and designed to accomplish a specific goal.

 

Sending Cold Emails

 

While this is not an ideal scenario, there will always be times when an email you send to a recipient does not originate from an opt-in campaign.  This is ok as long as you offer some value to your recipient.  You can then follow up as you would with the campaign above and the two distinct elements are still the same.

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