Remember the Floppy Disk? Not the friendly little brightly colored plastic ones, no- the Big Mamas. The flexible eight-inch platter of raw storage power. At least that’s what they were in their heyday. More than one megabyte could fit on those suckers! The ubiquity of floppy disks in all their iterations has long since gone, and you’d be hard-pressed to find one, let alone the equipment to read one...
...except in the control centers of those famous underground nuclear missile silos that dot our midwestern landscape!
It so happens that heyday of the floppy coincided with the middle of the Cold War, and the US Air Force built their Minuteman nuclear missile facilities around the latest in 1970’s computer tech. And to this day they are still in use in many of those deadly silos.
There are a number of reasons for this anomaly. One is the sheer cost to replace all the old technology. There’s also the inertia of a massive bureaucracy with very little incentive to spend on upgrades. Plus, the madness of the Cold War is mostly a denizen of the past (we hope).
But there’s an upside to this horse-and-buggy solution. Simply put, older technologies that aren’t- or can’t- be connected to anything else are more secure than all our whiz-bang high speed internet-connected gadgets. That’s right, our nuclear arsenal is more secure precisely because no one uses floppy drives or disks anymore.
Now, what’s this got to do with internet marketing? Plenty. Many marketers look at the idea of email campaigns with the same quizzical frown as they would a daily commuter astride a mule. Friends, the “eight-inch floppy disk” of marketing is not dead! It’s not even feeling ill. Despite rumors to the contrary, email marketing strategies still work if you know how to deploy them skillfully.
You want to expand your marketing reach, but you don't know how to get started. Maybe the old-school print ads or radio spots aren’t bringing the leads in. Maybe it is working, but you want to increase the ratio of acquired leads to marketing spending. When faced with this kind of problem, most business owners or managers think about leveraging the internet in some way. In our hyper-connected world it's only natural that you might want to expand your advertising efforts into the digital domain. The cold reality is that there’s no shortage of companies already saturating those Google search returns, some of those companies might even be of which are your competitors.
So how will you stand out from the rest?
Answer: By crafting an email marketing campaign that will drive traffic to your site.
You’ll find a lot of information online about how to strategize for an email campaign, and by all means, learn all you can. You should ask all the questions that others have answered for you, like which email to send to whom, how often and why… big-picture planning issues.
However, in this space we want to help you with the actual individual email. Length. Layout. Subject Lines. Tone. Content.
How do you get addressees to gladly open and read your emails?
First, write out what you’d like to say- all of it. Focus on ONE topic, answer the question, what do you want the reader to do and why? Give them a darn good reason to open and read your message.
Once you have the content sketched out, work it. It might even get longer as you re-write it, but it’s important to get all your thoughts recorded. You might even come up with multiple emails as you go. Then, edit mercilessly. Remove everything that isn't absolutely essential toward getting your message across.
Brevity sells. It’s been shown again and again that we only have a few seconds to grab a couple of eyeballs. and that's no more apparent than in the world of email. People are busier than ever, and if they see a lengthy email that goes on and on, they'll be far less likely to give your message a chance. It’s even a “thing:”
You: “Did you read my email about our new product line?”
Them: “TL;DR.” (Too Long; Didn’t Read)
Related: Free Internet Marketing Assessment
Don’t crank up the fancy terminology. You might think that including complicated technical terms will prove your expertise, but it's likely to just turn off people before they've even considered engaging with you. Respect comes from understanding, not opaque jargon that looks like showing off.
White space is also important. People are drawn to short, concise paragraphs as opposed to long walls of text. It's best to keep your message short and to the point, like this three-sentence paragraph right here.
Another thing to consider are employing a few focused questions. Statements might give potential leads some insight into what you're providing, but questions will get them engaged in what you're saying by priming the reading brain for a response. Classic questioning techniques you see used by clickbaiters is the challenge: “Think you know something? Try this quiz…”
Or the suspense generator: “Will you react the way we did to number 5?”
Or the needy pleader: “Can you help us with something?”
If the reader can't answer the question or wants to know the answer and believes that you have one, they'll be far more likely to respond to your email and eventually buy.
Peaceful Easy Feelin’
A strategic, well-crafted email makes it easy for the recipient to both consume and respond. Make them concise, clever and clickable with a carefully considered Call to Action. Use language that engages or invites, like you would use in a conversation in a grocery store line.
A short burst of humorous small talk might be helpful in the middle of the average workday. Look at your messages as your chance to do something for your audience, not the other way around. At least write the email to highlight is how this relationship can benefit the both of you. Nobody will buy if they think it's for your benefit more than theirs.
Words really do have power. When a person has to sift through literally hundreds of emails each day, you can't afford to have even a single word out of place. By now you are thinking, “But who has time for this depth of thought when banging out a simple email to my contact list is all I got time for?”
- First, it’s annoying. When you annoy people, they go somewhere else
- Second, It’s your chance to respect and add a bit of humanity to the process of doing business
- Third, it’s about return on investment. Do the math: 10 minutes spent on an email broadcast = two buyers versus 90 minutes = 50 buyers.
Business is all about relationships, and this is no different when it comes to sending emails. If you treat the recipients as numbers on a list, they'll be far less likely to respond. If instead you tailor your message to honor the relationship you have with potential customers, you'll have a better chance of getting people to respond.
When should an email land in an inbox? Experts on such things have developed countless theories as to a best time, with no form consensus. If your message is concise and clickable, it won't matter whether you send it in the afternoon or at three in the morning.
Don’t neglect your subject line. It’s the entire reason a recipient will open the email. Don’t load in superlatives or exaggerated claims- it’s cheap and salesy and will most likely drive people away like an Uber driver on meth. Try using a simple question as mentioned above that readers can engage with. Then answer the question in the body of the missive.
Test drive some of these suggestions and come up with a way to track what works and what doesn’t, like email workflows as part of a CRM. You are writing to busy people whose default is either to ignore non-personal emails or delete them. It’s the rare exception that your recipients will read yours. Make it worth their time!
A profitable email strategy is just one of the things you’ll learn from United Webworks Internet Marketing Savannah. See how your lead stream can grow by using email and other effective online approaches! We’re here to help, are you ready?