The 6 Pillars of Achieving Email Marketing Success for Your Small Business




  • April 26, 2015

    It has become more difficult to deliver your email messages to prospects, and even your own customers, as more email service providers are placing messages in the trash and implementing strict rules filtering messages as spam. Beyond providing quality content and offers, what can you do to have the best chance of your emails getting through? You need to focus on building trust.


    The success of any email marketing campaign depends on genuinely compelling content that provides value. As well as setting the stage through authentic and generous relationship building. You want your readers to search through spam filters, complain to their email providers, and do anything they can to ensure they’re getting your content. That’s how good you need to be or aim for.


    Do not place yourself within the “pitch-fest” crowd, bombarding readers with pitch after pitch and deal after deal. Ensure that your mail content is loaded with value tailored for your audience, so readers are more inclined to open everything you send. If you don’t build this trust and credibility with great content, most other techniques will not convert.


    Fortunately, there are a few practical things you can do to give your messages the best possible chance of success.


    Know Your Target Audience & Focus


    If you’re running a B2B business you won’t necessarily want to market your product or services on every social platform or community in existence. You may want to spread your wings far and wide but being everywhere in this case is counterproductive and waste of time and money. For example, the audience you’ll find on Instagram won’t necessarily be same as who is one LinkedIn. You’ll discover that the same tactics that work for LinkedIn will fail miserably on Instagram because of nature of activities on each platform and expectations of users. It’s likely that you’ll have much greater success with B2B related activities on LinkedIn than most other networks. As you work on growing your email list, your greatest successes will be experienced when you align perfectly with your target audience.


    So don’t just randomly send messages, have a plan, be selective with a personalized message for each audience segment or trigger emails based on specific actions. Triggered email messages get 119% higher click-through rates than “business as usual” messages.


    Conversations are 2-Way


    Ensure that whether you’re personally responding to email queries or if you have staff doing the work, your responses are thoughtful, personal and specifically serves the sender. Respond in a timely manner and if you need more time to answer a request, communicate your position regardless. Silence will only turn off your subscribers and ruin your chance for gaining trust.


    It’s also smart to use an individual person’s name in the “From” field, rather than the name of a company. Anything you can do to capitalize on the intimate nature of email makes sense. By adding the words, “Just click reply to ask me a question, your message will come directly to my personal in-box,” you will notice greater responsiveness from your list. Speaking of responsiveness, creating a responsive email design can also help you increase the likelihood or your emails getting read and as a result ensuring a better email marketing campaign.


    email design for mobile


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    Questions and feedback build excellent rapport and provides you with valuable insight into what your customers and prospects need and opportunities for further communication. It’s quite similar to most other communication platforms like social media or even snail mail. In this current marketing age, most marketers are solely about pitching instead of building relationships. Social media has become a noisy place and adding to the low value noise is one of the most wasteful mistakes you could make in modern marketing.


    Winning Email Marketing Campaigns Begin With Excellent Software


    Forget about Outlook, Gmail or any other basic email service provider, these will simply not work. Email marketing software provide lots of analytics to better plan assess campaign performance, offer better delivery rates, templates for perfect delivery on all devices and come packed with tools to make every activity accountable. The autoresponder feature of most services like MailChimp or GetResponse, for example, enables you to create defined, automated sequences of messages to send to your readers ensuring that you never miss a beat. The 100th subscriber has the same experience that the first did. This means that regardless of how busy you get or what disasters you might be coping with at any point in the work week, your new email subscribers are always well taken care of with predictable quality. Autoresponders bring a reasonable amount of automation providing a strong technical foundation for your relationship with your new subscriber in a smart and efficient way.


    Keep in mind that you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Your first few timely messages is your chance to establish a reputation, provide context and build the relationship with the subscriber.


    Use Warm & Personal Language


    This creates a really nice rapport with your email subscribers. Early on in your autoresponder sequence, include a cheerful, warm, individual-sounding message. Something informal. For example, “Hey, really glad to see you here, hope you enjoy the content…”


    You’re not trying to trick anyone that this was an individually typed message for that recipient, but you are trying to create the same feeling of a personal relationship. Invite questions, comments, and feedback at this point, and let them know that you’d love to hear from them. It’s good to use these kinds of messages in a text-only format. As you roll-out your campaigns, it’s going to be vital that you test everything you do to compare what works and what fails.


    mobile email testing


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    Ask For Inclusion in their White or Safe List


    Regardless of how good your email provider is, some messages end up in spam. The best defense against that is to convince your readers to add you to their list of “safe senders,” “contacts,” or their “white list.” And the best way to get them to do that is to simply ask.


    Send a plain text message in your messaging sequence right before a message that is likely to include a few red flags in the content (Something like “making money online” for example). The message should explain that the next email in the sequence is a little more likely to get trapped in a spam filter, so this would be a great time to add you to their safe senders list. Some readers will immediately white list you. Others don’t, then the message is caught in a filter the next day and they will see that adding you to their approved senders list would be a good idea. Obviously, it’s smart to get yourself onto the white list as soon as you can, so you’ll want to bring the subject up early on. But if you do have a message you can’t reasonably lower the spam score on, this technique can give you a good reason to ask a second time.


    Take Note of Spam Triggers & Analytics


    Email marketing platform providers typically provide feedback via a dashboard indicating whether or not your content in your campaigns is potentially flagged as spam. Some keywords and topics like pharmaceutical brand names are obvious. Others are annoying, because they tend to be the words and phrases that have the most selling power. For example, links that say click here can make your content look a little spammier to the filters, precisely because savvy marketers know that explicit calls to action achieve better results.


    This is a perfect example of why you should keep your email messages short and sweet and leave the long-form sales copy for your landing pages on your website. However, the last thing you want to do is to use less persuasive language just to keep a spam filter happy. Always remember that you’re writing for people, not filters. When you make your readers happy and deliver the quality content they want and need, no spam filter can stop you.


    Conclusion


    Email marketing remains a powerful tool in your sales arsenal. Do not be intimidated, however, as the market becomes more challenging and customers demand greater quality. Email still performs when executed in a native, value-driven and informative manner. Email will, for a long time to come, be the preferred channel for permission-based promotional messages.

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