The Following guest post comes from contributor, Josh Michael, who specializes in Email Marketing strategy. When most people think of email, it's a chore that needs to be completed or a task that takes away from the real work. How many times have you heard this?:
Steve: "What are you working on this afternoon?"
Carly: "I gotta catch up on emails."
Although Carly may have a negative perspective of checking her emails... what is she doing every single day? She's reading her email! She's probably checking her email as you read this.
So what does this mean to you? It means that you have a date with Carly every time your email lands in her inbox. Facebook can't decide that your email is less compelling & remove it from her news feed and your email won't get lost in an endless sea of tweets.
Here are three tips to make sure you maximize the time and attention you have with Carly.
#1 Stop Just Selling
If you hard sell in all of your emails, you just wasted valuable time with Carly. Last month, a well-know email marketing personality had me on his list for 4 days. That's how long it took to realize that he was only interested in shoving his promotions down my throat.
People may be interested in your product, but how many emails can you send about new features before they stop reading your emails, stop opening your emails, or even worse, unsubscribe? Now you are asking: "So, if I can't just sell, what should I be doing?" Great question.
#2 Teach Your Audience
Most people are designed to better themselves. We want to learn. We want to gain skills that we can turn into a promotion. Why not help your audience do just that?
Two things happen when you teach your audience.
1 - They pay attention to what you send.
2 - They trust you.
If you can provide valuable tips and tricks or send your audience the answers to the top 5 questions your call center got that week, you'll get their attention. You'll also get their trust.
If you continued to take and borrow from your friends without giving back, they become your ex-friend. The same thing happens with email marketing. If you continue to see your audience as simply a means to drive revenue, you are missing a huge opportunity.
#3 Steal Their Attention
Learn how to stand out from the crowd. If you keep doing the same thing you'll get the same results. So try something new to grab their attention in the subject line, the design of your emails or even your landing page layout.
This week, look back through your past emails and notice the style and rhythm of your communication. Then, ask yourself, "What would create the most contrast to what I have been sending?"
If you can't think of some ideas, here are a few ways to mix it up:
- If your last 5 emails were text only, send them a well-designed email.
- Send them a funny picture from the office.
- Ask them about their day.
(Honestly, send out an email asking for replies about how their day is going. If your list is too big for you to be able to reply to them, send out a survey.)
- Use all lowercase letters in your subject line.
Email marketing is one of the greatest tools you have available to engage with your audience. Don't waste your time or Carly's time anymore.