Sell More with Better Email — What every business owner should know about email marketing to unlock exceptional results.

Start Your Email Planning with Specific Goals

All great marketing starts with an end result in mind. That clear objective will help you make good choices about what should and should not be included in each email. Email marketing can help you increase sales of existing projects, launch new products or drive people to your website. It can be used to nurture leads, request referrals, encourage prospects to call you, download a form or sign up for a class. It cannot do all of those things at once

Be Specific: How will you measure success?

Remember good marketing is measurable. The more specific you are on the front end, the easier it will be to determine if the campaign actually worked after it is run. You might measure success in open rate, click through rate, sales rate, inquiry rate or web traffic.

Build Your List

The first thing you need to do is start collecting email addresses. Even if you think you may not be ready to start your email campaign for a few months or even a year, don’t let another day go by without starting to collect email addresses. Every time the phone rings, in every interaction with clients and prospects, ask for their email address. Add a sign-up box to your website, add a download landing page where you trade email addresses for unique content and collect, collect, collect.

What not to do: Do not upload membership lists from every organization you have ever belonged to, buy lists or add everyone you meet at a networking event to your email lists. Permission-based email marketing works because the people on your list really want to hear from you. When you randomly add people, not only do your risk alienating them, you are in violation of Federal CAN-SPAM laws

Content—What Will You Write About?

The simple answer is to write about things you know about that your readers don’t. This is a great way to demonstrate your expertise as a subject matter expert. When your customers need something, you want them to think of you.

Where does content come from: Look in your outbox for emails that you sent to customers and contacts, blog posts, frequently asked questions, industry journals and wherever you get your information. Make a list of sources of information.

Calls to action(CTA): The purpose of a CTA is to motivate the reader to do something. Any interaction, click, watch, download or buy will give you positive feedback that you are on target with your content. Here are some examples of calls to action and offers:

  • Discounts and email-only offers. This can be a link to a printable coupon or a PayPal button to make the purchase on the spot.
  • Downloadable content like eBooks, white papers, ads or checklists. In other words, what you’re reading right now.
  • Register for events.
  • Watch a video.

Relationship Emails: Email is a great way to thank customers, ask for testimonials, referrals and feedback. It can also be used to remind customer of upcoming services and events or actions they need to take on a regular basis like changing their contacts or watering their plants.

Getting Readers to Open Your Email

The most creative email campaign is worthless if you can’t get people to open the email. We get so much email every day, we mentally sort email in to three buckets: now, later or never. Your objective is to get people to open the email NOW. Here are a few tips to increasing the chances your email will be opened:

Subject Lines: Keep it brief. Remember that many email services will truncate your message so be sure to lead with the most attention-grabbing part of your email.

Set a schedule: While surprises are good in some types of marketing, building a habit so your customers expect to hear from you on a specific day and time will improve your open rate.

When is the best time to send an email? Every list is different. To figure out what works for you, test, test, test. Divide your list in to equal parts and study your open rates for clues as to when you have the best results.

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