Every day, thousands of entrepreneurs are joining the email marketing game. Many will sign up with one of the major email marketing services companies. Some will seek out specialized software from a loud website that makes a lot of promises. Some will sit down and simply start typing in their email client, and send a message out to a dozen people they know. Some will place a signup form on the counter of their store. Some will go to their contact management software for email addresses. Others will buy email addresses off the web. No matter what software they use, where they get their contacts, or what the message is that they are sending, nearly all of these new email marketers have one thing in common.
They’re doing it wrong.
The best email marketers out there have mostly learned the hard way. They’ve made ugly messages. They’ve gathered contacts the wrong way. They’ve missed sales, opportunities, contacts, and much more, because they just didn’t know what they were doing, yet.
They were doing it wrong.
I have talked to hundreds, if not thousands of email marketers. I’ve seen many thousands of marketing emails. I’ve learned from the best, and helped the worst get better. Trust me, I’ve seen a lot of things done wrong.
That’s why I started this blog. I plan to expound on some of the bad things I’ve seen, and highlight some of the good ideas I’ve found. I hope, over time, to turn this into a serious resource for email marketers that wish to improve their results.
How can you do it right?
- Test, test, test. Think you’ve got a great message? Improve it, then send both versions to different segments of your list and check the results. Always assume that your assumptions are wrong, and let your list prove it for you.
- Create engaging content that communicates with, rather than talks to, your readers.
- Make it look good. Use text and a few images to create a nice looking message. Don’t send image-only creative content if you can help it. The reasons are many, and technical. The results are important.
- Make your list smaller. One million contacts in your list is useless if they aren’t opening or clicking links. You’d be better off with 100 contacts, if they respond to your messages. If your list is one million contacts in size, and only 100 are engaged, then you have a list of 100. Focus on them.
- Understand that your subject line sells the message body. The message body sells your call to action. Be aware of every decision the reader must make when they receive your message, and optimize each relevant piece of your message for performance.
It’s not an exhaustive list. Stick around. I’ll have more.