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Of all the marketing channels available to marketers, email is still the most effective. According to an article published by Mc Kinsey, email remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media—nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.
While being a highly effective channel to engage with prospective customers, email is also abused by many marketers. I have provided 5 ways to build your subscriber list and to ensure you are viewed as a trusted adviser by your subscribers.
1. Provide a compelling reason for people to subscribe
Always bear in mind that when you interact with email subscribers, you are communicating with individuals who have personal interests. You need to provide them with information which relates to their personal interests or provides solutions to their personal challenges. If you succeed in doing this, you will retain your subscriber.
When inviting a potential subscriber to subscribe to your email list, let me know how you will add value. If you sell motor vehicles, let them know that you will provide content relating to motor vehicle care, preventative maintenance and family safety. If you sell business solutions, let them know that you provide value adding content which presents solutions to business challenges.
2. Use a reputable email service provider
I always advise my clients to use the services of a reputable email service provider (ESP). ESP’s specialise in getting your email into your recipient’s inbox. Good ESPs will also provide you with tools to manage your subscriber list, creation of email templates, filtering your email campaigns to targetted audiences, provision of analytics in order to measure the success of campaigns and information relating to email marketing.
3. Use an appropriate subject line
It is one thing getting into the recipient’s inbox and another to get them to open your email. The subject line is very important as you have to attract the attention of the recipient and convince them that it is worth their while to open your email.
Even if the recipient is an opted-in subscriber and they continue to receive emails from you, it does not mean they will read all your emails. Subject lines that work start with words such as “How to” or “5 ways to” and includes a benefit gained by conducting a specific action e.g. How to retain employees using predictive analytics.
4. Keep it personal
One of the Dale Carnegie “How to win friends and influence people” principles states “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language”. If this is the case it makes sense to begin any communication with a Dear “Recipient Name”. The FROM email address should also be a personal email address. It is proven statistically that with “one to many” communication, if you use a person’s name in the communication, the email is construed to be personal. Furthermore, people are way more likely to respond to a personal email address.
If you are sharing value-adding content from a personal email account on a regular basis, you will reach a tipping point where the sender will be seen as a trusted adviser and “go-to” person should the recipient have questions or require information.
5. Ensure content is easy to consume
Everyone is busy and do not have time to read long emails. Most readers get turned off when presented with a wall of text. Keep the email short and skimmable. Start with an opening paragraph setting the scene, follow with highlighted points with accompanying content to provide more context and end with a summary.
If you provide business solutions, I advise you start with a paragraph describing a business challenge, follow with points on how to resolve the business challenge and end with a conclusion. Always include a call to action in your email. This could be a link to a more detailed article, an invitation to an event or for the person to contact you should they have any questions or require additional information.
To radically improve your email marketing, remember to:
- Provide a compelling reason for people to subscribe
- Use a reputable email service provider
- Use an appropriate subject line
- Keep it personal
- Ensure content is easy to consume
By adhering to these five principles, your subscriber list will grow and with time, you will be seen as a thought leader and trusted adviser and will stay “top-of-mind” with your subscribers.