The following three e-mail tips are fundamental tools in a long-term marketing budget strategy that will help save on other marketing expenses. Here’s how to get a bang out of those e-mail campaigns:
1. Choose a solid subject line. In my experience critiquing marketing pieces and campaigns for small business owners, I’ve seen those who get it right … and I’ve seen those who get it very, very wrong. What I’ve learned is that in order to get the best response rates, it’s important to treat the subject line of any e-mail intended for clients or potential clients like the headline of a major marketing campaign. To create a subject line that really resonates with clients and potential clients, it’s necessary to understand which problems plague them and how your services or products will address or even completely eliminate these problems. If you work with clients that are within a specific industry, you should also target this industry to give your subject line more weight; for example, if you are selling management consulting services to burgeoning musicians, you can write, “See What Our Management Services Do for Musicians Just Like You.” You don’t have to be a marketing guru (or even hire one!) to write effective e-mails. You just need to focus on the benefits you provide and not just talk about yourself or the features of your company or any products you sell.
2. Embrace e-mail content filtering. If you’re going to the trouble of getting the content right, you should be sure your e-mails don’t end up in the trash. Most of your customers’ and potential clients’ e-mail programs – even Web-based free programs – have spam filters that will bounce even the most innocuous e-mails from unknown and sometimes even known senders to the trash. Enlisting the help of a good, inexpensive spam content checker like E-Filtrate (http://www.e-filtrate.com/) can help you edit your e-mails quickly to make sure your content is free of common “trigger” phrases that illegitimate companies use all the time to mislead potential clients. A content checker can even help you check to make sure your small business is in good standing on the Internet in just a few minutes. No matter which filtering program you choose, carefully research its reputation and read reviews about it before making a commitment.
3. Watch your budget. Before you spend time or money on mass e-mail marketing to new clients, do some test runs on small groups of potential customers; track important metrics such as any coupon codes you are providing, or fluctuations in your Web site traffic. You need to know how well specific e-mail marketing campaigns are working and how many inquiries you had based on each different type of campaign so you can hone in on what really works … and what doesn’t! Also, remember that follow-up e-mails to check in with your current clients don’t take much time to draft and therefore cost you little or no money. They help foster existing solid relationships, especially when they are highly personalized and combined with phone calls and face-to-face meetings.
Statistics from professional marketing studies show that even a very well-targeted direct mail or e-mail campaign to attract new clients will get just a 2% to 3% response rate (http://www.marketingprofs.com). Use these tips to make sure every e-mail has maximum impact and shows how your unique products or services can respond to your clients’ biggest needs.