One Million Free Email Marketing Tips

reply-all-97621_640 (1)How many email marketing tips do you want today? You name the number and we can go out on the Internet together and find them. Believe me, there’s no shortage.

However, I think handing out “tips” is like the old adage about giving a person a fish. You know, give a person a fish you feed him for a day; teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

It’s more important that you understand some principles of email marketing than gather up 42 tips, and when you know the principles then you’ll be able to discern which tips apply to what you’re doing.

You can discover virtually all of the important principles that should guide your email marketing if you can answer these two questions:

  • Who is your audience?
  • What do you want them to do?

A tale of two emails

Let me take two extremes to illustrate how important it is to have a command of these two questions.

Email “A” is going to a list of prospects. The people on the list have expressed some interest in what you do. Email “B” is going to a list of regular customers. They are the lifeblood of your cash flow.

With our two wildly different audiences established, it leads us to our goals. With the prospects, we want to move them further down the sales funnel. Maybe we want the email to lead directly, or semi-directly to a sale, or maybe we want to pull the prospects in more closely to our brand.

With the prospects we haven’t yet fully established our authority or brand so email readers will not give us a lot of time. The subject line needs to pull them in and the body content needs to be direct and not long. The body of the email could be as short as:

“Thank you for your interest in our product. We have a free white paper that explains it in detail and gives practical tips on how to best use it. Here’s where to download it.”

With prospects you want to get that one “next” action. Don’t say more than you need to say to accomplish that.

The email newsletter

Your regular customers need something different. Often this will take the form of a newsletter. Occasionally it will be a special offer. Let’s consider the newsletter and ask our second question, “What do you want your customers to do upon reading the newsletter?”

The answer may be more abstract. Often you want to strengthen your relationship and maintain “top of mind” status. You may also have something to sell. To strengthen your relationship with these customers month after month, your emails need to contain value. Notice that the prospect’s email linked to value because that was the action we wanted to achieve. The regular customer newsletter needs to have value on its own, otherwise your customer will soon cease opening it.

While the prospect email needs to be short, the longer email for your customers needs to be “scanable.” If it’s written as one long paragraph, it won’t engage its intended audience.

I’ve taken two extremes to illustrate my point here, but there are prospects and customers who fall between these extremes. For example, you’ll have a different desired outcome for a customer who hasn’t done business with you in a year versus one who buys something every month. The email to the inactive group would be somewhat closer to the one you send prospects.

But in all cases remember: If you know the right answers to those two questions, you’ll be able to set the tone, craft the content and present the offer that works best.

Sponsored by AT&T

Image: Public Domain CC0.