The Three Proven Rules for Email Marketing Success

email marketing tips

We recently ran a series on how to put your sales on autopilot, and included among those three articles was one that featured several handy apps and plugins. The purpose of some of the apps mentioned – they were landing page apps – was to help website owners collect email addresses or other prospect contact information.

There must be dozens of plugins and apps designed to collect email addresses. We’re all familiar with the popups. The red “hello bar” that appears at the very top of the homepage is another successful way to get your visitors’ attention and present them with an offer in exchange for an email address.

However, even more important than the software that powers these procedures is your strategy dictating what you are going to do with the email addresses after you collect them. Before we get into some specifics, let me give you an important guiding principle upon which you will design your emailing program: Prospects are most interested in you the moment they give you their email address.

After they type their email addresses into that little box and press the “submit” button, their interest in you has a very short half-life. In other words, you need to engage them quickly to maintain their attention.

If you are publishing a monthly newsletter or some other kind of email, it could be a long time before your prospect receives anything from you. Many prospects probably wouldn’t even recognize you as the sender and your mailer would go straight to the garbage can. So this gives us our first rule:

1. Respond to an email signup promptly and then send further emails on at least a weekly basis.

Depending on what you want to accomplish, you can send more frequent emails. Many successful email marketers send to their lists every day. Of course, if you send every day, your content will be different than if you send once a week. Readers will expect shorter emails. However, they will still expect informative emails. Which brings us to our second rule.

2. Always deliver valuable information in your emails.

Even more important than open rates is the information you give people on your email list. If you craft a sly subject line that gets a lot of opens, but your content fails to live up to the promise of your subject line, people will unsubscribe and start ignoring your emails.

Frankly, you can keep people very engaged with three-paragraph emails sent on a daily basis, if you have a little gem of actionable information tucked into those three paragraphs.

By the way, I want to include “engaging” as an attribute you should strive to deliver. Some of the most successful frequent emailers are known for their personality. They consistently deliver actionable information with attitude; today this is called infotainment and it’s a hot commodity. If you can achieve this with your emails, you are on the fast road to success.

3. Occasionally deliver a great value.

You can keep looping through rules one and two above and feel like you’re doing okay. But can we talk? The whole reason you’re going to the effort to send emails is to make money.

Some small business owners fail to include this step. Having an informed and engaged audience for your emails isn’t worth anything if you don’t occasionally turn the corner and give them an offer they can’t refuse.

If you have a service company, build engagement through offering DIY tips every week, then once a month or so, include a discount code or some other special offer. Here’s one critical aspect of your offer: It must be time limited! If you offer a discount, make it expire at midnight Friday, or another time. Or limit it to the first 30 people who call.

You have to motivate your prospects. By the way, you can send a “last-minute-final-warning” follow-up to your original email offer just before time runs out.

Warning: Don’t turn all of your emails into sales letters. People will just start to ignore them. You want them to feel special for having entrusted you with their email addresses. Keep that special feeling alive by limiting your sales offers.

To stand solidly, a stool needs three legs. It’s the same with your email marketing. If you fail to follow all three of these rules with your program, it will be impossible to achieve your full measure of email marketing success.