With social media becoming the main form of communication over the internet in today’s society, it’s common to make the assumption that email marketing is dead and gone. I’m here to explain exactly why that’s not true – at all. Email marketing is alive and well, and you’re doing your company a disservice by not implementing it as much as you can. Don’t believe me? According to a recent study, every $1 spent on email marketing gets an average return of $44.25. This research also indicates that email marketing is 40x more effective than acquiring customers and leads through Facebook and Twitter. Email marketing is easy to track through analytics, it’s a relatively cheap form of marketing for your business, and it’s a much better way to interact personally with your prospects.
In order to keep your email marketing legal, you need to follow these CAN-SPAM guidelines:
- Don’t use false or misleading header information
- Use subject lines that accurately reflect the content of the email
- Identify the message as an ad
- Include the sender’s postal address
- Allow recipients the option to opt-out of receiving future emails and provide a working “unsubscribe” link
Making sure you are aware of your target audience is by far, the most important part of email marketing. Guaranteed, the best way to ruin your chances at closing a sale, is to be targeting the wrong audience. So do your research, create your buyer personas, and make sure you understand just who it is you are speaking to. Ways to do this are to research their websites, follow them on social media, and find out who they themselves follow.
Now, it’s time to begin writing your perfect message. Start off with a subject line that is short and concise. You want to make sure you get to the point right away. You want to set up expectations properly, and make sure there is no false or misleading information whatsoever. Including the recipients name hasn’t been shown to increase open rates, what’s important about the subject line is to just make sure you get to the point in approximately 6-8 words. While including the recipients name might not help open rates, including some sort of localization will! Add a relevant city name to the subject line to increase your open rates. When the customer has opened your message, you have only about 3 seconds to convince them to keep reading before they’re on to the next email. The first few sentences of the email are critical so you don’t want to include too much information here. In most cases, the beginning sentences will include your name, where you’re from, and what you’re trying to do. Even though using personal names in the subject line won’t get you too far, using the recipients personal name in the actual message will get you far. There should always be a special reason for you to contact this specific person, and by making the message personal you’re able to create a connection and have a higher success rate.
Be sure to keep the message short and sweet. People are always busy and constantly thinking about the next task they have to complete or thing they are about to go do. No one wants to be annoyed and have their time wasted by reading through long emails. If you don’t receive a reply, it’s important to send a follow up email within about 3-4 days from the first email you sent. You should be asking if they received the email, and make sure that it wasn’t sent to their spam folder. Don’t be discouraged if you haven’t gotten a response to the first email you send out. Persistence is key and it really can go a long way with you email marketing efforts. Many people respond well to persistence, because it shows you’re not willing to give up on them.
One challenge that email marketers may end up facing is how to deal with “email-fatigued” clients. In order to overcome this you need to show your customers that you have more to offer them than just some deals and discounts. Sometimes customers might not need anything from you right now, all they might need is industry insight, inspiring positivity, and continuing to build a trusting relationship. This is a great way to show your customers that aren’t in an active purchase mode that you still value their time and commitment to your company. Something else that can be done to target those that are tired of constant emails is to give them the option to receive your emails less frequently. This is particularily useful just after holiday season. The customers who wanted your emails multiple times a day in December may be feeling bombarded by it in January. It’s doubtful that these consumers no longer want to hear about your products and promotions ever again now, so giving them the option to only receive emails 1-2 times a week still keeps you in their minds, but at level that is less “in your face.”
To summarize, it’s important to do your research on your audience, have an honest and concise subject line, keep it personal, and follow up.
Here’s an article about the Top 100 Email Marketing Campaigns, broken down into 5 categories; Design Leaders, Top Performers, Optimization Experts, Nonconformists, and All Stars. Also, these are considered to be the best email marketing softwares of 2015!
I’d also like to talk about the importance of inbound sales for marketing. What are inbound sales? It’s “the process of focusing on individual buyers and their personal needs, points of pain, frustrations and goals.” An inbound sales person always puts the needs of the customer ahead of their own. The stereotypical salesperson who would say whatever they could to close a sale is no longer effective. All the more reason to make sure you are attracting the right customers, and making a closed deal with the right leads through your inbound sales.
HubSpot is sort of known as the granddaddy of inbound sales and that’s because not only do they provide amazing information about the topic, but they also offer a certification in inbound sales. The fact that you can get a certification with inbound sales shows just how important it is! It might even be what helps you land a future job. HubSpot also has come out with their own CRM that could become a key part of your sales management process!
The world we live in today is completely driven by people searching for solutions to their problems themselves – thus hopefully leading them right to you. Salespersons no longer need to seek out their leads, because now it’s so common that they will come knocking on your door on their own. Customers will do their own research on the products and services your company has to offer them before they will even consider speaking with a member of your team. Sales is no longer about closing, it’s about helping.
The self-helping internet world that we all live in today provides a new set of ways for salespeople to do their job. The inbound way to do selling includes blogging, social selling, content offers, landing pages, sales-ready websites, and SEM & SEO. Implementing SalesForce is a perfect way to implement inbound sales and help your sales team stay more focused and productive. (I’ve personally had a great deal of experience with SalesForce as it pertains to Real Estate through my internship of Summer 2014 and agree that it’s an amazing way to connect with leads!)
There are plenty of inbound sales tools that your company can use and they include
- Sidekick: a Google Chrome extension that can help each rep receive real-time notifications of when/where/how your prospects are engaging with emails or website.
- HubSpot CRM: Can help cut down data entry time.
- InsightSquared: SalesForce is part of this. There is great value in the data and reports it can produce.
- LinkedIn Advanced Search: many of you ideal customers are likely to be on this social media platform.
- TinderBox: Lets customers sign documents electronically from anywhere in the world. Also includes tools to increase productivity and track how customers interact with your assets.
- YouCanBook.Me: Allows prospects to book meetings right into your calendar
- Ghostery: Lets you see what programs and software a company is running on its website.
- Rebump: The best way to get your email answered!
- Followerwonk: Find new leads and gain insight into existing leads.
- SalesLoft: Quickly build high-quality prospect lists from social profiles across the web.
The most important thing to take away about inbound sales is that the traditional ways of selling are no longer effective. Customers can find information about your company and product with the click of the button, rather than interacting with a sales rep from the beginning. Salespeople need to understand now that instead of the goal being to close a deal, now its to help the customer find the best options of your products for them.