I get this out of the blue email from one of my connections on Linkedin and I cannot resist myself from writing this post because time and again one gets to see loads of startups doing rounds of such emails.
This email is not a shocker; it just elicits a usual response – “Another one!” and I close the email.
While I couldn’t figure out if this came from the founder or one of the sales guys but my spontaneous thought was “Who would bother to give a second thought to this email?”
Although some readers might hold the view that email marketing on Linkedin is unacceptable, I wouldn’t quite join the clan because it’s the context and the content of the email that makes it perceived as either marketing or truly informational.
I have done quite a bit of email marketing myself and experimented with a lot of variations with regards to content and other things. I can safely say that there are definite rules of thumb that should be followed and that there are strict Don’ts that should be avoided.
If you have thought of incorporating email marketing as one of your strategies, you might as well go the extra bit and make it effective so you can reap the return on investment on your time spent in email marketing campaigns.
So, what works best in Email Marketing?
(Basic pointers yet not implemented fully)
Target Audience: It’s common sense that a person who doesn’t need your product/service wouldn’t even bother going through your email. In case, you would need to market another product/service to that reader sometime in future, he might have formed a negative opinion about your company and wouldn’t bother to open up the email even though it may be relevant this time.
Subject Line: There’s cut-throat competition today amongst emails. It’s the survival of the fittest! So, how do you make your email grab that precious second of the reader? Unfortunately, there aren’t any other tactics but your SUBJECT LINE. So, make sure it does the job for you. Spend some time thinking about the context of your email with regards to the reader; assess what makes the reader interested in your email. Then come up with a few subject lines that might be perceived as truly beneficial to the reader. Experiment with subject lines to see which one grabs the most attention.
Personalized Greeting: If your email has managed to grab the attention of the reader, the next that thing that grabs his attention is the Greeting. If you just say ‘Hi’, it’s a turn off and immediately sends a message to the reader that you don’t care enough other than getting the word around about your product/service.
Personalized Content: If you really want to reap the benefits of email marketing, research your reader and his motivation and then come up with something that he will find useful. This depends a lot on what sort of email campaign you are conducting. Say for example if you are inviting people for an event, you may want to research the background of the person and then link it with the event as to how it could be useful to him. Sure, this process is time consuming but you can work around this issue by creating templates around your target segment and then customizing it with just name.
Be human: Most marketing emails fail to have the human touch. They make you feel as if it’s just about getting the word across and don’t invite engagement or encourage the reader to get in touch with the sender. Try showing some empathy and consideration for the reader. Keep the tone friendly and encourage reply-back to the email; it just feels more human.
Short and sweet content: This is where I have also gone wrong a lot of times. Sometimes, one feels that saying it all in an email will convince the reader to take a Call-to-action. But No! Keeping the content length appropriate (neither 1 small paragraph nor an essay) increases the response rate. If possible, just instigate preliminary interest in the reader and then take it forward after you receive a response.
If you do Email Marketing, what other things do you think one should take care of to make it effective? Do share your thoughts and experiences in the Comments section below.
Pic Cortesy: www.seomorpheus.com
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
NIDHI KAPOOR - Nidhi is the co-founder of FounderMates. She holds an MBA in Innovation & Entrepreneurship from Imperial College, London. Prior to starting FounderMates.com, she worked with 2 reputable startups in London. One of the startups was as young as a year old where she was the first hire while another was almost 5 years old. This has been an enriching experience for her in understanding the dynamics and needs of a startup across a broad spectrum.
Nidhi can be contacted at email@example.com