Email Marketing Etiquette
Email marketing can be a extremely effective way of bringing potential customers into your sales funnel. But as a result of widespread use of viruses and malware, many people are cautious about opening an email that comes from a source they don’t recognise, that is strangely written, or appears to have come from a non-English speaker. You can reassure your prospective customers that the emails you send out are safe and reliable by following a few simple email marketing tips, or call them “etiquette rules”:
1. Don’t Sensationalise the Headline
The default setting for Yahoo, AOL, Gmail, and other popular email providers is generally to show who the sender is and the headline. In some instances, the first few words of the email text itself will show up on the user’s email queue. That makes the headline the first important component of your email. If it is overly exaggerated, makes extraordinary claims, or is otherwise sensational, there’s a likelihood that the email will either be sent directly to the “Spam” folder or deleted by the user without being read. The objective is to get the reader to open the email, so your headline has to provide them with a good reason to do so. You want to capture their imagination and engage their interest, but not go over the top. Avoid the use of exclamation points – especially multiple exclamation points – as well as ALL CAPS and crazy colours since this will most likely tag your email as spam.
2. Use the Person’s Name, If Known
The greeting is the first thing the reader will see once they open your email. If you know the user’s name (because you either know them personally, they are already on your list, or their name was included on an mailing list you have purchased) make use of your autoresponder to insert their first name in the greeting, such as “Dear Dave” or “Dear Georgina.” Email is commonly less formal than traditional letter-writing, so in most instances using the person’s first name is perfectly acceptable. Using the person’s last name can often seem off-putting, such as “Dear Mr. Stewart” or “Dear Ms. Simpson.” Exceptions would include formal titles such as “Doctor,” “Professor,” or a military title.
3. Get to the Point
Because emails are less formalised than traditional letter-writing, and because people get so many emails every day, the person receiving your email probably isn’t going to give it much attention. That’s why it is crucial that you get to the point of your email immediately, starting with the very first sentence. In email writing, you need to give the reader a reason to continue reading. Don’t waste time by beating around the bush or attempting to build up to your point slowly. You have only a few moments to maintain the reader’s attention, so take full advantage of it.
4. Provide Value
Make sure that the point you are getting to provides value to the reader and engages them personally. Guide them into taking action by solving something they are having an problem with. If you are selling a coat you don’t have to tell them that your coat is the best and they should buy it. You can to tell them how cold it’s going to be this winter and tell them your site has some fantastic ideas to keep warm and fashionable at a great price.
5. Signing Off
Another difference between traditional letter writing and emails is the sign-off. You don’t need to include a formal “Sincerely” or “Gratefully yours.” Simply ending with your name is perfectly acceptable. Or, if you prefer, you may use an informal phrase such as “Chat with you soon” or “Cheers.” Following these general email etiquette protocols will increase the chances that the person receiving your email will open it up and read it. Ensure that the content of your email pushes the person to the action that you would like them to perform, such as clicking on a link contained in the body of your email. To learn more techniques such as these for improving the profitability of your business, check out my free eBook and receive my newsletter.
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