Email marketing strikes some people as “old-fashioned.”  More fashionable options like social media and mobile marketing get all the attention these days, and some people will even try to tell you that email marketing is dead.

Unfortunately, reality doesn’t agree. In fact, with a strong content marketing approach, email is more powerful than ever.

Why? Because it moves the conversation about your business or information product to a more personal environment — the inbox.

In fact, many of you probably started to read this BLOG from my emails delivered right into your inbox as my premium content. The email will ultimately lead you to finish reading the full content in the BLOG page at my site.

The email inbox still happens to be the #1 preferred channel for permission-based content marketing, by a wide margin, over social media, direct mail & paid search. Email provides you the most direct line of communication for conversion to sales, and smart online marketers have no intention of giving it up any time soon.

Email Marketing Fact

With an ROI of around 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association), email marketing almost pays for itself. Direct mail campaigns cost, on average, almost ten times more.

5 Strengths of Email Marketing

  1. Email marketing is still the most cost-effective way for promotions
  2. By consistently offering valuable content, you could build loyal followers
  3. More followers would lead to repeat traffic through referrals and word-of-mouth
  4. You can track email data easily and watch your response rates as they climb or fall
  5. Higher engagement means higher conversion rates that boost your bottom line

On the flip side, the percentage of permission-based messages that are trashed by email service providers is very high, and spam filters seem to be getting smarter every ongoing moment.

Sure, we’re all familiar with email newsletters that tends to waste our time, pitches that annoy us, and are simply downright spam.

Those never work but plenty of people are toiling over them.

What does work is a value exchange system — your valuable information for your prospect’s valued time.

Your subscribers need to know that they can trust you … that you’re not a soulless self-promoting spam-bot. You ultimate aim is for your readers to dig through spam filters, complain to their email providers, and do anything they can to make sure they’re getting your content.

Good email content deepens your relationship with your audience through:

  1. Effective subject line writing, to get your emails opened
  2. Speaking to your audience in a distinctive voice to get your content read
  3. And delivering quality, niche specific content your prospect needs and would willingly share with others.

All good email marketing campaigns will always need to include good subject lines. The subject lines are just as important, if not more, as titles of any BLOG posts. They need to be compelling enough to get the prospect to open the email to read it instead of simply deleting the email before opening it.

Give the subject lines good enough consideration and not simply put something together at your whim.

Best Practices for Writing Subject Lines

  1. Try to include a number in your subject line to significantly increase your email opening rates. This follows the same logic as including numbers in any BLOG titles. For a better understanding of this, you can have a quick read of one of my previous BLOGs on this.
  2. Keep it short and to the point. Long sentences as subject lines will certainly result in fewer opening rates. This is primarily due to the fact that almost 50% of all emails will be viewed in mobile devices. Best to have subject lines which can be viewed in full in all types of mobile devices.
  3. Depending on your email topics, research the automatic spam trigger words and avoid them like the plague in your subject lines. Even though your content might deliver some awesome value, it will never be read if the email ends up in the spam/junk folder.
  4. Do not use any ‘clickbaits’ in your subject lines. Such clickbaits may get your emails opened only once and then will be flagged as junk emails. You do not ever want your prospects opening your emails for the wrong reasons. Misleading your prospects will only cost you.
  5. Likewise, do not use your company names or brands in the subject lines. You want to use the limited amount of words in the subject lines to make the value of the content more apparent. The value you offer should always be the primary driver of your email marketing campaigns.
  6. Recent studies show that using any emoji in the subject line will affect your prospects in a positive way, hence will increase your open rates. But no need to over do it either. Around 1-3 emoji should be enough.
  7. Never use all caps for your subject lines. You may feel that using all caps will make your subject lines stand out, but it’s rather quite the opposite. You would be grabbing for attention in a negative way. Rather, using title case in your subject lines will deliver you the desired results. Psychological studies show that title case denotes authority.

How should you structure your content in email marketing?

All successful email marketing campaigns have a unique aspect to them. The content is structured in a specific and personal way with the aim to engage the readers to consume the content within a seemingly short duration.

My suggestion is to break up the content into three separate parts.

  1. Right at the start, you will need to establish yourself as an authority on the content you are about to offer. Even your personal experiences, and not strictly academics, could make you an authority on the subject. Tell your story and make the content relevant to you. With a commitment to building a relevant and targeted email list, you should always deliver the authority and trust to your expectant list, and develop a long-term conversation that eventually grows your business and personal brand.
  2. For the next part, establish an opportunity for the readers to connect to the content at a psychological level. This is usually done by asking certain relevant questions? Such as, ‘How would an extra $2,000 per month affect your life?”. Naturally, the answer will be different for everyone while you knowing that all of the answers will be on the positive side.
  3. To wrap things up in your email, you will need to finally allow the readers to make a decision based on the breadcrumbs you had already laid out. This is very important for you not to not appear as leading them somewhere. They must consciously make the decision and fully own the outcome of it.

The tone of the email is preferred to be of a casual nature. Just because you need to establish yourself as an authority doesn’t mean that you will need to sound as one. Your casual tone would relax the prospect enough to make any spot decisions.

So you could get the idea that your email copy needs to be highly logical and laser focused on a singular idea. Too many speculations would only dilute any desired results. Short, sweet and simple is the recipe for success to winning copywriting for email marketing.

For a comprehensive set of sales letters, email scripts and webinar slides content written for you, which you can fully customize to suit your needs, click here.

Important Tips for your Email Marketing Campaigns

  1. Speak to your prospect as a person and not a group. This means, use only first person grammar and vocabulary when composing your copy for the email. Do not make your copy seem generic and was made to address a group of people in general. Often enough, even I receive emails which I can tell very clearly that it was repurposed from another campaign.
  2. Speed is the key. Starting from your subject line, have direct and logical track to cover all your intentions of your email. Deliver the value early on backed by direct logic. I don’t mean here for you to rush anything, just take care not to meander off into too many branches and keep on skirting the real issue at hand. Remember to always keeping it short, sweet and simple.
  3. To put things into perspective, your prospect is what legendary copywriter Robert Collier calls “the man on the speeding train.” We see something shiny through the window as we speed through the massive clutter of the social media landscape, but we don’t look for long because a new thing is already in our periphery.
  4. Your offer must be relevant to your audience/prospects. If you are marketing orange seeds to a peach orchard, you would be clearly in the wrong place. The same applies to not being relevant to your prospects, regardless of how valuable you may feel your offer is.

Similar to the tone being of a casual nature, the copywriting must be done in a very easy to read manner. Go through and re-organize your copy several times before finalizing. Easy reading equals shorter time spent and quicker decisions. This fact also reinforces your authority factor.

Some quick copywriting tips for your email marketing

Repetition: Repeat but don’t be repetitive. You could make your point in several ways.

State reasons why: The psychology of ‘because’ primes your audience for action.

Social Proof: The driving nature of acceptance and belonging.

Comparisons: Use of metaphors, similes, and analogies that relate to things generally accepted as true.

Agitate and solve: Describe the problem, then offer your solution.

Prognosticate: Give a glimpse of the future based on practical insights and/or case studies.

Go tribal: Give your prospects an exclusive opportunity to be a part of something great.

Address any objections: Do your research so you know your audience’s objections before they do.

Storytelling: The easiest way to sell anything is to tell a great story, your story. Legendary Marketer named David Sharpe affectionately calls this ‘story-selling‘.

Quick email tips for your email marketing campaigns

  • Capture your opt-ins with a prevalent and strategic email sign-up on your website (double opt-ins are the safest)
  • Automate your email newsletters with a proven autoresponder
  • Write irresistible email subject lines that can’t be ignored
  • Use the language of persuasion, but keep it simple
  • Be conversational and relatable
  • Tell a great story
  • Study your audience and know your targeted niche and demographics
  • Make sure you are offering more than great value in exchange for prospects’ time
  • Create email content that is succinct and easy to digest
  • When you build trust by offering valuable content, you turn your audience’s precious attention into long-term interest that drives repeat traffic

Any good autoresponder lets you create defined sequences of emails to send to your readers. The millionth subscriber would surely have the same experience as the first.

This means that no matter how busy you get during the week, your new email subscribers are always well taken care of. Your list will always be served at your pre-set sequence.

It’s also a very good idea to ask the email recipients to whitelist your email address by simply adding it to their contact list. You have nothing to lose by asking them and everything to gain. You should ask this several times in the emails your autoresponder will send over time in order to reinforce your request.

Growing your email marketing list

Your growing list is the lifeblood of your email marketing campaigns. You need to truly understand what will trigger a prospect to give you their email address very willingly. Ethical bribes such as free e-books, podcasts, special reports, infographics, etc. has always worked with varying degrees of success.

You can download a PDF with fill-in-the-blank type of 45+ email marketing templates here.

When you build an ongoing relationship with your audience (and email subscribers in particular), they are the ones most likely to help you build long-term income:

  • Your subscribers are the ones who have the strongest foundation of trust with your content.
  • Your subscribers will still be there even if you run into snags on your website (like getting hacked, or penalized by Google).
  • And your subscribers will become the bulk of your buyers, whether it’s now, or sometime in the future.

Learn how to grow your email list in less than 4 hours with step-by-step, expert guidance in six short and simple lessons.

Start the course now

Your subscribers or commonly referred to as your email list is truly the most valuable asset you can build, over time, for your online business. When you focus on getting your audience to sign up for your email list you are in fact ensuring a far higher rate of conversion for your services or products.

But the question is that why would anyone sign up to your BLOG or website?

The simple answer is that they would need to see a value in joining your BLOG or website. This value needs to be strong enough not only to serve their needs, but also their egos as well. Hence, in addition to the value, offer them some social proof as well. If you are a large subscriber base, posting the number of subscribers can be a very good form of social proof.

If you are just starting out, showing a large number of subscribers would be a problem. However, I offer a few suggestions for you:

  • Using testimonials in your signup area. Why not show them what other people are saying about becoming a subscriber? This is especially effective if you can get a testimonial from someone respected in the industry. Don’t leave these testimonials in your testimonials page, rather put them where people need to see them to create maximum impact.
  • If you have a good number, display it. If you get a lot of comments, be sure your comment number is displayed at the top of your posts. Perhaps your number of monthly visits is reasonably impressive, make that prominent. If you have a good Twitter following, highlight that. Large numbers immediately help new subscribers feel like they are becoming a part of something.
  • Use exclusivity. In your call to action, you might talk about why signing up means becoming part of an exclusive community. Being part of a group is good. Being part of a group that other people don’t know about is even better.
  • Use social media. Encourage the happy readers you already have to tweet your content, like it on Facebook, and otherwise use social media tools to demonstrate that you’ve got good stuff.

Email marketing is here to stay

At a time when content marketing over emails is as prevalent as ever, its power is hard to ignore.

According to recent marketing surveys:

  • 8 out of 10 consumers claim to receive marketing messages alongside our personal emails on a daily basis.
  • 70% of us make use of a coupon or discount we learned about from email.
  • Over half of us say that receiving special offers is the top reason for subscribing to an email list from a business.

Every single minute, some 170 million emails are sent by an estimated 3.6 billion accounts worldwide, and around 100 of those may land in your own inbox every day.

You can also find a good book on email marketing available at Amazon here.

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