As I sit here, the day after Thanksgiving, enjoying a day off work, not out shopping at Black Friday Extravaganzas, I am thinking up ways to enjoy the plethora of leftovers in my refrigerator. (Yes, that means we go overboard in our house with holiday dinners).
As I am planning tasty, easy meals to make with the leftover turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce, it occurred to me that sometimes in the world of internet marketing and advertising, our email marketing gets the leftovers. To clarify, I mean that email marketing can be placed on a back burner and gets the last of our marketing effort, planning and resources.
Yes, my mind jumps from holidays to food to work to inbound marketing, because I love to find connections between things that help shed light on a topic.
In a small business, sometimes email marketing gets the last of the effort and resources. With everything else you are trying to cook up for your marketing campaigns to serve your leads and customers, emails may not get the focus they deserve.
And yet email marketing is the one of the most effective and cost efficient forms of marketing there is! Check out this blog by Search Engine People with really cool email marketing stats if you don't believe me. It’s like the ingredients are all there for you, just take the time to warm them up, add some seasonings and voilà, you have an email marketing campaign that your contacts will enjoy. It will also increase business and bring you more customers.
First off, I am going to make an assumption with this list of tips from an email marketing consultant. I am going to assume that you already have great content that is clear and concise and sounds human. I am going to assume you have a clear reason for sending the email. And I am going to assume that you are not a spammer and you are only sending emails to people who actually want to hear from you. That’s your meat. That’s the nice, moist turkey breast that you are using again and again.
Now how do you spice this up?
Here are some ingredients to add to your email marketing “leftovers” to season them up a bit:
Write a captivating subject line. Do you want a plain ol’ turkey sandwich, or do you want a turkey club on pumpernickel bread? How you present your email and “name it” can make or break your open rate. Focus on writing a subject line that grabs the recipients’ attention and captures their curiosity. Have fun with it and don’t be so dry and “businessy.”
Include relevant, creative images that add to your message. For some of us, a description with words is not enough. But show us a picture and we get excited. I know when I am looking for good recipes for leftovers, my eye goes right to the recipes with a great picture of the finished dish, and I tend to skip over the recipes that just include a long list of ingredients. If I don’t have an image of what I am making it is hard for my imagination to create one. Help out your readers and engage them with an image.
Use software that allows personalization. When you can add a first name, a business name or another property into your email content, it just becomes more personal and friendly. Your contact can start to feel as if you are speaking right to them, on a personal level. This is a nice way to make the most of each interaction you have with a lead, even through automated emails. In my house, this translates to me asking for personalized leftover plates. One family member wants a cold turkey sandwich, another wants it hot. I like cranberry sauce on mine, but maybe someone else wants a hot turkey sandwich with gravy. In the days after Thanksgiving, each family member can personalize their plate of leftovers and we’re all happy!
Embed social sharing buttons in the email. Make your email marketing so compelling and fun that others will want to share it. It’s like those great turkey enchiladas that you make with Thanksgiving leftovers; you know, the one everyone wants the recipe for. With the right tools, it’s easy to add a few social sharing buttons that allows your fans to spread the word.
Make your unsubscribe option clear and easy to do. In other words, let your family and friends off the hook. If they are really sick and tired of turkey, no matter how you cook it, season it or hide it in a casserole, they are not going to eat it. Stop trying to shove your offers down their throat and allow them to say “No, thank you.” The same is true for your contacts. If they don’t want to hear about your great offers, let them unsubscribe so you aren’t making them eat something they don’t want. I know – crazy idea for some of you! But really, you want to spend your time and energy on those who want what you have to offer, so allowing contacts to unsubscribe is a good thing.
So there you have it, a few spicy tips from your email marketing consultant. I hope this helps you add a bit of seasoning to your email marketing campaigns. Now go spend the rest of the day eating leftovers and thinking up creative recipes for all that turkey! I know that’s my plan. Hmmmm…Pinterest here I come!