Email isn’t just for funny cat memes and forwards from your great aunt with promises for bad luck if you don’t share a chain with everyone on your list. It can be an incredibly powerful tool for generating and nurturing leads - if it is used with care. Think email marketing is tired, overrated, or fruitless? Think again.
It’s estimated that by 2020 the number of email users will top 3 billion. That’s about one third of our current world population, and almost double the number of users on Facebook in 2017. No other platform offers the opportunity for such personal communication to such a large number of people like email does.
But before your email can kickstart the process of helping a lead become a customer, your audience has to actually open that email. Wondering why more people aren’t opening the emails you send? Ask yourself these three questions below.
Are You Emailing the Right People?
The fastest way to make sure no one opens your email is to send it to people who don’t want to read it. There are two big strikes here, and both of them could have your audience hitting unsubscribe before you can grab your second cup of coffee.
Strike 1: You’re sending an email to a list of people you purchased from a third party. Purchasing lists is never a good idea. Not only have these people not given you permission to contact them, they’ve not shown any interest in your business or your content. Spoiler alert: you’ll probably end up in their spam folder.
Strike 2: You’re not making any effort to segment your contacts and care about where they are in their buyer’s journey. Your emails are not a one size fits all deal. You need to create segments within your list of contacts that group people together based upon their specific problems and needs and where they are in their decision making process. These kinds of emails are much more likely to be opened and convert your leads into customers.
Missing the mark on who you’re emailing is probably one of the biggest mistakes you can make in email marketing. Worried you might be making others? Check yourself against this list of email marketing mistakes to avoid.
Is Your Email Engaging?
Once you’re sure you’re emailing the right people, you need to determine how engaging your email is for the segment you’re trying to contact. Here are three things that will affect how people perceive your email:
- The “from” address: the reply address you use on each email needs to vary based upon who you are emailing and what you are emailing them. If you’re sending an email based upon account info or billing, your address might be firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. If you’re sending an email about a free consultation, it would be better to have the reply address go to a person.
- The subject line: some subject lines just scream spam. It could be the use of one too many exclamation marks or trying too hard to emphasize that you’re offering something free. Or your subject line might just make people think “delete” without even wanting to open your message (we’re looking at you, “Just 5 Minutes of Your Time” email subject lines). Take the time to evaluate your subject line. Ask yourself, “Would I want to open this email if it showed up in my inbox?”
- The preview text: The preview text is a brief snippet of text that appears after the subject line in many email programs. With most programs that offer this feature, this preview text is the first few lines of the actual email. The point? Pack your value into the beginning of your emails so contacts who have this feature know exactly what you’re offering, and that they want to receive it.
What is the Email Deliverability?
Email deliverability is exactly what it sounds like: what is the potential success rate your email has of being delivered to your contacts’ inboxes? A lot of the things we have already discussed here play a huge role in keeping your email from heading straight to your contacts’ spam folders before it ever reaches their inbox.
Besides making sure you’re only emailing people who have given you permission to contact them and making sure your emails are engaging (and don’t sound like spam), you need to think about the actual content you’re putting into your email to make sure it’s compliant with most email providers. Make sure your text is spelled correctly, and avoid using forms embedded in your email as well as an overwhelming number of images.
Email as Part of an Inbound Marketing Strategy
Email is a powerful tool in your arsenal when it comes to creating an effective inbound marketing strategy. It allows you to build genuine, beneficial relationships with your contacts, to support them in their buyer’s journey, and to provide them with value at every stage of their decision making process.
If you’re ready to learn more about taking your email strategy and your inbound marketing to the next level, download our free ebook, Beyond the Basics: Advanced Inbound Marketing Tactics.