We all receive a lot of sales emails every day, but how many of them actually achieve their aim – getting opened, read and making the sale? It’s likely most are ignored, even emails sent to subscribers, and swiftly deleted.
Marketers are certainly up against a tough challenge as most people have bulging inboxes these days, but there are 8 essential features that you should use to raise your chances of making a sale via your email promotions.
1. Your subject line
When you scan your lists of emails, you probably check the subject lines first to see if you’ll open them.
The subject line is the most important part of your email. It’s like the first screen of your website, tempting the viewer to find out more.
So, your subject line has to be compelling enough to get your recipient to open your message.
Subject lines that have an obvious sales message tend to be deleted or wind up in the spam folder, so what you’re aiming for is a friendly tone, rather than a business-like tone, such as:
“A question about your website ‘….’”
“Here’s the information I promised you”
“About your subscription to ‘….’”
And remember, you also want to create a sense of curiosity:
“Have you ever made this common health mistake?”
You want your subject lines to look like they are coming from a friend and for this reason you need to also be careful about what you put in your sender field too. It’s no good having a friendly subject line if your sender field screams “salesperson” and uses “spammy” names like “Get Rick Quick Secrets” or “Internet Sales Guru”. Use your own name and you’ll appear much more personable and trustworthy.
And if your recipient is a subscriber to your email, you should be communicating with them like a friend. That’s the point of your emails – you’re building rapport and trust, you’re building a relationship.
What you absolutely don’t want to do is use shock tactics in your subject lines (“Open me now and I guarantee you will win a million dollars!”) to get them to open your emails. If you use these tactics, they’ll work maybe once or even twice, but it will ruin any trust you have created and likely lead to people deleting your emails and unsubscribing.
You can also use subject lines that sound like an editorial and promise useful information, such as “The 10 health benefits of apple cider vinegar”, “Low testosterone linked to cancer in men”.
This type of subject line works well when you’re targeting a specific audience. By promising useful information, you prompt your recipients to open your email.
OK, so you should use a friendly tone in your subject line, but should you use the recipient’s name (“Here’s the report you requested, Kay”)?
Personally, I think not. It was a well-used tactic a few years ago and as a result it’s become too overused to feel personal and genuine anymore.
What other tactics can increase the effectiveness of your subject line? You should:
· Use words “Here” and “This” (“Here’s the report you asked about”, “This new study on heart health got my attention”)
· Include ellipsis points….These create a sense of incompletion….prompting your reader to open the email to see the rest of the message…
· Use incomplete ideas, like “Which one of these famous actors inspired this brand new health craze?”
· Avoid words like, free, buy, discount, sales, special offer, profits, money, new, etc. – these are likely to get the spam filters working overtime.
In time, writing subject lines will become easier once you get to know your subscribers better and how they tick.
2. Your first sentence
Your opening sentence has to identify who you are. It has to create rapport and must sound conversational and friendly, with no corporate speak.
One or two ice-breaking sentences go a long way; describe the weather that day in your hometown; talk about a recent trip or a great film you’ve seen. The aim is to sound like a flesh-and-blood person. You want your readers to feel like they know you. People buy from people they know and like and trust. So, never skip this ice-breaking tactic.
3. Promise a benefit
All your recipient cares about is “what is in it for me?” How does your email benefit them? What do they get from it? You have to offer a benefit and offer it soon and clearly in your message.
Your readers are busy, so don’t waffle. Get to the point and offer them something they’ll really like.
4. Have only one message
You should stick to one subject as this is easier to swiftly lead your recipient to your intended goal – nailing the sale.
If you have multiple topics in one email, it will cause your reader to lose focus, as their eyes dart over the different topics. This is not what you want for a sales email. Remember, readers have short attention spans, so have just one message.
5. Give value
This could be a free report, a coupon, a special offer, or discount. We all like gifts and freebies, so reward your readers for taking the time to read your emails and connecting with you.
6. Demonstrate the benefit
You’ve promised a benefit (point 3), but you must also demonstrate to your reader how they’ll benefit, what it can do for them. You could, for example, write: “Try our new mind-mapping program for freelancers so you can organize your projects better, be more productive, save lots of time and be more profitable.”
7. Your call-to-action
After spending so much effort on your email, you don’t want to blow it by emitting a clear, strong call-to-action. The point of your emails is to get your reader to act – to buy your product.
So make that clear – add a “Sign up” or “Click here to order” button. Tell the reader what you want them to do, don’t assume they already know. Make it easy for them.
8. Let people opt in…and opt out…
You of course want to keep your subscribers happy and increase your list. That’s why you shouldn’t be shy about asking your satisfied, loyal readers to forward your emails to people they know who might like to also subscribe. After all, the money is in the list, or rather your relationship with your list. So make it easy for your subscribers to get people they know to opt in too – put all the necessary links in your email. And consider offering a gift or reward to them for spreading the word.
And don’t forget that you must also have an “Unsubscribe” link too. It’s only fair that your subscribers can opt out without having to jump through hoops to do so. Losing readers is never pleasant, but if they tell you why they are opting out it can give you great marketing insight. Respect your readers’ wishes and let them opt out of your list if they wish without any problems.
So, that’s the 8 essential elements of emails that sell. If you use them, and pay attention to your subscribers’ psyche, you’re well on your way to email sales success.
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