The ideal type of opinion (unrelated to your expertise) is one that doesn’t offend anyone, but makes some people relate to you more. For example, I’m a vegetarian. I used to protest whenever there wasn’t a big piece of meat on my plate. But when I tried eating just veggies for a couple of months, I realized I felt a lot more energetic. Sure, it’s more ecological. And often animals are treated cruelly. But those aren’t the things I emphasize if someone asks why I’m a vegetarian. No one in their right mind has a strong negative reaction to someone eating food that makes them feel energetic, right? But for some vegetarians it’s a very meaningful choice, so it might have a positive impact on those people. That said, I highly doubt that my choice of diet have any direct impact on my sales.
That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
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Beyond that, avoid using all caps, too many exclamation marks, and hyperbolic phrases ("ACT NOW BEFORE TIME RUNS OUT!!!!"). Poorly formatted HTML in your emails can also hurt how they’re handled. Every spam filter is different, so an email might pass through one filter but get flagged by another. For more comprehensive info on how spam filters work and how to avoid them, check out this guide by MailChimp.
Now, work out the kinds of email communications which are appropriate and manageable for your brand. Newsletters? Generalised product promotions? Targeted product promotions? Order confirmation emails? Product reminders? All or a combination of the above? Work out what’s appropriate for you, and work out what’s appropriate for your personified customers, at each stage of their journey.
The subject line should link seamlessly to your main headline and then to the lead copy and into the body of the email. Ensure that the subject line is relevant to the content and incites a relevant expectation – clickbait is bad, folks! Open rates are not the only metrics by which to measure success (I’ve heard it said that open rates are ‘vanity’ and clickthroughs are ‘sanity’).
Note: if your email is not run by a Microsoft exchange server, the you must leave your computer turned on and Outlook running for the automated replies to be sent. If you’re not sure if your email is setup in this way, ask your IT department. If you don’t have an IT department, then your email isn’t likely setup on an MS Exchange server and you should leave your computer on.
Engagement (formerly the middle): Email marketing strategies for this phase deliver education and then point to a product’s benefits, offering a gentle sales lead. Customers have a growing interest in your product, but some might stay in the engagement phase for a while—perhaps visiting your social media pages to find out more about the product before purchasing. If customers are going to abandon the sale, it’s likely to be in the engagement phase, which is where re-engagement email campaigns come in.
Ask for the right information upfront: Great personalization starts way before you hit the ‘send’ button. It all starts with your sign up form. Without data such as name, company and location, you will be very limited with your personalized communication. Remember to only ask for the information you need, rather than the information you want. This is one of the ways that GDPR has impacted marketing teams.
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