The Unofficial, Unexpected Rules of Email Marketing

Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective tools you can use to reach your audience. In fact, 59% of B2B marketers say email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation. It’s also one of the easiest to personalize since it allows you to establish direct contact with your audience without a set of pre-approved rules. (There’s no character count in your inbox, and you can use whatever gifs your heart desires.)

But, as a business owner, you know that the unofficial rules of email marketing change all the time. As we gather more data and insights, we learn how different nuances impact our open and conversion rates, ranging from the tools we use to the ways we communicate our information.

There are a few easy guidelines you can follow to separate yourself from the spam emails. Ready to pop into your clients’ inboxes and say hello? Here are a few tips to get started!

1. Always, Always Provide Value!

Contrary to popular belief, your email marketing isn’t really about you. And if it is, it’s spam. People hate spam. Remember the last time you gave someone you didn’t know very well your credit card number because they asked for your money? Yeah, I can’t either. It’s not a smart approach for you to take with anyone - especially potential clients.

Never start a conversation by asking for something. That’s not just a marketing tip; that’s common sense. Every email you send should provide value to your consumer. And no, I’m not just talking about sales announcements. Give them what they need. Is it a free music lesson to get started with you? A free chiropractic adjustment with each referral? Ultimately, the point of your emails, and your business, is to help your consumers solve their problems. This leads us to point number two…

2.  Engage with a Story

Storytelling is an effective way to grab readers’ attention and influence their behaviors. This is largely because people want to spend their money with brands they genuinely like. Telling a story helps build a relationship between your business and your audience.

Email marketing messages that tell a story at the beginning of the email before looping into services help readers connect on an emotional level.  This is critical because most people buy based on emotion, not logic. Think about what’s actually being sold in most marketing campaigns…it’s often the feeling of inspiration and athleticism that comes with buying a pair of Nikes more than it is their light weight and durability.

Marketers have known about the power of a good story for years now, so this trend will continue to rise as email marketing strategies develop over time. The story of what your service can provide is highly influential and when delivered correctly to the appropriate audience will maximize your email marketing ROI.

3. This Time, it’s Personal

Personalizing email content is the biggest email marketing shift of the year - and it’s a good one. As more and more digital marketing strategies become more automated, marketers are finding massive value in creative, personal emails. Emails that include the reader’s first name in the second or third paragraph of an email, for instance, or information unique to the reader’s account or segmented buyer persona, help your business connect with your audience.

Personalized content that’s relevant to the persona of each group within your marketing campaign reminds them that your business isn’t run by robots. It’s strategies like these that make your material feel more personal, and tailored more toward each reader.

4. Don’t Overwhelm Your Audience

In days not too far gone, sending promotions filled with graphic styling was a surefire way to stand out. But today we recognize spam emails by the bright overlays and unreadable fonts glaring through our screens.

Ideally, your email marketing campaigns should not blind your readers. They should be tasteful and playful, not cheap or garish. Your email marketing is a reflection of your brand. So, what would you wear to an interview, or send in a thank you note once it’s over?

While noticeable formatting may seem entertaining, the majority of email users actually shy away from reading and interacting with such emails. These advertisements can make readers feel bombarded, which creates undue pressure and makes emails come across as spam.

Consumers prefer plain text over styled emails because plain text emails resemble personal messages that would be sent by family or friends. When companies send plain-text emails, they feel more personal, more genuine, and less sales-y. These messages are easier on the eye, have higher conversion rates - and they just feel more personal.

The Biggest Takeaway

Above all else, email marketing is a matter of presenting the right value at the right time to encourage action. So, what do your clients need from you most?

Maybe it’s a free consultation. Maybe it’s a how-to guide. Maybe it’s as simple as a heartfelt message of encouragement. And if you need to add a Disney gif to the end of your campaign to sign off, I won’t judge. I promise.

Need a helping hand to get started? Call me for fifteen minutes of free advice targeted toward your practice!