In our Successful email marketing blog last month, we talked about the things that effect the success of the email marketing campaign.
We talked about the importance of avoiding spam filters, headlines, email content and landing pages, and I want to explore this topic a bit further.
The reality is that e-mail marketing, and I am talking about marketing to cold prospects here, is that to maximise the conversion rate, we need to think about the whole project as a journey along which we are taking the prospect and his motivation for taking your preferred action at each stage.
Stage One – Seductive Subject Lines
The subject line is the single most important way-point along this journey. Its objective is just to get the email opened – nothing else. So it has to be relevant, non-spammy, and seductive enough to engage with the pain factors that you have identified in your product proposition.
The reason that the subject line is the single most important factor is that if we don’t get the email opened at all, all that other good work is wasted.
Stage Two – Headline
The only objective of the headline is to get the prospect to read the email – so again engage with his pain – maybe with a question such as “Like to save 20% of your next tax bill?” If you have done your research, your prospects should be pre-qualified and will be looking for such answers. And then support this headline with a short supporting statement about how your product achieves this. This will encourage the reader to seek more information in the body of the email – job done!
Stage Three – Email Content
The purpose of the email content is not to explain every detail about your product proposition. Its only purpose is to achieve your preferred call to action such as to click on a video demo, download a useful freebie, or to seek more information.
So why would a prospect do this? Again we need to engage with his pain, build trust and encourage conversion to the next stage. The prospect is looking for answers to his needs. Focus on these in the copy – tell the prospect whats in it for him – not whats in it for you!
Build trust through supporting client testimonials and be very clear about where you will take him at each stage of his next steps. For example “Why not view a short demo” “Take our free 30 day trial”
Stage Four – Call to Action
Limit these in number, we do not want to confuse the prospect with too much choice. And point them to a landing page on your website, with clear references that point back to the email content.
The number one best way of really upsetting the prospect, is to take them to your website home page. If you do that, they are effectively then abandoned to find their own way around. The second best way is to dump them on a landing page which lacks relevance.
Be very targeted in the choices you offer on the landing page, make them relevant and remember the journey we are taking the prospect along – help him make the choices that work for him.
Stage Five – Landing Pages
The best way of achieving effective landing pages is by deciding exactly what objectives you need from the campaign up front. Maybe you want them to view the demo, or to take the free trial, but whatever, having got them to the landing page you do need to ensure that we have some result – even if its too subscribe to your newsletter.
Again, a headline that engages, a supporting line about how your product achieves this and trust building through testimonials – you have more real-estate to play with on a landing page so you can go into more detail to inform and build that trust.
This is where you close the deal.
Keep everything that you really, really want them to click on “above the fold” (the bottom of the screen) and keep the content focused on what’s in it for them.
If you enjoyed this blog, check out the last in the series on how to link e-mail marketing with traditional techniques to really turbo charge your marketing investment.
Written by Matthew Simmons