We constantly talk about testing email headlines, email layouts, emails for mobile, and email timing. But, what about looking at what we’re actually sending our subscribers?
Would you read your own emails?
Here are 8 ways to energize your subscribers:
1. Do not talk only about your services.
According to recent research, we humans spend 60% of our time talking about ourselves. The number increases to 80% on social media.
Writing quality emails is about how you can help your subscribers. Use words like “you” and “your” throughout the email. Focus on helping your subscribers learn more about your services so they will understand the benefits. This all starts by not talking about your services from the beginning. Build a relationship first.
2. What is your attention span?
Have you been reading this article word for word? More than likely you are skimming it. That’s part of the reason I bolded the first sentence of each point and placed the test link below on a separate line.
We attract like-minded people to our businesses. Consequently, if you do read every word of every article, then you will attract people with similar predispositions to your business.
That means they will want to know a similar amount of information as you. To understand your patience level, test your own attention span. When you know how much content you pay attention to in an email, you will know how much detail to include.
Use your own attention span as an indicator of whether your email content is useful and engaging, or long winded.
Also, consider the fact that attention spans online over the past twenty years dropped from 12 minutes to 5 minutes thanks to social media. You have less time than you want to interest people in your email. Use the time to the best of your abilities.
3. Why buy the milk, when you can get the cow for free?
Pardon the un-politically correct question, but do you give away too much in your emails? Free is good! Giving away everything of value in your company for free is bad.
Your email should entice people but not give away so much information that it makes your call to action useless. Tease people with information so they feel compelled to click on the link. Make them want to learn more. Stop short before you…
4. Follow up with people.
Sorry, but your software is not good enough for me to stop in the middle of my day. When I need it, I will search every corner of the universe to find it. In the meantime, stop sending me one-off missives and then disappearing into the ether for long stretches of time.
To get on your prospects’ radar, you must be consistent. In sales, it takes five no’s on average to get to a yes. Only 8% of all sales people keep asking five times or more. Email can be an even longer approach. You are building trust and relationships with a larger number of people over time to increase your sales. Be patient, and keep providing information that is relevant to your prospects.
5. Use social media as a testing ground.
Dean DeLisle from Forward Progress uses social media as a testing ground for email topics for his clients. “For example, maybe you want to connect with CIO’s and vice presidents of IT. You are not sure how they will respond to your topic. You can test discussions in targeted groups in LinkedIn. You post discussions to see how many people like and comment on the thread. That will give you a signal whether you will get your own database to respond.”
I tested this idea for an email I am working on about entrepreneurs’ greatest fears (see next point). While I know how to write, I wanted to see exactly what I should write about. Within one hour, I had two detailed descriptions of entrepreneurs’ fears from a question I asked in a LinkedIn group.
6. Speak to your clients’ fears.
Everyone has a fear of something. Your job is to understand how to reduce that fear with your service.
This means your wording should mirror these fears. Take the question about entrepreneurs’ fears from the previous point. Here are two golden responses from the discussion. “The sky’s the limit, but you have to get in the air to see how far you can reach the stars” and “My biggest fear is that we will run out of cash before we achieve traction and meaningful growth, and everyone’s work will be for naught.”
These fears might need to be cleaned up in an email, but the expressions give good ideas for how to help. Using prospects’ words in your writing can improve your chances of striking an emotional chord with your subscribers. They want to know that you get them.
7. Test your content.
I opened this conversation talking about writing good content, not just testing it. However, if you are going to write engaging content, it will take time to get better at your craft. Testing helps you improve.
After all, B2B emails have a paltry 1.7% click-through ratio. This means that out of 100 people, at most, 2 subscribers click through to your information.
As you work on improving this ratio, start playing with your email content. Do not change everything at once. Instead, constantly look to see how you did. Can you do better next time by improving the information you share?
8. Raise Eyebrows
A few years back I read the book Copy This by Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s. One thing that stuck with me was that he named the company after a nickname friends had given him. As he said in the book, “It was no accident I chose it. Customers don’t forget hard consonant names.”
I know that telling you to try something and you trying it are two different things. However, you will know you have the right platform or the right product when other people raise their eyebrows. So, do eyebrow tests of your product. Hold video chats, take the product to network events, etc., and see where people raise their eyebrows. By their response, you will know very early on in the process whether you have a winner.
Would You Read Your Own Emails?
Writing an email for your subscribers should be about educating them on how they can use your services. While you do not need to be an entertainer, you need to put some charm into your emails. Show your human side, and let your subscribers know you care. Otherwise, they will leave your email list by either clicking the spam button or ignoring you altogether. It is your responsibility to create great content for them. So, what keeps you interested in an email campaign?
About the Author: Andy Nathan is the author of the upcoming book Start Up Gap. He is a prolific blogger and freelance writer, creating over 3,000 articles in the past 5 years.