The Insider’s Guide to Email Advertising

If your email has too much content, it might be deleted right away. But if your email doesn’t have enough content, it might be seen as unimportant or worthless. So how do you find that happy medium? By understanding your recipients. Get in the shoes of your target audience and play dumb; pretend that you don’t know what you know, and ask yourself the questions listed above.

Be friendly

So you have a product or service that’s better than your competitor, right? Right. Don’t bash or speak negatively about your competitors. Some businesses will do this, but it’s really not worth it. Often, bashing your competitors results in both of you Email1and1 losing credibility. Amazon.com doesn’t do that, and neither should you. Be completely neutral. Mind your own business in emails. Nobody likes a negative person who gives excuses for why things happen to them. Instead, be the opposite. Be the bearer of good news; be their optimism on a rainy day. But be authentic – don’t fake it. It’s true what they say… people can tell when you fake it online. Be genuinely happy to help your customers and newsletter readers.

Don’t focus on the sale

We all know about car salesmen – they just want the sale and nothing else. All too often, email marketers will blast their newsletter focusing too much on the sale. “Buy now“, “Hurry!“, “While supplies last!” are all great example of trying to get people to buy right now. Does it work? Absolutely. Should you put keywords that focus on the sales everywhere? Absolutely not. Know when to use these words, and when not to.

Focus on serving your customers. Make them happy, let them trust you and let them get to know you. One of the hardest things to do in business is to create a standing relationship with a customer that’s so strong they want to do business with you over and over again. The internet, believe it or not, sometimes makes that more difficult that it needs to be. Because the readers cannot hear your tone, you have to write things a certain way, add images and use other forms of media to get their attention.

Don’t send too much

If you send too much advertising, as in too many ads crammed into one email or too many topics are put into one email, you’ll notice a a high volume of unsubscribers. Make sure you follow the rules listed above but also understand that you’re sending information to a human, not a computer. You need to be able to give them service, information or something as valuable that improves their life, and you need to be understood as a fellow human. By putting too many images into an email, or too many sales-y keywords, you’re not sounding like a person who’s trying to connect with another person. And often your email will be sent to the SPAM folder. Here’s how many people look at their SPAM mail and search for important documents: almost none, unless otherwise specifically told to do so (when you register on a new website, they might ask you to check your SPAM mail for the activation key).

Personalize

Nothing beats being personal. Yes, we just went over this in the point above this one, but it’s extremely important to highlight. If you opened an email and the first line said “hi “, you’d dismiss it pretty quick and assume it’s junk. We all do it. If you read half the email and it sounded like a person standing on a stage, talking to 10,000 people… you’d probably dismiss that email as well. Because it’s not personal. It doesn’t involve you, specifically, and it doesn’t give you individual attention. Be the person who writes emails, even if they are sent to 10,000+ people, that sounds like your talking to an individual. Your email will be accepted lightly instead of being seen as hostile and intrusive – because you sound like you care. And as mentioned earlier… Care! Be genuinely happy to help somebody.

Sending time

This tip should be pretty straight forward, but it’s still not considered a common practice: be conscious of the time you send an email. If you send an email at 3am and it’s the first thing the recipient reads when they wake up, your ad won’t be very effective. Your message might not even be very effective. Heck, you could send a personal email to the person closest to you, and there’s a very high chance that they won’t reply, never mind accept your ad as valuable. Take a look at your industry, even look at when the most common times for emails in your industry are sent, and get to know when the best time to send an email is. For example, are the best shoppers for books buying from brick and mortar stores at 1pm on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday? If so, think about when should you be sending them a quick newsletter about your new book or discount?

Be honest

A no-brainer, right? Not for everybody. Tell your customers exactly what they should expect. Make it easy for them to buy. “Buy one get one free” is a great example, because you know exactly what to expect – if you buy one, you’ll get one free. But “buy three and save on the fourth” is less clear – it feels like if I buy three I’ll save an uncertain amount on the fourth, but it could be an amount that doesn’t matter to me. Think about it for a second and ask yourself, “Is this a clear message that everybody can understand?”. If so, you’ve made the right choice.

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