How to Make Email Marketing Works for Your Business

Topic 1 ~ Your Email Subject Lines ~

How To Write A Good E-mail Subject Lines That Works?

Here are the 5 tips:

1. Ask a question. One of the best ways to get a reader’s attention is to ask a question. But like a trial lawyer questioning a witness on the stand, make sure it’ll get you the response you’re looking for. “What’s the best way to grow your business?” is a great subject line for business owners. After all, what business owner wouldn’t want to grow his or her business? Or let’s say you run a health club. An e-mail with the subject line, “How can you lose 5 pounds in one month?” would certainly be compelling. It’s important your question be relevant to your audience.

2. Be a tease. A clever subject line can be enticing. When it’s done right, reader curiosity is piqued. They want to know more–and they’ll open your e-mail. Writing a teaser-style subject line requires some creativity, and your content needs to deliver. A company that sells high-definition TVs could use the subject line, “You’re not going to believe your eyes” as a teaser to introduce a new addition to their product line.

3. Tell it like it is. Often, what works best is to say exactly what you want your reader to know. Examples of this straightforward approach are, “Sale on all sweaters this weekend,” “Master jazz pianist plays live this Friday” and “The seven secrets of a profitable business.” This just-the-facts approach works especially well when you can appeal directly to your audience’s interests. It’s also the best approach to use when you send a newsletter.

4. Remember “WIIFM”. When a person gets your e-mail, the first thing they consider is “what’s in it for me?” They have a decision to make. Do they open your e-mail, leave it for later or delete it? If there isn’t something about the subject line that lets them know why it’s worth their precious time to see what’s inside, then the choice will be clear. Keep WIIFM in mind when creating every aspect of your e-mails, including the offer, content, images–and most definitely the subject line. It’s all about them. They know that; just make sure you know it, too.

5. Get personal. The more you can make each contact feel you’re speaking directly to them, the more effective your communication will be. Whatever style of subject line you use, you can make it personal by using the word “you.” Professional copywriters know the secret of using this powerful little word. Just look at the advertisements, mail and e-mail you receive. A few examples are, “Find the right swimsuit for you,” “You can save 50 percent on travel,” and “You’d look phenomenal in a custom-tailored suit.” “You” is ideal, but “your” works too.

6. Not sure which approach is right for you? Try them all, and then show a friend or colleague to get their feedback. Pick the one you believe will be most effective for your audience. Whichever approach you choose, it’s always worth spending the time and effort to write a great subject line. Because if your readers don’t open your e-mail, they’ll never have the chance to read the important message you’ve created for them inside.

Topic 2 ~ Increase Click-Through Rate (CTR) ~

How to Increased Click-Through Rate (CTR)?

Here are some guidelines:

1. Include a feature, a benefit, and an advantage in the opening. This needs to be used in a subtle way, but in the opening you’re really doing a small marketing job for this issue of your email newsletter. Highlight an article or two that are important, explain what you’re providing the readers that they won’t get elsewhere, and tell them what the benefit will be. A great example is something like “Nokia and Sprint announced second quarter earnings today. Learn what our Wireless Week experts say about the results, and what effect you can expect them to have on the industry at large.”

2. Put the email newsletter in the context of your readers’ day. This goes hand in hand with the last point. Your readers are busy, and if you can make a compelling case for why they should stop what they are doing and take a few minutes now to read your email newsletter, you’ll get them in. We recommend editors reference important events, upcoming trade shows, or other things that say to the reader “You will find it worthwhile to stop and read this email newsletter now, because the information in it will help you stay on top of your business.”

3. Keep it fresh. Don’t craft a “perfect paragraph” and use it issue after issue after issue. One of the keys to success is to keep the copy fresh and highlight items in that issue of the email newsletter. If you use the same generic language repeatedly, people will stop reading it and it’ll be a waste of your time.

4. Keep it short. This is critical. We recommend no more than two to three sentences — just enough to get them interested and pull them in to read the rest of your email newsletter.

Try it out and see the results! This is just one of the simple things you can do to engage your reader and optimize your CTR.

Topic 3 ~ Killer Email Sales Letter ~

How to Write Killer Email Sales Letter That Get Results?

Here are what we’ve found works best. Use these tips properly and your results will skyrocket.

1. Your email “from” sender line should be your brand name or company name and stay consistent. Use your own personal name only if that is your brand image.

2. Send emails only when you have something to say that will benefit the reader. No fluff. No filler. You must be relevant. If you can’t be, don’t send an email until you have something beneficial to say.

3. Start your emails with the specific benefit the reader can get from your message. You have no more than 3 seconds to pass the crucial “what’s in it for me?” test.

4. The copywriting tone and language should be personal and conversational, instead of stuffy and “corporate”.

5. Make a specific offer to the reader and, if possible, include a short deadline by which he must respond to get it.

6. Use as much copy as is needed to fully pile on all the benefits the reader will get by ordering, answer objections, create urgency, and close the sale.

7. Test your subject lines and offers on small segments of your list before you send the email to your entire list.

8. Include “Email this to a friend” service in all your communications for pass along and viral marketing.

Topic 4 ~ Good Call-to-Action ~

Get More Clicks With a Good Call-to-Action!

The call-to-action is a determining factor of your click-through rate. It is an important component of your email copy because it answers three important questions for the recipient. They are:

1. What you want them to do

2. Why they should do it, and

3. How to take that next step.

Whatever action you want your recipients to take, you can make it happen more often with a good call-to-action. First, decide what you want them to do:

1. Buy something

2. Sign up for a service

3. Fill out a form

4. Read an article or get more information

5. Visit your website or store

6. Make an appointment

Etc…

Then, make sure you incorporate these 6 characteristics to get the results you’re looking for. Make your call-to action:

1. Visible – People read, react, make decisions and take action differently. Some make decisions right away (“You had me at hello.”) and some need more details (“I’m from Missouri.”). Place call-to-action links in the beginning, middle and end of the email so that recipients can click whenever they are ready.

2. Clear – Stick to simple words, short phrases, bulleted benefits and paragraphs of 1-3 short sentences. Include appropriate graphics and cut the clutter by making effective use of white space.

3. Compelling – Use action-oriented verbs and phrases: “buy now,” “call today,” “save” and so on.

4. Rewarding – Offer an incentive or reward for action. For example, “Act now and also receives…,” or “the First 100 respondents will be entered into a raffle to win…” The giveaway, or prize, you choose should be closely related to your product or service. That way, you will be targeting customers who are interested in what you have to offer, not just the latest gadget.

5. Urgent – The longer an email sits in an inbox, the less likely it is to be acted on. Create a sense of urgency to get a more immediate response. Try limiting the offer to a specific time period, to the “first 50 customers,” “while supplies last,” etc.

6. Direct – Your call-to-action links should go to the appropriate page on your website with more details on the specific product or service you’re promoting. If you don’t have a website, the call-to-action might be store locations to visit or a number to call for an appointment.

Keep in mind that, in addition to repeating your call-to-action, you can vary your call-to-action to appeal to different types of buyers (and to fit your sales cycle). For example: “Click here to buy now” will naturally work better with loyal customers. The softer, “Click here to learn more” may be better for newer prospects.

Topic 5 ~ Avoid Common Pitfalls ~

Read Your Email Message Backwards to Avoid Common Pitfalls

Here are some common problems to look out for:

1. Misspelled words – It’s a good idea to spell-check a document, but it’s not enough. A spell checker won’t catch every error.

2. Wrong word used – This is why a spell checker isn’t enough. A spell checker will only flag words it doesn’t recognize. It can’t tell if a legitimate word is used incorrectly. Some words commonly confused: accept, except; your, you’re; then, than; there, their, they’re; cite, site, sight; lay, lie; loose, loosen, lose. Also, look out for a missing “r” in the word “your.” It’s easy to overlook a sentence such as “Visit our Web site now to receive you free copy.”

3. Grammar error – Again, if you know you’re not a good writer, have someone else check your writing for grammatical errors. Mistakes make you look bad.

4. Punctuation error – This is another area where you’ll benefit from a review by someone who knows their stuff. If you’re determined to do it yourself, purchase a good grammar or style book. One of the most common punctuation problems: Too many stupid commas!

5. Vague or confusing statement – Make sure every sentence is crystal-clear. You don’t want your promotional message to raise more questions than it answers.

6. Illogical statement – Read over what you have written slowly. At the end of each paragraph, ask yourself: “Did that make sense?” Rewrite so that it does.

Topic 6 ~ Frequency of Sending Emails ~

How Often (Frequency) Should You Send Email?

There’s no quick answer to the frequency question. It depends on the goals for your email and the type of content you send. Some rough guidelines:

1. Mail at least once a month. Mail less often than this, and you risk being forgotten by recipients. Monthly is the bare minimum if you want to keep your brand or company name top of mind (a common email goal).

2. Let content be your guide. Look at what you provide readers and you’ll get a feel for proper frequency. Analyze how often the information changes and how quickly readers must receive it to act on it.

3. Work within your resources. A daily email requires many more resources than a monthly. Better a well-done monthly email than shoddy weekly or daily. It’s recommended to start with a monthly. Once that’s going smoothly, they can think about moving to weekly. You need to walk before you can run!

4. Watch for trends. Declining response, open, and click-through rates can be signs of list fatigue. Though some decrease is normal, watch carefully and cut back frequency if you see a problem. Don’t assume if the unsubscribe rate is stable you’re OK. Many people prefer to forward email directly to their delete folder rather than unsubscribe.

Topic 7 ~ Understanding Spam Filters ~

Understanding Spam Filters to Avoid Your Emails Get Junked!

If you send email campaigns long enough, you will inevitably run into spam filter issues. On average, you can expect 10-20% of your emails to just get lost in cyberspace, mostly due to overzealous spam filters. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix. If you want to avoid getting your emails junked by spam filters, you have to understand how they work.

Generally speaking, spam filters look at a long list of criteria to judge whether or not your email is junk. For example, they might look for spammy phrases like “CLICK HERE!” or “FREE! BUY NOW!”. They’ll assign points each time they see one of those phrases. Certain criteria get more points than others. Here’s a sample of criteria from Spam Assassin, one of the most popular spam filters out there:

o Talks about lots of money (.193 points)

o Describes some sort of breakthrough (.232 points)

o Looks like mortgage pitch (.297 points)

o Contains urgent matter (.288 points)

o Money back guarantee (2.051 points)

o Why Pay More? (1.249 points)

It’s easy to use “spammy” keywords in your email without even knowing it. Here are some common ways marketers unwittingly trigger spam filters with their campaigns:

1. Using spammy phrases, like “Click here!” or “Once in a lifetime opportunity!” too many times in your email. Sometimes, you can’t avoid phrases like “FREE SHIPPING!” but use them sparingly, and don’t do anything else risky.

2. Going crazy with exclamation points!!!!!!

3. USING ALL CAPS, WHICH IS LIKE YELLING IN EMAIL

4. Coloring their fonts bright red, or green

5. Coding sloppy HTML (such as by converting a Microsoft Word file to HTML)

6. Creating an HTML email that’s nothing but one big image, with no text (since spam filters can’t read images, they assume you’re a spammer that’s trying to trick ‘em)

7. Using the word “Test” in the subject line (agencies run into this all the time, when sending drafts to clients for approval)

Topic 8 ~ Why Email Marketing Does not Work? ~

If Your Email Marketing Does not Work, Think Again Why?

Before you arrive at the faulty conclusion that email marketing doesn’t work, let’s look at this from a different perspective for a moment that would make your emails ineffective.

First there’s what you are writing in the body of the email. If this is your first attempt to get in touch with a prospect, what are you putting in the email? A dissertation? If it’s longer than one or two paragraphs, it’s too long. Look at your emails like an initial cold call. You need to laser in and deliver a compelling opening statement that’s going to grab their interest and stimulate a conversation. Because there’s no one to cut you off in an email or stop you from persistent pontification, people have tendency to ramble on and on in an email, giving the prospect the life story of the product or service they want them to consider. Keep it short and focus on the one or two benefits, opening up the opportunity to have a dialogue. That’s it.

Second, are you sending attachments in the first email? No attachments! It’s hard enough sending an unsolicited email to a prospect. Now you’re adding more barriers and increasing the chances of your email winding up in their spam box or junk email folder. Some people have filters on their email that if an attachment is sent it automatically gets deleted. No attachment until that information in the attachment is solicited by the person.

Third, html or text? Once again, with all the email filters people use today, you will increase your odds by sending a text message only rather than trying to get fancy with formatting, graphics and pictures. The prospect really doesn’t care about how beautiful your email looks; they care about the core message. Besides, they will never even get a chance to see your beautiful masterpiece in an html email if it’s winding up in the trash.

Finally, you are using way too many spam words. As mentioned, the biggest enemy to email marketing or selling via email is the additional security that companies and individuals have on their network or computer. As such, the specific words you are using in the body of the email can be the culprit who is sending your email directly into the trash or spam box. In other words, you are using words that are often identified is spam and in turn, you email is getting flagged and deleted. Not even eye contact! The prospect is not getting a chance to, at the very least, see your email let alone read it and have a chance to respond accordingly.

Ending ~ Please Forward ~

Health Care Marketing Series – Marketing Effectiveness and Efficiency – Warheads and Missiles

We have previously discussed the research needed to create a marketing strategy that identifies a target demographic. The purpose of this research is to allow us to compare our relative strengths and weaknesses verses our direct competitors strength and weaknesses within the marketplace. Once our relative position in the competitive marketplace has been researched, a strategy that pits our strength against our competitor’s weaknesses can be formulated. This process is called marketing strategy.

Part of the marketing strategy is to formulate headlines and ad copy based on our relative position in the marketplace. We want our marketing to highlight our relative strengths against the relative weakness of our direct competition. All of this positioning must be crafted within the context of the solution to a specific problem that exists in a coveted demographic within our marketplace. The ultimate goal is to create a perception within the collective minds of our demographic that we have the best answer to solve their specific problem. This well researched, well crafted message is our marketing warhead.

The more congruent our message is with the wants and desires of our coveted market demographic, the bigger bang we will receive from our marketing efforts. This “bang” is measured as our response rate. This process of marketing strategy sends us into battle (contention for potential patients) under advantageous conditions. The process we have just described is the definition of marketing strategy. The better the marketing strategy, more effective the headline and ad copy. Notice that we stated the better the strategy the more effective the headline and copy will be. We didn’t say the more effective the marketing campaign will be. This is because there is one more major consideration that helps to determine how effective or ineffective a marketing campaign will be. The other piece of the puzzle is your delivery systems.

If the strategy and the headlines and ad copy are the warhead of your marketing campaigns, the next step in successful marketing is the missile or delivery system.

The variables for marketing success are the quality of your research, the art and science of your strategy development, the alignment of your headline and ad copy with your marketing strategy and finally the efficiency and cost effectiveness of your delivery systems.

You can have a nuclear warhead when it comes to knowledgeable strategy, headline and ad copy, but will obtain mediocre results if you choose a weak delivery system. Conversely you may have the best most effective delivery system and obtain marginal marketing results if your strategy, headline and copy are weak.

Optimizing all three components and constantly testing and perfecting these aspects of your marketing campaign is the key to effective, efficient and profitable marketing that produces a handsome return on investment.

We have discussed the intricacies of developing marketing strategy in another paper. The marketing metrics required to evaluate the return on investment (which is another way to say the marketing efficiency) has been discussed in a previous paper. This paper will integrate marketing strategy and research with marketing metrics to create a framework with which to evaluate marketing delivery systems. This process is a real world method for first determining and then improving both marketing effectiveness and marketing efficiency.

Before we can evaluate our marketing effectiveness and efficiency we must first define marketing effectiveness and efficacy.

Marketing effectiveness is how well a campaign or the action steps within a campaign’s execution produce a favorable response. What is a favorable response and how do we know if we got one? Well despite what marketing aficionados might tell you, marketing execution can be measured. There are several tangible measurements that matter and they are new (or repeat) business depending on your strategy, revenue increase and profit

Your marketing strategy can be judged to be effective if 1. It produces new business, 2. It increases revenues and 3. It increases profit.

It has nothing to do with image, branding, awareness or intangible returns.

In the context of marketing a professional practice, new business would be “kept” new patient appointments. Revenue is the gross collections increase from previous months and profits means your return on investments, also expresses as increased revenue minus the cost of your marketing effort.

By themselves these measures can give you a good handle on the effectiveness or not of your marketing execution. The next step is to eliminate marketing action steps that are not effective and to optimize those marketing activities that are proven to be effective. Once marketing effectiveness and marketing efficiency are optimized you merely repeat the most effective and efficient action steps. Again and again.

This process is impossible without marketing metrics and return on investment measurement. In fact according to the Harvard Business School no marketing action plan is complete without steps to measure and evaluate the implementation of a campaign. (1)

(1) Harvard Business Essentials

Marketer’s Toolkit

Harvard Business School Press 2006

Let’s look at an example at how all this works. Let’s compare giveaway coffee mugs with a full color print on demand booklet. Online print on demand printers can produce a 6.5 x 9 inch full color saddle stitch booklet at a cost of $6.50 per unit. Let’s compare this against a custom imprinted coffee mug, available for an average cost for mugs of about $1.50

At first glance the mugs seem like a much better marketing investment.

But are they? Let’s say our coveted marketing demographic is women ages 35 to 55 and we have found through are research that this market segment has a health problem: menopause or perimenopause.

First let’s look at headline opportunities.

With the coffee mug you are severely limited by space. You’ll need to try to create a slick trendy and catchy headline. Something like:

“Got Hormones?”

There is not much room on a mug to do much else. What are our options with the print on demand booklet? With the booklet, space constraints are not an issue.

Here are several options:

- “A doctor’s guide to choosing the best treatment options for your perimenopausal symptoms”
- “Tired all the time, irritable, depressed, gaining weight? These are symptoms of perimenopause” “Learn about modern treatment options.”
- “What every women should know about perimenopause and how she can feel good again.”

Really with the space the booklet provides the headline can be extremely specific. You can use subtitles and even an excerpt from the content on the cover. So in terms of our warhead, which one do you think produces a bigger bang?

“Got Hormones?” or “Tired all the time, irritable, depressed, gaining weight? These are symptoms of pre menopause” “Learn about modern treatment options.”

With the coffee cup the story ends here. Because of space restrictions you can’t really get much more detailed. You might put your name on the mug, but you would be hard pressed to add much more information. The catchy headline “Got Hormones?” hopefully will start conversations about you and your services. The downside of this is obvious however. If you give your coffee cups to a patient or the owner of a trendy salon and if one of her customers sees the mug and asks the proprietor about hormone replacement, what are the odds that layperson can represent you and your services in a dramatic, appealing and informative way? Patients rarely remember to take their medications yet alone the reasons why they should and all available options you discussed with them.

In other words, the coffee cup doesn’t allow you to give enough information to sell your service to a prospect. It relies on third party information. The coffee cup hits a dead end rather quickly.

So in terms of a marketing warhead the coffee cup is more fizzle than bang. There is simply not enough space on the cup to allow you to create a headline that is in alignment with your target markets’ problem, yet alone enough space to educate her on how you have the solution to that problem. In other words, there is no way, using a coffee cup, to position you and your service in the mind of a prospective patient. Unless of course you sell coffee.

In terms of effectiveness, the coffee cup while seemingly relatively inexpensive is of dubious effectiveness. It doesn’t matter how cheep the mugs are, if they are not effective they are expensive.

Let’s go back to our full color booklet.

It’s full color so you can use appealing photos and graphics. There is plenty of room on the cover to place a well thought out headline that will stimulate your target to read the copy. Then there is the copy. With 15 pages you have plenty of time and space to sell yourself as the answer to your prospect’s problem.

You should always include a section that details your education and experience. This has been termed your unique selling proposition (USP) or your exceptional value statement (EVS). It is your chance to toot your own horn and you should toot it loudly. The purpose of the EVS is to position you in the prospect’s mind as the “go to” doctor. Your EVS must be powerful enough to motivate the prospective patient to drive by hundreds of other doctors on the way to your office. So spend some time on it and if you don’t feel comfortable talking about yourself, have someone read your CV and write your exceptional value statement for you.

Next let’s consider the body of your ad copy. This is where your research and marketing strategy comes into play. In your booklet you are going to list the basic approach of all your competitors. This may seem counter intuitive but remember you will be highlighting their weaknesses as you go. You are going to offer up alternatives to your own treatment approach, but frame them in a way that showcases their (your direct competitor’s) specific weaknesses. You slowly introduce your answer to the prospect’s problems. If your copy writer is talented, he or she should be able to bring the prospect along so by the end of your information booklet, the only logical conclusion for the reader is that you have the best answer to their problem. Never bash your competition, only frame your comparison highlighting the strengths of your approach compared with the relative weaknesses of your competition.

This shouldn’t be too difficult if you have developed marketing strategy as we discussed in previous papers.

Now within the booklet you should always include multiple ways for your readers to respond. Of course your office address and phone number, but also your web address and email. Perhaps an invitation to take an on line survey and of course your innovative Ask-the-Doctor program. How about a detachable postcard?

All of these methods of response should be interspersed throughout the text of your booklet. Not hidden at the very end.

The most important thing to remember is that your booklet should include valuable information. Don’t worry that you might be giving something away for free. If your information helps the patient they will consider you an expert. They will consult with you when they need help. They will already know that you can help them, because you already have.

Consumers are deluged with advertising offers. Research shows they are more likely to read marketing material if it contains valuable information that will likely benefit them. If your booklet is valuable it will have staying power. It may also be copied and passed around. It might be a good time to mention that you should waive the copyright and tell the reader to feel free to make copies and pass the booklet around.

So after reading this article do you still think that coffee mugs are an effective way to market? Are they efficient? They may cost less than a full color booklet, but do you think they are more cost effective?

Consumer Direct Inc – MLM Health and Wellness at Its Finest

Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw have for years been extremely popular folks. These 2 are renowned nutritive analysts and writers, who’ve single handedly been credited for launching today’s anti-aging revolution, after the successful release of their highly-popular and best-selling book, Life Extension: A Practical scientific Approach, in 1982. Today, Durk Pearson and Sand Shaw continue to be fertile and successful diet and wellness product marketers, and own / manage a company called Consumer Direct Inc.

What Have Durk And Sandy Been Doing These Years?

Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw co-wrote the highly-popular book Life Extension: A Practical Scientific Approach in 1982. They also co-wrote The Life Extension Weight Loss Manual, as well as the Freedom of Informed Choice: FDA vs Nutrient Supplements in 1993.

These two savvy nutritional researchers and authors have also wrote numerous articles in cognitive enhancement, life extension, anti aging, weight loss and other nutrition topics and concerns. These two eminent fellows also have appeared in over three hundred television programs, from several appearances on CNN’s Larry King Live, to a number of documentaries on aging and wellness on such favored international TV networks like BBC, Canadian Broadcasting concern and on Japanese television.

The pair released the Life Extension Video in 1988. The video was made to completely explain a big selection of ideas and information, which were taken from their top selling works on weight loss, nutrition and anti-aging.

What Are The Products Of Consumer Direct Inc.?

Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw’s Consumer Direct Inc. produces and markets a wide array of leading edge health and wellbeing and anti aging products and additions. Their products go from the Direct Health product line, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw Designer Foods, and the Direct Health Junior product line for kids.

The majority of the company’s nutritional formulations contain precise nutrient co-factors, which act together with the product’s principal nutrient. The corporation’s health, well-being and age-defying products do not contain synthetic fillers, corn, soy, yeast, synthesised colours, pollen, glucose, sucrose, artificial sweeteners and wheat, which may cause allergic responses

Selling Revolutionary Health and Wellbeing Products Through MLM

Because Durk and Sandy have in depth experience in formulating nutritive supplements and in studying body metabolism, they have designed nutrient supplement formulations, without getting any reference from the usual complicated biochemical charts. Durk and Sandy, as well as the company itself, are absolutely committed to revolutionizing the market place, by introducing a new wave of nutritive and wellness products.

Consumer Direct Inc. is completely committed to manufacturing high-quality but cheap nutritional products, while at the same time permitting customers to support one another and achieve independence and wealth. The company markets its nutritive products though internet promotion or M.L.M.

Durk and Sandy note that if you use the products and achieve the desired results, all that you need to do is tell your success story to everybody, and the results will. Sell the products. The sole investment you want here is to sign up for automated cargo of your product orders, and effectively lure others to join your business too.