5 Secret (Yet Simple) Ways to Improve Your Email Marketing
by Ron Cates

This is the latest in a series of practical columns on “digital marketing made simple” by Constant Contact’s Ron Cates.

Are you using email to communicate with your customers and prospective customers? You should be. Email is an extremely powerful marketing medium.

Here are five easy ways to boost the effectiveness of your email marketing right now.

#1. Keep it short
You may be the best writer ever. You may even be Shakespeare reincarnated. But I'll still never, ever, read your long email. Email is not print! It is a much more concise form of communication. If you’re skeptical, here are three compelling reasons to shorten your email:

•    Reading speed on a computer screen is 30% to 40% slower than on print. Your customers and prospects are time-starved and don't have a minute to waste.

Ron Cates
ron cates 

    Concise communication is more popular than ever. I have three kids in college and they text me every day. Their messages are so concise I often need an interpreter to understand what they mean. Even though I find this amusing, the reality is they are pretty big consumers already (my money) and will be our prime consumers in the future (hopefully with their own money). You need to communicate in a style your recipients like – and that may not be the style you grew up with.

    With so many people reading email on their cell phones today while walking or engaged in other tasks, there's an additional safety factor to consider. A long email can be distracting and even dangerous.

#2. Keep it real
Do not copy and paste your print marketing material into an email. Email is a more personal form of communication and is most effective when written in a human voice.

Write emails to customers and prospects the same way you would speak in person to customers and prospects. What is the persona of your business? What words would it use if it were a person?

#3. Tell recipients why they're getting your email
The first thing the recipient sees should remind them why they're getting your email. It should be brief, in plain text, and at the very top of the email – because sometimes people forget they subscribed.

If I went to an event last week and collected email addresses, my first send to that list should include a message something like this: You're receiving this email because we met at the XYZ event last week, and you gave me permission to add you to my email list.

In my research, including “permission reminder” can reduce opt-outs by more than 50%.

#4. Be smart about personalization
Most email services allow you to merge database fields into your email. Your email can start out with a “Dear Ron” or “Dear Sue,” or even, “How are things in Arizona?” Although this level of personalization once had some impact, it has lost its effectiveness. You know that I did not hand-type a million first names.

That doesn't mean that email shouldn't be personal. But I suggest personalizing it in a different way. Take two minutes and a Sharpie and a white piece of paper. Hand-sign your first name. Scan it. Turn it into a jpeg (or other image file type), and place it at the bottom of your email, so it looks like you hand-signed your email.

One of my pet peeves is when someone types “Sincerely” at the bottom of their email and follows it by typing in their name underneath. I know I am extra picky, but it just doesn't seem sincere to me unless they hand-signed it. Note: use your first name only, unless it's a highly formal relationship. If you decide to use your full name, do not use your legal signature. Some scammer will copy it and buy a house with it.

#5. Include important links more than once
Recipients are more likely to click on a link if the link appears more than once in your email. If you have an important call-to-action that requires clicking on a link (and you should, but not very many of them), place that link in a few different locations.

Digital marketing expert Ron Cates, director of new market development for Constant Contact, is a popular presenter on the topics of social media and email marketing.

  0
  0
Comment:
You must be logged in to leave a comment Login | Register
Tip of the Day

Travel advisors should reach and assist travelers during the ‘micro-moments’ of the travel experience, reinforce their value-add to consumers, and refer them to digital tools when appropriate. As the online and offline travel worlds come together, everything has changed while nothing has changed.

Dave Pavelko
Partnerships director for Travel Google Inc.

Daily Top List

Best Travel Books Of All Time

1. On the Road - Jack Kerouac

2. As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning - Laurie Lee

3. Naples '44 - Norman Lewis

4. Coasting - Jonathan Raban

5. Travels with Charley: In Search of America - John Steinbeck


Source: The Independent

Top Stories
Luxury Agent Takes Flexible Approach To Fees
Luxury Agent Takes Flexible Approach To Fees

For Margi Arnold, owner of Denver-based Creative Travel Adventures, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to service fees.

Sabre Earnings, Bookings Boosted By Abacus Acquisition
Sabre Earnings, Bookings Boosted By Abacus Acquisition

Sabre Corp.’s total bookings increased 27.9%, to 134.9 million, in the first quarter.

Four Ways To De-Bunk Those Lingering Travel Myths
Four Ways To De-Bunk Those Lingering Travel Myths

TMR columnist Steve Gillick offers up four ways to de-bunk those lingering travel myths that not only affect your sales but also hurt the tourism sectors of the countries involved.

Will Google Replace Travel Agents?
Will Google Replace Travel Agents?

“I don’t believe for a minute that Google can replace travel agents,” says James Shillinglaw in his column this week. “But you need to figure out how to use Google’s digital tools to your benefit, and how to communicate the value you truly offer to your customers that Google can’t replace.”

Six Ways To Calm An Angry Customer
Six Ways To Calm An Angry Customer

It's easy to get flustered or upset when you're confronted with an irate customer (or co-worker, or boss, or spouse, or child) and make matters worse. But the right response can win you a friend for life.

From ‘Alerts’ To ‘Warnings,’ Travel Professionals Seek To Dispel Confusion Over State Department Cautions
From ‘Alerts’ To ‘Warnings,’ Travel Professionals Seek To Dispel Confusion Over State Department Cautions

With two terror attacks on popular European destinations in the past six months, travel sellers have been working overtime to explain the nuances of the notifications issued by the U.S. government and other countries on the risks of traveling.

News Briefs
Advertiser's Voice
Travel Market Report Spotlight: Celebrity Cocktails