Want better results? Improve your message. It's just that simple.
I've previously shared with you some of my thinking about email design. All the testing, with metrics collected around the world, has shown that text based email outperforms the artfully designed, graphically rich email many of you feel compelled to send. Why?
Most email clients (Outlook, Gmail, etc) have a default setting that will prevent graphics from being displayed. This is to protect against viruses being downloaded along with the images. It also tells the recipient that it's a sales message. We're all experts at tuning out sales messages. Unfortunately, this is only part of the reason for poor email marketing performance. Content is a larger issue.
Back in college, when I was studying theater at the University of South Florida, I learned the importance of knowing your audience. For example, when you buy tickets to go see a show, you're essentially opting-in for a specific performance. If you bought tickets to Cirque du Soleil and they decided instead to present an interpretive reading of Shakespeare's Sonnets, you would feel betrayed, right?
This is exactly what happens when you opt-in for one thing and are automatically added to a newsletter campaign or bombarded with sales messages. It's a bait and switch that kills trust and stops the sales conversation before it ever begins.
As a thought experiment, imagine what would happen if you stopped using email to sell and focused instead on using it to build relationships. This is what we do at Happy Grasshopper. Our messages work precisely because they never sell. By focusing on starting conversations, they invite response and stand out from inbox clutter.
Of course we'll be happy to do this for you, but you can also do it yourself. Here's the general formula we use to create the messages responsible for so many of the testimonials you've seen here at ActiveRain:
• Make a comment about something interesting or newsworthy (include a link)
• Invite feedback. Ask for an opinion, idea or suggestion.
• Remind them you're available to help
These messages should be very short. Quick to read and easy to respond to. Notice how the email signature reminds people of what I do, while gently asking for referrals. The email below is going out on April 9th, I know I'll get an industry leading open rate, several replies and multiple new customers that will follow the link and open a new account.