Why Spray and Pray Isn’t Cutting It Anymore: 10 Top Tips for Effective Email

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As many marketers and business owners have already discovered, “batch blasting” doesn’t work so well anymore for email marketing. That said, email is still a very effective tool for lead generation – when you use it well.

Here are our ten favorite tips for making sure your email works as hard as you do…

1.  It’s all about deliverability, verifiability and bounce reduction.
Permission-based lists and clean data have the best chance of getting response.  Make sure your email solution has high deliverability rates, and can track message activity (deliveries, bounces, click-thrus), or you’re just wasting marketing dollars.

2.  You better aim before you shoot.
Segment your lists based on prospect attributes (e.g. location, industry) and behaviors (e.g., attending a webinar).  Aim your messages and content to the known needs/ interests of the list segments to capture attention and enhance response.

3. Create a marketing ecosystem that walks, talks and works together.
Your email campaigns, website, social media channels and sales team all need to have the same key messages and value propositions.  Give your prospects an easy way to respond to your offer, wherever and however they find it.

4. Give your lists a fighting chance.
Build trust-based relationships: shore up opt-in, permissions, delivery preferences and privacy. Use relevant subject lines, and short, to-the-point messages with value for the reader. Avoid spam-trigger words: “Free,” “Discount,” or “Click.” Test before launching.

5. Don’t ignore post-click engagements and opportunities to improve conversions.
After they’ve paid attention to your uber-compelling email content, engage them post-click. Make sure your landing page mirrors the email look, feel and offer. Keep your call to action clear. Analyze where drop off occurs and adjust in real time.

6. Email haiku – You’ve got 3 seconds to make an impression.
Can you answer these three questions: “What am I asking them to do?”,  “Why should they care, or do it?” and “Am I making it easy for them to act?” Have just one objective in an email, and make your call to action clear and easy to respond to.

7. Be human.
Give your email a “voice,” so it reads like one end of a great conversation. Ask their opinions, and present content that takes these interactions into account. It’s best if the email comes from a real person with an authentic interest in the conversation.

8. Avoid the dreaded “Big X” – How to beat the preview pane.
Don’t make prospects click “download image” to even understand what you’re offering. Focus attention on the message and call to action; downsize your banner and make it clickable. Shorten horizontal graphics, move up a promotional message, or add a Johnson Box to increases response rates.

9. If you aren’t tracking behaviors and metrics you’re missing the boat.
Demographics, psychographics, online and offline interactions, transactions and responses deepen customer profiles and should be used to drive personalized, relevant, and timely communications, as well as sales engagement.

10. Drive conversions through social media.
Integrate socially; create a microsite or landing page with social site sharing. Track when a prospect shares the offer or content to gain knowledge about which campaigns or messages are attracting click-thrus, visits or referrals.

Want to learn more about how to amplify your email efforts and create better conversions and engagements with prospects?  Join us in one of our weekly live Act-On Integrated Marketing Platform demos, request a one-on-one demo, or register to view the 33-minute Spray & Pray on-demand webinar from our How to Market to Win Summer Webinar Series.