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#5.09: The “Great Email Tricks” Issue

Increase response to your email campaigns with proven secrets that work time and again.

1> A Little Content Goes a Long Way
2> Split Your List
3> We’re All Suckers for a Freebie
4> Check It Out: Great Ideas at Ad:Tech

1> A Little Content Goes A Long Way

We delete ads — and we read newsletters. Your open rates will go through the roof if you can make your email offers look like newsletters. The secret: You only need a tiny amount of text to make an email feel like a valuable, must-read publication. Take your existing “deal of the week” email, and add a paragraph of content, change the title, and call it a newsletter. Works every time. There’s plenty of easy content you can use: tip of the week, industry news, trivia, recipes, and how-to-use advice. Remember, people wouldn’t have signed up for the list if they weren’t interested in the products — so give them a useful how-to each week and they’ll keep reading. Our favorite example: We wish would stop sending boring lists of products on sale, and start emailing us “Cool Executive Electronic Gadget of the Week.” We’d buy them all. Don’t tell our wives.

THE LESSON: Make your emails worth reading. The inbox is a crowded place, and no one wants another ad.

2> Split Your List

Do you have only one “special offers” email list? Break it into three or four smaller lists. A solitary email list is risky — when someone unsubscribes, you lose permission to send them emails altogether. You want “unsubscribe insurance” — multiple permissions for different lists that keep the lines of communications open. Even better, when you offer multiple lists, you get the benefits of “self-segmentation,” where your readers sort themselves into target markets by interest. Why try to guess what customers want to buy? Offer email lists for each of your major product categories and buyers will find the right list. IVillage does a great job, with almost 50 specialized lists. Their fans will always find something to read.

THE LESSON: We all unsubscribe sooner or later, so offer choices to keep us reading. When you know what we read, you’ll know what we buy.


3> We’re All Suckers for A Freebie

Nothing beats a free download to get people to respond to your email offers. Feature a coupon, a report, or presentation. Whatever you put up there, you’ll see 20%-40% of newsletter readers clicking on the freebie download. Once you’ve got them to your site you can direct them to all sorts of marketing objectives. Think of the download as the hook that gets them in the door — and think about the steps you should take to deepen the business relationship. Ideas: Ask for their contact info before they download; give them a form to tell a friend about the offer; or let them sign up for a new list with other free downloads in the future.

THE LESSON: It’s not hard to turn email readers into web site readers — just give them a good reason to visit.

4> Check It Out: Great Ideas at Ad:Tech

If you like the advice you get in this newsletter, come see us, and more than 100 fascinating emarketing experts at Ad:Tech 2004 San Francisco. Our favorite event.


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