More than 250 billion emails are sent each day, and that figure will reach 275 billion by the year 2019.The use of outbound email has been a traditional marketing method for many years, with millions of companies reaching out to existing and potential customers via written email marketing content. Generally, outbound email casts a far larger net than other, more focused marketing strategies. The idea originally was to put your brand message out to the largest audience possible – and then sit back and hope that you get a response. While that approach to outbound marketing intentionally casts a wide net, it is done with the knowledge that you may only catch a few fish. As with everything else in our Internet and IoT age, email marketing strategies have changed over time as newer technologies have entered the scene.
Today there are a number of more targeted outbound email marketing strategies that you can use to directly reach a higher number of qualified prospects with a more clearly focused and customized message – making it far more likely that you will get more responses and ultimately catch more fish.
This is why the use of outbound email should still be a key piece of your overall marketing strategy at all stages of the sales funnel.
In fact, segmented and targeted emails generate as much of 58% of all revenue, and they offer the highest ROI out of all digital channels, with a return on investment as high as 4,300% (according to the Direct Marketing Association), and the average value of email marketing as much as three times higher than that of social media marketing – even in today’s changing media landscape. And modern marketing automation makes it easy to offer a wide variety of carefully targeted email options. From drip campaigns to warming up leads that have gone cold, you can personalize and customize your email marketing messages based on an almost endless array of possible groups and segments.
Short and Sweet is Best
While you may feel that you have a lot to say about your company, product, or service, it’s important to keep in mind the short attention span you are dealing with.
The average adult will only pay attention to anything for eight seconds. That’s how long you have to get them motivated enough to complete the desired action.
This means that it is absolutely essential for you to keep your email message short, positive, and natural. Avoid archaic practices such as keyword stuffing or repetitive messaging, and keep your message and offer as clear and concise as you can. Avoid using image headers or anything else that screams out: mass email marketing message! You want the recipient to feel as if they are receiving a one on one email message, but in a format that is easily scaled. And don’t make your audience spend time reading multiple paragraphs to get to the point – because they won’t.
Just because you are keeping an email short and sweet doesn’t mean it shouldn’t sound natural. People want to feel like an actual person is talking to them via email, so carefully consider what you write and how it will read, not sound. It also helps to let your brand personality come through, helping them to connect even more with your company, products, and services. While lots of exclamation marks and emojis are becoming more common, keep your audience in mind when crafting your outbound marketing emails. For many of those in the older generations, these icons clearly signal spam.
Make It Personal
Most people are going to be receptive when they receive a highly personalized, targeted email that offers them real value as an individual.
In fact, emails that have been personalized deliver transaction rates that are up to 6 times higher than those that have not.
People today are used to receiving these kind of marketing emails, with up to 80% saying they get them daily along with their personal emails, 70% saying they actually use the coupons or discounts offered via email, and 60% saying that these special offers are why they are likely to subscribe to a company’s email list in the first place. In order to personalize your messages, all you need to do is aggregate customer data and group them into specific segments – and today’s automation programs can then easily let you add in personal touches such as their name.
Talk to Their Pain Points
Your customers have problems that need solving or needs that can be addressed by your products and/or services. Providing them with a clear understanding of these pain points and offering an actual solution is always a great way to get a response. You can use outbound emails to clearly identify an actionable pain point you can address, the service and/or product you have to offer, and a clear way that they can use it to solve their issue or concern. If you can tie your email messaging to a customer’s pain point, it will create a real sense of urgency – and motivate them to actually respond.
Carefully Consider Your Subject Line
If you want someone to click on, open, and actually read your outbound marketing email, you need to get to the point as quickly as possible. Making sure your subject line concisely communicates your email’s purpose, what is desired from or offered to the recipient, and the level of urgency – such as an offer that is time-sensitive – is essential.
For optimal results, you should also customize and personalize your email subject lines whenever possible to make sure that the recipient will actually want to open it.
It’s also a good idea to start the subject line with their name or a keyword that grabs their attention, incorporating their first name and company email when possible. Then follow up with a very brief description of what you have to offer them. Don’t ever use clickbait email subject lines, because people will immediately bounce once they realize that your subject line wasn’t honest – and your clickthrough rates will drop dramatically. Another interesting tip to consider: keep your subject line 49 characters and under or else 70 characters or more. For some reason, subject lines of 60-70 characters have the lowest open rate out there, and subject lines of 10 or less characters actually have a surprisingly high open rate of 58%.
Be Sure to Thread Your Emails
Threading your emails makes it possible for you to send the proper responses to your customers, and it also allows them to see the contact history you have established with them. Using an automated tool that threads your emails is easy. And it also makes things look as natural as possible while having a demonstrated history of communication with a customer or potential customer is proven to get you the best results. It also enables you to follow up on previous emails that have not yet received a response, demonstrating that you have paid attention to both the emails you have sent out and their responses – or lack thereof. This helps to establish as a sense of rapport and connection.
What time a person receives your email really does make a difference. If you want a better likelihood of getting an individual to respond to your email, then send it first thing in the morning or during lunchtime hours. Emails sent at these times get the best response rates because people tend to check their emails first thing in the morning and again after they get back from lunch. Overnight is also a good time to send emails, because they’ll be waiting for folks first thing the next morning. And because most people are off work and most marketers have been taught to avoid sending emails on weekends, the total number of emails received during that time tends to be much lower, actually making it more likely that yours will get opened.
You may have a huge list of email subscribers, but most of them may be inactive. Relax. Recognize that it often takes a second or third email to push users to respond. The first 90 days are usually the magic window for getting an initial email response, but reengagement campaigns can also be very effective. Just be careful not to email users too many times or too often, as that may cause them to block you or unsubscribe from your mailing list.
Of course, every company, product, and service is different, and different customer demographics and segments respond better to some marketing tactics than others.
Some of learning what works best for your business comes from trial and error – and a lot of it comes from experience and keeping up with the latest research.
At Power Digital Marketing, we have an established track record of getting results from outbound email marketing campaigns. If you feel your content marketing efforts could use a boost, don’t hesitate to contact us for a free content marketing assessment. We have the expertise you need to make your next marketing campaign a success!