14 Tips from Tory for Permission Based Marketing Success
Permission based email has a higher rate of return than unsolicited email, direct mail or traditional advertising. Email generates nearly a 2X return compared to other channels. For every dollar spent on email marketing in 2011, there was a $40.56 return. That success has lead to an avalanche of mail in our respective inboxes daily. Here are a few tips to help your campaigns get opened, responded to and shared.
Start by building a list. Every item you create for your business should and could carry a Call to Action (CTA). Insert a flyer in each sales bag in addition to keeping a signup list at your counter. Use the backside of your business card; most people leave that valuable little piece of real estate un-used. Mention the benefits of signing up as you hand it out.
There are law regulating how you can contact and use address’s once gathered. Using a template based service like Mailchimp makes compliance easy and affordable Mailchimp allows you to send up to 12.00 outbound messages (campaigns ) to as many as 2,00 addresses a month absolutely free. I recently found out one of my clients was using a competitor and paying $21.43 a month! Learn to understand the metrics of your campaign and TEST, TEST, TEST!
Benefits are what you should be sending, content that benefits the person who signed up to hear from you. Deviate too far from why the person signed up and they will quickly un-subscribe. Keep your content trustworthy, relevant and conversational.
On any given day, the average customer will be exposed
to 2,904 media messages, will pay attention to 52 and will positively remember only four (SuperProfile 2010).
Offer a benefit in exchange for the signup. A free seminar, a discount or coupon, run a raffle or contest, give an e-book or a white paper.
Don’t make signing up hard work. Limit your form to the bare data sets you need. Web forms on a blog or website should appear above the fold. No one wants to scroll to complete a form!
Keep your message brief and use plenty of white space. Use heading titles and even sub titles for easy scanning of information.
As most mail is now read on a mobile device, make it AMAZING on mobile. Here is where testing your mail really pays off! White space on mobile is even more important: it provides a small “safety net” for your design as it responds to different devices and leaves room for finger-focused navigation. For text-based emails set your font to 10 point Courier going 60 characters (five inches) across.
Keep load times short: Long load times cause visitors to abandon your email. Big images are the main reason file sizes get huge, so keep your image sizes down.
Don’t have a photo editing program, try pic monkey for free.
Recommended image size standard for an inbox:
8 inches (600 pixels) @72dpi (maximum size image for full column width)
4 inches (300) @72dpi (medium or half column width)
2 inches (150 pixels) @72dpi (thumbnail )
Your Call to Action (CTA) should be larger than less important elements on the page, be sure to create your CTA button large enough to allow for easy of action when clicking and in a contrasting color. Avoid generic button copy like “Subscribe” …Subscribe to what? Be specific.
The subject line is the first thing your audience reads when they receive your email and for this reason alone, it’s arguably the most important part of your entire email message. Your subject should be short and descriptive (no more than 30-50 characters) According to our friends at Mailchimp the top three words in a subject line that negatively affect open rates are: Help, Percent Off and Reminder. On many mobile devices, the subject line and header appear together in the inbox, so it’s important to make sure they support each other.
Be consistent, send the same number of emails each month, at the same time. Although there is no one universal day and time that ensures a high rate of open. Some studies suggest Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays perform better than weekends, and at the lunch hour or mid day. Keep time zones in mind. There is no replacement for testing. In the last six months running a permission based email campaign for a national client we have found that a resend to those who have not opened resulted in a trackable uptick in opens. As a result we send Thursday at 11:00 and then Sunday mornings at 6:55am. Your emails should look similar and familiar and be well branded to easily identify you.
When your permission based email carries your blog post the number one thing I see over and over again is a lack of strategy. Never leave them in the in box! Place your posts first sentence and one half plus a picture (post with pictures generate 33% more looks) and then hyperlink the read to your blog page to read the full post. This is how you turn that message into a lead generation. Your overall goal is to get feet on your web site.
Place social buttons and forward to a friend at the top of your message. Don’t send people to social pages you don’t traffic. If you don’t care to spend time there, why should they?
In conclusion, here is a benchmark for your success. Remember nothing replaces testing. Be consistent, relevant and offer value you will be rewarded by turning anonymous visitors into buying customers.
Click through: 5%
Conversion rate: 9.2%- 7.2%
Unsubscribe rate 0.11-0.2%