As old school as it may sound, companies that offer digital strategy services say that cold email outreach is still an efficient marketing tool. With over 3.9 billion email users, a well-thought-out email marketing strategy could gain you considerable profits.
In fact, one study found that for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you could expect a return of $42, on average.
However, billions of emails are sent and received each day. So, ensuring that your email is opened, read, and replied to can be quite a difficult task. That’s why today, we are going to talk about some of the best email outreach tactics for your business.
Just like with any other marketing campaign, doing your research beforehand is important. After all, in order to make your emails more effective, you first need to actually understand the recipients.
Research your target audience. Find out their likes, dislikes, hobbies, where they spend most of their time online and more. Diving into your target audience can help you craft an email that is sure to grab their attention. What are they looking for? Which problems do they have that you can help provide a solution to?
Next, check out the competition. Analyze your competitors to see how they conduct their email campaigns. Are they crafting catchy subject lines? Do they use bold CTAs? Is their tone more formal and professional or more fun, and down-to-earth? Find out their strengths and weaknesses, then use those to your advantage.
Although it may seem like common sense, there are still many companies out there that overlook this step. This is a mistake because having a generic address will increase the chances of your emails slipping into the recipients’ spam or promotional folder and being looked over.
An unprofessional email address won’t make you seem credible when promoting your products or services. To ensure your brand creates a professional appearance, make sure to use a branded email address. Ensure it’s easy to read and also easy to recognize.
As we’ve previously mentioned, there are billions of emails sent and received daily. Chances are that users won’t even bat an eye at the majority of them. That’s why you need to find a clever way to quickly catch their attention.
What’s the best way to do that? A catchy subject line.
Ensure your subject line stands out from the rest by sparking the recipient’s curiosity. This will increase the chances of your emails actually getting opened.
Remember when we talked about doing your research? Well, this is where it comes into play. Try to make each subject line personalized. Mentioning their name can make your email really stand out from the others.
In fact, personalized subject lines are 22.2% more likely to be opened.
An example: “Hello John. Congrats on launching your new website!”
Now, let’s pretend that your recipients have opened your email. So, what happens next? Well, they will most likely skim over its content to see whether it’s worth a proper read.
Having paragraphs upon paragraphs of text will do nothing but drive users away. That’s why you need to keep your emails concise. Three to five short paragraphs should be enough to convey the necessary information and get to the point.
In order to give you a better idea of how to create an effective email, you should always keep the 3-5-7 rule in mind. You’ve got three seconds to catch the users’ attention, five seconds to draw them in and seven seconds to compel them.
This follows then that the subject line needs to catch the users’ eye within three seconds. Keep in mind what we said about sending personalized subject lines.
Are your subject lines actually relevant? Do they share information that a user needs or wants?
The next five seconds: this is how long it takes for a user to scan through the email. That’s why they should be short and sweet. Furthermore, make sure that the content conveys what was promised in the subject line and that the users can easily find your call to action.
And finally, you’ve got seven seconds to engage with the reader and push them to conversion through your call-to-action.
In order to get an open rate that’s as high as possible, you also need to time your emails correctly. But how do you know when is the right time to send out your emails?
Studies have shown emails sent in the middle of the week have the highest chances of being opened. Tuesdays being the most effective, while Thursdays being a close second.
Now, when it comes to the time of day, 6am, 10am, 2pm and 8 pm are among the best times to send an email.
People are often checking their inboxes right after they wake up or before going to bed, and that’s why you should send emails in the early morning or late evening.
2 pm is another good time since that’s around the time when people typically get bored at work and start looking for distractions.
Say you’ve clearly stated who you are as a company, what your offer is, and why should the reader accept that offer. Let’s assume that the recipient is interested.
Does your email contain a clear call-to-action so he or she knows where to go and what to do next? Without a clear CTA, you’ll miss out on possible conversions. That’s why it’s so important to include one.
Make sure that your CTA button can be seen right away. You don’t want users scrolling down to find it. Your call-to-action button needs to clearly state what the next step is going to be, all the while making it appealing to the users.
Show how the user is going to benefit from clicking on the button. For example, your CTA might say, “Download Your Free E-book” or “Get Your Discount Code.”
Creating an effective email marketing campaign will take a bit of time. It’s quite hard, if not, impossible to get right on the first try. That’s why you constantly need to keep track of the performance.
Keep an eye on your open rates, click-through rates and ROI and see where there could be room for improvement.
After that, do some experiments, A/B test multiple email variants and see which one is the most effective. Keep in mind that, when A/B testing, change only one thing at a time, such as the subject line, or CTA.
This will allow you to see exactly what changes make your emails perform differently.
One best practice that is almost always overlooked is the speed we need to reply to emails—not as big a deal for internal emails, but critical for sales and customer service teams (especially when emails vs calls have increased over 20% since Covid). In fact, 78% of all sales go to the first company to respond.
If you reply in 1 hour, you have 7 times more success than 2 hours, and 60 times more success than 24 hours. However, the industry avg response time is 42 hours—ouch. You also have a 900% increase in contact rates when you respond in 5 minutes.
Most teams are unaware and never track this “time to reply” ratio—yet it can save their company if sales have dropped.
All in all, emails are still a very effective marketing tool, when done right. Don’t forget to keep your emails short and sweet and remember the 3-5-7 Second Rule. Keep in mind to send out your emails at the right time, so you can increase the chances of getting them opened, and always include a clear CTA.
Tomas is a digital marketing specialist and a freelance blogger. He is focused on new web tech trends and digital voice distribution across different channels.
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