Anyone who says email marketing is dead is being naïve to the numbers. Email marketing has been and remains one of the most lucrative and effective marketing strategies MSPs can utilize. The median ROI of email marketing is 122 percent, four times higher than social media marketing, snail mail, or paid search. If you are not using email marketing to reach out to MSP prospects, you are missing out.
To help you launch or improve your email marketing campaign, consider this list of the Do’s and Don’ts of structuring, writing, and using images in email marketing:
1. How to structure an email
- Use an engaging subject: Consider being grateful: In their 2015 Subject Line Analysis Report, Adestra found that emails with subject lines containing the words “thank you” received the highest engagement levels. Another way to increase click-through rates is to use the recipient’s name in the subject line, according to Hubspot’s analysis.
- Make it mobile-friendly: Over 33 percent of consumers read email on their mobile devices.
- End with a call to action: The best emails contain a clear call to action (CTA) for the reader. Make your CTA easy to spot and appealing with a great design and action-oriented language. If you are sending an HTML email, consider using a brightly colored button for your CTA.
- Use SPAM trigger words: The SPAM folder is the kiss of death for email marketing. Avoid using SPAM trigger words such as “free” or special characters such as $ in your subject line. Also try to keep your CAPITALIZATION to a MINimum. For example, instead of titling an email “FREE seminar on how to make $” try using, “No obligation seminar on how to increase your wealth.”
- Use crazy fonts: With email fonts, standard is best. There is a time and place for showiness, but that is not in email copy. Focus on readability and simplicity in your font so your message comes through clearly.
2. How to write email content
- Start with your relationship: You’ve worked hard to personalize your email subject line, continue along that vein by telling the reader in the first paragraph why you are emailing him or her specifically.
- Use second person: Remember you are writing a letter. Use “you” and “your” to address your reader with the occasional “we” or “I” to keep the content oriented toward your reader.
- Provide value: Successful engagement requires knowing what your prospect will find useful. If you blog regularly about topics that interest your target audience, you could summarize your most recent posts in your email. Including a “read more” link back to your site is a great way to increase click through rates and engagement. If you do not have a blog or enough regular posts, you can also summarize recent news events or consumer stories. Other content possibilities include messages from company leadership, featured services, special offers, white papers, or invitations to events.
- Talk about features: Readers need to know the “why” before they can appreciate the “how.” Too many emails jump into the great features provided by their products or services without explaining why the reader wants these features. Leaving out the “why” is like offering a 20 percent discount without saying what the discount is good for or how the reader can use it. Why should your prospects care about the value you can provide?
- Tell the whole story: Short and to the point is the key to successful email marketing. Prospects do not want to spend all day reading an eBook length email, and you should not want them to, either. The goal is to encourage them to click through to your site or contact you to learn more. Provide just enough email copy to spark their interest but not so much they get bored before they finish reading.
3. Email imagery best practices
- Provide HTML and text versions: Nothing is more discouraging than receiving an email packed with blank boxes and the message, “click here to display the image.” To prevent putting off non-HTML friendly viewers, set your email to downgrade from HTML to text with alternate text for headers and key images.
- Embed your images: To prevent readers from having to manually confirm they want to view images, embed them in the email. This way the images will display automatically without disrupting the reading experience.
- Use images to further your brand: Images should align with your brand and message. Try to include your company’s logo or colors in your images to cement the relationship with your brand in viewer’s minds.
- Use too many images: In a report on the science of email, Hubspot found that the click-through rate of email links decreased as the number of images increased.
- Use the wrong type: JPG or PNG, which is better? The answer is whichever looks better. If the quality looks distorted, chances are you are using the wrong file type. In general, JPG is better for smaller images while PNG is best for when you need to support text and the image.
The bottom line
Now you are ready to initiate your own marketing campaign and turn MSP leads into clients. Before you set out to deploy your email marketing campaign, remember the two T’s: Test and Track. Test your emails by sending them to yourself or members of your team first. Then track your results by keeping a tally of the number of click throughs and opt outs you receive after each outreach.