The email marketing staff at List Information Service Technology (LIST) has put together the following email marketing tips. Many of these tips are specifically targeted to the Medical Marketing Industry. Our clients have found them to be useful and informative, and our own experience has proven them to be effective.
- Know your audience
Know your tarket market, and don’t allow yourself to stray off course. If your target audience is wrong, even the best email will end up being deleted. Working with LIST is an effective way to develop customized lists to ensure that your message will reach only those who will be interested in your products and services.
- Have accurate “To” and “From” lines
Working with a reliable list provider helps you to acquire and maintain accurate email addresses; this way, you can be sure your “To” lines will be complete and up to date. In addition, your name and business organization should be clear components of the return email address in the “From” line. A “From” line that contains an obviously legitimate business email address is much less likely to be classified as spam by the recipient’s Internet Service Provider (ISP) or to be deleted by the recipient than a ‘mystery’ address.
- Have a strong subject line
The content of a subject line will drive prospects to either open an email, delete it, ignore it, file it, or filter it as spam. Also, a poorly written subject line may not reach your prospect’s inbox.
- Start with motivating verbs
Using your subject line to direct the recipient to DO something through an effective call to action is vital. But you can’t be verbose. You only have about 50 characters to work with if you want to make sure most of your message displays in the email recipient’s subject line. You should start with the most important words that will make the reader act. Some verbs you may want to try out include: focus, boost, improve, discover and launch.
- Answer: “What’s in it for me?”
We’re all busy and many of us struggle with email overload, so it makes sense that we look for the immediate personal benefit we will get if we take time to open a message. Your subject lines should answer the recipient’s question, “What’s in it for me?” Put yourself in the recipient’s position and write a subject that focuses on the benefits…what would make you take time to open a message right now?
- Avoid the spam triggers
Every ISP has spam filters in place to catch unwanted messages before they reach your inbox. While we certainly appreciate not having to deal with every junk message that comes our way, it’s not a perfect system. There are some words that tend to get caught in various spam filters, so avoid these words in your subject line to bypass the trap:
- 50% off
- Click Here
- Call Now
- Act Now
- Order Now
- Register Now
You’ll want to avoid writing your subject in ALL CAPS or using excessive punctuation (multiple exclamation points, breaking up words with periods, etc.).
- Capture attention
Generate interest and invite opens by using the subject line to pique a reader’s curiosity. You can do this by mentioning a hot topic in the recipient’s field, for example, or by asking a provocative question. Creative but informative subject lines will capture attention and make your message heard above the rest of the noise in the inbox.
- Skip the personalization in the subject line
It may seem that including the recipient’s first name in the subject line will add a personal factor that simply can’t be ignored, but the opposite may be true. In fact, adding this type of personalization may only scream “mass mailing.” Think about it: how often do you send messages to your regular contacts, friends and family that include their name in the subject? Keep the personalization to the “From” line and to the greeting inside the message; use the valuable real estate of the subject line for more powerful words.
- Start with motivating verbs
- Keep your message simple
You only have a few seconds to get your prospects’ attention – do it with a simple, powerful message that clearly states what you’re selling and the benefits.
- Mind your Ps and Qs
Use spell check. Proofread your content for errors. Have someone else who did not write the content review it for accuracy and readability. Also look for HTML errors, broken links or anything else that would make you look unprofessional or incompetent. Open your HTML piece in several browsers and check for font and spacing issues. Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome are the most popular internet browsers.
- Include a clear call to action
Lay out exactly what you want the recipients to do – do you want then to call you, visit your website, register for an event, or send you an email? Design the message to make that action clear and easy to follow.
- Offer multiple ways to reach you
Different recipients often prefer different methods of contact. Allow your customers to reach you in a way they are comfortable with – by email, address, telephone, registration form, or through your website.
- Be consistent whenever possible
If you are redirecting customers to a website or registration page, try to make the email consistent with the look and feel of the destination page. Not all registration and email software gives you the flexibility to do so. Consult with the experts at LIST about ways to convert word documents or PDFs into HTML formats consistent with the other parts of your internet presence… and with the graphic brand you use in printed material.
- When to email
Typically, there are two days during the week that we highly recommend you do not send out email blasts or campaigns. Monday is often the day everyone comes back to work and sifts through emails, deleting all the junk accumulated over the weekend. If you must send your email blast on a Monday, try for the afternoon rather than first thing in the morning. The second day is, you guessed it, Friday! TGIF to the business world means: bad day to send an email blast to potential customers who want out of the office as soon as possible. If you must send an email blast on Friday, make sure it is sent first thing in the morning. If it’s sent in the late afternoon, chances are it will be deleted when recipients are running out the door or deleted first thing on Monday morning, when they are cleaning out their inbox.