E-mail marketing is one of fastest, most effective, and low cost methods you can use to grow your business.  Here are ten insider secrets I use everyday that insiders don’t want you to know:  

Insider secrets to successful e-mail marketing: 

  • Focus on the Subject Line. The subject line of your e-mail is the most critical element of your e-mail.  It is the teaser copy on the outside of your “envelope”.  Get it right and your open rates will soar, miss the mark and your results will suffer.
  • Size Matters! Keep your subject line short and to the point.  Use a rule of 9 words or less to maximize your impact.
  • Watch Your Language.  Avoid using words like “Free”, “Limited Time” or “Buy Now” that will activate spam filters and get you banished to the junk mail folder.  Include the word “you” to give it a more personal feel and varieties such as “your” as well. 
  • Never Send Spam.  Use opt in lists and other techniques to gather permission based e-mail address.  Never send out spam e-mails and follow the CAN-Spam legislation rules exactly.
  • Don’t forget the “from” line. Readers open your e-mail to answer two questions:  who is this from and what is it about?  Studies show that over 50% of e-mail recipients use the “from” address alone to decide whether or not to open an e-mail.  Keep your “from” line to 16 characters or less and use one of these creative approaches to stand out:

          A. Illustrating the purpose of your e-mail: financialupdate@ml.com

          B. Personalized with your name: doug.dickson@seminardirect.com

          C. Anonymous: 4453@msli.com

          D. Special deal: specialsavings@ml.com

  • The Magic Number 3.  For most, it is difficult, if not impossible, to sell directly from a single e-mail page.  To improve conversion rates, include at least three links the reader can click or paste into their browser’s window to gain more information or make a purchase.  One of your links should appear within the very first paragraph.
  • Short and Sweet. Most e-mails should be short, containing 200 – 500 words for letters and about 500 – 1,500 words in newsletter type mailings.
  • Salute your reader.  If you want your letter to look more personal and feel less like an ad, use a salutation.  Simply incorporating the word “Dear” followed by the recipient’s name can dramatically increase response rates.  When you only have the recipient’s e-mail addresses, use a more generic salutation like Dear Homeowner, Dear Friend or Dear Concerned Citizen.   You can further personalize your e-mail with other familiar items using such as names, locations and familiar  
  • Fast and Easy. Get to your point fast and make it an easy jump from the subject line to your first line.  Example:  Your subject line, “Save almost $1,000 on a complete financial review” could be your followed by a first line stating, “Call today and get a $990 analysis free!”
  • Test, test and test. You should constantly test and analyze your e-mails to discover what is working and what is not.  Test open rates, spam complaints and conversions as they relate to changes in your subject lines, number of words, offer, personalization, plain text vs. HTML, even the pages that are linked from your e-mail.

These insider secrets truly work; I know because I use them daily in the e-mail marketing our firm produces on behalf of our clients.  By following these 10 insider secrets you’ll see dramatic increases in all of your e-mail benchmarks and, most importantly, your bank account.

Copyright © 2009 Doug Dickson. All Rights Reserved.