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Business Development & Marketing General

Keep it simple – and polite – if you want a response to your email

response to your emailIt can be frustrating trying to get a response to your email but employing some behavioural psychology can help.
Catching and holding the attention of busy people with perpetually flooded in-boxes can be tricky, so the secret if you want someone to both read and respond to your email is to make it easy for them to read and engage.
Firstly, the email should have an appealing, short and clear subject line that captures the imagination and makes the recipient want to find out more b reading it. Indeed, most of us harvest or scan our email inbox and often only check who the sender is and read the subject header.
Once opened the email itself should be short and above all concise in clear simple language. Beware of information overload, the recipient can always come back for more. While you may have several things you want to communicate, the objective is to get a response so you can expand in a follow-up call or email.
Giving something of value to the recipient can also trigger a response. Perhaps by offering an idea, or suggestion relevant to them or their company. Relevance is also key by demonstrating you’ve done some research as we can all spot the ‘bollocks’ of most marketing messages.
Courtesy is also crucial. Research has shown that polite emails with correct spelling generate a better response rate. The sign-off is also important, for example “Thanks in advance” has been found to generate a much higher response rate then “Best wishes”.
Keeping your message short and simple also signals courtesy, that you understand the recipient is a busy person.
Your last paragraph should make it clear what you are asking for and it may be that you can set up further communication even if your recipient doesn’t respond by using phrasing such as “If I don’t hear anything, I’ll assume you’re happy to ….”.
Finally, the time when you send an email may be crucial. If you schedule your email to land in their inbox at the start of the working day, for example, there is a greater likelihood of its being read and of your getting a response.
Using automated scheduling software can also help, so that if you don’t get a response to your email a reminder email a couple of days later can nudge the recipient’s memory.
To summarise, remember the acronym EAST (Easy, Attractive, Social and Timely) no matter if your recipient has the brain of an Einstein. In this context, another acronym also applies, KISS (Keep it Simple, Stupid).

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Business Development & Marketing General

How not to do email marketing

avoid email marketing being seen as spamTrying to catch people’s attention is not easy when their email inbox is flooded with emails they feel they have not asked for and have no time to read.
So, any business planning an email marketing campaign that wants to attract readers’ attention, whether it is passive to stay ‘top of mind’, or active and get them to sign up to offers, make further inquiries or buy an item, needs its communications to be engaging, relevant to the recipient and succinct.
Of course, an accurate profile of the ideal recipient, whether influencer or customer should have been researched and the goal of the piece of marketing clearly defined. So, writing the e-mail’s content should be relatively straightforward, shouldn’t it?
Indeed, irrespective of how great the content is, getting recipients to open emails to read great content is a challenge.
There are plenty of pitfalls to avoid if you don’t want your communication to be marked as spam or be listed as ‘unsubscribe’.

What to avoid when writing content for an email marketing campaign

A business’ credibility can be easily wrecked by an email containing spelling errors, typographical errors or broken links. The advice is to proof read thoroughly and preferably using someone who has not been involved in the writing.
Do not use deceptive subject lines that imply the sender and recipient have been in an ongoing conversation when they clearly have not been. Equally, do not send emails with no-reply to sender addresses. It is a disincentive to those who might be willing to engage further.
Whatever the purpose of the email, make sure it offers something of value in a way that interests the reader – hence the importance of a detailed customer profile.
This should be the first message before explaining how the sender business can satisfy that requirement, and even then, keep any information about the company as short as possible.
The subject header is key to getting the recipient to open the email. Once opened the recipient shouldn’t feel they have been duped into opening it, instead they should feel pleased they did.
Too many calls to action can feel like bullying or badgering and can be off-putting.
If the email is to contain images they should not take too long to load onscreen.  At the same time, do not rely solely on an image for the email.  Image-only emails are often seen as spam.
And finally, you have just eight seconds at most to get the reader engaged and interested so KISS (Keep it Simple and Short) is the way to go.

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Business Development & Marketing General Turnaround

Email marketing – getting it right

email marketingEmail marketing, that is communicating to potential clients/customers using regular e-newsletters, is one of the oldest-established methods of online marketing.
While recipients often complain about receiving too many of them, they remain one of the most effective components of the marketing mix, with an open rate of 20-30% according to Campaign monitor, a UK and US-based email marketing company.
So why would any business not consider using this method of marketing communication when the Direct Marketing Association has calculated that it has a ROI of up to 4,300%?

It’s not about the numbers and there are rules

This is where the law comes in – and yes there are rules about marketing that are online here. Basically, you MUST check if customers want to be contacted and equally you MUST make it easy for them to opt out, either by sending a STOP text to a short number or by including an “unsubscribe” link clearly shown in the newsletter.

What are the advantages if it’s so easy for people to stop receiving them?

Effective email marketing is about quality, not quantity. It is a mistake to think in terms of large numbers and we advise clients to not buy contact lists. It may be more work but it is far more effective to build your own contact list of people with whom the business has had some dealings and who may be willing to find out more.
A well-crafted communication targeting the right audience prompting interaction and responses from just a few people is worth more than one that is sent out to thousands who don’t open or read it and who then unsubscribe.
In many cases, this will not be about sales but about building an awareness of your business’ brand and personality and establishing a relationship.
Done well, you can talk to recipients as individuals, give them something interesting and new to read and build a loyal “fan” base.  Not only that but you can easily measure what has worked and what has not by how many recipients open the email, make comments and respond to any “call to action”.
But obviously it is important to define the purpose of your communication.
In the new and uncertain post-Brexit economic climate, it makes sense to revitalise your business marketing and to add e-newsletters to the mix, if you don’t already use them. It also makes sense to get professional help with the writing and design to ensure messages are both relevant and capture the readers’ imagination.