Ever wondered how many hours you spend each day on managing your social media posts and other marketing content? If you winced in response to that question, clearly, you haven’t embraced marketing automation yet.
Marketing automation software is a boon for busy professionals who wish to save time while also amplifying their marketing efforts. According to stats, up to 36% of marketers use marking automation to put repetitive tasks on autopilot. And, 63% of those who have invested in marketing automation software are outperforming their competitors with automated marketing campaigns.
The Importance of Marketing Automation
Marketing automation refers to the use of intelligent software to automate marketing activities. This includes the integration of live chat into your website, using software for inbox filtering, auto-scheduling your social media posts, etc. As you can see, marketing automation offers a more efficient way of carrying out various repetitive yet critical tasks. In addition, it also enables marketers to provide more personalized experiences to their customers, thanks to sophisticated data collection and analysis.
Benefits of Marketing Automation
According to a report, marketers listed time-saving (74%) as the biggest benefit of automation. This was followed by increased customer engagement (68%), timely communications (58%) and increased opportunities, including up-selling (58%).
Automation also enables a high degree of personalization, which is intrinsic to your customer experience. Besides, as the software takes care of the routine activities, it frees up your marketing team to focus on more strategic tasks – leading to a higher degree of innovation.
Cold Email Marketing Doesn’t Have to Send a Chill Up Your Spine
The weather is getting colder and that chill in the air makes a lot of us want to snuggle up and hibernate for the winter. Cold weather can have this effect on us, but sending out cold emails shouldn’t send a chill up your spine.
The stigma to cold emails or cold calls is that you’re bothering people who know nothing about you or what you do. You may see that as a scary and unfortunate situation, but we see opportunity! A fresh new start to a new relationship. The key to this opportunity is to have a well thought-out plan…a five step plan to be exact:
1. Organize your contact lists.
By organizing and segmenting your lists based on certain variables such as location or company type, you can better speak to their specific needs within your email. This is a crucial step to taking the chill off your cold email. Maybe they haven’t heard from you before, but if you spark their interest in providing relevant and interesting information, then you turn that cold lead into something much warmer.
Knowing where your contacts came from is half the battle and very important to avoid being marked as SPAM. Make sure you have a response from these contacts that you can contact them and always offer an option for them to opt out at the bottom of your email messages. By managing subscription preferences on your opt-out page, you can allow contacts to decide what sort of messages they wish to receive from you in the future. Maybe they no longer want to receive software updates, but would like to continue receiving your newsletter.
2. What is Your Value Proposition?
While you organize your contacts, think about a value proposition for each of those segments. Why would East coast accountants care about your product? How much time can you give back to working mothers? Identify the pain points of your contacts and make sure your product and/or service speaks to that.
3. Work Up an Attention Grabbing Subject Line
After you have your segmented contact lists and identified value propositions for those segments, it’s time to draft up your email. First thing’s first- a subject line!
The reason subject lines are so critical to the success of cold emails is because there’s a lot riding on those few short words. You have to fit in why your contact should open your email and what they should expect from doing so. That’s a lot to squeeze into just a handful of words. But it can be done.
4. Drafting the Cold Email
Speaking of a short and sweet subject line, the email body of a cold email has to be just that. I don’t mean 3 to 4 paragraphs; I mean 60-70 words! Now it may take some practice to become clear and concise, but it’s worth it. Use this outline to focus on what matters most in a cold email:
Describe who you are and why they should pay attention.
Spell out the main purpose of your email.
Make the call to action so enticing, they can’t help but obey.
If you think about what goes through your head when you read a cold email, it’s usually “why should I read this sales pitch?” So answering that early on will allow them to pay attention to the purpose of your email and whether it relates to their needs or not. A clear and easy call to action will then convert more contacts. Instead of clicking through to a lengthy form, try asking them a simple yes or no question.
Adding some warmth to your cold email through informal and playful copy is also encouraged. It’s one way to really stand out from the rest, because as you know, people get way too much email. What can you add (in terms of charm, not more words) to grab and keep the attention of your contacts?
5. Don’t Forget to Follow Up
A large percentage of people you send cold emails to will not respond on that first message. Don’t let this get you down. It’s the way of email marketing and your email campaign should include follow up emails that include at least three components:
Let them know why you’re following up.
Restate the value proposition from the first message.
Position your call to action with a yes or no question.
The follow up should be even shorter than your initial email. If you’re juggling multiple tasks, think about setting up a setting up a drip marketing campaign that triggers a sequence of emails.
Cold emailing can be intimidating, mostly because almost every other marketer out there today is doing it. Think of it as this: If you can quickly and easily explain what you’re selling and why a contact should act, it’s a win-win. With a short and personalized message, you are being respectful of their time and energy.
Even when you are close to perfecting the cold emailing process, it won’t show off all your hard work unless you track it every step of the way. That means measuring the conversion rate over the extent of the entire campaign. Pay close attention to details such as whether your contacts clicked through to your website but didn’t actually contact you for next steps. That can show you their level of interest along the way, helping you identify those warmer leads to pursue down the road.
All in all, cold emails don’t have to be a chilly experience for you AND the receiver. Use this opportunity to start a good relationship. Even if these contacts aren’t willing to act just yet, it’s on you to set the stage for a smooth transition when they are ready.
Writing a few sentences for an email campaign might not seem challenging, but there’s an art to crafting effective copy.
To help time-strapped marketers create emails that are effective, here are ten advanced email copywriting tips to follow:
1. Solve a problem
People buy solutions, not products. No one wants a plunger. Write your copy to help the reader understand how your product or service will save them time or money, or generally make their life easier.
Solving a problem also requires your recipient to trust you, that is, believe that you’re an expert on the subject.
2. Focus on one point
Don’t try to cram your new product announcement, free shipping promotion, and upcoming webinar into one email. Choose a topic and stick to it. It’s better to send multiple emails than to try to squeeze everything into one, which not only overwhelms subscribers but also dilutes your messaging.
3. Set a deadline
Email copy should compel subscribers to act instantly. Once they’ve read your message, you need them to click and convert. To do that, give subscribers a deadline.
Every sale should have an end date and every coupon should have a quick expiration date. The idea is to get subscribers to act fast so they don’t miss the deal. Mention the deadline in your subject line and again in the copy.
You could even send a second email as a “last chance” to take advantage of the sale or coupon.
Here’s a great example from Bath and Body Works. This is the second email sent about this deal and the deadline is clear at the top of the email.
4. Talk to the reader
Just as you don’t want to get stuck in the corner at the dinner party with the guy who only talks about himself, no one wants to read copy that’s full of “me,” “we” or “I.”
Instead, use “you” to make the reader feel engaged in the copy. Think of it as a respectful conversation in which it’s your turn to talk about something that (hopefully) interests you both.
Using “you” in the copy also forces you to think about the customer as you write, which will make your messages stronger and more relevant.
5. Don’t overpromise
In an effort to sell products, brands sometimes overpromise. They exaggerate a product’s features or use phrases like, “Guaranteed not to break.”
If you make a promise that you can’t keep, customer retention will suffer and word of mouth could negatively affect sales. Dishonesty will be a disaster for your company; no one does business with someone they don’t trust.
Be honest and realistic with your subscribers. Period.
6. Format for scanners
Assume that everyone reading your email is incredibly busy and won’t read every word of the text. Use headlines, subheads and very short blocks of text, or better yet, bullet points, to get your point across to skimmers. Put your most important message first and use boldface to draw attention to other important messages.
Remember, your copy can always include links to longer pieces, which gives the email a cleaner look and the reader the option to click to read more.
Paul Boag writes copy using short paragraphs, colorful headlines and linked text for recipients who want to read more on a topic. In this end-of-year email, he immediately gives readers an option to skip something that might be irrelevant to them by addressing the target readership in the headlines
7. Avoid the exclamation point
Marketers tend to believe that everything they say is exciting, which is probably why they overuse the exclamation point. Used sparingly, the exclamation point can show enthusiasm, but most of the time it’s just unnecessary.
Your email copy should mimic a conversation, so unless you’re the type that runs around yelling all the time, you should stick with normal, conversational punctuation like a period.
With these email copywriting tips, you can create compelling emails that subscribers will love. Remember, sending a quality email with a great message is more effective than creating sloppy copy in an effort to get an email out quickly.