How to send your marketing emails

We’ve come across some really bad examples of email marketing (and featured some of them on this blog).  Some of the worst examples never get to us as they are cut by spam systems.  But a conversation with a colleague prompted me to outline the different options you have when sending email for marketing purpose.

You have three choices:

Send the emails yourself from Outlook, adding all the addresses in the BCC (blind copy) field.  Don’t do this!  Firstly, your email will often fail to be delivered as spam systems look for BCC sends and secondly, you are using your company email system for marketing emails.  This means that if you get a spam complaint, your company domain is blacklisted and you can’t get any email to any of your contacts.

Buy / Download a dedicated email marketing program.  There are some great products out there that let you do this.  And if you only want to send small volumes of email every so often to people that know you well, this approach may work.  But it means that you are taking on responsibility for ensuring deliverability of your email yourself, and this is a very technical area.  If you have the technical skills to set up and manage a dedicated domain for sending email and apply Domain keys and SPF to it then this approach will work well for you.  If you don’t understand the last sentence don’t follow this approach!

Use an Email Sending Provider.  An ESP will have dedicated infrastructure designed to get emails delivered into recipients’ inboxes.  Different ESPs serve different markets and they cost from £10 per month to several thousand depending on your requirements.  I would always recommend this option.  Let them have the hassle of managing the technical infrastructure needed to get your email delivered!

So, I said at the start you have three choices, but you don’t really.  If you are serious about email marketing, get an ESP to do the sending for you.  As to which one of the many hundred out there to choose, that’s a different matter and one that I will be writing on shortly…

 

 

What is the “call to action” to here?

We got this email today:

What catches your eye in the email?  For me, the thing that stood out most was “Click here to unsubscribe”.  Surely not the intent of the email?

This is yet another example of not checking how an email will look when a user does not download the associated images – which is on average 90% of your audience!

 

A review of the ‘Nett Sales process’ – Steph Clarke

There is nothing worse than sitting down, and staring at a blank screen with a deadline looming and so many ideas milling round that you don’t know where to start.

Writing sales and marketing emails isn’t easy, however, an email that is four lines long will connect with the reader – our ongoing research is showing that first impressions are everything; the majority of contacts will choose to read/delete/spam an email after a few seconds. Meaning that being able to sell your product in less than 50 words is essential!

As mentioned in previous Nett Sales blogs many people fall into the trap of “I disease” – using words such as “I, we & our” and not focusing on the real objective –engaging the reader and ensuring that the email meets the needs, serves the interests &  guarantees the business and personal challenges of the reader.

The difficult part of marketing emails can be to craft 4 flowing lines of email message.

And this is where Nett Sales comes in; they can help you to create and / or send short emails that contain knowledge, advice plus tips and offers based on a “Here’s something for you” approach. They can show you a simple, proven & logical structure for writing and thinking your way through simple emails.

Mike Southern, The Beermat Entrepreneur reviewed this process with Nett Sales Partner, Simon West and in doing so coined the phrase “magic emails”. To see the article click here

Though these “magic emails” don’t make you fly, read minds or become super strong they do provide a proven technique to build relationships and get sales.

Here is how the magic emails work… (click the image to view full size)

1)    What’s the question?

This is the problem or scenario that your company are trying to solve for example it could be “Who will wash my car when my daughter goes to University?”

2)    How can I help?

This is your 30 second pitch to the customer:  if it’s any longer the reader will lose interest, but any shorter and there will be too little information and no enquiry will result for example “Car cleaning 4 u can clean your car at affordable rates at a time to suit you…”

3)    Commercial evidence…

In this line you put a case study, statistics or proof of previous success. This shows the reader that you are a reliable and experienced company that the reader can rely on, “97% of customers would book another appointment”

4)    What to do if you are interested…

Whether it is an email address, phone number or web link, this is where consumers can engage with you and find out more information if they are interested,

“Call:  01234567890

Email:  bob@cc4u.co.uk

Website:  cc4u.co.uk”

 

Although writing an email seems pretty simple there is so much more. Nett Sales does this to such a high standard that it may amaze you considering the size of the company but in this case the phrase “Good things come in small packages” is certainly applicable. Nett Sales does five main things…

1)     Creating

Writing the words that make up the campaign using the “magic email” method, this is tricky because what may start out as 150 words in your head has to be cut down to 50 or even 30 words, and still carry the same message.

2)    Building

This involves putting the writing into a page bearing logos, pictures and links. It is either from a template or from scratch depending on the customer’s requirements.

3)    Checking

This involves reading through the campaign and looking for mistakes and sentences that don’t flow. Tests are also sent to make sure the layout works and that hyperlinks work.

4)    Sending

A mass email sent to up to 76000 people each of whom have to be added to a database and edited accordingly, a massive task of editing misspelt names or duplicate numbers.

5)    Results

How the email was received, this is a set of results that tell Nett Sales what people opened the email, looked on the website or even unsubscribed.

Having watched the process and in addition to watching & helping with each step of the process I have learnt that Nett Sales is a real gem to find and employ. The attention to detail by the team here is excellent and the relationship they develop with their customers goes beyond business, it extends to trust and a mutual understanding of two companies. You can really gain from Nett Sales it is friendly and provides essential sales and marketing advice and support at impressive prices.

If you want more information contact

Nett Sales
01793 250207

  • or email them at

enquiries@nett-sales.com

 

Steph Clarke had an opportunity to review, use and comment on the Nett Sales process for writing short 4 line emails to help sales people get more sales.

 

“I” disease

I received a strange email today.  I liked it and didn’t like it at the same time!  Here it is, what do you think?

I like this email because it’s plain and simple.  No silly images to distract from the message.  However I don’t like this message because:

  • It’s “all about us”.  Look at the times it says “I, us, we, our” compared to you & your.  This is the email equivalent of shouting at someone from 6 inches away!
  • Variable size fonts.  I’m sure this is not deliberate, but look at the size of the font through the email.
  • Typos & language.  Didn’t read well – in fact I had to read it 3 times to understand it.
  • There was no fluency of message.  It does not take me, the reader on a journey from problem to solution so I’ve no idea what issue is being solved for me.

Anyway, hope you find this useful.  And if you want me to take a look over your emails before you send, just let me know – no charge!!

Tune up your sales engine

Whether you are thinking about selling your business or have just bought a new business, you want the sales team to be performing at its best.  And sales teams need new leads.  A lead is a new opportunity to engage in a sales discussion with a new or existing contact.

Sales is an engine that takes leads (raw commodity) and turns them into orders for the business to fulfil.  Depending on the business, sales may need 3, 5, 10, 20 or 100 leads to “make” an order.

But who in the business is responsible for providing the sales team with these new leads?

In a traditional company model, the marketing department is running campaigns that will raise awareness of company / product / service and cause potential customers to get in touch.  A percentage of these inbound enquiries will turn into leads which then feed sales.  If sales need more leads, marketing undertake more activities.

But what if marketing does not exist, or is not producing the leads that sales require?  Another model is required…

What are the options?

1) Sales can generate their own leads. This requires (often expensive) sales resource to “hit the phones” in the hope of uncovering leads from yellow pages, old customers, competitors, industry publications, etc, etc…
2) Pay a telemarketing firm to call on your behalf
3) Use social media to generate leads (good luck :))

And that’s about it…

But here is a different approach:

1. Decide who your whole market is (eg Facilities Managers in companies of more than 100 staff, Sales Directors in Southern England, etc.) and acquire their contact details.  If you already know how to build a list of clean, opted in contacts, we suggest you start here now. But if you don’t, talk to us and we’ll show you.

This should give you tens of thousands of contacts who fit your customer profile but who have probably never heard about you.  But this contact list is too big to telephone everyone economically…

2. send a series of emails to this contact list, sharing knowledge, market insights and resources with them.  The aim is to build your credibility in their eyes over a period of months.  Then they will get in touch with you and buy – right?  Wrong!  These contacts, if they are interested, will click through on the links you include in the email but won’t get in touch with you.

3. Qualify. So then you call up the ones that have clicked on links as they are leads?  No!  What these contacts have done is to make an “Expression of Interest”.  They may be nosey but with no need, bored, vaguely interested or interested right now.  All these contacts require a qualifying call to discuss the issue raised in the email they clicked on.  This is not a sales call – view it as a customer service call.

Then (finally!) contacts that in this call express interest and qualify (they have a need, a budget and authority) are the leads that get fed to the sales team and get turned into orders.

4. Repeat. The remainder of the contacts are recycled by next months email and can be re-qualified time and again until they are ready to be fed to the sales team.

Now that is a repeatable process to feed the sales team with leads!

To see more on this new sales process follow this link. And if you are looking for advice on retaining or regularly communicating with your contacts, take a look here.

Nett Sales has put together a special offer for Businesses For Sales members.  We will undertake a 50 minute free review of how you sell and leave you with at least three actions you can use immediately to improve your sales.

To book your free 50 minute sales review, email Simon West  (50minutes@nett-sales.com) or call me on 01672 505050.

 

 

 

waving your member(ship)

Our pet hate is the email that starts “I…” or “We…” and then carries on for 3 paragraphs to say why they are so great and what they have been up to.

So What?  What’s in this email for me, the recipient?

Here is the text from a great (bad) example I received today (***** replaces the company):

The ******* Link – April 2011

March was a really strong month for ***** Bristol and a great way to round off what has been a really encouraging first quarter – we’ve already written 40% of the new business that we wrote in the whole of last year.

Your referrals are keeping us busy and the pipeline is still looking healthy – thank you for your support.

I’d also like to thank those of you who came along to our wine tasting event on the 12th April. It was a great turn-out for a ‘school night’ and, judging by the number of thank you emails we have received, everyone had a good time. We have further events planned, so watch this space!

March was quite a month for ***** Financial Services – in fact, a record breaking one! We beat our previous best on just about every key measure, notably:

  • A new monthly record of 170 deals
  • A record breaking month for debts factored! Just under £400m
  • Advances reached a new high of £327m

In addition to these fantastic results the latest ABFA stats show some extremely positive findings in which **FS once again outstripped growth within the market in 2010.

Highlights from the ABFA Report revealed that…

  • **FS increased domestic market share from 14% to 16.7% in the space of just 12 months

In terms of factoring client numbers we have also outperformed the market. We have increased our position from 10% to 17.3% in 2010

Looking at total client numbers we have increased our market share by around 1 percentage point over the last 12 months from 8.1% to 9.2% and have almost doubled it in the past 3 years.

I hope that these results firmly demonstrate that **FS are open for business and committed to supporting small businesses in a difficult lending environment.

Are you on the plane?

A few seats on the plane to Prague have been secured but there are plenty left. This trip is not to be missed!

Just 3 deals will ensure your place!

If you’d like more information about our Prague incentive or have a client to refer to us please contact your local Regional Manager or call me directly on 07834 ******.

Feeling motivated to do anything other than reply with a big UNSUBSCRIBE?  It amazes me how many businesses are willing to put their membership at risk by sending blatant self promoting rubbish to their recipients in the belief that they care.

It comes all the way back to our first comment of “give your recipients something of value to them”.  It’s their inbox, not yours.  Ignore this at your peril!

 

‘Email Selling’ – comparing apples with apples!

Email system providers are often very good at developing great, feature rich email and communications platforms. Even if it’s a great system what they are often less good at is making clear how you generate profit and business from them. As one of our contacts has said; Getting it right is one thing. Just doing it and following up is another.

“the key skill is getting the message right and to all the right people. And that’s still up to me”.

Most well respected email marketers tend to focus on and be satisfied with generating email and web clickthroughs. The traditional approach says:

  1. Decide who your whole market is (eg. Facilities Managers in companies of more than 100 staff, Sales Directors in Southern England, etc.)
  2. Acquire their contact details. If you already know how to build a list of clean, opted in contacts, we suggest you start here now. But if you don’t, talk to us and we’ll show you.
  3. Send a series of emails to this contact list, gathering response data (open and click data as you go).
  4. Then they will get in touch with you and buy – right?

Wrong! These contacts, if they are interested, will click through on the links you include in the email but many of them will never get in touch with you.

Our aim at Nett Sales is to introduce you to ‘email selling’ – sending short emails that share knowledge and advice, to help you find, convert and retain customers. As a company that can really show you how to send short emails to get more sales, you can engage us or ask for help in getting the best out of your email and sales campaigns; whichever email provider you use.

So, now you might begin to see how you could send a series of emails to your contact lists, to share knowledge, market insights and resources with them. Your aim is to build your credibility in their eyes over a period of months. So then you call up the ones that have clicked on links as they are leads?

Again No!

What these contacts have done is to make an “Expression of Interest”. They may be nosey but with no need, bored, vaguely interested or not interested right now. All these contacts require a qualifying call to discuss the issue raised in the email they clicked on. This is not a sales call – view it as a customer service call.

Then (finally!) contacts that express interest, engage with you and are qualified in conversation  (they have a need, budget and authority) are the leads that get fed to the sales team and get turned into orders.

The remainder of the contacts are recycled, sent next month’s email (or targeted follow ups) and can be re-qualified time and again until they are ready to be fed to the sales team.

Now that is a repeatable process to feed the sales team with leads!

To see more on this new sales process follow this link. And if you are looking for advice on retaining or regularly communicating with your contacts, take a look here.

Fuelling your sales engine

Sales teams need new leads.  A lead is a new opportunity to engage in a sales discussion with a new or existing contact.

Sales is an engine that takes leads (raw commodity) and turns them into orders for the business to fulfil.  Depending on the business, sales may need 3, 5, 10, 20 or 100 leads to “make” an order.

But who in the business is responsible for providing the sales team with these new leads?

In a traditional company model, the marketing department is running campaigns that will raise awareness of company / product / service and cause potential customers to get in touch.  A percentage of these inbound enquiries will turn into leads which then feed sales.  If sales need more leads, marketing undertake more activities.

But what if marketing does not exist, or is not producing the leads that sales require?  Another model is required…

What are the options?

1) Sales can generate their own leads. This requires (often expensive) sales resource to “hit the phones” in the hope of uncovering leads from yellow pages, old customers, competitors, industry publications, etc, etc…
2) Pay a telemarketing firm to call on your behalf
3) Use social media to generate leads (good luck :))

And that’s about it…

But here is a different approach.  Decide who your whole market is (eg Facilities Managers in companies of more than 100 staff, Sales Directors in Southern England, etc.) and acquire their contact details.  If you already know how to build a list of clean, opted in contacts, we suggest you start here now. But if you don’t, talk to us and we’ll show you.

This should give you tens of thousands of contacts who fit your customer profile but who have probably never heard about you.  But this contact list is too big to telephone everyone economically…

So send a series of emails to this contact list, sharing knowledge, market insights and resources with them.  The aim is to build your credibility in their eyes over a period of months.  Then they will get in touch with you and buy – right?  Wrong!  These contacts, if they are interested, will click through on the links you include in the email but won’t get in touch with you.

So then you call up the ones that have clicked on links as they are leads?  No!  What these contacts have done is to make an “Expression of Interest”.  They may be nosey but with no need, bored, vaguely interested or interested right now.  All these contacts require a qualifying call to discuss the issue raised in the email they clicked on.  This is not a sales call – view it as a customer service call.

Then (finally!) contacts that in this call express interest and qualify (they have a need, a budget and authority) are the leads that get fed to the sales team and get turned into orders.

The remainder of the contacts are recycled by next months email and can be re-qualified time and again until they are ready to be fed to the sales team.

Now that is a repeatable process to feed the sales team with leads!

To see more on this new sales process follow this link . And if you are looking for advice on retaining or regularly communicating with your contacts, take a look here .

 

Customer Service

Seth Godin posted this on his blog:

A motto for those doing work that matters:

“We can’t please everyone, in fact, we’re not even going to try.”

Or perhaps:

“Pleasing everyone with our work is impossible. It wastes the time of our best customers and annoys our staff. Forgive us for focusing on those we’re trying to delight.”

The math here is simple. As soon as you work hard to please everyone, you have no choice but to sand off the edges, pleasing some people less in order to please others a bit more. And it drives you crazy at the same time.

So, how do you make sure that you give the best service to those that you really want to look after, and not the ones that shout the loudest?

You need to know both who and what: who you really want to look after; and what you need to do to look after them.  Then find a low cost, easy way to deal with the rest…

One way to do this is to use your email marketing.  Send out messages that will be of interest to people that you want to engage with.  Those that click on the emails, give you best attention to.  Easy!

you've got 2 seconds, now sell to me!

What if I told you that your marketing email has a maximum of two seconds before the recipient deletes it?  Think about it… how long do you take before deciding to delete emails?  Two seconds is quite a long time when you’ve got 50 emails to work through.

So our advice is to focus emails on “something for the recipient” and make them easy to delete.

“what you mean I’ve got two seconds to make a good enough impression to prevent deletion and I’ve got to write about benefits to the recipient in a way that’s quick to read, act on delete or unsubscribe?”

Well yes actually! That’s if you want to succeed in email marketing.

Most of your  time should therefore be spent shortening and honing the message, the link to “something for you”, and the subject line ( a science of its own and we could write a whole article on). There should be more focus on the subject line, first sentence or two and the primary link than any other aspect of template or design. After all that might be all that the majority of your audience will see and that’s all that will fit the preview pane.

With such heavy focus on sending short emails that share knowledge and help you get sales, it is most refreshing to see the trusted people at Econsultancy review this behaviour from a web point of view.  If you haven’t seen their excellent article on “25 reasons why I’ll leave your website in 10 seconds”, follow the link here.

It’s worth a look for the comments section alone, if not for the quality of their advice. Take a look and if you want to chat, or need further advice please email carl@nett-sales.com or call 01793 250207.