As part of my publishing business, I send email messages to magazine subscribers on behalf of our advertisers. This is one of the services we provide. It’s commonly called e-blasts, but it’s just a different twist on email marketing.
I’ve done this for several years and have tracked vastly different response rates depending on the type and tone of the message. Consider:
1) Offer a Free Resource: An email for a free whitepaper enjoys a 20 percent higher open rate and a 400 percent greater click rate than does a straight ad. The lesson is to give people something of value. Help them; don’t sell them.
2) Invite Them to a Free Webinar: Emails promoting free webinars also enjoy higher open rates and much higher click rates. However, these are usually not as good as emails offering a free resource. If you’ve ever watched a free webinar, you’re conditioned to expect a sales pitch at the end, but you also know you will learn valuable information before they try to sell you something.
3) Avoid Straight Ads: Emails that try to sell something are the worst-performing of all, sometimes earning only single-digit open rates. If you must send this type of email, spend a great deal of time on your message and even more on your subject line. Though this is critical for every email message, it is even more important when doing straight marketing.
The subject line is key, affecting open rates by as much as 30 percent. In writing your subject line, remember that to meet CAN-SPAM regulations, the subject line must not be deceptive or misleading. I have also heard that the ideal subject line length is six to nine words.
Consider these factors when designing a message for maximum effectiveness. If you’re doing email marketing to communicate with your followers or to promote your books but not getting the reaction you desire, it might be that your message is getting in the way of their response.
What is your experience in doing email marketing? What do you think about attending free webinars? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
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Peter Lyle DeHaan, PhD, is an author, blogger, and publisher with over 30 years of writing and publishing experience. Check out his book The Successful Author for insider tips and insights.