Hundreds of questions about email marketing are asked everyday on social media channels. Here are 5 questions we've noticed occur again and again.
If you have a question about email marketing, chances are it’s been asked before. Take a look at reddit.com/r/emailmarketing. The subreddit alone has 17,000 users, and let’s not forget email marketing questions posted on other places, such as reddit.com/r/entrepreneur. That community alone boasts almost 800,000 members. Each day, hundreds of questions get posted onto social platforms to crowdsource answers.
Although I’ve only mentioned Reddit, there are thousands of users engaged with the topic of email marketing on Facebook and Quora. Without further ado, here are some of the most popular questions I’ve seen and how I would respond with expert email marketing advice.
Do cold emails still work?
Yes, cold outreach works.
It’s easy to lose motivation when 2 out of every 100 emails get a reply. Even worse, when you notice your email open rates are subpar (20 – 25% email open rates are considered good).
Here’s a fact though, if a business rejects you or doesn’t respond, they never wanted your services to begin with. Remember, cold emailing isn’t for convincing businesses to use your solution. Instead, cold emailing is like sending out flyers to every house on the block. You’re trying to find people who might already have a pain point, and it’s your service that can provide value to them. Don’t overcomplicate things.
Boosting Engagement Rates
Now there are ways to boost your cold email engagement rates.
First, be honest. Don’t try to skirt your way around the issue. At the end of the day, other businesses get bombarded daily with salespeople reaching out, and they’ll be able to see through your intentions pretty easily. Again, think of your email as a flyer. State your services, what value you provide, and some basic contact information or a link to book a demo.
Next, try to segment your cold email list if possible. This will allow you to personalize your cold emails to an extent where you can flex more creativity. For example, if your cold email list is for the sports industry, you can make a joke about a sports team. If you do receive a generic email list, then you’ll have to craft a message that’s generic. If possible, always try to include the first name.
Use a good CRM you’re comfortable with. In fact, many people overanalyze which CRM is best and spend weeks making the decision. Nowadays, most CRMs will probably be good enough for your business (if you’re an enterprise, then it’s trickier). I suggest you do a quick free trial of each of the popular CRMs (Close.io, Hubspot, Pipedrive, etc.) and get a feel of the interface. Remember, you’ll be engaging with the tool every day to send out emails, so you really want something user-friendly. Then, as long as you’re okay with the pricing, use it! Simple, right? I know I’m skipping out on the features and the nuances of each platform, but the point is to get you started.
Also, A/B test your subject lines and email content. Isolate variables and send tests to batches of emails. Proceed with what works and keep re-doing the process. Also, if you change your target audience, you may have to re-do or use a different set of tests.
Lastly, keep in mind CAN-SPAM act guidelines. If you need a refresher, here is a generalized version:
• Don’t use false or misleading header information.
• Don’t use deceptive subject lines.
• Identify the message as an ad.
• Tell recipients where you’re located
• Tell recipients how to opt-out of receiving future email from you
• Honor opt-out requests promptly.
• Monitor what others are doing on your behalf.
For more information, go here.
What’s the ideal email length?
According to Hubspot, data suggests the ideal length of an email is between 50 and 125 words. If 125 words aren’t enough, you can consider going up to 200 words. However, please keep in mind this is only for sales emails.
For promotional emails such as sales, we typically write between 80 – 150 words.
For other types of emails such as newsletters, try to create content that will provide value for your users rather than focusing on word count.
What’s the fastest way to grow my email list?
Developing an email list is a long-term strategy. Unless you have a product/service that goes viral, you’ll have to invest in growing your list slowly. Here are some effective we know that work:
Ask those in your community to join your email list
Whether it’s friends, families, Slack channels, Facebook groups, those in your current network will likely give you support.
Content is king
Morning Brew is an email newsletter with 2 million subscribers. Not only that, but it also has an impressive 42% open rate. How? Through effective content that’s informative and witty. Additionally, Morning Brew A/B tests their subject lines almost every day. After five years, they’ve been able to refine this process to an art.
Writing good content generally takes more time than expertise, and you know your business and industry better than most people. Take some time out of your day to craft a newsletter or informational email. As a side bonus, you can also recycle this email onto your blog.
Email Capture Form with a Discount or Giveaway
An email pop-up discount or giveaway are excellent tools to build up your email list. Although this may be annoying for users, an elegant and well-designed pop-up won’t disrupt your user flow too much. Additionally, you can also set the pop-up to activate on exit (i.e. when the user decides to close the webpage).
Although the average pop-up only achieves a 3% conversion rate, a well-designed pop-up with an enticing value incentive can boost that number to over 40%. Still, even if you’re pop-up doesn’t appear nice, getting three emails out of every 100 users isn’t a bad deal.
It’s also incredibly easy to put an email capture pop-up on your website now. Email service providers such as Klaviyo have built-in features to build a pop-up. All you have to do is put a code snippet on your website. If you’re using Shopify or WooCommerce, then you can design and turn on the pop-up with a few clicks.
Landing pages are made to convert. You’ve probably seen many eBooks or online gurus that have a very detailed landing page that leads to a form where you put in your contact information. You don’t even need to purchase anything. You’re probably just as skeptical as we are too. But you know what, it actually works. A long landing page can be pretty similar to a long-form blog post that performs well on Google SERP. You’ll typically notice these landing pages to be over 2,000 words and optimized for specific keywords.
Now, I’m not saying you should make your landing page to sell in this way; however, it’s another nudge towards crafting good, SEO content. Content works for engaging your readers and drawing them in, so they sign up to your email list.
Case studies and happy testimonials for your services and products are going to give you credibility and validity. As a result, people are more likely to give you their email address if they trust you. Remember, no one wants to be spammed to death.
There we have it. Here are five tips I recommend growing your email list. Remember to be patient. Also, if you offer incredible value from your service and products, people will give you their emails regardless of how barebones it is.
Where’s a trusted source I should go to for purchasing email lists?
We see this question a lot, especially on Quora. When this question gets asked, you’ll get many answers telling you not to. And we wholeheartedly agree. Building your email list organically through engaging content, leveraging your digital channels, and just creating a great service or product is the way to go.
If you purchase email lists, since there’s a good chance your audience won’t engage with your list, this will hurt your open rates; more people will tag it as spam, and over time will hurt your deliverability rates. Once you’ve tarnished your email domain, your emails will be sent straight to spam for many recipients. Also, it’s very difficult to regain your credibility. I hope this gives you enough warning to stay away from purchasing an email list.
How should I test email deliverability?
We like using glockapps.
How should I test my emails?
We like using litmus.
How should I design my emails?
If you need design and copywriting inspiration for your emails, reallygoodemails.com is a goldmine. It’s curated by the community with some of the best email designs you can find. We also use it for inspiration at Grab Digital.
Where should I go to learn more about email marketing?
Talk to us at Grab Digital. We’d be happy to speak with you at any time. Additionally, email mastery is an excellent resource to learn about different workflows and see case studies of successful email marketing campaigns.
As you can, my fingers were starting to hurt towards the end of typing this. I hope this post has educated you on some email best practices and tools to use. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us anytime at Grab Digital. We’d love to chat!