Hitting the Bullseye: a new era of direct email

direct email, bullseye, targeted email, marketing automationMarketing automation has breathed new life into email marketing.  That which was once destined for junk folders and blacklists is becoming useful again by not merely spamming the reader with potentially relevant information, but instead providing value driven material that matches the interests and needs of the recipient.

 

The intellect a well-run marketing automation program provides allows companies to cultivate prospects with personalized, laser-focused content that helps turn these potential buyers into customers.  You aren’t randomly throwing spaghetti at the wall and seeing how much will stick—you’re following a unique recipe that suits their specific requirements.

 

That’s powerful data to get your target in sight, so don’t fall short once you get past this first step.  The fact that relevant content can be delivered automatically, even on demand, is a critical aspect of how email marketing is gaining momentum.

 

Are you aiming in the right direction?

Effective outreach is key to modern direct email success, and when engaging a contact, there are basically two main starting points they are coming from – regardless of where they are in the sales funnel – that involve TLC and nurturing. When executed correctly, a targeted email campaign can pay out huge.  So ask yourself:

 

  1. Are you targeting a specific user, tied to known activities, via a nurture campaign? If so, be sure to include content matched to their individual interests.
  1. Are you reaching out to a prospect that has shown certain activity, but your data doesn’t provide a specific user profile? You can still target content by inferring some data about what else might be of interest to them.  (the classic ‘if A, then B’ approach)

 

Have you chosen the right gear?

Regardless of which camp your contact is starting from, there are a few elements to consider when crafting an email that may seem obvious, but that the majority of companies overlook.

  • Make your headline relevant and oriented to the reader – You need something inspiring enough to make someone open your email – get to the point, be personal, call them to action, target interests, be concise and avoid SPAM triggers. If they don’t click, you’ve lost before you’ve begun….
  • Have an actual human being as the sender in the ‘From’ field – By adding a personal feel to the email, click through rates increase immediately. It allows the recipients the opportunity to ask questions to a ‘live person’ should they have any.
  • Personalized content – The easiest way to get someone to open your email is by using their first name in the email. And with marketing automation, you can take this one step further and deliver targeted content for your list if you have it on hand.
  • Segment your lists accordingly – Break lists down by demographic data and incorporate the persona of your buyers, purchase history and content analytics (what your customer seems to look at most—that ‘if A, then B’ again…).
  • Value and context – Always address what your offer is and why it is valuable to the recipient. Use statistics and engaging visual elements, while providing context as to why the reader received the email.
  • Obvious call-to-action – Identify a single conversion goal, whether it’s a download, webinar or purchase, and prominently display your call-to-action in the email. Make the button VERY distinct, but minimize actual button copy. While less is more in this case, make sure you identify a specific action to take, create a sense of urgency and tie-in the call-to-action with the offer. (a fine line to walk, but it can be done!)
  • Privacy policy link– By linking readers to your privacy policy, they’ll know exactly what you’ll do with their information and help alleviate privacy concerns.
  • Unsubscribe option – Not only is it a violation of CAN-SPAM regulations if it’s not included, you need to recognize that sometimes the shoe just doesn’t fit. You don’t want to be wasting time tracking down a lead that doesn’t have relevance. Make sure your unsubscribe option is clearly visible.

 

So go ahead and put that email campaign back into the rotation. Just make sure you’ve cleaned it with a heavy polishing of best practices.

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