Here’s a question a lot of marketing experts seem to be trying to figure out: Why is email unstoppable?
Think about it.
Facebook now has recorded a staggering more than 2 billion active users of their platform.
Twitter has over 67 million users in the United States alone, with a total of more than 500 million tweets sent out daily.
Instagram has more than 400 million monthly active users, with a jaw dropping 40 billion photos uploaded to date.
As for Snapchat, it has a remarkable 173 million active users daily.
So, what gives?
Why is email still the king of e-commerce?
For as long as any business owner can remember, email has been hailed as the leading platform of communication for the majority of the digital marketing world.
Yes. This stands true despite the flashier and chic designs of social networking sites that come up with new and inventive tactics basically every minute.
In fact, 80% of retail and marketing professionals revealed that their most effective tool for customer retention is email marketing.
Among them, only a measly 44% claimed that social media efforts help in this aspect.
Still not convinced?
Then, did you know that email marketing has such a firm hold of the top spot that 86% of customers want to receive promotional emails monthly from the businesses they patronize?
More interestingly, 15% actually prefer to get these emails daily!
Impressive, isn’t it?
Dose of reality
Remember this Spiderman saying: “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Well, you may be no Peter Parker but creating a carefully planned out email marketing campaign could undoubtedly guarantee that your message will stick.
It’s true. Taking advantage of email marketing has the potential to boost your ROI exponentially.
Case in point – Gmail has over 1 billion active users recorded monthly.
Can you just imagine the endless possibilities if you can not only maximize and expand your email list, but also boost your click-through and conversion rates?
Before you get ahead of yourself though, keep in mind that not all marketing emails are made equal.
On average, a customer receives more than a hundred emails daily.
If you’re lucky, your email could be one of the 23% the user opens.
If you’re super lucky, then you’d be part of the 2% that actually succeeds at having the user click on your links.
The harsh reality is that you would need to hone your skills and train to become a first-rate emailer if you hope to dominate in the competitive world of ecommerce.
Only the top-notch emails would lead to actual sales and even repeat buyers, while the rest (sadly) would end up in the Trash – or worse, the Spam folder.
So, how will you keep this from happening to your emails?
What do you need to do to make sure that every message you send carries with it the potential of becoming a successful sale?
Here are 15 things every sales email needs to have. Check out the list and see if you’re missing something that might be costing you unresponsive clients.
1. A clear-cut and concise objective
Don’t dive right into the project without having a clear and precise idea of what you want to accomplish.
Make sure that all your efforts are geared towards that specific goal, with every detail added only if it’s relevant to your mission.
More often than not, we get sidetracked by “add-ons” that we lose sight of what we started out to do.
Don’t let yourself be one of those people.
In every sales email, ensure that you don’t share too many things at once.
Figure out whether you want to advertise a new item or promote a major upgrade to your service.
Knowing the particular direction you want to take will command the tone and structure of your entire email from your subject line down to your CTA.
So, make sure you always know the precise purpose before getting in too deep.
Remember to always check if you’re already pitching too many ideas to your reader.
If you yourself don’t have a clear and concise idea of what you want, then how will your clients know how to even respond?
2. Utilize market segmentation analysis
One of the things users hate receiving is “pointless” content.
What does this mean?
It means users want emails that are relevant to their lives. Otherwise, your messages would be categorized as nothing more as nuisances in their inbox.
This is where market segmentation comes in.
This marketing strategy is possibly one of the best ways to ensure that your customers remain interested in what you have to say.
Most brands use different personas in keeping in touch with different target markets.
Check out these personas from Smart Insights courtesy of the persona creator of HubSpot.
By streamlining your target markets into distinctive clusters, you’re ensuring that you only send them relevant emails.
More importantly, this could serve as a guide on the marketing methods you’ll use.
3. Make it short and sweet
I know. It’s way harder to write a short email than a really long one.
When writing about something you really care about, the challenge is usually knowing when to shut up.
Most sales emails tend to overwhelm their readers buy either overselling their products or over-explaining their services.
The truth is, this would be a major turn off.
Readers just want the important parts – they don’t want a novel about your product.
Besides, your customers won’t hesitate to ask questions if they’re really interested in what you offer.
So before you decide to bombard your readers with an avalanche of information, keep in mind that you can’t seal the deal and ink the sale all in a single email.
Your goal should be “readability.”
Ensure that your readers understand what you want and don’t get bored halfway.
4. If you can’t keep it short, then at least make it visually appealing
Of course, there will always be exceptions to the rule.
While most sales emails should be brief and concise, there are times when a longer message would be necessary.
That’s okay though – just as long as you make it worth their while.
Always remember that users are easily distracted.
So, you should strive to find ways to keep them interested before their minds wander off elsewhere.
Well, you can divide your email using subsections to break up the text.
Check out this monthly newsletter from iClass Pro.
For emphasis, try underlining or writing the important words in bold. Using bullet points and numbers would definitely help as well.
Basic things like using a single font also make a whole world of a difference to sales emails.
Don’t keep changing your fonts along the way. This will make it difficult (and really annoying) to read.
It would also be a great idea to stick with tested and proven fonts like “Times New Roman,” “Calibri,” and “Arial.”
5. Sprinkle “power” words in your email
Countless studies have been done to prove that certain words have a stronger effect to readers compared with others.
This includes a long list of words you can use to strengthen your sales email. Great examples are “ultimate,” “breakthrough,” and “incredible.”
These are called “power” words.
Simply put, these words move readers to action. If done right, then that “action” could be buying your product or availing your business.
This is a pretty simple technique as it doesn’t really require much research.
A fair warning though, as with everything else, do not overdo it.
“Power words” lose their effect when you use them in every sentence.
Try to sprinkle them wisely and make sure you do it as natural as possible.
6. Make it personal
Everyone wants to feel special.
Your customers will better appreciate your message if they see that you actually made the effort to personalize the emails.
In fact, emails with personalized messages actually had 14% better click-through rates and 10% improved conversion rates.
Use the first and last name of your recipient to instantly establish a connection.
Ideally, you should also personalize the FROM line to make your emails more “human.”
Don’t forget to foster their narcissistic side.
Every human being is naturally self-centered. So, make sure that the emails you send clearly say that it’s all about them.
Use your marketing segmentation analysis.
Remember, readers will only stay interested for as long as the message is in their best interest.
7. Make them an offer they can’t refuse
Adding the element of urgency and fear of missing out on something typically push people to act.
In your emails, tell them what they won’t get if they let your offer pass.
Because neuroscience dictates that human are generally more afraid to lose things than to keep the status quo.
Taking advantage of this psychological tip has the potential to tip the scale towards making the sale and closing the deal.
To better establish rapport, share personal recommendations to your readers.
Suggest products or services you actually use to make the conversation more casual as opposed to being too robotic.
8. Throw out questions
One of your major goals should be to sound like an actual person as opposed to a programmed message.
So, asking questions to your readers is a good strategy to get the conversation going.
Using your marketing personas, think of topics that would interest the user and relate it to your product or service.
Make it sound as seamless and natural as possible.
9. Write your CTA loud and clear
Your CTA is undoubtedly the most important part of your sales email.
Nothing could be more frustrating to users than reading an entire email only to be left hanging.
For example, check out this simple yet effective CTA in this email template from HubSpot.
As simple and short as it is, this email actually achieved a 57% open rate with 21% response rate. They also gathered a total of 16 new customers after sending it out!
To maximize the exposure, insert two to four links to your website as well. If you succeeded in enticing your readers, then adding links could also mean more traffic for you.
10. Be creative in adding a P.S.
A lot of marketers fail to see the power of adding a P.S. at the bottom of their sales emails.
Unfortunately for them, they’re missing out on an avenue to maximize their opportunities because the P.S. line is typically the first thing readers see.
In some instances, it might just be the only part they bother to read.
According to Charlie Hutton, adding a powerful P.S. could even allow marketers to often “pull people back into the copy and read the entire message.”
Check out how Steli Efti utilized the P.S. message to encourage her recipients to look into her Startup Sales Success Course.
By recommending a renowned book that discusses some of the topics mentioned in the email, Steli achieved two things.
If the recipient didn’t read the entire email, the sheer popularity of the book would encourage him or her to go back and read it.
If the recipient read the email, then Steli would gain more credibility since this means he used great materials as references for his course.
See how this is a win-win situation?
The majority of sales emails sent out there today fail to take advantage of resources already readily available.
This is good news for you.
Because any salesperson worth his salt would not hesitate to apply these techniques if it means raking in sales and increasing your customer engagement rates.
Keep in mind that email marketing has been the preferred strategy by basically every ecommerce business in existence.
But, you have the chance to set yourself apart from the homogenous avalanche of sales emails bombarding customers on a daily basis.
Make sure to play to your strengths for you to take advantage of this huge audience that’s yours for the taking.
I’ve shared my best tactics. Now, it’s your turn.
What do you add to your sales email for it to stand out from the rest?
I am an online nerd, who loves email marketing, start-ups and online trends. Finally, I do talks, teach and advise in email marketing and lead generation.