7 Steps To Getting a Better Response With Your Email

by Charlie Cook

“How can we get better results with our email marketing? We sent a test email to 100 prospects who had expressed interest in our services and only got one response! We have a list of over 40,000 people who’ve contacted us and we want to follow up by email.”
– John from Atlanta

Whether you want to improve your email marketing or use the Internet to keep communication going with prospects and clients, you want your emails to get a specific response.

You want people to open your emails, read them, and then take action. You may want them to fill in a form or pick up the phone or go to your website and buy, but essentially your emails should prompt prospects to contact you and prompt past clients to buy from you again.

Is that what happens when you send out emails to the people who have given you permission to email them?

If you’re getting a limited response to your web site marketing emails, its time to figure out what’s wrong.

The first problem could be your mailing list itself. I can’t emphasize enough that you should only send email to people who’ve indicated that they want your emails, either by signing up for them or by indicating their interest through a previous purchase.  It’s illegal to send Spam, unwanted emails, it’s a waste of your time and theirs, and its a great way to alienate potential customers. Don’t do it.

Ready to tune up your email campaign for maximum website marketing results?

There are 7 elements to an effective email campaign that include:

1. The subject or title,
2. The sender address,
3. The first sentence,
4. The first paragraph,
5. The perceived value of your offer,
6. Your call to action and
7. The landing page (the page on your website that the links in the email go to).

Want to know which of these elements are working and which aren’t in your company’s emails?

If you are using tracking software, as John was, you can tell how many people opened your email, how many clicked on the links in the email and how many either filled in the form linked to the email or made a purchase. With this information, you can pinpoint which elements are working and which need fixing.

I use the ad tracker provided in my shopping cart system. John, uses software from SalesForce.com

Open Rate
John knew that 22% of the recipients had opened his email. In this case, he was emailing people he hadn’t contacted in as long as 12 months. An ‘open rate’ of one out of five is respectable, and indicates that the title of his email was working.  There is room for improvement, though, and with a better subject line he could get an open rate of at least 30%.

Clickthrough Rate
Only 15% of the people that opened John’s email used any of the links in response to his call to action. While 15% isn’t bad, it’s reasonable to expect a 30% or better clickthrough rate. The key is to use the copy in your email to leverage people’s innate curiosity, to reaffirm your credibility and to clarify the value to the reader of taking the action you want them to take.

Credibility + High Perceived Value + Curiosity = High Clickthroughs

Want to use email to sell more? You could just keep running in circles without a map and hope that you sell more, or you could get a step-by-step guide to improve your web site marketing that shows you exactly what to do to reach your goals.

An email message is successful when prospects open it, read it and clickthrough to your sign up or go to your sales pages. Then what? They should take the action you want them to take.

Only one of John’s prospects filled in the form at his website. Since only three people reached this page, though, it’s hard to tell whether this particular page is doing what its supposed to or whether there is some other problem.

If you’re offering something for free, you should be able to get 25-35% of the people who reach your sign-up page to fill in the sign-up form. Sales page results will vary highly, depending on the product or service and your pricing.

Still not sure how to fix your emails?  Take these 7 steps to improve your emails and convert prospects to clients:

1. Write a title for your email that describes the content, implies a benefit and makes the reader curious.
2. When the recipient gets your email, make sure they recognize the sender. Use your company email address, which they should recognize.
3. Use the first sentence of your email to grab your prospects’ attention. Don’t start with ”Hello, did you miss us?” but with a sentence that will immediately get them reading. Speak to their problems and concerns.
4. The first sentence should propel your readers into the first paragraph. Then, give them more information about their problems and concerns.
5. Clarify the value of your offer. Even if all you want the reader to do is sign up for your free report, they’ll need to know why they need it and how it will help them. The more clearly they understand its value, the more likely they’ll be to take the action you want them to take.
6. Include a call to action. Tell people what to do next. For example – Click here to discover… Use this link to get the details …, Find out how to…
7. Make your sign-up page or sales page simple to understand and easy to follow. Keep it focused on the action you want your readers to take.

Take all of these 7 steps and soon more people will read your emails, click on the links in them, reach your sign up and sales pages and buy from you.

(VALUE: $200)
In less than 67 seconds, discover your company’s online reputation score and how to improve your reviews to attract more clients. Based on an analysis of the review sites that matter.