- Content: The better and more relevant the content in your emails, the better the response. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised how often this gets overlooked. A recent customer of mine found that video and case studies outperformed white papers. Have you reviewed what content is working and what isn't? This should be done regularly. The type of content should also be tied to the stage of the buyer's journey that the recipient is currently in.
- The Message: Does the message in your email provide an educational, thought leadership type approach or is it simply all about your company? Always put yourself in the shoes of the email recipient and think about what would convince them to open and respond to your email. It's the "what's in it for me" factor. Focus on your recipient's pain points and how to solve those and less on the benefits of your product or service. In addition, don't bore the reader with too much content. Keep it short, sweet and to the point. The point of email is to get someone to take the next step - focus on that.
- Personalization: I'm not talking about "Dear so and so". Real personalization has the email coming from the Account Manager, Support representative or sales rep that has or will interact with the email recipient. By automating this process and having the email come from a real person, you can increase your email response 4X. There are some tricks here as well as to when to use this type of personalization and it may not be appropriate in some situations. As a standard rule, if a relationship has been established or you’re looking at a way of establishing a relationship, use this approach. This is a feature that you would typically find with a marketing automation tool.
- Email Deliverability: This is an area that is difficult to consume as it's not tangible but it can make or break the success of your email campaigns. Ask yourself: Is your email list clean? Having a messy list can lead to spam complaints, hard bouncebacks, "unknowns" (non-responders), and spam traps. All of these factors can reduce your email reputation and prevent your emails from landing in the inboxes of the people that are keen to get your emails. You need to ensure that you know what your Sender Score is, if the emails you send have authentication, if you are receiving spam complaints, and the if you are hitting spam traps. Your email/marketing automation provider should be able to assist here. As a first step, I recommend checking out this guide on Email Deliverability and Privacy.
- Test: - I hate this one as everyone always says “test, test. test” but I can't stress how important it is. If you don't believe me, have a look at a few examples over at www.whichtestone.com. You'll see that you never know what will work better unless you test it. Here is a great one that Sonic Foundry did on testing their subject line: Long vs. Short Email Subject Line Test.
PS: If you have examples of your emails, I would be happy to have a look at them.