It’s difficult for many of us to remember a time without email. If you are old enough you probably remember a certain excitement on hearing a ding and a familiar “You’ve got mail” audible. That’s when we thought email was cool.
But our enthusiasm from email changed when one thing happened: The invention of the sales email. According to a study conducted by Ascend2, a whopping 82% of B2C businesses are currently employing sales email marketing.
That’s a lot of companies.
This isn’t just because they like sending out emails – it’s because they actually work.
In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than social platforms like Facebook or Twitter. Forty times.
As a result, our inbox went from a place of recognizable friends and family to a place where strangers pitch to you night and day. Over time our inbox volume has grown so large that the average office professional now receives over 120 emails a day.
Email sucks. Email rocks. I think we all say the same thing, probably every day.
Once businesses were able to prove email was productive, it just made sense for marketing directors to open the flow of emails even more. In fact, 60% of the business leader respondents to a recent survey indicated they would be increasing their spending on email marketing activity in 2016.
You should be too.
But here’s a word of caution: Much of the email we receive is summarily dismissed, or even auto-filtered into the junk folder.
This is a headache for your business because you may be legitimately interested in saving your potential customer money, or introducing them to a superior brand.
In spite of the obstacles, email marketing still proves an effective and essential sales tool. The trick is designing them in such a way that your customers want to read them. Let’s preface this next bit by saying it’s likely you’ll have to discard everything you think you know about writing a sales email.
You may be under the impression that a proper email should be formal, detailed, and contain eye- catching images to entice the reader.
Nearly all the above (while seeming good) are the opposite of what your emails should look like.
Here are the three best practices that all great sales emails must follow:
Keep it Casual
Especially if you’re a B2B company, it’s not hard to imagine the reader of your email as a suit-clad VP with old-fashioned notions of communicating.
Even if you’re B2C, you may feel that an email to an unknown recipient ought to at least err on the side of formality.
But here’s the thing – your customers (and potential customers) are just like you. They’re human and like being addressed like they are.
Your emails should reflect a little of your own personality while accurately conveying the basic points of your brand.
You needn’t be goofy or try-hard, but a more casual tone resonates better with people who are used to reading emails that look like they were drafted by robots with flawless grammar, but little soul.
If they feel a bit stiff or uncomfortable to be said, you’ve probably gone too formal.
Just remember that humanity works – and it can work for your emails.
Keep it Brief
Let’s be honest – no matter what you’re selling, no one wants to read a novella on it.
A lot of sales emails make the mistake of trying to cram in every little detail about the product or service they’re offering.
The logic is sound – presumably, there is a lot of great things to say about your company and what you sell. But the bulk of that information should already be available on your website, the exact place your reader will head if the email piques their interest.
Your emails should be concise, appealing, and to the point. Make sure they’re focused on how the customer can benefit from your product or service, not on how great your company is.
Focus on the benefit they’ll receive and don’t forget to educate and inform.
Follow the Know> Like> Trust Formula
Don’t think of any sales email you send as a one-off.
Once you’ve built your email list, it’s time to start building a long-term, positive relationship with your would-be and already-are customers.
A good way to conceptualize this process is Know> Like> Trust. These are the stages at the top of the Marketing Hourglass, a way of looking at your customer’s journey and designing a positive customer experience.
Your first email should help the reader get to “know” your business and brand a bit better.
Subsequent messages should help customers grow to like and align to your business, by proactively helping them solve their problems, while actively displaying the thoroughness of your customer support.
Once your customers have come to know and like your brand, they’ll trust it. Part of that trust means they will be more willing and engaged with promotional offers, and this is the time to start sending them.
Don’t rush into email marketing with a hard sell – much like marriage, it behooves one to let the person get to know you a bit first.
Through your diligence and recurring outreach, your customers will grow to recognize and appreciate your email marketing, perhaps even relying on it for great deals.
Despite increased customer skepticism, email marketing remains a valuable and effective marketing channel.
But not just any email will do.
It’s about more than just getting a customer to simply open the email, it’s about reaching them on an intimate, human level. By ensuring they’re relatively casual, concise, and build trust over time, you’re going to create emails that resonate with readers.
And, instead of being shifted right into the junk folder, your customers will look forward to your emails to see what products, services, and deals you’re offering.
Are you still puzzled on how your business will benefit by doing quality email marketing? Consider a done-for- you package of marketing services, like Valens Points’ Jumpstart, that ensures you emails are written and sent without the stress of doing it yourself.