I remember when I got my first email opt in after my first launch. I swear I could have hung that email address framed on my wall as if it were my first hard-earned dollar. Then, I got 20 subscribers. Then, 100. Then, 1,000. They kept adding up, but there was one thing that was staring me dead in the face…
… The money wasn’t in my email list like they all said…
… The money was in turning those prospects into customers.
Everyone starts somewhere with email marketing.
I started from square 1 just like you might be doing right now.
It wasn’t a turn on switch to profits, but it became that way over time. It’s my mission to show you how… the easy, less-headache-ridden way.
Many entrepreneurs know that email is important — stats still show, year after year, that customers still prefer email over social media. But, how do you wrangle the power in?
Luckily, email marketing isn’t new and there are many tried and true methods for turning email addresses into paying customers.
33 Email Marketing Tips for Beginners That Sell
(Beginner? Make sure you check out #7.)
1. Don’t Sell in Every Email
Once you realize that you can get a sale when you hit send, it’s really tempting to hit send on salesy emails all the time. This is the #1 rookie mistake.
You read book after book about how sending a sales email is like having a license to “print money,” but there’s more that goes into it than that.
Focus on content and building relationships and the sales will come.
Send them something that’s free.
Send them a quick tip or lesson just because you know it will help them out.
Write to them because you care and then, when you’re ready to sell, they will care about what you have to say.
It’s all about reciprocity.
Give before you try to receive.
2. Think BLU
When it is time to sell them something, always think benefit, logic, urgency.
Benefit: Why should they care? What problem does this product or service solve for them? Tell them specifically why they’re the perfect person to buy this.
Logic: There shouldn’t be a question in their mind as to why you’re sending this to them. Tell them why this is the logical next step to solving their problem or getting a desired benefit.
Urgency: Time is always of the essence, but be ethical. Only give deadlines and numbers that you’re actually sticking to. At the same time, you want to make it clear that waiting isn’t going to help them.
3. Don’t Reveal it All in The Email
You’ve no doubt seen it before.
Someone sends out an email that looks more like a novel.
Not only is it overwhelming, but it can be useless.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve seen people make, and that I’ve made myself, is trying to tell the whole story in the email.
The truth is, you don’t have to, and many times, you shouldn’t.
Get them curious.
Your goal is never to have them just read the email.
The goal is to have them take action on the email… Take the next logical step.
Always think of what is important and intriguing — what will give them just enough to make them want to click — then leave the rest for the click through to handle.
4. Try Focusing on Just One Sales Aspect Per Email
This has been key for me (honestly, I can be long-winded at times and overly excited, so keeping copy short and punchy is always a challenge).
When the email starts to look overwhelming and time consuming, I print it out. Yes, PRINT.
I find the #1, single most exciting sales aspect that I wrote about and I cut the rest.
Sometimes, being able to really explain one great feature or benefit is much more effective than giving away everything and the kitchen sink in one email.
Remember, you don’t just want them to read; you want them to click.
Less can be more when you can tease them to the landing page.
5. Use Video
For some reason, entrepreneurs forget that video sells!
Now, I don’t recommend embedding videos right now… There are still so many kinks and problems with rendering in some cases that it’s simply not worth it until you know all subscribers will be able to view the video correctly.
But, what I do recommend and have seen jump conversion rates more than 10% instantly is emailing prospects about watching a video.
Include an image of a video still from that video and place a big play button on it.
Make sure that image is linked.
Our brains are so used to video by now that sometimes, we don’t even read the copy.
We see a play button. We click.
Use this psychological trigger to your advantage.
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WANT TO LEARN MIKE’S TOP TRICKS TO FASTER EMAIL MARKETING PROFITS THAT STICK?
The more times you can get a potential customer to see you and interact with you, the better.
For some reason, when we start marketing, we get tunnel vision.
… This is a Facebook post…
… This goes to Twitter…
… This is for the blog…
… I’ll upload this to YouTube…
… I’ll send this as an email…
Why work harder when you can work smarter?
Have a great Facebook post?
Write a few lines about it and link to it in an email.
About to share something cool on Twitter? Let your subscribers know it’s coming via email and tell them to follow you before you release it.
Email combined with social is a powerful selling tool.
It can help you get more exposure fast and help you send more content, without actually creating, well, more content.
It’s a win-win!
7. Stop Sending from Info@yourcompany.com
Just STOPPPPPP ITTTTT.
You spend your time slaving over an email. An actual person — not a robot — pouring their pretty little heart out…
Then you send from a robot account.
It’s such a simple fix and I’ll tell you, once I stopped sending from Info@ and started sending from me, OPEN RATES MORE THAN DOUBLED.
People want to do business with people.
Give them that chance.
8. Stop Trying to Be Flashy!
Seriously. Gifs. Fancy designs. Lots of color.
You don’t always need it, especially when you are the face of your business.
Remember in #7 when I said people like to do business with people?
And, sometimes you lose that personal, human feel when you start going design-crazy.
On my sales emails, it has been drastic.
Graphical, flashy emails would get maybe 1 sale. Maybe.
Text-based letter emails pushing to a cart? Instant 234 sales in a single send in 24 hours.
I’m not yanking your chain.
It’s something that some people find hard to swallow, but it can be an incredible tweak to your sends that quickly turns into cash flow if you have the right audience.
Even if you just find one spot to pull in the prospect’s first name in your email, you’re already on your way.
Heck, get their name in the subject line and that’s even better.
You’re a real person talking to real people.
Show them that they’re important.
Most of the time, it’s a single pull field that you put into your copy where your ESP auto-fills it for you.
It’s a great personal touch that takes just seconds.
10. Don’t Say “Click Here”
I can hear you through my screen.
Seriously, it’s the oldest mistake in the book.
“Click here” is actually something spam traps look for, so it could hurt your deliverability.
Plus, you can find much more powerful CTAs (calls to action) by giving them more context about what their click does.
Things like download now, get the details, see the proof, read more, claim your ticket… They tell the reader more about what they’re going to get when they click and can sound much more powerful in your copy.
11. Give Things Away for Free
This is a huge email marketing tip for beginners that most people forget about!
I don’t know why this makes so many people cringe, but it shouldn’t.
When you talk about business, rookies always act like everything they create is ultra-top-secret… Like if they give it away for free, they’ll never sell anything.
It’s simply not the case.
You’ve heard of the law of reciprocity, right?
You give a little and people will want to do the same for you.
It’s an age-old trick.
Plus, we live in a day and age of skeptics.
Everything that arrives in your subscriber’s inbox, even the most recent chain message from Grandma promising 10 years of good luck if you pass it on to 10 friends, is questioned.
Sometimes, to make the sale, you have to first build up trust and credibility.
Giving a small portion of your product away or giving free access to an ebook or video will send a prospect over the edge and make them ready to buy.
Because you’ve proven yourself to them and the risk of giving you money for something you’ve produced because less scary. They already know about what you are able to do and the value you provide.
12. There’s No Perfect Send Schedule, Just Perfect Monitoring
It seems like everyone is looking for a precise formula.
How many emails per week should I send?
What time of day should I send?
Which day of the week should I send?
How many times can I email my list each month?
The truth is, every single list is a little different.
What works for one person, might fail miserably for you and vice versa.
The truth is, there’s no perfect number or formula, just perfect testing.
Split test send times.
See when your opt outs go up and use that as a sign of bad content or too much sending.
Let your list tell you what they want and STOP looking for the holy grail.
You’ll never find it and chances are you’ll go broke looking.
13. Don’t Do Fancy Link Colors
This is an easy one to test.
There are a lot of studies on color and which colors make people click.
Now, not everyone would agree, but from my tests, simple, auto-generated blue links work best.
Because it’s what people expect.
They see a bunch of black text, then something in blue… They click the blue.
It’s a trained habit they’ve had engrained in their brains since “You’ve Got Mail” rang through the house every time they logged on to AOL.
Why try to teach them to do anything different?
Use the impulsivity and automatic impulse to your advantage.
14. Segment Your Lists
This is one of the most important lessons from our Email Marketing Quickstart Kit (don’t have the kit? Get all 5 kit worksheets here.)
Divide your lists up so that you can talk to subscribers individually. The more precise your language gets, the more powerful your copy can be and the more seamless the sale becomes.
Some segmentation ideas are based off of the offer they came in from… Where they live so you an email them at the right time of day… How engaged they are.
There are a million ways to do this, so start thinking. For some quick ideas, check out this article on Hubspot.com.
Again, why waste time? Why work harder when you can work smarter?
Not every email must be sent by hand every single time.
Your welcome emails.
Some content emails.
Heck, even some sales emails…
… They can be turned on to send at a specified time in the prospect’s journey with you so that you can set them and forget them.
Most people call them autoresponders. Some call them campaigns. Others call them drips.
The key is that you should take a look at your top-performing sends and see if you can turn them into a logical progression that you can then set on autopilot.
It saves you time, headaches and can free up your time so you can focus on other, business-building projects.
16. Try One-Liners
Not the zings.
Writing on one line.
You’ll see me do it a lot in our emails and blog posts.
Writing with one thought per line makes your copy scannable.
It allows you to get longer concepts to the reader more easily.
And, it allows you to make your calls to action more prominent.
When you place your calls to action on a single line, they stand out more and with more attention, you could easily get more clicks.
It’s a wacky one, I know.
Just try it.
17. Set the Preheader
Go to your inbox.
You see the little bit of text after the subject line?
Many times, your ESP can allow you to set that specifically, so that it doesn’t just pull the first line of body copy.
Use this to get them to open.
Ask a question. Tease about what’s on the inside. Expand on the subject line.
[feature_box style=”9″ only_advanced=”There%20are%20no%20title%20options%20for%20the%20choosen%20style” alignment=”center”]For other simple tweaks to big results, download the Email Marketing Quickstart Kit now. Grab a free copy here!
18. Let Them Opt Out
It may sound counterintuitive.
Sometimes, opting out a subscriber you worked hard for could feel like cutting off a limb.
But, when it comes down to it, making it easier for them to opt out actually could help you reach more customers and get more sales.
Those people who do not interact with your emails… When they don’t click and don’t open and just sit there and let your emails bounce, this gets noticed.
Google, Yahoo, Hotmail… The works. They pay attention to these things and can count this against you as a sign that you’re an unwelcomed email in the inbox.
Things like being sent to spam or the junk folder come as a result.
And, that’s not just something that happens to those lazy subscribers… It could affect potential customers too, keeping them from seeing that sales email that would have finally pushed them to buy.
This is why making your opt out option clear and prominent is actually helpful to your list.
Yes, losing a small chunk of your list can actually get you more sales in the long run.
19. Scrub Your Emails
Same concept as above.
Dead emails weigh down your list and keep you out of the inboxes of prospects who actually buy.
There are a million methods to “scrub” your email list, but the most important thing to know is to drop bounces, try to engage the unengaged in their own campaign sequence, and take these steps often.
20. Create an Engaged and Unengaged List
Piggy backing on #18, separate your lists.
Have a list of unengaged people who haven’t opened or clicked in a while and set them on their own path.
This is where “Hail Mary” emails, like we talk about in the “Kit” come into play, as you try to get them to act on your emails again.
Separating them out could help you get better delivery rates and even spark a new flame in once-dead prospects because you’ll be able to speak to them specifically about their behavior.
It’s a quick and easy way to boost sales and get better email engagement.
21. Test Everything and Test Often
There’s no getting around this rule.
It should be rules #1 – 30 honestly, but we’ll settle for giving it just one spot.
Every list is different and every subscriber is unique.
The best way to get more sales and perfect your email lead machine?
Test and test often.
Test calls to action.
Test benefits when selling your products.
Test send times.
Test days of the week to send.
Test images, link colors — test whatever you want and learn from it.
At the end of the day, the numbers do not lie.
Let your email subscribers tell you how to best market to them.
22. Use Social Proof
When someone with your product boasts their results… Share it.
Make use of testimonials and first-hand accounts.
Your buyers can relate to prospects and vice versa.
And, people are more inclined to trust a user of your product or service about why the product is so life-changing than if you were to just tell it to them yourself.
23. Make All Images Clickable
Your logo. A picture of your cat that somehow needed to make it to the prospect’s inbox.
Clickable images aren’t just for buttons.
When people see an image, they want to click.
Make sure that when they do, they’re directed to the “next step” place of your choice.
I make all my images match my body copy links.
You’ll be surprised how many more conversions you get to your landing page by making something that you’d never think they’d click, clickable.
24. It Doesn’t Have to be Professional
It always amazes me, and breaks my heart a little bit, when people say that they can’t get their business in the green because they can’t do professional writing.
You don’t have to write professionally to be able to drive traffic through email.
Actually, professional and cold emails have a tendency to convert less and consequently, sell less.
What does it take?
Write like you’re talking to someone.
It will flow more easily, typically make more sense and build an instant connection with your audience that will make actually selling your product
Don’t like to write? Don’t. Try recording a voice memo as if you’re telling someone about your product or service or whatever your email will be about. Then, play it back to yourself and transcribe it into an email. Add in CTAs and links and you’re set!
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Grab our 4-Step Email Optimization Checklist
25. Don’t Be Afraid to Send
You wouldn’t believe how many entrepreneurs I’ve encountered who are simply afraid to send.
They’re afraid that they made a grammar mistake or that something will be misspelled so they proofread and proofread and proofread and NEVER SEND.
Let me tell you a little dirty trick of the trade…
… One misspelled word doesn’t typically cost you a sale.
You know what does?
Not sending the email in the first place.
Should you proof your work and try to make it clear and readable, maybe even do a spellcheck? Absolutely. But don’t let fear of hitting send ever keep you from profits.
26. Make Sure Your Body Copy Matches Your Subject Line
Don’t make this rookie mistake that leaves so many emails getting delivered only to the spam folder…
One major spam check is for bait and switches. It’s something that spammers have been notorious for and, if you’re not careful, your great emails could be mislabeled because of this one mistake.
If your subject line doesn’t match what your body copy says enough, the spam trap might label you as spam.
The simple solution is making that a quick check before you hit send.
27. Give Them Only One Action to Take
Kind of goes back to the keep is simple silly (KISS) method.
When writing an email, most of the time you want to only push the reader to do one thing…
… Check out the video…
… Register for the webinar…
… Download your guide…
… See a course preview…
… Connect with you on social…
What you don’t want to do?
You DON’T want to tell them to do all of those things at one time.
Keep it clear and logical as to why you’re writing and what they should do next — typically meaning, only have one CTA that you pepper throughout a few links in your text BUT MAKE SURE THEY’RE THE SAME ACTION.
28. Use Subheads
For some reason, people remember subheads to break up copy on their blog posts, but you put them in front of the screen and tell them that they’re writing an email and it all goes to he!!.
Subheads are used to break up copy… Organize ideas… Make your writing scannable.
Now which of these things do you think do NOT apply to email?
The answer is that they ALL apply and can be great when writing longer sales emails or trying to explain something complex.
Break up your copy with subheads to help your readers out and get them what they need to know more quickly.
29. Don’t Forget About Text Treatments
Bolding. Italicizing. Underlining. They all have a role in breaking up copy, drawing attention to specific parts of your message and drawing the reader in.
Don’t neglect them.
Use them sparingly, but very purposefully.
Bold a line of text that you want to get noticed.
Italicize key items that you want the reader to read even if they’re just scanning the copy.
It takes only a few moments and it could change everything about what the reader actually reads.
30. Don’t Forget About Your Landing Page
It’s very easy to zero in on email performance by looking at just the email, but your landing page is a HUGE component of your conversion too.
If your email is getting opened and clicked, but you’re not getting sales, make sure that your email copy logically flows into the copy on your landing page. They must feel like they go together.
31. Have Readers Star Your Email or Save Your Address as a Contact
It’s a quick and easy step, but the increase in results could be massive.
When you ask your readers to star an email you sent or add your email address to their safe sender list, it tells their email provider that they want to hear from you.
What does this mean to you?
It means that you’re more likely to end up right in their inbox next to Sally Sue and Grandma Jean. You will be delivered like anyone else.
It helps you get in front of their eyeballs better on future sends and, if you give them a clear reason to take the steps to star the email or add you to their safe sender list, many readers will indeed do so.
Some extra advice: We always try to ask for this step right as the prospect joins our list.
Because that’s when they’re most excited about you. Right when they opt in for your lead offer, they’re looking for your email so they can get that deliverable and, remember the law of reciprocity?
You just delivered something valuable to them, so them simply starring your email is an easy way that they can repay you for that and many of them will.
32. Always Follow Up on an Action
Every touchpoint (email send) that you set up for your list needs to have a logical “why” attached to it.
Are you sending just because you want to sell them something or are you sending to deliver something they asked for?
Are you following up on a request or giving something valuable because you listened to them earlier in your pipeline?
The easiest way to do find a reason for a touchpoint is to simply shoot out an email every time they act on something.
If they request an ebook, yeah you could deliver it on the page, but why not shoot them a thank you email too and ask them to do just one more thing?
If they buy your product, don’t just send them a receipt — thank them for buying and give them a helpful hint for using the product.
These little “extra steps” could lead to much easier “yesses” from those prospects down the road. This is “nurturing” as everyone always talks about.
33. Optimize for Mobile and Test Browsers
There’s no escaping it. More and more people are checking their email on the go, using phones and tablets and whatever new invention will make its way into our pockets next.
Most ESPs will allow you to test rendering your emails on varying browsers and devices in a simulator. USE IT!
Make sure that your images show up in the right place when the reader moves from a desktop to a smartphone.
Make sure that your text reads legibly on all browsers without special characters getting thrown in.
It takes just seconds to check, but the peace of mind that what you think you’re sending and what is actually being seen by the reader, is priceless.
Want More Email Marketing Ideas to Get Your Sales Rolling In?
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Email Marketing Fasttrack: 5 Must-Have Email Marketing Resources for Beginners