16 Email Etiquettes You Should Observe

Email marketing has been around forever, and for good reason. It is the most direct and effective way of connecting with your leads, nurturing them, and turning them into customers, consistently winning out over all other marketing channels. Email marketing is made up of several moving pieces, but that does not mean it has to be complicated.

$3,000 paycheck is on it’s way to you by Fedex.

Unless you actually did send them $3,000 check, this is deceptive. Yes, some people are greedy, and they will open up a silly email like that. But they will quickly turn away with disgust as they notice the trickery, and they will express their frustration by unsubscribing and voting your email as spam.

Everyone else will just report it and delete it right away, then proceed to launch a thermonuclear missile in response back to sender. Must be why the open rate on this email was negligible. Next time when you want to hand out free money, just don’t.

This is pure pseudo-marketing gimmickry. If you try to emulate this approach, you will piss off a lot of people, get reported for spam and lose your credibility. You will also violate the law, and possibly have lawyers go after you. But the damage was done.

You killed your relationship with your list.

You damaged your reputation (if you had any in the first place). You lost your email marketing accounts. This did not have to happen, so do not let this happen to you. After you finish composing your email, invest five minutes of your time and look at your subject line from a perspective.

Put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. What will they think when they see your subject? How may they react? Will they expect what is inside the email based on its subject? Is there a tiniest hint that he may feel tricked or deceived after opening the email, because the email’s content did not match his expectation based on the subject he saw?

Do this internal assessment, and you will feel if your subject line may have a problem. And if it does, just rewrite it and repeat. Do this, and you will eliminate the risk of being called a spammer, deceiver, or both. So where does the line get drawn between a creative, compelling email subject line and one that is deceptive (and possibly illegal)?

Is your email subject creative or deceptive?

The new CAN-SPAM Law requires that the subject line of your emails be directly pertinent to the content. In other words, you cannot title your email “Elvis Found ALIVE” and then promote your latest cookbook. Identify yourself at the beginning of the email message and use the current date and a greeting line.

Many mailing softwares enable the insertion of the recipient’s name into the subject line and the body of the message. Use this feature to personalize your message and make your reader feel you are writing directly to him. Format the body of your message to be neat and easily read.

Few if any people will attempt to read a dark and tangled mass of fonts. Limit your lines to 60 or 65 characters and hold your paragraphs to three or four sentences. Use one extra line of white space between your paragraphs for added ease in reading.

You may also want to stick with text formatted email.

Even though it does not provide the zing of a well done HTML message. Since most spam email is HTML formatted, it can be a trigger for some spam filters. If your message is comprised of more than a three or four paragraphs, use capitalized subheadings to draw attention to specific points that you want to make about your product or offer.

Keep in mind that few people will read your message word-for-word. Make it easy for them to pick out the most critical points you want to convey. Note however, that typing in ALL CAPS is not only considered a breach of Internet etiquette. It is also a trigger for most spam filters.

Again, when mailing a direct advertisement, stress the benefits of your product. Explain how it will solve a problem, make a tiresome task more efficient, increase sales, reduce risks, give pleasure, comfort, and afford pride of ownership.

Use bulleted lists to display the benefits of your offer.

Features are great but chances are that your reader will not give a whit how many gizmos are tacked on. He wants to know exactly how your product or service will be of benefit in his own life. Many readers are skimmers and will only see the highlighted portion of your message.

A bulleted list can quickly explain the benefits of your product, and why the reader should respond your offer. Simplify your wording and make your point in direct and clear language. Avoid making your reader run for a dictionary to understand your message. Remember, you are composing a sales message, not writing a novel.

Proofread your message for grammatical and spelling errors prior to distribution. An easy way to do this is to compose your message in Microsoft Word. You will be alerted to possible errors by red or green squiggled lines. End your message with a signature line and a valid email contact or URL to your website.

You can also use a P. O. Box as your postal address.

The new U.S. Federal CAN-SPAM Law also requires that a physical address and a working removal link be included in any commercial email sent. Postal address must be within every email. Put it at the bottom of every email that goes out.

This will relieve fear and mistrust in your reader. He will be more likely to regard you as a sincere businessperson, and less likely to mistake you for just another spammer. As little as one poorly designed email campaign can seriously damage your credibility with potential customers.

You have experienced it before. You followed all the professional recommendations there are to the letter. You typed up an epic email for your list. You went on and hit “send”. The following day, you got all excited to extract your email statistics, and then you were disappointed it was nothing near what you had anticipated.

Your open rates are a far cry from the industry “standard” of 20%.

You are starting to doubt if your subscribers are actually receiving all that juicy stuff you sent to them. It does not need to be so darn difficult. There are billions of email accounts in the world yet it is so simple to see your hardwork go down the drain.

Discouraging, right? Send to provide value. Have you ever gotten an email asking you to purchase something? And if that keeps happening a few times consecutively, you unsubscribe. Do not let that become of your list. Provide unobliged valuable content initially.

Then request for a sale later on. Make yourself helpful. Use your actual name. Email marketing is absolutely nothing without a relationship with your subscribers. So how do you develop a relationship when they do not even know your name?

You are talking to your subscribers through emails.

It is a personal channel and you ought to keep it rightly so. Would you rather receive an email from a “company” or a friend? When you send out emails from your real name, your subscribers will start to expect you in their inbox. And that is a lot more personal than “Epic Newsletter #18”, don’t you think?

Use a real, reachable email address. Think exactly what occurs when you email from “[email protected]”? Nobody replies. As an email list owner, you would rather wish the opposite. You want to be engaging and helpful to your subscribers.

A basic one-line reply to a subscriber’s email may mean a lot, and it will not take up too much of your time. That way, your subscriber will start trusting and counting on you. Also, using a no-reply email address is not only rude, but likewise illegal in some countries.

So why do it?

Be ethical. It is not okay to include a person into your list if he merely handed you his business card or sent you an inquiry email. Not everybody who comes into contact with you wants to be on your list. Odds are that this individual will discover your little gimmick when he receives your newsletter the first time.

Be respectful of other people’s privacy. However, it is okay to ask, “Thanks for the card. I run a weekly newsletter. Would you like me to send you some regular updates to this email?” Most likely, they will agree. Use hypnotic words. There are many hypnotic words that could make your title and content very engaging.

Some examples include “secrets”, “proven”, “discover”, “guaranteed”, “unleash”, “you” and so on. Use clear titles. 33% of subscribers open an email based on the title alone. Some list owners attempt to be smart with their titles, however, sometimes smart is confusing.

Be direct and plainly state what is within the content.

Write benefit driven titles. People are motivated either by pleasure or pain. Make use of the two to push them into action. The primary step is to determine their discomfort or issue. Suppose you are targeting foreigners residing in Spain.

One problem they are facing is not speaking Spanish. You have a solution within your email series entitled “Speak Spanish in 30 Days”. You could even go a little further and connect more discomfort for not something about it in order to create urgency.

Use a simple design. Unless you know exactly what you are doing and why, keep your design simple. Yes, that means that sidebar with lots of links? It needs to go. Do not clutter your text. Send clean, lots of white spaces, text-based emails whenever you can.

Be personal and chummy.

Use their given names in addressing them to increase engagement. However, do not overdo it by applying it in every other sentence since that is just plain weird and really creepy. Use the power of postscript. Use postscript (P.S.) routinely to push your subscribers to take action. Resist overdoing it with P.P.S and P.P.P.S.

Provide everything or give a teaser. Some list owners like to send out the entire post in an email with hyperlinks at the bottom. While others prefer to send out a teaser to interest subscribers to find out more. There isn’t a fixed rule. Do your research and A/B testing.

What generates you more engagement and enhances your click-through rates? Stick to the method that works. Set up incredibly helpful autoresponders. You could also keep tab on where somebody is in your sales pipeline. Maybe you run a photography tips newsletter.

They will want more advanced lessons.

Somebody who has just signed up to your list might expect some light orientation lessons, as compared to a person who has already been on your list for a couple of months. Autoresponders make it easy to pair the ideal content to your subscribers, whichever stage they are.

Subscribers appreciate getting valuable and relevant content that is helpful in making their lives better. Your sales email copy is the way you communicate the story of what you are offering. The design is the way you arrange that story to make it simple for your readers to comprehend.

It is a direct impression of how your readers will see the worth of your offer. Who are you talking to? Prior to writing your sales email copy, you have to identify who your target audience is. Knowing is the main secret to achieve success from email marketing.

What do your readers desire?

What annoys your readers most? Who else is offering something same as yours? Why should your readers trust you rather than somebody else? What sort of appeals do your readers respond to? Their eyes have it. It is a fact that huge blocks of texts are daunting and will send people running for the hills or at least to hit the “Delete” button.

Break up your paragraphs into blocks of two to four sentences. Use subtitles throughout the email copy. Bullet points are great attention grabbers. Use them whenever appropriate. Do no forget an awesome title. Recipients have to open an email before it can generate results.

What can you do to pique their interest and attract their attention? Your title is the secret. There are four kinds of formulas you can adopt to craft your email copy. Benefit, curiosity, news angle, and instant satisfaction. Each one has a distinct emotional allure that will work on your readers.

What will they benefit?

List every imaginable benefit your offer has. No idea what is the difference between a feature and a benefit? A feature describes the offer. While a benefit describes the results of using the offer. Feature appeals to logic. Logic rationalizes emotion. Emotion impulses sales.

What can your offer do for your readers? Then start to compose your email copy detailing what your readers will benefit. Let them know how much better their lives will be. And how much better they will feel after they purchase from you.

Appeal to their emotions. Buying decisions are driven by emotions. And later on backed up by logic. Identify what is the emotions you need to appeal to nudge your readers. Some emotions you can use are greed, curiosity, ego, vanity, fear, hope, security, and scarcity.

Be a name that they can trust.

How do you convince your readers that your offer is reliable and that you will deliver as promised? Include testimonials. Provide endorsements from authoritative figures in your market. Make your offer credible and your guarantees genuine.

These days, selling without some kind of guarantee is a lost proposition. You have got to have one. The more powerful your guarantee, the better the response. Even though most people do not ask for a refund. They will trust your offer knowing that you guarantee it.

You can offer a thirty-day, sixty-day, or even ninety-day money-back guarantee. Okay, here is a kicker: the longer the guarantee, the lesser refunds you will get! It is natural for people to put things off. Therefore the more time a person thinks he has to get the refund. The longer he will procrastinate or forget altogether.

Do not forget to ask.

This always happens. Someone made a wonderful sales email copy presentation but did not close the deal since he did not ask for the order, or made the purchase process confusing. You have to ask for the order at least three times to close a sale.

Offer a variety of ways for your readers to order. People love choices. If you offer only one way to order, describe clearly how to do it, and make it easy to do it. Explain in details and ask for the order. Then ask again. Copy and design are important to sell your offer and they are dependent on each other.

Good copy with bad design, or bad copy with good design simply will not work if you wish to have an offer that compels your readers to take action.


Read also: 5 PR Strategies Every Startup Should Employ

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