The Secret to Mastering Email Frequency

Most email marketers seek a substantial return after just one blast. But do repeat advertisements to the same group have any benefits? Does frequency have any place in email marketing? Yes.

The term frequency refers to how many times you reach an audience with a message.

It’s strange, but many clients I work with run advertisements month after month in the same magazine, but wouldn’t think of emailing an offer to the same person twice.

You do need to be careful of how frequently you contact someone about something, to avoid being irritating, but frequency does have its place in email.

I’ve seen follow up messages that get three times the response rate as an initial message.

You have to be careful. Be sure to offer some new information. Use a slightly different approach. Do not just send the same message.

For newsletter publishers and those who offer information in their mailings you have a bit more leeway in how frequently you can mail to your list. If you publish currency exchange rates, you might send email out daily. However, if you publish a monthly column dealing with email marketing, it’s likely you will not be able to mail more than once every two weeks without overstepping your bounds.

It’s something that you need to keep an eye on. If you start mailing your audience too frequently you’ll find that un-subscribe rates start to climb. You might even send out a questionnaire to your audience asking them to indicate how frequently they’d like to hear from you. Like any other marketing variable you should keep a close eye on the interval between communication, and how it impacts the audience and their behavior.

How to Word Your Hyperlinks So They Get Clicked!

Most email campaigns have hyperlinks that the advertiser wants people to click. How can you increase click rate? If you are using an HTML email, you can hyperlink words. Compare the following…

Sample A: Opinion Form – Click Here
or
Sample B: Your Opinion Counts – Click Here!

Sample A: Click Here for More Information
or
Sample B: Increase Sales Up to 300% – Click Here!

How you decide to phrase your hyperlinks can impact your click through rate. Pay special attention to how you do this. Your hyperlinks will grab the eye and are often the first thing read on a page, so be sure to say something with your hyperlinks.

In a text email you will need to show the actual link, but you are able to name the link title. People will also read the web address you include in your email message and try to decipher where they are being sent so keep it short and sweet. Be sure the page listed has a name that fits the promotion.

Here’s an example:

Click Here for a FREE Listing
http://www.businessemaillists.com/freelisting

(the link above does not actually work, it’s merely an illustration)

Great Link Titles Also Include:

  • Click Here for Full Story
  • Click Here to Learn Details
  • Please Tell Me More!
  • I’m Ready To Learn More
  • Click Here to Improve Results
  • How Do I Get Started?
  • Click Here to Register for a Free Gift
  • I Want a FREE Test Drive

The key is to remember that links get read more than the surrounding text, so make them juicy to read. Make sure they excite and entice the reader to click.


Format Your Text Emails for Maximum Results

The manner in which the copy is laid out will contribute largely to the audience’s desire to read it. Upon opening the email there are a few things that people notice immediately, regardless of whether it’s text or HTML:

  • Is the copy neat and well laid out?
  • What hyperlinks are immediately visible?
  • Does this look interesting?
  • What’s in this for me?
  • How long will it take me to read this?

To get started writing winning text emails, you’ll need a good text editor.

Notepad Makes a Great Text Editor

Notepad is a great text editor and everyone with a PC has Notepad preloaded on their computer. The primary reason for using Notepad to edit your message is because it offers only the formatting features supported by text emails. Most word processors offer features such as bold, underlining and other fonts, which aren’t supported in plain-text emails.

Using a text editor will ensure that your copy adheres to the lowest common denominator and can be viewed properly by all parties.

To Access Notepad: Click the “Start” button on your monitor’s lower left hand corner. Then select “Programs,” and then “Accessories.” You should see the program called “Notepad” listed there.

The path is: Start > Programs > Accessories > Notepad

Limit Lines to 65 Characters Max

Notepad is very similar to your word processing programs, except you have to hit enter to finish a line and jump to the next line. This is important because it allows you to control how many characters appear on each line.

Properly formatted text emails are limited to 65 characters per line. You’ll notice when you receive a text email there is typically a margin of white space to the right of the copy. This ensures the that line breaks happen where you specify.

You don’t want the recipient’s email client to determine where the lines wrap, or your email may look sloppy.

At the end of each 65-character line, you need to hit the enter or return key to break to the next line. Notepad does not automatically wrap like other word processing programs.
If you want to avoid having to count out each line simply enter a line of hash marks at the top of your email that is 65 characters wide, like this line below:
=================================================================
You can use this line to eyeball where it is time to hit return and start a new line. When you are finished writing your text, simply delete the hash marks.

Hyperlink Length

Hyperlinks must adhere to the same requirements as regular text lines. In fact, it’s actually more important that you limit the length of your hyperlinks because if a viewer’s email client decides your hyperlink is too long and breaks part of it off to put it on the next line, it may not work.

Keep an Eye On Your Inbox

Text email messages are very popular. Keep an eye on your email inbox and notice how the better text messages use white space. As you read on, we will cover additional formatting techniques to help improve your overall results and readability.

How to Use Questions Effectively in Your Email Message

Your email message is generally a one-way monologue from you to the advertiser. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t solicit “audience participation” with well-positioned questions.

Why would we do that?

In this course you’re learning how to break up your copy to make it more attractive and readable. You can do this by occasionally reaching out to your audience with questions to grab their attention.

Do you see how that could be important?

Using effectively placed questions gives a warmer touch and a more conversational feel to your message. It also re-centers the reader and draws them back into your copy.

Can questions also be used to highlight an upcoming topic?

Well, yes they can. By positioning a question on a line by itself you can highlight the information contained in an upcoming paragraph. This helps identify areas of a subject your audience may not know and further enhance their need to continue reading your information.

It’s a great technique to continue bringing your readers back. Give it a whirl.

Timing is Everything: Selecting the Best Time to Send Your Email Message

When is the best time to send your email? Great question. In fact the time you decide to launch your campaign can have an impact on the overall results of your email campaign. This detail may not be as important as the audience you select, the subject line, or the list you are using, but it is a factor. But if you are working to get the maximum results and put everything in your favor then these are commonly accepted as the BEST times to launch your campaign.

The best days (in no particular order):

Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays

What’s wrong with the rest of the days?

For business email, your audience is generally out of the office on Saturday and Sunday.

On Monday, your recipients are recovering from the weekend and will not be in business mode yet. They may have a number of things to do on this day and are not quite interested in offers or solicitations.

On Friday, they are interested in wrapping things up. If someone starts something on a Friday, it may be forgotten over the weekend.

So we are left with Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as the best days.

You will want to avoid holidays or any major vacation times.

Does Time of Day Matter?

You want your message to reach your audience at a time when they are going to be most receptive. Deeper research has given me feedback from advertisers and list companies who say that even the time of day can play a role.

Many see it as important for your message to pop up, while the audience is at their computer. That polite “bing” elicits a Pavlovian response in most of us to quickly see what new and interesting mail has arrived. Perhaps it’s an order? Maybe it’s a note from a coworker. We are receptive and immediately ready to see who’s trying to contact us. This timing is ideal.

The majority of marketers try to ensure their email is not just sitting stagnate in the recipient’s inbox first thing in the morning, especially after a holiday. The reason is simple. People tend to have a morning ritual of “cleaning” their inbox from any spam that arrived overnight. You don’t want them to see your message when they are in a deleting frenzy, trying to find anything they can “clean up.”

Rather, you want your message to pop up while they are in the middle of a workday. This increases the chances that the recipient will stop and take a moment to read it.

What Are the Best Times to Send Email?

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.

and

1:00 – 1:30 p.m.

I urge you not to place too much emphasis on this area. It’s often very difficult to ensure the precise time your message goes out. And even if the message is launched at precisely 10 a.m. in one time zone, there are other time zones to consider.

It is good to have an idea of the general behavior of your audience before sending a message at an inappropriate time.

Does Time of Year Matter?

According to list brokers and publishers I’ve spoken with, the time of year does matter. You don’t want to catch someone just after a vacation when they have 200 waiting messages and are looking for stuff they can delete quickly. Most people seem to vacation during the summer months, especially July and August. Try to avoid that time.

Putting it in Perspective…

Don’t wait for the perfect time or you will never launch your email campaign. As you’ve probably experienced there are times during the week, month or year when you are extremely busy and not as receptive to offers or messages. Do your best to pick a time when your clients will be most likely to act, but don’t obsess about the launch time.

Email Marketing Technique: The “Hurt’em and Heal’em” Approach

Advertising is often referred to as a hurt ’em and heal ’em business. This is true. Some of the best messages work by first highlighting a potential situation that the customer will want to avoid.

By setting the stage for the customer using statistics and a real life situation they will want to avoid, you can capture their attention.

After the subject line and a short intro paragraph, you then proceed to reveal the solution (your product).

Here is an example…

“This year, more than 200,000 companies will be audited at an average cost of $1,500 in legal fees. The IRS is cracking down and unfortunately many honest business owners are getting steep penalties for overlooking some minor tax requirements.

XYZ corp. offers a free 20-minute analysis that will tell you what IRS officials look for and if you are at risk of being audited.”

See how that’s done? The information used for that example is false, because I made it up. If this were an actual ad you would need to briefly research some accurate and truthful statistics and details so you could use them in your message.

This technique is by far one of the most effective strategies I’ve seen used in email marketing.

So give it a shot. Think about your product, service or information and what it helps your customer to avoid. Gather some facts and statistics and present your info with your product as the solution. This works especially well when promoting seminars and workshops.

Tips for Making Your Email Newsletter Ad Work

There are many points and strategies to consider when crafting an effective email newsletter placement. The following tips should get you off on the right foot and help you maximize your ROI.

Negotiate Good Positioning

Newsletter sponsorships vary in their design, but most offer a text ad placement approximately five lines long and 65 characters wide. This is hardly enough space to sell a product or service, but it is enough space to inspire your audience and get them to click and visit your offer page.

Develop a Winning Headline

The headline for your advertisement is very important. This should be designed to stop people in their tracks, get them to take notice, and generate a desire to read your 4 or 5 lines of copy.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  • Promote your product’s benefits
  • Start with the words “How to…” or “Discover…”
  • Offer something free, such as a report or demo

While your headline announces your advertisement it also bears the responsibility of separating your ad copy from the content of the newsletter. This is why most newsletters put the headline copy in all caps. However, ALL CAPS is not as readable as a mixture of upper and lower case when writing subject lines.

Invest time getting the headline right. Your headline will do most of the heavy lifting for the ad. Your objective is not to sell your product. Your objective is to get those who would be most likely to have an interest in your product to click and visit your landing page. Your landing page is where you will sell your visitors.

Seek An Endorsement From the Newsletter Editor

Some newsletters are written by individuals who have built strong rapport with their audience over time. If the newsletter editor is recognized as an expert in a field related to your product or service, then you could stand to gain quite a bit from a personal endorsement by the editor. You may even be able to get the editor to cover your product as a featured solution to an industry problem.

Endorsements can be very difficult to secure without first developing a good relationship with the editor. You’re asking the editor to put their name on the line for your product, so you’ll need to be able to show you can deliver value.

By leveraging a trusted editor’s relationship with their audience you can deliver in one promotion what it takes some companies thousands of dollars to achieve through advertising. They are not always easy to get, but if you can, the payoff will be worth it.

Use a Landing Page

In a standard email ad, you have about one page of copy to sell your products and services. You don’t get that much in a newsletter advertisement. Because you have less room to tell your whole story, direct your visitors to a web page specifically designed to respond to your ad and get them to take action.

Track Your Results

Many newsletters offer link tracking so you can monitor your results. Make sure to ask for this. If the newsletter does not offer link tracking, an effective way to track your results is to set up a special page that will redirect visitors automatically to your offer. You can do this by setting up a new page that has a tracker code and a meta refresh tag. Once the visitor clicks on your link in the newsletter they will arrive on the tracking page which will automatically record their visit and forward them to the final destination page. This type of system will allow you to track the click-throughs.

This fundamental tips can create huge results in your campaign performance. It’s important to remember that all campaigns are a work in progress and may require some tweaking as you go along to perfect.