So, you’ve created a great product or service that can significantly improve the life of your potential customers, and you want to shout about that from the rooftops. But, since that’s not an option, your next best thing is emails marketing.
And yet, this much-praised strategy which many marketers say is not only cost-effective but also successful in terms of the ROI doesn’t seem to work for you.
Your recipients constantly turn a blind eye and ignore your email messages, which can be pretty frustrating.
OK, you can take into consideration the fact that people busier nowadays than they have ever been, as well as that their inboxes are flooded with numerous emails every day.
Yet, that can’t be an excuse.
So, before you give up on all the benefits that email marketing can bring you, here’s a checklist of the most important factors that can get your prospects to click on that “Reply” button.
But first things first.
Before we delve into this important topic, it’s crucial to answer the following question: What is a good email response rate?
Many email marketers will tell you that they aim for 10%, but it can vary depending on your industry and how experienced you are. You shouldn’t get upset if sometimes your response rate is 5%, but if it goes below that, it’s a good idea to check different parameters and elements of your email campaign and try to identify potential culprits.
For example, maybe your subject line is weak, or you failed to provide a strong CTA, or the offer itself leaves much to be desired.
But, worry not. We’re here to help.
1. Your Contact List Is Bad
In order for your recipients to respond to your emails, they first need to get it. In other words, you need to have all the right and correct information about your prospects.
I know that you’re probably rolling your eyes and saying “Wow, is that so, Captain Obvious?” but I can tell you that many people aren’t even aware that their contact lists extremely inferior in terms of quality.
Getting a lot of hard bounces is definitely a red flag.
People change jobs, positions within their company, email addresses, and phone numbers, and all these transitions leave you with a list full of dirty and decayed data.
For example, 30% of people change their jobs every year, while 34% of companies change their name. All this means that your attempts to reach George from the sales department have been unsuccessful because he left the company, and his business email address is now defunct.
You probably already know my opinion that buying lists from shady sources on the internet is a big no-no, but even the list you yourself have built needs regular scrubbing and updating.
Besides outdated contact information, these lists are riddled with different kinds of spelling errors and typos, and if you simply import them into your email automation platform, you might end up sending an email which says “Hi peter,” or “Hello Marc” to a Mark. All these mistakes might seem too insignificant, but as you know the devil is in the detail, and with such a nonchalant approach you can’t expect that your email will be taken seriously as well as that you’ll get a response.
If you aren’t sure whether particular email addresses are correct, check out this blog post on how to find every email you might ever need.
I’d also suggest you take advantage of our huge B2B lead database as it you can be sure that every information field in it has been thoroughly cleaned and verified.
2. You’re Reaching Out to a Wrong Audience
It’s not enough only to have correct email addresses and other information about your prospects.
You have to know who will be interested in your offer and email only those people who could benefit from it.
Yes, this will limit your audience, but at the same time, it will make sure that your prospects are engaged and responsive.
So, the first thing to do is create your ideal customer profile (ICP) – a description of a company (or individuals) that are a perfect fit for your business. It should contain different information such as the industry, location, company size, or pain points, among others.
After this basic information, it’s also crucial to obtain details such as whom to reach out to in the company as well as who decision-makers are.
Apart from having a general outline of your target audience, it’s also worth noting that you won’t send the same email to all of them.
No, if you want to generate responses, your message needs to be highly personalized and relevant to the people who receive them.
In other words, you have to additionally split your list into different segments and tailor your outreach accordingly.
Besides your email outreach, you should also additionally warm up your audience by connecting with them on LinkedIn and starting conversations.
3. Your Subject Line Isn’t On Point
I frequently discuss subject lines, because they’re of critical importance for the success of your emails.
And yet, if you take a look at your inbox you’ll find a lot of irrelevant, poorly structured subject lines, while some emails won’t even contain this important element.
There are some great articles which cover the anatomy of a good and hard-to-ignore subject line, such as the one about 37 networking subject lines, or the one with the most effective sales email templates with examples, but you should definitely start with the basics and learn how to craft killer subject lines.
Subject lines also have to be relevant to the particular audience segment that you’re addressing and spark their interest, but no matter what you do, the one thing you should avoid is coming up with a subject line which is deceptive and misleading.
Yes, it has to be catchy and intriguing, but it should give a teaser of what you’re going to talk about in your email – so, no tricking your recipients into opening your email by telling them something totally different from what your message is about isn’t creativity and resourcefulness.
It’s lying and you’ll maybe get them to open your email once, but after that, your emails will be going to spam directly.
Speaking of spam, there’s another thing that you should know: many words and phrases that marketers use when they’re trying to capture the attention of their recipients raise red flags and activate spam filters.
Given that besides some obviously spammy words and phrases, such as “cash rewards” or “win $1,000,000”, there are some pretty inconspicuous ones that are hard to spot.
For example, would you say that “an amazing offer” or “opportunity” are spam words? But, including these in your subject line is a surefire way to end up in spam folders of your recipients.
That’s one of the reasons why we developed the Autoklose Template Analyzer which goes through your subject lines and email copy and highlights spam words. This way you can easily get rid of them and ensure that your emails will reach your prospects’ inboxes.
4. Your Email Is Elaborate
Your new feature is super awesome, I get that, and you want to tell your potential and existing customers how much they will benefit from it and mention everything they will be able to achieve.
And the next thing you know, your email is the size of an average blog post. But hey, you mentioned only the most important specs and benefits that your recipients should know.
Now, save this copy in a Word document so that you can develop it into a fully-fledged blog post, and delete it from your email editor because when your recipients open an email that they can’t skim immediately and spot its value, they’ll simply stop reading it.
Instead of that, you need to divide your email into bite-sized bullets and paragraphs and mention only the essential points.
Also, bear the purpose of your in mind and adjust the length based on that.
Prospecting emails can consist of only a couple of sentences, for example.
If you’re promoting your new product, highlight only a couple of the most important benefits, and send your prospects to your landing page where they can learn more and explore further.
Try to keep the word count below 150, but aim for even fewer.
5. You’re Trying Hard to Sell
But, isn’t that what I’m supposed to do, you ask yourself.
Yes, it is, but don’t forget that helping others should be at the core of selling. A client of ours recently asked us to do a blog post on how selling is actually all about being useful to others and helping them find solutions to their problems.
And by droning on your company and product, you’re neither providing any value nor helping your prospects.
So, instead of making your email all about you and your product, try to shift your perspective and ditch the “me, me, me” hard-sell approach.
It’s always a good idea to start a conversation by mentioning your prospects’ pain points and suggest a couple of solutions. For example, I would ask my prospects how they’re handling all the challenges of email marketing and following up with their prospects on a large scale. Email automation platform is something that comes in pretty handy in this case, but another problem arises – how to automate email marketing but without sacrificing personalization.
I’d offer them a couple of useful reads for starters. And that’s how you get the conversation going.
6. Your Copy Is Riddled With Mistakes
A typo is something that happens to all of us occasionally.
But if you don’t have a habit of checking your emails for typos, spelling errors, and other mistakes, you’ll easily come off as unprofessional and that’s something that can erode your authority.
It’s a good idea to install Grammarly or another writing assistant to check your emails, but don’t forget to always double-check every single word you write. No matter how advanced these tools are, they can’t spot every mistake, particularly if semantics is involved, so you might end up telling your clients that your “company can asses their marketing strategy.”
My proofreading tool failed to notice that I misspelled the word “assess” in quite an embarrassing way. And I’m sure that you don’t want to make this kind of mistake in your business emails.
And don’t even get me started about the dilemma of their, they’re, and there, to mention one of the most common issues that even native speakers suffer from.
As I said, do your/you’re homework and read everything you write at least one more time.
7. Your Email Templates Are Subpar
I know how hard it can be when you have to craft email copy, and that’s the reason why many people use sales email templates.
There’s nothing wrong with this approach, especially if you’re using the copy which has already brought good results in terms of conversion.
But if your email templates leave much to be desired, if they’re not properly personalized, and so to speak wooden and artificial, they won’t resonate with your recipients. And they’ll simply click the delete button.
That’s why I suggest you check our blog post and find some really effective sales email templates.
Besides that, we also have numerous premade and highly customizable email sequence templates on the platform. They can be easily personalized, and together with our personalization tokens, that you can create yourself, you can send automated emails which are the next best thing to 1-on-1 conversations.
8. You Don’t Personalize Your Emails Properly
“John, we’ve released Tagging!”
As a matter of fact, we have and Tagging is a great new feature that you should check out as it can help you with your email marketing efforts, but the subject line that I wrote isn’t exactly something that could be mentioned as a pinnacle of personalization.
C’mon, do you think that people will think that you actually talk to them personally and respond to your email just because you used their first name?
Of course not.
You’ve got to cover the whole nine yards and use every information you have on them. Their location, their title, their interests, pain points, you name it.
And only that way, if you go beyond the first name, will you be able to say that your emails are personalized.
For example, whenever I go to a convention or a trade show in a particular city, I always send emails to the prospects who live in the area and ask them whether they will be in attendance so that we can catch up face-to-face.
“Peter, I’m coming to Seattle for a conference” is a good intro, as it will capture the interest of the particular prospect who live there. And they’ll be prompted to check out what you say in your email.
9. You Skip the Follow-Up Part
Ah, one of the deadly sins of email marketing!
I guess that I’ve become boring as I keep on repeating that following up is of critical importance for the success of ANY email campaign.
In other words, no matter whether your email campaign ticks all the boxes, if you email your prospects only once or twice, it’s doomed.
Be persistent and make sure to follow up even if you don’t get your response right away.
Your prospects are busy people and they sometimes simply forget to respond, or it maybe takes more time to capture their attention and interest, given that they receive over a hundred business emails a day.
10. You’re Flooding Your Prospects’ Inboxes
Yes, I’ve just advised you to follow up with your prospects and be persistent about that.
But, that doesn’t mean that you should spam them and send them an email message every day (or more than one, God forbid!) just for the sake of touching base and staying on their radar.
It’s true that you need to keep in touch but you also need to have a very good purpose for reaching out.
Otherwise, you’ll simply annoy your prospects and get them to hit spam whenever they see your name in their inbox – and soon, Gmail will do that automatically.
Instead of that, create an effective follow-up strategy and think about what would add value to your email messages. That may be your new feature, an interesting blog post relevant to your prospect that you’ve come across on the internet, a good podcast, or a conference that they would love to attend.
As for the number and frequency of your follow-ups, it’s important not to overstay your welcome and still don’t let them forget about you.
Check out our blog post on how to create a winning sales cadence – given that you’ll probably reach out to your prospects through different communication channels, it’s crucial to coordinate them and make sure that every call, email, or touchpoint is meaningful and relevant.
Follow these rules and you’ll thank me later!