Building your list is only half the battle. Now that you have an active audience at your fingertips, it’s time to get the real job done. You want to connect with your market, engage your customer’s, and build a brand and authority of your own, while monetizing every square inch of your mailing list.
So, where do you begin? How can you squeeze out every bit of possible profit, while offering your subscribers far more than the average email marketer so that they continue to read your emails?
Let’s get busy. We have got work to do!
Tip #1: Spy On Your Market
Your first step is to drill down into your niche and tear it apart from top to bottom. You need to analyze everything you can about it – discover it all over again. In other words, you need to research every possible angle because what you are going to discover is that every niche has a language all its own. It’s your job to identify what it is and learn the lingo.
Your words – every single word used means something. When it comes to your email subject lines, it’s all about capturing attention.
But more importantly, once you’ve gotten them to click the email link to explore the content, you need to keep them tuned in. This is where your opener comes into play and it better be solid otherwise you’ll find yourself quickly making your way towards their trashcan or worse, spam folder.
The best subject lines, openers, offers and closers all come from knowing your market.
Here’s an example from my own personal experience being a subscriber on someone else’s list.
Years ago I was stuck in a dead end job and I felt as though my life would never get better. I was barely getting by, living paycheck to paycheck. Every night I’d scour the Internet for a way to make some extra money. I wasn’t looking to get rich or anything, I just wanted to make my life easier.
So, I subscribed to a couple of “guru” newsletters figuring that these guys knew a thing or two about making money and maybe I’d learn something from them. However, within a couple of weeks the number of newsletters that I was on had shrunk to just a few. I really didn’t feel a connection with most of them, so I quickly opted out.
But one guy knew what he was doing. He wasn’t going to lose me as a subscriber because he seemed to really understand where I was coming from and what I was hoping to find in his emails.
One day his subject line read something like “Feeling nauseated at the thought of another 9-5 shift?” and it hit me like a ton of bricks. I felt absolutely sick to my stomach every time I drove to work. My stomach churned at the idea of another long shift at a dead end grind, and so when I saw that subject line I instantly opened it. And he hooked me. I read every word he wrote, because I felt as though it were written specifically for me.
That’s the difference between not understanding your buyer to knowing your target audience inside & out. When you really know where they are coming from, what their expectations are and what they are most desperate for (whether it’s answers, information, products, support, advice or encouragement), and you give it to them, you’ll have a subscriber and a customer for life.
So, take the time to really know your market. Spend time on forums, within social media communities like Facebook and Twitter (they can be time consuming but quickly scan the site from time to time and engage people in discussion). You’ll learn a ton. While your there, jot down product ideas for (both resale and to use as bonuses, incentives and giveaways) as the ideas come to you.
You’ve heard how important that initial giveaway (AKA: bribe) is, and it’s true – when you are first introducing yourself to a potential subscriber you need to make it worth their while by giving them something of value in exchange for their email address.
The best way to figure out what your subscribers will respond to is by knowing their most desperate desires and needs. Then you can create a compelling giveaway that will lure them in like kittens to catnip J
So, enjoy exploring, discovering and connecting with your audience. It’s one of the most important preliminary steps to becoming a successful email marketer.
Here are a few ways to get started:
Use data mines to analyze your market & your competition:
When it comes to knowing your market, it begins by knowing who your competition is. Not only can you learn from what they are doing successfully, but you will be able to find uncover new sources of traffic as well.
Reverse engineer what they are doing. Join their newsletters, read their blogs and follow their website updates. This is all incredibly helpful especially if they are authority figures in your niche. Study their sales funnel, backend system, and follow-ups. What are they offering the same buyers? What are they doing well that is yielding results?
Use Google Alerts (http://www.Google.com/Alerts ) to spy on your market and get to know your customer base. Set up keyword based alerts that will send you notifications whenever they appear on websites, blogs, and forums.
Get involved in social media. Join popular platforms like Facebook and Twitter and engage your target audience. Get to know them, ask questions and test out giveaways & incentives. In fact, you should always be testing as you learn. Not only will you become a better email marketer, but you’ll be working towards building your list all at the same time!
Tip #2: Create Killer Subject Lines
Here are a few things to keep in mind:
When trying to create a subject line that will grab attention, you may try to use wordplay and creativity in order to boost open rates, but be careful. History has shown that convoluted or confusing subject lines will often backfire, leaving you scrambling to apologize to your subscribers and repair the damage that’s been done.
Remember that your readers have email coming in from many other email marketers & sources. They don’t have time to sort through who has something of true value to offer and who are being dishonest or using questionable strategies to get their attention. Misuse their time and trust, and you’ll lose them forever.
People want to zero in on information that is straightforward and to the point. When it comes to email subject lines, clarity wins over fanciness and flowery language every single time.
For example, if you were promoting a gift website to a new email list, a subject line that says 10 Ideas for Valentine Day’s Gifts for Her That You’d Never Think Of is more likely to get a response than one that says, 10 Gifts For Her.
There is always room for creativity but it shouldn’t overrule clarity.
Share Stories & Connect
People respond to stories that are based on real life experiences rather than those that are full of facts, statistics and data. Catch their attention with subject lines that incorporate personalized elements.
For example, if you are selling an e-book on relationships, consider a direct subject line that illustrates real life couples in everyday situations, such as: Keeping Your Relationship Alive: How 10 Couples Spice It Up.
This type of subject line would ultimately work better than only saying, How To Keep Your Relationship Alive.
Ask A Question
Another way to spice up your subject line and boost open rates is to write it as though you are asking a question.
For example, Valentine’s Day Traditions: Yay or Nay? is far more catchy than A Look at Valentine’s Day Traditions when you want to suggest alternative traditions and open up a line of communication.
Questions help to engage your readers and involve them in the process of building a solid relationship, while making them feel as part of a group or community.
Another tactic is to create urgency so that a reader is motivated to open your page and take the action you have suggested.
Rather than say, 10 Ways To Make Money Online consider: For 24 Hours Only: Download: 10 Simple Ways To Make Money Online!
You may have never even considered using provocative or controversial subject lines, but once you’ve taken a peek behind the yellow curtain and have witnessed just how incredibly effective they are, you’ll be running circles in your mind trying to come up with as many fresh, creative and compelling subject lines as you can think of.
Tip #3: Avoid Trickery
Throughout the years, we have tested out many different subject lines. We’ve stuck with proven winners, and we’ve broken the pattern long enough to test out crazy new subject lines just to see where it would go. Sometimes they bombed (and sometimes they crashed, burned AND bombed miserably), while other times we hit it out of the park.
The idea is to test, test & test again. You need to think outside of the box but also pay close attention to the results you get when you do. Is your subscriber base more likely to respond to controversial subject lines, or do they prefer that you take a professional tone?
Every market is different and it’s your job to figure out what they are looking for, comfortable with and willing to accept.
What You Don’t Want To Do:
Okay, so you know have a good idea as to what type of subject lines will work, and hopefully we’ve got your creative juices flowing.
Write down everything you think up – even things that you aren’t even sure that you’ll use. It’s all valuable, because later on when you hit a dry spell and you can’t think of a witty, creative, interesting or fresh subject line to save your life, that little swipe file that you should be working on today? It will get you back on track.
So, you know what kind of subject lines work but is there anything that you should avoid?
Yes, my friend – I’m afraid so. Never Use Trickery!
Leave the games to the kids; they don’t have a place in email marketing and especially not in relationship building. Every subscriber is a person, just like you. Remember that when you are shooting off your next broadcast. Sure, your job is to get them to open up the email because otherwise you can’t sell them a thing but be professional and honest. At all times.
No “Re:” email subject lines.
You know the kind that I’m talking about. They are designed to make it look as though someone is replying to you, as if you have an open conversation.
The minute I open an email like this and discover that I’ve been duped, it gets trashed without a second thought. No one wants to feel cheated, or tricked so don’t do it.
Other Things To Consider:
- Subject lines should never be longer than 50 characters. Keep it simple, direct and to the point.
- Include a powerful benefit in your subject line. Give them your very best upfront and motivate them into opening your email immediately.
- Pique curiosity, and compel them to click your email to learn more.
Tease & Entice: Don’t give it all away upfront. Force them to click your email in order to learn more about your offer.
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