You’ve reached the point where you know (basically) everything about the person, place, company, etc. that you’re marketing to. You’ve built up a thorough list of influencers in the online community and deemed them as your target audience. Sounds like smooth sailing, right? Wrong.
As the old adage goes, “You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can’t get them across, your ideas won’t get you anywhere.” [Lee Iacocca].
Learning how to write a marketing email is very important before you begin outreach. It will save you time and frustration in the long run. After all, nobody likes to be ignored. If you find yourself staring at empty inbox, you’re in the right place. Hopefully, you will include a few of these tips is your next email template!
Tip #1: Use those short-cut buttons[Statistic according to “GetResponse” (http://www.getresponse.com)]
Like them or not, these little guys will help you out a lot, so don’t forget to include them in your emails. They say, “Hey, we’re social and you should connect with us!”. Similar to a girl scout’s vest, the more buttons you collect, the more involved you are (or look to be).
When I’m researching companies, I always want to check out their Facebook to see what their fun and easygoing side is like. Do they answer customer questions in a positive, helpful way? Do they have any pictures of employees hanging out in the office barefoot? Are there product giveaways for loyal customers?
Facebook is meant to be personable and is often where you can find out a lot about a company from “behind the scenes”. Giving your company a Facebook personality makes readers feel more connected. They will begin to see you as more than just a business.
By the way, your followers on these sites really do matter. Every single one of them. The more likes you have on Facebook, followers on Instagram and reposts on Pinterest, the more likely someone will go out of their way to work with you.
If a company doesn’t have a Facebook, or any of these icons, I just want to email them and spill out everything I know about social media buttons and how they can help them out! On a more serious note, potential customers may never come across your Facebook or other social media sites, unless it can be easily accessed. Make it just a click away for them and maybe they will stay awhile.
Tip #2: Ask a Question in the Subject Line.
“Ask and you shall receive.” Subject lines are a person’s first impression of you. Make it conversational or intriguing, or better yet both. We’ve been conditioned since childhood. When someone asks you a question, you respond to them with an answer. Most businesses also function on this rule, priding themselves in responding to customer questions in a timely and pleasant manner. Regardless, some questions will still go unanswered. Thus, a subject line that peaks their interest is needed. How do you do that? Ask a question that begs to be answered.
For example, you’re marketing an outdoor grill and want someone to do a product review for it. Even if the receiver writes tons of product reviews per month, don’t simply label your email “Product Review Inquiry” or anything along those lines. You will get many more responses by asking, for example, “Kaitlyn, are you still using that same old grill?” or “Kaitlyn, Are you interested in writing about…?” Always keep your questions within reason and don’t make them too long. Not only are you personalizing the subject line, you are inviting the reader to communicate back to you!
Tip #3: Use their first name.
This is a psychologically proven way to catch people’s attention. Often referred to as the “cocktail party effect”. If you hear your name, you’re instantly drawn to whoever is talking. It feels more personal. How many times have you not heard a single word in someone’s conversation, except for your name? Instantly, you want to know what they’re talking about!
Businesses receive hundreds of messages each day. Their inbox is essentially a cocktail party of mingling guests. That’s a lot of chatter. Just like at a party, they won’t be able to have a genuine conversation with every person there. Some might get a wave, others a pat on the shoulder, and the lucky ones might even get their full attention.
Catch their attention and pull them aside to hear what you have to say. When you use someone’s first name you are giving that person a shout out. But even more importantly, you are recommending something that you think that person would be interested in hearing about.
Tip #4: Don’t make the email all about your business.
When you go in for a job interview, the employer wants to know what you can offer them. You should pitch yourself in a positive light that will help the potential employer see how you might be useful to their business. You would never, at least I hope not, sit down and fire off a list of things you want them to offer you – paid vacation? 55k a year? Your own office? There needs to be a healthy, balanced relationship where each party puts in the same amount.
Remember that they are taking time out of their work day to reply to your message. It’s draining to open email after email that’s asking for something.
If you’re trying to promote a product, perhaps you can send them a free sample. If you’re asking for a link, explain how your business would be beneficial to their readers. What this all boils down to is, always tailor your message so it is relevant to the person you’re contacting.
Tip # 5: Add Visual Content – ooh, pretty pictures.
Take them away from the world of boring emails by making it easy on the eyes! An info-graphic or photograph will be studied a lot longer than a page of black and white text. Of course, don’t let the image catch all the attention. It should only act an aesthetic compliment to your message.
More showing, less telling. For example, you are selling sunglasses. Insert a few images of the most popular sunnies you have in stock. Don’t forget your company logo. What’s being said from just a few pictures? They show what your company has to offer at a glance and invites the reader to further explore your product.
Tip #6: Flatter Them.
Going back to elementary school principals, what is the “golden rule”? Treat others the way you would like to be treated. I know it is tempting to fire off a bunch of generalized emails to thirty websites and sit back in your chair. But don’t go about it that way. You’re only wasting your resources.
Let me tell you, compliments go a long way. If you’re stuck on what to say, ask yourself a few questions. What is the purpose of their site? Have they helped others to connect in the industry? Are they experts at what they’re talking about? Do you love their graphic design? Practically anything. I guarantee you there is something nice that can be said.
The point is, don’t be an outreach scavenger, picking off of others to fuel your own needs. They have a mission as well! Read their ‘About Me’ if they have one. Browse some articles they’ve written. Use this information to compare yourself to the person you are contacting. Touch on something they might have mentioned or is important to them. Let them know that you care enough to check out their site and who they are.
Tip #7: Don’t Sound Desperate.
So, you’re about to send an email asking for one of the big kahunas in your target audience. We’re talking Bass Pro Shop, Huffington Post level. You know if only you could score that link from them, thousands of site visitors would surely swarm your way. You can practically smell the opportunity!
Relax. They know you are willing to go to extreme lengths in order to get their endorsement. Desperation leads to begging, which translates to insecurity. If you’re marketing something, you must see potential in it. I often begin statements with, “We are confident that…” Confidence is infectious! It puts you in a more positive life. In fact, there are psychological studies showing that confidence is often interpreted by others as correctness. If you believe so intensely, it must be true. A confident market shows that they can hold their own.
Even if it is a large corporation, continue to be personal in your emails. Chances are there are one or two people assigned to answer emails, so you really aren’t speaking to the masses. Give the basics of who you are, what you’re asking and how it can help both you and them. Don’t get so keyed up about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it in the most eloquent and creative way. That can often lead to an email with an unclear message.
Lastly: Kiss your emails.
Before you press send, kiss your email. Yes, you heard me correctly.