Email campaigns are a cost-effective, important and highly effective tool for attracting new customers and maintaining your customer base. Although a considerable amount of junk mail (“spam”) finds its way into our inboxes every day, email remains one of our most important communication channels. But why is it that one email will be read and responded to while a hundred others are deleted unread or marked as spam?
Here are six of the most important steps you can take to improve your response rate.
1. Become a trend scout
Every industry always has buzzwords and trending topics that attract a lot of public attention. It doesn’t really matter whether these are hyped by the media, stage-managed by lobbyists, spread by competitors or highlighted thanks to changes in legislation. What is important is the momentum that’s already behind them. You don’t have to generate this yourself. All you need to do is capitalise on it – ride the wave of their success.
Like right now, for example:
Trending topic: Digitalisation in the EU / digital single market / WiFi4EU
2. Never underestimate the importance of the subject line
Do you enjoy writing subject lines? Most marketers don’t – but you should! If you devote time and creativity to doing this, you’ll already stand out from most of your competitors – and by doing so give yourself a clear edge.
Because headlines / subject lines are an important part of the text – they decide whether your direct mail campaign is read or deleted. So beware of banalities such as “Important info” or “News from XY”.
Instead be creative, ask questions, be provocative, even make jokes (within the boundaries of good taste) – but, whatever you do, make sure to arouse your reader’s curiosity.
Examples for our trending topic:
Are your citizens offline? – EU funding: could you be eligable too? – EU funds WLAN for [place name]
The same goes for headlines / bullet points:
Germany / Austria has some catching up to do: WLAN hotspots too few and far between
WLAN: Often faster and more stable than mobile telephony
WLAN hotspots for everyone – now EU funded
New funding for WLAN infrastructure – are you in?
3. Approach customers in a targeted manner
It’s probably happened to you: You receive spam emails from Eastern European women proposing marriage, but you’re actually a happily married woman, or you’re offered medication for menstrual cramps even though you’re a man.
What is common practice on the consumer market is still far too frequent in the B2B sector: Emails are sent indiscriminately to large numbers of recipients, even though it doesn’t take a genius to realise that an Internet marketing agency doesn’t need SEO assistance for its own webpage, for example.
The most important and sustainable success factor in the B2B sector, and even more so in the field of services and value-added services, is a good customer relationship. In marketing, everything revolves around consistently working on building and strengthening relationships. Getting to know your customer as well as possible is a good place to start. That’s why you should carry out thorough online research to find out which customers might need the services you’re offering.
Segment their email addresses accordingly and send targeted information. If possible, personalise the salutation. Make the approach personal, be engaging and show that you are serious about what you’re offering.
Most word processors have delivered this for a long time now, yet many providers limit themselves to the succinct “Dear Customer…”. But not you. You make sure that what you’re offering is interesting, at least in theory, and you also present yourself as a partner for whom the customer is not just a number.
If the customer’s needs are already being met elsewhere or they aren’t interested for other reasons, this isn’t a problem. At least they’ll notice that you’ve made a point of understanding them and their industry. Maybe they’ll remember you at a later date, a moment that could happen at any time. Renovations, extensions, new buildings, disagreements with a former partner, a new requirement that the predecessor cannot meet – if you’ve already established a relationship with the customer, sooner or later, you’ll reap the benefits.