February 26, 2012

Here are a few tips on how to supercharge your Newsletters and Custom Promotions to get what you really want from email marketing – more business:

Tweak your subject lines so your customers are enticed to want more.

The subject line is the awesome new sign you put outside your business so people walking across the street are curious enough to walk in and check things out. Here are some tips to make your Email Subject Line pop and increase open rate:

   (1)  Keep your subject line under 45-50 characters. Many email clients cut you off right around there.

   (2)  Segmentation is important here – you can have a friendlier tone with customers who’ve been in more recently,
          but perhaps you want to be more formal with your inactive customer base.

   (3)  If you have an incentive in your email, try to include it in your subject line message.

 

Here are some great enticing subject lines from my inbox just today:

  • Refer a friend in Feb for 3x reward points
  • This Valentine’s, let us sweep her off her feet
  • Valentine’s – 10 Dos and Don’ts
  • Safety first – say no to donuts and skidding this winter
  • Valentine’s Day – It’s not just for the ladies
  • Nourish your skin and enjoy a complimentary peel
  • 5 ways to rock your winter hairstyle
  • Make your valentine melt with 15% off any spa kit
  • Spoil your valentine for half the price

 

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to try your hand at a subject line that raises the eyebrow and causes your readers to say “hmm, I wonder what this is?”

Content is king!

A good subject line gets you through the door, but in the end, content is what convinces your readers to click on the “Request Appointment” button.

Demandforce includes with subscription standard content templates that are ready to go so you don’t have to think about how to be extra witty in this month’s newsletter. If you haven’t sent a many newsletters yet or simply don’t have time, I suggest starting there.

Here are a few tips on how to write “wow” content that generates results:

  • How much? For Newsletters, have between 1-3 topics – no more. Each topic should be at most 3 short paragraphs so you can keep your readers engaged enough to click “Request an Appointment” at the end of it all.
  • What to say? Here are some questions you can ask yourself when you sit down to write:

- Did I just have a great conversation with one of my customers that others can benefit from?

- Did one of my associations or partner programs recently let me know of a promotion I was entitled to pass on?

- Am I seeing a spike or decline in sales for a specific product or service?

- Do I have extra inventory that I need to move?

- Are my neighboring businesses running promotions that my customers could benefit from?

- Is there a community event or cause that I think is worth promoting? (make sure it’s a good one, and don’t do this too frequently!)

- Did a relevant article recently get published (Consumer Reports, NYTimes article, industry blog, etc.) that I can repurpose and add to?

 

On the flip side, here are some big Don’ts:

  • Don’t make your entire email one single image. Internet Service Providers like Gmail and Hotmail look at the ratio between images and text as a way to flag your message as spam.
  • Avoid making your text more than two colors – another spam flag, and it’s hard on the eyes.
  • Don’t send your email without sending a test or having someone else read it. This is a quick and easy way of gut checking your message.

 

My personal tip for writing great content is this: ideas always seem to spark when it’s most inconvenient to hunker down in front of a computer to write. I always have my phone with me, so I send myself a text message with the idea. Capture your ideas as soon as you have them in a way that works for you, because more likely than not, you won’t remember them later. You’ll also have a bank of ideas that you can draw from for months to come, which is the icing on the cake.

 

Include a promotion every time, even if it’s free to you.

Different people will be drawn to different incentives. Several of your customers also don’t realize all the wonderful services you provide as standard. Here are some thought starters by industry:

Automotive:

  • Customers with older cars - This segment has a significantly higher chance of costly service orders (which can occur any time), so it’s important to send an email to this segment once a quarter to stay top-of-mind. These customers are typically more interested in % discounts on labor since the nature and cost of their services can vary widely.
  • Customers with newer cars - You’re going to increase your average revenue per customer by doing two things here. First, increase the add-on purchase opportunity when cars come in for standard service by including free xx-point inspections. Second, increase your average service order by including or discounting accessories or ancillary services like windshield wiper replacement, car detailing, rotating tires, etc. The car is already there, so why not get it all done at once.

Optometry specific:

  • Highlight the experience - Let your patients know if you provide complimentary eyewear design consultations with every exam to make sure that they are looking their absolute best with this new accessory.
  • Low cost, high impact – Optometric accessories like glass cleaner, wipes, eye drops, and cases represent low cost investments for the practice, but can be very meaningful to your patients.