Thursday, July 31, 2014

Super Subjects

Everyone dreams about being a superhero at one point in their life. Ok, maybe not everyone, but stay with me for a minute. The ability to fly or see through walls or save the neighborhood with a single wave of a spandex-covered arm has always been appealing to me.

As a business owner, you don your superhero costume every day in the hope that you will be able to attract loyal customers and watch your business grow in leaps and bounds. If a solid business plan is your base (the spandex jumpsuit, if you will), a well thought-out email marketing campaign is your cape – enabling your Super Business to get off the ground and soar.

Nearly all superheroes, however, have a weakness; Superman had his Kryptonite, Daredevil his background noise, Green Lantern the color yellow, Batman his mortality. They were rendered powerless when these weaknesses were exposed, transforming them from extraordinary to ordinary faster than a speeding bullet.

So, what is the Kryptonite to your email marketing campaign? It’s that thing that can make any over-worked, ultra-busy, time-deprived person feel so overwhelmed they want to curl up on the couch with a decorative pillow over their face: clutter.  More specifically, inbox clutter. With literally hundreds of emails hitting the inboxes of your clientele every single day, it’s hard to know how to make your emails leap tall buildings in a single bound to stand above the rest.  Here are a few totally made up and cheesy superheroes to the rescue:

Demographics Girl

What are your customers interested in?
What are their needs?
What is a challenge facing them, and how can you help?

Knowing the answers to these questions can make the difference in your email being trashed or clicked through.

For example, “7 Time-Saving Tips for Scrapbookers” hits on two important points.  First, it’s obviously targeting a specific demographic, making it less likely to be deleted than a more generic subject line.  Second, it addresses a challenge area – saving time.

The Personalizer

Everybody wants to feel wanted.  It’s human nature!  Make your contacts feel as though you are speaking directly to them for best click-through results.

Email Contact gives you the power to personalize your subject line in a variety of ways.  By adding one of three variables, you can make the email as personal as you wish:


For example: Hi %firstname%, this is Heather from Email Contact.

Using the variable above will fill in the name of the person related to the email address. If the person's name is not available, it will fill in a default name of your choice (i.e. Friend, Customer). Just add the default name in the settings of your Email Contact account.

Perhaps your style (or the style of your demographic) is a little less formal.  Using the pronoun “you” in the subject line will also get great results:

“Our sale starts in just a few hours. Will we be seeing you?”
Or how about “What can YOU do with Email Contact?”

Captain Obvious

Be clear and concise in your subject line.  Make sure the intent of the email is obvious, and try not to embellish or stretch the truth.  Earning the trust of your customers is imperative.  If there’s an offer or contest or invitation in the body of the message, be sure to state it in the subject.

The Count

Use numbers to draw attention and make your email stand out.  The goal is to shake up the text a little bit so that when your customer is doing an initial scan of their inbox, their eyes pause on yours.

“48 Hour Sale”
“10 Ways to Increase Your ‘Likes’”


It’s an old marketing trick, but it works.  Create a sense of urgency to get that email clicked through!

“Last day to save big!”
“Scrapbooking Class TONIGHT”

Make the reader feel as if they will be missing out if they don’t open the email right away.

Up, Up, and AWAY! 

Start using these tips in your next email blast.  You might need to experiment with a combination of Super Subjects to see what works for your customers.  Check your click-through rates often and see if you discover a pattern.  Suit up, Superfriend!  You’re on your way!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Are You Over-Thinking It?

What if someone told you there was a no cost, low-maintenance, pressure-free way to gather customer information to be used in your marketing campaigns? What if the only tool you needed is most likely collecting dust on an office shelf? Sound too good to be true? It’s not. 

Oftentimes, as business owners, we look toward the latest in technological applications to build our customer base. We scour the internet for tips on increasing our social media presence. Sometimes, though, simplicity can be a refreshing and welcome change to both the business owner and the customer.

You might be surprised to hear that this simple and free marketing tool is a clipboard. A clipboard! That small, flat piece of wood or plastic with a metal clip just might be the missing link between you and your customers. While the clipboard itself may be unassuming and even boring, the way it is used can mean the difference in whether your business adds to its customer base or not.

The Content

What you decide to put on your clipboard should be dictated by your customer demographic. Think about the people who enter your store, and ask yourself the following questions:

• What brings my customers into the store? (Discounts? Quality of product regardless of price? Promotions?)
• How do my customers like to be contacted?
• How will they be benefited by giving me their contact information?

After you’ve answered these questions, decide how you will entice your customers to leave their info. If your customer base is mostly drawn to the store by discounts, offer an email coupon to those who leave their email address. If discounts aren’t important to your customers, offer something that does matter to them – perhaps early notice of new product arrival. Some customers love a good party! Offer after-hours shopping invites to those who are willing to add their names to your clipboard.

Whatever you decide, be upfront about what lists you will add them to. If they’re going to receive a newsletter, let them know how often. Their ability to trust you as the owner of a business they frequent is of the utmost importance.

The Placement

After format, placement is the most important step in introducing the clipboard to your business. It needs to be in a conspicuous area, but not so obtrusive that it’s annoying. For example, a clipboard next to the register may be convenient – unless it takes up so much counter space that it just gets in the way. In this case, placing the clipboard next to the exit may make more sense. If your business has a dressing room area, a thoughtfully placed clipboard can be very productive.

Experiment with placement, moving the clipboard around the store until you find an area that seems natural and convenient for your customers. You will find that this simple tool can be a very effective way to gather new customers for your email newsletter.