How To Make Your Email Marketing Rock More Than Taylor Swift

This is Episode 17! Join Visceral Concepts Founder Michael McNew as he teaches you how to make your email marketing rock!

Yes, you read that title correctly.

I know that email marketing sounds really boring. It can also be a little frustrating. I mean, you know how you treat your own inbox. All those newsletters and marketing emails that come in and immediately get deleted. If you don’t read your emails, neither do the people on your list, right?

Here’s the thing: you ignore the bulk of your inbox because those emails seem incredibly boring. If they were rocking, you’d read them. That’s why it’s time you started treating every email like a rock show.

Today, I’m going to help you make your email marketing rock more than Taylor Swift.

Email Marketing Is A Huge Part Of Lead Nurturing

To start, let’s go over the purpose of email marketing, because if you don’t understand what it’s for, you’ll never understand why you need to make it awesome. Seems simple enough, right?

Email marketing is one of the biggest parts of lead nurturing. That is, email marketing is the main tool to helping guide your leads towards becoming your customer. Used correctly, it’s going to deliver information and opportunities to your leads that will move them further through the sales cycle.

As you consistently deliver new information to those leads, you’re building all the necessary links that you’ll need to form strong customer relationships. You’re creating trust, delivering authority, and breeding familiarity, all of which will play into your leads’ final decisions.

If Your Email Marketing Sucks, Your Business Will Lose

Each of the emails you send as a part of your marketing is a concert for your audience. Like any pop superstar, if your concerts suck, people will stop attending. That means fewer fans to buy albums and concert merchandise.

In case I took the analogy too far, it means people will unsubscribe and won’t be around to buy what you’re offering.

I don’t think I have to tell you what happens when your company no longer has customers, do I? That’s why your emails have to really be spectacular. They’ve got to catch attention and get people hooked on your content. Otherwise, you go out of business.

You’re The Rockstar, And Your Marketing Emails Are The Performances

Like I said before, your email marketing is your concert series. They’ve got to showcase your talent for what you know about what you do. That means you have to master the performance, just like any performer.

But how do you master the art of email performance? Practice, my friend. That’s how musicians become great at their performance, and that’s how you will too. You have to take advantage of your unique opportunities to learn from the data and feedback you get from your audience to make your show better every time.

Even though each situation will ultimately be unique, there are a certain set of fundamentals that every performer needs. Just like a rock musician, you can’t have a high level performance without first mastering them. If you take the time, they will open the door to greatness. If you don’t, that door will be an impenetrable barrier to effective email marketing.

Make That Subject Line Your Hook

Every great song has a hook. For your email marketing, that hook is your subject line. What is a hook, though? According to Wikipedia, a hook is “a musical or lyrical phrase that stands out and is easily remembered”. For email marketing, you’ll want to put an emphasis on the phrase “stands out”.

The biggest thing you have to remember with every subject line you write is to keep them short. The easiest way to do that is to cut out any word that doesn’t have a specific job in conveying the message. That message, by the way, should be related to the email content. Try too avoid being too vague, but keep the real treasures of the email hidden, forcing them to have to open it if they want the whole story.

You’ll see lots of studies that tell you to use numbers or avoid capitalization. Evidence suggest that emojis get people to open more often. However, what specifically improves your results will vary depending on your audience. You’ve got to find the real gems yourself.

Don’t Compose Your Subject With Bad Lyrics

Have you ever heard some of the lyrics that make it in to songs? Some of it is really a turn-off, assuring people won’t listen to the rest of the album. It’s important to have a strong lyrical composition that makes sense to your audience. This is especially important in your subject line.

Yeah, I know, the whole first section was on subject lines. Shouldn’t this just fall under it? No. This is important enough to stand on its own.

You have to use caution with the words you use to compose your subject line. There are some triggers that cause most mail providers to flag your email as spam. Prospect.io has a whole list of 455 spam trigger words you shouldn’t use, but it’s really important to avoid  buy, deal, offer, cash, discount, great, 100%, open now, only, hello, free, and dear friend. Try not to make your email look like an impersonal email or an obvious promo.

Put On An Amazing Show With Every Email

When is the last time you went to a rock show that didn’t have visuals? Never, right? See, people don’t go to a concert to hear a replay of the album. They want the visual spectacular that concerts always promise.

Just like a concert, your emails need to look good too. That’s why a great template is such a good idea. See, while each email is different, having a standard template to fit your email into brings things together. It allows you to represent your brand consistently in every communication.

A great template should focus on visual appeal, but it should also maintain a sense of simplicity. Remember that color and font choices will have an effect on how well your recipients will be able to read your email. If you can afford it, hire a designer to create one for you that matches your brand. If you can’t, you can check out what options your email provider has available. Usually they’ll have a customizer you can use. Reallygoodemails.com has some great examples of winning emails so you can pull inspiration.

Sing Directly To Your Fans

Oh man, there’s nothing like that feeling when it seems like the performer is singing right to you, right? I mean, it’s like they know what’s going on in your life right now and are lyricizing it perfectly. That’s the kind of thing that makes a concert really memorable.

In your emails, you’ve got to write to them and their problems. Here’s where some automation tactics will come in to play. Gather up information about your audience to help tailor your emails to them. Include their name in the greeting, and use calls-to-action that suit their needs and the products they’re interested in. Get a great list segmentation added so each concert will be an ode to the audience.

Make Your Signature Finale Hit The Right Notes

Every great performance has a killer finale (check out YouTube to see some of the crazy stuff that Taylor Swift has done). That’s what gets the audience to remember it, and gets them to want to come to the next one.

In your emails, your signature is that finale. It’s going to leave your audience with everything they need to find you again and keep coming back. It should include your name and title, contact information, logo, and social buttons. These are critical elements in your signature. If you need help making your email signature, mysignature.io has a great generator, and most of what they can do for you is free.

Test Variations On The Tune

Master performers don’t like to give their audiences a recording. That’s not what the concert is for. Often times, they’ll perform variations of their songs that their audience can’t hear anywhere else. Acoustic, a cappella, and versions with guest performers all become highlights of the show. More importantly, they can often appear on future albums.

It’s the same as A/B testing, isn’t it?

A/B testing for email marketing is the process of using different versions of the same email that have minute differences to find out what works better. Effective A/B testing will result in data you can use to improve future emails. Most email platforms offer really simple ways to handle your A/B testing.

If you remember earlier, I told you that you’d have to find the real gems yourself, right? This is how you do it.

Run A Sound Check Before Every Show

Taylor Swift would never go into a show cold. That would be disastrous. The sound equipment wouldn’t be mixed right, the instruments could be out of tune, and there’s a good chance she’d do some major damage to her voice. In the best case, forgetting the sound check and dress rehearsal would lead to an awful show.

You need to make sure your performance is top-notch too. But instead of sound-checks and dress-rehearsals, you’re going to proof-read and send test emails. Get feedback from friends, colleagues, and your teammates to make your email better and more precise.

Just like a great musician, you ought to get feedback after the show too. Find out what the crowd liked and what they didn’t (using your email analytic tools, of course) so you can improve future emails.

Create An Email Marketing Show That Brings Down The House

A great email should be a symphonic affair, leaving your audience with great feelings about your company. If you’ve followed the ideas we’ve shared today, your emails are probably noticeably better. They might even rock harder than Taylor Swift.

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About the author:

Michael McNew
Web developer, marketing innovator, technology enthusiast, and founder of Visceral Concepts, Michael McNew has developed a passion for delivering value to small business, turning his creativity towards image and reputation building for small business owners.