If you’re a business owner with a business opportunity, distributorship, licensee opportunity or small franchise to sell, the steps you take to follow up on a warm lead are all very important. To recap, we talked in a previous blog post about the importance of crafting just the right first follow-up message to a warm prospect, whether it is in person or via voice mail.
Here we’re going to focus on the second point of contact, which in all likelihood will be an email.
According to E-marketing Solutions*, experts estimate that as much as 40 to 60% of all email gets caught and filtered as spam before it ever even reaches a recipient’s inbox. In addition, their research shows that 30% of all opt-in, permission-passed email gets blocked before it’s ever read. These findings don’t equate to very good odds that any email will reach its intended target, that’s for sure.
What is “for sure” is that by following three golden rules and taking a few key steps, you can increase the likelihood that your email will not only arrive, but that it will be opened and more than likely read. And here they are:
Golden Rule #1: Tell Your Recipient That Email Is Coming and When
Remember, a key element of that first follow-up phone contact with any warm lead is the promise of a follow-up of some kind. More often than not, this will be an email. Make sure to tell your prospective customer during that first contact that your next step will be to send them more information and how you intend to send it. Then make SURE you tell the person what the subject line of the follow-up email will be and when you will be sending it. In addition, and this is very important, ask your prospect to keep an eye out for the email and to check their spam folder, especially if they don’t receive it at the time you said it would arrive. This critical step will instantly improve your delivery success rates.
Golden Rule #2: Craft the Most Effective Subject Line
One of the most surefire ways to heighten your receipt rates when it comes to email is to get the subject line just right. Although there really are no magic bullets when it comes to this endeavor, there are some generally accepted rules of thumb that can make a big difference.
First, there’s the hotly contested issue of subject-line length. Although a much greater number of characters can fit on any subject line, research shows unequivocally that less is more. In fact, the optimal character count, including spaces, is somewhere in the neighborhood of 50 to 80 characters.**
Second, content is a big predictor of whether or not someone will open an email once it is received in their inbox. According to a recent analysis of more than 40 million emails conducted by MailChimp, a leading email marketing services company, the cardinal rule when it comes to subject line content is: “The best subject lines tell what’s inside, and the worst subject lines sell what’s inside.”***
Recipients, according to their findings, respond best to email subject lines that are straightforward and simple in the sense that they actually describe in a forthright and concise way exactly what the email contains, nothing more. Believe it or not, getting too fancy, titillating or creative oftentimes backfires. And yes, it’s that simple.
Third, there are some words that conventional wisdom says you should avoid when crafting your email subject line, only because they are used too often or promise too much, and as a result have negative appeal. Words like “free” and “money” are among them. Additionally, all capital letters and overuse of exclamation points don’t resonate well.
There are a whole host of online resources available to you that can assist you with putting together the most effective and appropriate email subject line for your audience when it comes to content. Just use your search engine to explore keywords and phrases such as “email subject line content rules” or “effective email subject lines,” and the expertise and opinions available to you are practically limitless.
But online resources to improve your email deliverability aren’t relegated to content, which brings us to the final rule.
Golden Rule #3: Take Advantage of FREE Spam-Check Resources
Yes, I know, I used the word “free,” but I had to. After all, that’s just what a whole host of websites are offering you―a free service and/or tool to assess in some measureable way the likelihood that any email you are sending will reach its intended target.
Please keep in mind that how each website’s service or software scores any given email for deliverability can and does vary. Some services work on a scale of 0 to 100, with the higher scores being more optimal, while others work on a scale of anywhere from 0 to 5-plus, with higher scores being less optimal. It can get confusing, I know. Either way, each spam-checking service will inform you as to how it is ranking your email’s subject line and content so that you can make the necessary adjustments and refinements to achieve a more optimal score as often as necessary.
Ensuring your emails reach their intended target is not a perfect science for sure. But following these three golden rules should put you on the path to getting it right more often than not.