Marketing Runs Deep: Episode 19

emails Feb 04, 2021

Hey everybody this is Bryan Hatch, Founder of AutomateBIG, and I wanted to jump into one of the things that comes up quickly when people learn a little more about my marketing background with email marketing, specifically.

"What should an email look like?" Now, if you're ever going to send an email out for your company or your business, your products or service, whatever it is, there are some best practices of email. I want to run through those and actually show you some examples as well, but first I want to show you what an email should look like.

You can imagine this without even seeing a visual. I want you to first think, no matter if you're a business, that you don't have a personality behind you. Like a Nike, you're a brand, people understand, or at least your customers understand that you're a brand. You're not a human being or a personality behind your brand. On the other side of the fence, even if you are a personal brand that people recognize, the face of the company, this really makes a difference. If you are avoiding email marketing you are losing out on a lot opportunities. Hopefully, you understand that and if you don't, it's time to get on board with email marketing.

One of the things you need to realize is what your emails shouldlook like. Many times over, I always have to explain this to business owners. I want to bring the message to the people that need it most, and with the least amount of friction so they can buy the thing they need to solve a problem they have. That's the marketing that I believe in. If you don't believe in that type of marketing, then maybe you want help out elsewhere. That's fine. But when you're thinking about that perspective, if you have a great product or service and the people that need it, and you're solving a problem for them, that really, really bothers them or makes a difference for them, then it's logical that you need to use the right tactics. And one-on-one email marketing is to make sure that your emails go to the person that you want it to. They actually see it in their inbox and they can open it the way they want to.

What I find is, that some people treat their emails as if they were websites. That's a massive problem in my opinion, because if your email looks like a website, what are you trying to do? You see, the email marketing that I believe in, and that I want you to think about is to send an email to someone that knows, likes, and trusts you. Take business out of it. Now, think of a personal email. If you're gonna send an email to someone who knows, likes and trusts you, and you're gonna ask them to do something, even just, "Hey, come on this trip with me" or "Hey, can you donate?" not business related but just a personal, you need a favor email,how is that email gonna look? And what are you gonna say in that email?

So I want you to think of, first, what's it gonna look like? If your going to send that email to a person, ask them to do something for you, a favor of a friend, the email is gonna look like this: White background, black text, maybe your name at the bottom. Or a signature block, if you're real, real technical, but usually dash your name. something very simple, right? And then ask them whatever you need to ask them. But that's how it's gonna look. Well, think about that in a business perspective. If you are trying to get a message in front of an audience that loves you, likes you or knows you, would it make sense that you're gonna send an email like that as well? I'm not trying to be tricky or sneaky when trying to get my message out.

If this customer or this person, this prospect understands what I offer and they understand that I'm gonna help them solve a problem they have, then it doesn't feel pushy or crazy or nuts. It's a white background, black text. So just know, if you have like all these imagery and headers and footers or if there's all of this crazy that makes it look like a website, you're gonna be landing in a promotions tab. You're gonna be landing in a spam inbox. You're not gonna make it to the inbox of a lot of people you want to. That's the first thing. Make it look like you care about them and they care about you. Because if it doesn't look like that, then it looks like you are a business trying to push something upon them, they may or may not be interested in doing. Make it simple.

Now, that was number one, the number two part of the visual of your email is the very top of a lot of email marketing platforms say view in web browser. I saw one that didn't use to do that and now they do. I understand that there are people that need that or want that, or think that that's important. It just automatically flags you as a marketing email. It doesn't look personal, or like you know this person. It looks like you're spamming them in some way, shape, or form. So get rid of that. If the marketing platform you use puts that in there automatically, find a way to delete it because it's not helping you. So it's the number two thing you know about and should remove.

Now in the email to be able to get our third bullet point of email best practices of what you need to be able to do is, first, you need to realize that you need to address somebody. That's personalization at its core. Everybody knows this. You can merge in people's names into the email. That's commonplace, but you need to do that and you can also merge in other things in that email. One of the things you can do in that paragraph of it is, if you're gonna follow up with people that used to be customers or that haven't bought with you in a long time, you can maybe put a blurb in something that you know about them, right? Like, "Hey Bryan, it's good to see you. "I haven't seen you since," fill in the blank of the time or day or whatever it is. Personalize it in a different way than what most people are doing out there.

Some email capabilities don't allow you to do that. And I get that, but I still want to put that out there as one of the things you can do in your email marketing to make it better, just personalize the email in some way, shape, or form that shows them their name. If you can add in something else, like where you last saw them, or when they last came to your site or something that's not big brotherish, but actually lets them know that you know who they are, and they're not just a number, that really makes a difference in people's lives, okay? Secondarily, you need to make sure you open that email with something that actually engages them, okay?

Now, we'll talk about the subject line in just a minute, but the actual body of the email, what does the first line say? If it's boring or not interesting, or if it's not really helping them understand what you're gonna talk about benefits them, they're not gonna pay attention. I mean, literally copywriters out there that are spending many, many, many hours on just a single email, know that they've got to have that first line. It's gotta sell the second line, it's gotta sell the third, It's gotta sell the fourth line, until someone reads and actually clicks and does what you want him to do. At the same token, if you can just get that first opening, it's something intriguing, interesting, something that matters to them and speaks the language that they speak, you'll actually get traction with your emails and actually take the next step.

The next part is to make sure you understand the purpose of the email. The purpose of the email is to make sure that they do something, right? Some emails are designed to get someone to reply, that's a wonderful call to action. Some emails are designed to get someone to click on the link. That's the most common one, to click the link. It doesn't have to be that they buy, maybe click the link to watch a blog, click the link and read the rest of this post or whatever it is. It's click the link, right? That's an important thing that some people just give them all the information, say, blah, here's the stuff. Even their customers. If you wanna train your audience to do something, then do it within your emails. So the call to action, it needs to be simple, but it needs to be one singular call to action, you needed to get people trained that you're gonna have them do something. And that matters, okay?

Now, in the subject line, there are a few things that have come up in an email that really matter. I mean, there are algorithms out there that are gonna go to spam and there are every day more and more robots in the Gmails and Yahoos and all kinds of fun email addresses out there in the world that are trying to find, who's a spammer, who's a marketer? Get them out of the inbox of the person that they love because that's their customer. They're trying to block you and your business from their user, even though their user opted in for it. And that's the funny thing, isn't it? But, the subject line shouldn't have a ton of exclamation points or periods, it shouldn't have a ton of punctuation. The fewer of those things you can do, the better your emails will be in the inbox, which is nice.

Secondarily, use the word, "You", I like the word, "Get". But if you can use something that benefits the person in that statement, it's wonderful. There are subject lines that I like more than other ones, and I'm not gonna necessarily list all of those because depending on where you are in the context of your conversation with the person you're working with, you may or may not wanna use those. So I'm not gonna just list those arbitrarily, because they are specific to unique instances, okay? But, your subject line needs to be benefit-driven. It needs to make sense that it's gonna actually help the person who's gonna read it. That's what gets them to open the email.

Once they open the email, the email needs to look like it looks like I've talked to you. It needs to sound like you care about them and be personalized if you possibly can make that happen. I'll show you a couple examples now, but I want you to know, that is the best way to make an email work and run in a way that's gonna benefit you and your business, but also make it sure that the people, the prospects and the customers you have, actually know that you care about them. Now, I recognize there are a million tools out there to send emails and they're not all the same. Remember that the point of the subject line is to get people to open the email, okay? There's no other reason for a subject line besides getting people to open the email. Because if they don't open the email, what is the purpose of sending one to them? It needs to be intriguing, engaging, get them interested, and get them to preview what you're gonna talk about. So I recognize that your subject line should connect really well with the content of your email. But there are a million emails and email subject lines that you could use. Some are great, some are not great. But think again of being personal. Many cases in many email platforms allow you to put the person's name inside of the subject line, which is a good idea, some of the times.

I don't believe that it's something that is carte blanche that you should do every time, but it's something you can do. You wanna address them by their name. So if you can merge that information in, that's great. There's other software out there that allows you to merge other things in. Like you can merge in a whole paragraph about a person like, "Hey, it was nice "to meet you at the event or to see you at that place," and then it can get into the email. That is actually one of the best ways to make your emails awesomely phenomenal. Have a paragraph about every person that is there.

Now, I also recognize that a lot of times we get people to opt-in with their name and email address. We don't know anything else about them. So, having a paragraph about something like that doesn't really work. So note that not every automation practice or tip or trick could actually be used, but note, there are just great ways to personalize it. There should be white space and a space in between the paragraphs. If you saw an email and it was all bunched up together and if this was the email you sent or received from somebody, it would be harder for your brain to see and to pay attention to. It just simply is. A big, long paragraph like this, may be something that your friend was sending you. I recognize that. But we still want to make sure that they read it.

The readability of an email needs to have spaces, not neccesarily between every single sentence. If you want to have a couple of sentences put together, that's okay. I prefer them to be simple because the brain has a much easier time reading an email with more space. I want people to grasp what I'm telling them, what I'm talking to them about. Typically, if you think about just email and written communication courtesy, when you're sending an email to a friend, you typically don't put it all in one paragraph. Even in a text message, you don't do that. So why would you do that inside of an email? Now, the other thing that's important to note is you need to have a link in an email. The purpose of an email is to get people to click the link, the content here, right? The subject line gets them to open, the email content should get them to click. And so you should have a very clear way for them to click.

Now, because most people are on their mobile devices, and over 70% of traffic in the research that I've done, not across every platform in the world, but, typically, most traffic is looked at and most emails are looked at via mobile. To have a little tiny link that is just text, isn't always the best way to do it because it's still hard for their finger. You know, maybe their finger doesn't hit it depending on the size of the text that you're sending them. So I do recommend using a button of some sort. If you have a button that you can create or make or use, that is useful, even if it's on a desktop or it's on a mobile device. A button is easier to click. It's bigger, it's bolder. It gets people's attention a lot more, and so I like to have them. Now, if I don't use the link and I use the button, in the bottom of the email, I will use a "P.S." and have a link there, that is where I'll put a typical hyperlink.

Because some email platforms don't always render your image the right way or your button, depending on what platform you're using. I do like to have abilities for people to click on links and buttons. I think it's a smart thing to do and it has proven to be very useful for the business I've worked with. The idea of the email is that I want to talk to the person as they are, as I know them. I talk to business owners. I work with business owners that are struggling to get everything done, automate it, make money, keep everything going, whatever level they're at. For me, I wanna talk to that person specifically about the challenges they might be seeing. And also wanna say, "Hey, you don't have to go it alone. "You have a chance to link arms "with someone that can help you," and that's what my team does". So I want to talk to them about where they're at, tell them an opportunity that comes from engaging, whether it's some free content I'm giving out, something else I'm doing, and then say, "Hey, it could be better." But if you don't change something, then you're gonna get what you've already received. So there's some strategy there on what you want it to say. And that's a message for another day.

Your email should emotionally draw people in to make them want to click. Again, we're talking to people that ideally want the product or service and would use the product service that we're gonna give them. And so I see it, no problem to do our best to get someone to click to our page. I don't give a ton of detail. I don't tell you all the things you're going to get. I don't tell you how it's going to work. I don't tell you the program you can sign up for. I don't tell you all that stuff in the email. I want you to click to my site so I can know that you're interested. From there, we go "P.S." which is a really, really valid way to continue a conversation, add more bonus, add something else and say, "Hey, I wanna make sure you know this too!" That will usually help your audience engage. So again, this is what an email should look like because this is what emails look like. If you are making your email look like a website or something else, then just think again and realize that this is how your friends and family are going to send you an email.

Now, I recognize that we're not their friend or family in most cases, and we're not trying to be sneaky or tricky, It's just a matter of let's meet them in the way that they're already receiving emails. Let's meet them there as opposed to trying to change their persona and make it all website-y with tons of images. It just doesn't do justice in service. I've seen emails like this convert far better than ones that have 15 pictures and a lot of cool things and imagery that's really heavy. So, that is what an email should look like. And this is just one small way to AutomateBIG.


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