Category Archives for "Lead Gen"

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Feb 23

Why an In-Depth Understanding of Your Customers Is the Only Marketing Strategy You Need

Lead Gen

Successful marketing is about more than tracking analytics, building a social following and getting traffic on websites.

Ultimately, successful marketing is about the customers. No matter how great your marketing efforts are, it doesn’t matter if you can’t connect with the audience.

So, if you want to be truly successful, you need to have an in-depth understanding of your customers.

What is a Customer-Centric Marketing Approach?

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Customer-centric marketing uses personalization to deliver products, messages and content to the customer that provides them with the answers they need. This applies not only to marketing, but also to your entire organization.

Putting your customers first can improve your relationship with them and retain more customers over time, since they feel valued.

With customer-centric marketing, you stop telling your customers what they need, which comes across as unappealing and untrustworthy. Instead of pushing products and aggressively asking for the buy, with customer-centric marketing, you craft your messaging, content and products around addressing their needs first.

Ultimately, if a customer knows they have other options and feel undervalued by the business’s lack of attention, they’ll move on.

The Value of Knowing Your Customers

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More and more businesses are taking advantage of the power of blogging and content marketing, meaning that the internet is flooded with content everywhere you turn. As a result, customers no longer need to waste time on low-quality content that doesn’t serve their needs.

If you want to stand out among this crowd, you need to create unique content that’s relevant to the needs of the target audience. When you can create content that fits their needs, you develop trust and value with your business. This makes customers more loyal to your business and its products.

Having loyal customers with repeat purchases offers many benefits to your business, not only in revenue, but in positive brand reputation and word-of-mouth recommendations.

Loyal customers are also easier to sell to, reducing the amount of time necessary to nurture and convince them to buy from your business. Instead, you can toss them right back in the sales funnel and make the sale much faster.

In fact, repeat customers are 65 percent more likely to convert over new prospects. This means reduced marketing costs and more sales for you.

Loyal customers are also more likely to support your efforts to generate new business, since they want to share their experiences with their family and friends. This boosts your trust with new customers and gets you more sales.

So, when you stop guessing at your customers’ wants and needs and start paying attention to the feedback they give you, you get both long-term business relationships and increased profits.

How to Get an In-Depth Understanding of Your Customers

Developing these relationships and this understanding of your customers takes time, however. Your customers’ needs may change over time, and you need to change with them.

Here’s how:

Build Your Buyer Personas

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A buyer persona is a guide to the audience you’re trying to attract to your business. A buyer persona describes one ideal customer or client in detail, giving you insights about their behaviors, demographics, background and other unique identifiers.

A truly in-depth buyer persona goes beyond this knowledge, however. It dives much deeper into understanding the customer’s life and the challenges they face. What are their problems? What influences their decisions?

The key to all of this is not to guess, of course. When you create buyer personas, you can’t just create a customer. It needs to be based on the loyal customer base you have.

If you’re trying to reach a different audience, you can even create multiple personas to target new customers, while also keeping your loyal customers around.

Keep in mind that these may change over time as well, so you should watch how they evolve and continually find new ways to reach them.

Listen on Social Media

Many people are comfortable displaying much of their lives on social media. This can provide you with valuable insights about them and how they feel about your business.

If you only pay attention to posts and comments that relate to your business, however, you’ll miss out on insights from them about what they need from a product or service. To get a real understanding of the target audience and what they expect from your business, you need to go beyond the mentions.

Social listening tools can be helpful for this. Mention is one of the best tools to monitor your brand anywhere. It gives you insights about who’s posting about your business, where they’re located and what influence they have. From there, you can do a little more research into these potential customers to learn more about them.

You should also work to connect with your audience when they come to you. With the availability of brands online, most customers expect quick responses when they inquire online. Be sure to pay attention to questions, comments and feedback to you about your business, so you can get an idea of the problems your audience is experiencing.

Use Surveys

If you’re not getting the answers you need from social listening, don’t be afraid to ask your customers directly. Surveys provide you with opinions and insights that you may not have otherwise, and they’re easy for customers to participate in.

Keep in mind a few things, such as:

  • Keep your survey short and simple.
  • Humanize your message to let them know that their feedback has a purpose.
  • Use a progress bar to let customers know how long they have to complete the survey.

Ultimately, the idea behind the survey is to keep it as quick and painless as possible for participants.

Pay Attention to Visited Content

Whether it’s videos, blog posts, infographics or images, customers engage with a variety of content throughout the day. To understand what they want and need, you need to pay attention to the type of content they visit.

The best way to learn more about popular content is with Google Analytics. This will show you popular content and the patterns that may arise, as well as the type of content that works better for your audience.

Don’t forget to check out your competitor’s social media pages to see what posts get a lot of attention as well. Using this information, you can create more content that’s aligned with what’s working for your competitor.

Look for Lost Conversions

In addition to learning about current customers, you can learn a wealth of information from the leads that don’t convert. This process is a little more involved, but it can provide you with valuable insights.

First, let’s look at the buyer’s journey:

  • A customer is aware of a problem.
  • A customer considers the options to solve that problem.
  • A customer decides what solution to try.

If you find that you lose buyers in the consideration phase, you may be doing something wrong that keeps them from converting. Of course, not every customer coming in contact with your product will buy, but it’s still important to find leaks in the sales funnel.

With this in mind, you want to create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey, so you can address any concerns a buyer may have along the way.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to marketing, don’t assume you understand the customer better than they know themselves. Instead of telling your customers what they need, focus on providing them with information and solutions that address their needs, so you can create a loyal following that grows your business.

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Jan 25

Sales and Marketing Alignment to Reach Your Business Goals

Lead Gen

For many businesses, sales and marketing are delineated teams. Marketing is tasked with generating leads, while sales is responsible for qualifying leads and getting to the sale. Unfortunately, this can lead to a lot of dissension and opposition between the two teams, which impacts the success of both.

Sales and marketing alignment is one of the most important aspects of generating continued revenue for your business. What this means is that the sales and marketing teams collaborate to reach goals, rather than working singularly and in opposition.

In fact, businesses with proper alignment of sales and marketing have 36-percent higher customer retention rates and 38-percent higher sales, according to MarketingProfs. They also achieve higher revenue growth than businesses without alignment.

Despite this, sales and marketing alignment is something that many businesses struggle with. Here are the key elements both teams need to work on in order to achieve proper alignment and work together to reach goals.

Target Buyer and the Buying Process

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In order to be successful with your ultimate business goals, your sales and marketing teams must be in agreement about who the target buyer is, as well as understand the complexity of their journey. They must understand what they buyer is looking for, what they care about, and why they choose to buy the products or services.

There are two critical elements in understanding the buyer:

  • Buyer personas: These provide in-depth knowledge of the target buyers through demographics, objectives, priorities, and challenges, all of which inform the purchasing decision.
  • Buying process map: This is a detailed view into the buyer’s journey. It’s important to understand and map the buyer objectives, the activities they engage in, how they interpret information, and the communication tools they use to access that information.

Both of these elements are integral to the revenue chain, which means that they’re vital to both sales and marketing. In-depth buyer research informs the sales and marketing processes, content, and campaigns, giving them the tools necessary to reach the buyer in a compelling way.

Revenue Process

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Once both teams understand the buyer, next comes the revenue process. This refers to a set of conversion points that start at the top of the funnel — the awareness stage — and end with closing the sale. There are plenty of conversion points throughout the funnel, but the shared revenue process should focus on five to seven conversion points:

  • Lead.
  • Qualified lead.
  • Opportunity.
  • Demonstration.
  • Proposal.
  • Closing the sale.

These conversion points should be well-understood and agreed upon by both teams, and the process of tracking and reporting should be visible so that the process can be optimized.

Messaging

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Messaging is one of the bigger challenges in aligning sales and marketing, as well as a source of tension. Marketing tends to focus on the messaging, while sales tends to assume that marketing’s messages are ineffective. This issue usually arises from a disconnect between the two teams and their individual objectives.

Regardless of how effective a message is, however, the sales team needs to believe it and be able to use it properly in order to make the sale. Testing only goes so far, so marketers should tag along on sales pitches to get a real-world view of how the message comes across and to gauge the reaction. This not only helps marketing hone in on their own messages, but it also helps the sales team believe in the message.

Content

Content is a vital part of the selling process, but many salespeople don’t know how to use it effectively. This can be corrected by both teams coming to agreement and understanding about the following:

  • Content strategy.
  • When to use content.
  • How to use content.
  • How to judge the effectiveness of content.

Once this is achieved, salespeople have a better understanding about how to use content, and the marketing team can focus its efforts on the content.

Lead Handoff

Another challenge often faced by sales and marketing teams is when to send a lead to sales. The sales team tends to think that marketing can’t produce quality leads, due to a communication breakdown.

A qualified lead should have all the demographic and psychographic information, which are both agreed upon by the two teams and shared with all involved. By doing this, sales will have more trust in marketing to deliver truly qualified leads, and all will benefit.

Revenue Service-Level Agreements

There are several service-level agreements that need to occur between sales and marketing for alignment and success. The marketing team should agree to a quota of qualified leads, while the sales team should agree to a follow-up process that accounts for how quickly they follow up and how much effort they put into the process. If the marketing team’s leads fit the predetermined definition of a qualified lead, then sales should have no issue following up quickly and thoroughly.

Optimization

The common theme of all these elements of alignment is communication. The final agreement between the two teams should be to communicate on a regular basis and to continue to optimize the process. This can be achieved through regularly scheduled meetings to address any shortcomings and work toward solutions.

Here are some recommended meetings:

  • Revenue meetings: Revenue meetings should occur on a weekly basis. These meetings should cover reporting metrics at the various conversion points, the processes, and the expectations. At the end, a plan to improve in the future and specific goals for both teams should be reached.
  • Lead generation meetings: Both sales and marketing are tasked with generating leads and qualified leads, so meetings should occur on a regular basis to optimize this process. Both teams can view the metrics, specifically the conversion rate between leads given, and provide feedback for each team. During this meeting, the marketing team should prepare to optimize campaigns further, and the sales team should prepare to optimize the follow-up process.
  • Sales enablement meetings: Ultimately, the sales team wants assistance from marketing in moving sales prospects through the pipeline, and not the leads themselves. These meetings should review the content and determine what is and isn’t working, giving both teams a better understanding of how they can improve and reach sales goals.

These are a few recommended meetings, but meetings can be tailored to your specific teams. Initially, sales and marketing teams may need more frequent meetings to realize their shared goals and work together effectively, which may change over time.

Moving Forward

Sales and marketing alignment is a critical aspect of a successful business. Though achieving this alignment can be challenging, the goal of these two teams is generating revenue. Once both teams communicate openly and realize their shared goal, it’s much easier to align and work together toward achieving that goal.

contractor leads
Jan 04

Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Funnels

Lead Gen

When you’re just starting a business, you need to work hard to gain traction. Over time, however, you may notice that you need to change your strategy to continue to grow your business.

One of the most effective ways to boost conversions and generate more revenue is with a marketing funnel. This funnel is basically a sequence of steps that prospective customers take in order to become purchasing customers. After your business gets off the ground, you need this structured approach to monitor your process and be sure that you’re keeping existing customers and gaining new ones.

In this post, we’ll discuss what a marketing funnel is and how you can build one for your business to gain more customers and revenue.

What Is a Marketing Funnel?

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A marketing funnel is the path a prospective customer takes from start to finish. This includes the first time they hear of your product or service to the moment of purchase.

Once you have this structure in place, you can analyze each step of the process to look for areas of improvement to increase conversions.

These are the stages of the marketing funnel:

Awareness

The awareness stage is the top of the funnel and refers to the moment when a customer becomes aware of your product or service. Your marketing materials at this point include:

  • Tutorials.
  • Guides.
  • Blog posts.
  • Videos.

Marketing strategies include:

  • Content marketing.
  • Inbound marketing.
  • Paid advertising.
  • Search Engine Optimization.

The goal of marketing at this stage is to reach a broad audience and create awareness of your product or service.

Interest

The interest stage is when prospective customers are aware of your product and become interested in learning more about your product. Your marketing materials are geared toward education, such as:

  • E-books.
  • Webinars.
  • Emails.
  • Newsletters.
  • White papers.
  • Case studies.

This is the stage in which you can encourage a customer buy.

Commitment

The commitment stage is when a prospective customer is committing to your product and making the decision to buy. Your marketing materials at this stage include:

  • Product demonstrations.
  • Trials.
  • Sales calls.

These are the basic stages, but some businesses further break down their funnel into smaller stages according to what aspects they want to analyze. Regardless of how complex your funnel is, having a systematic funnel gives you data about the customer’s buying journey that you can optimize along the way.

For example, if you were to determine that you were losing a lot of customers between the interest stage and the commitment stage, you could adjust your content or marketing materials to optimize for conversions.

How to Build Your Own Marketing Funnel

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Your own marketing funnel is as specific as your business itself, but here are the basic steps you need to begin building your own:

Awareness

The first step in your funnel is to get your product out in front of the widest possible audience. This is achieved through blogging, SEO, paid advertising, and the other marketing strategies we mentioned previously.

You should be specific in your targeting to reach a large audience, but still focus on an audience that is likely to need or want your product or service. Content marketing is a key tool in this stage, since it creates a lot of awareness about your business among users who are searching for solutions to their problems.

Interest

Once you have prospective customers in the awareness stage of your funnel, the next step is to increase interest and engagement to get them to return. This is best achieved with an email subscriber list.

For example, you could put an option at the end of your blog posts for users to subscribe to your email list. This will generate leads for your business while also giving you insight into the number of people interested in your business.

This is a systematic way to move customers from the awareness stage to the interest stage. If you start to notice high click-through rates but few conversions, you can work on improving the landing page or call-to-action to increase your conversions.

Commitment

When you have a lot of prospective customers interested in what your business has to offer, then it’s time to move them into the commitment stage. This is the stage in which your customers want to learn more about your product and are looking to purchase, which can be done with content.

At this point, you should already have an email list, so you can use autoresponder emails to guide them into the evaluation stage. Autoresponders offer high-quality content to your customers and help you build a business relationship with them to earn purchases in the future.

You can also earn the conversion by giving them a compelling reason to buy. This can be done a number of ways, such as:

  • Create urgency by suggesting that a product or offer is short-term.
  • Ensure that the checkout process is smooth and streamlined.
  • Offer a discount or special promotion.

The goal here is to create a pleasant buying experience to assure the prospective customer that buying is a good decision.

Fixing Problems Within the Marketing Funnel

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Marketing funnels are known as funnels because you will lose customers along the way, so the funnel gets smaller. Some people simply won’t move through to buy, and that’s just part of the process. To a certain extent, you should expect to lose some prospects between awareness and conversion.

When you’re losing excessive numbers of prospective customers at some point through the funnel, that’s when you need to review your process and see where you could improve. Having a systematic funnel is the first step in correcting this problem, which you may not even fully realize otherwise.

As you build your funnel, you should assign metrics to each stage:

  • Awareness: Visitors to your site.
  • Interest: Subscribers to your email list.
  • Commitment: Number of people purchasing your products.

Without these metrics, it’s difficult to know what part of the funnel is losing customers.

You should compare these metrics on a regular basis to see if you’re improving or declining. If you’re declining, you can then look for reasons that may be occurring.

Regardless of what stage is losing customers, there are two strategies that apply at any point:

Retargeting

If you’re seeing a lot of paid traffic to a particular post but your prospects are simply reading the article and clicking away without subscribing, downloading, or purchasing, there’s still a chance to convert.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that lets you target visitors who left your site before converting. It gives you a chance to persuade them to come back and reconsider purchasing. This ad should be focused on an offer from the next stage of the funnel.

For example, if you’re seeing a lot of traffic without conversion, retarget those customers with an offer to subscribe to your email list. This can take them to a landing page that offers a free download they may have missed out on the first time around.

Once you’re familiar with this process, you can devise retargeting campaigns that address each stage of the funnel with relevant offers.

Chat

If prospects visit your site but aren’t able to find adequate answers to the questions they may have, it can be enough to cause them to click away. They could be reading your content and need further clarification, or looking at your price page and have questions about purchasing.

In these cases, live chat is an excellent tool. Regardless of where they are in the marketing funnel, live chat gives you an opportunity to answer all their questions and guide them into the next stage.

Get Started

Now that you know what marketing funnels are and how they can be used to improve your business, it’s time to build one. Start with the simple structure of a basic funnel, identify problems, and work on optimizing them. As you learn and grow, you can expand your funnel to gain more customers and generate more revenue.

how to get construction leads
Oct 26

Turn Leads Into Sales With Modern Email Marketing

Lead Gen





Though email marketing has taken a backseat to more “modern” forms of digital promotion, it’s still an effective marketing tool. Despite the age of this technology, businesses still use email to connect with audiences, turn leads into sales and engage followers with promotions, news and other relevant information.

The value that email marketing has above all else, however, is that it gives you an opportunity to connect with potential buyers who visited your site and left. You can target qualified leads with email marketing and get another opportunity to earn their business.

Nurturing leads with email marketing isn’t easy, though. It requires a targeted campaign with personalized communication, appropriate timing and strategic promotions that won’t overwhelm your new leads.

Why Email Marketing?

No matter what you’ve heard, email marketing is quite effective in a modern digital marketing strategy.

According to Campaign Monitor, here’s what email marketing looks like by the numbers:

  • More than 80 percent of B2B and B2C companies use email marketing as part of their marketing strategy.
  • Email opens on mobile devices is around 55 percent.
  • Marketers have experienced revenue increases of 760 percent from email marketing campaigns.
  • Email content is six times more likely to get a click than social media content.
  • Facebook and Twitter are falling behind email for gaining new customers.
  • Email ROI is 30 percent, compared to direct mail at 7 percent.
  • 6 out of 10 employees recognize the importance of email in their work.

Email for Effective Communication

Email may not be the newest thing, but it’s still relevant in our everyday lives. Unlike social media, which isn’t actually used by everyone and allows messages to get lost in the shuffle, email is almost guaranteed to reach its recipient.

Better yet, email has an incredible reach and costs nearly nothing to send, unlike paid advertising or other forms of digital marketing.

Email to Reconnect with Leads

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Emails allow you to connect with your leads in a way that nothing else can. If a visitor comes to your site and doesn’t buy a product, but subscribes to your newsletter, you have a pre-qualified lead. You know this person is interested in what you have to offer, so half of the marketing legwork is done for you, and you’re more likely to put your energy into a lead that will convert.

Now, instead of losing the lead entirely, you can use email to redirect your marketing and nurture the lead into a paying customer.

Email to Personalize a Message

Aside from email’s ability to reach the intended audience, it also allows you to personalize your message and increase the chance of engagement. Personalized emails are more likely to be opened and have higher click-through rates as well, so you have a better chance of getting something for your efforts.

Personalizing an email isn’t difficult, but it’s an area in which many contractors fail. Something as simple as using the person’s name and your own name, instead of your business name, can elevate your email above the rest.

Email to Segment Leads for Better Relevance

Email marketing is more effective when the leads are divided into segments based on different personas. Once you have information about your buyer’s demographics, shopping behavior, employment, location, buyer journey stage and problems, you can separate them into segments and tailor your content to their needs.

Here are some ways to customize your emails with segmentation:

  • Change the language for demographics.
  • Use customized offers for different buying habits.
  • Tailor content and topics for different demographics, problems and stages in the buying journey.
  • Release sales in specific locations.
  • Offer products or services based on past purchases.

Email for Variety

Email marketing includes many different types of emails that serve different purposes. The emails you send to a longtime customer are going to be different than those you send to a new lead, and rightfully so. Having a blanket email ruins any attempt at personalization and has the potential to scare off a new lead.

In the early stages of the business relationship, you want to send emails that focus on information about your industry, business, products or services or expertise. Subsequent emails can work on the problem the lead may have, or one that’s common for your existing customers, and how you can help.

These early emails are an important part of building the relationship and shouldn’t be skipped or rushed. After you’ve nurtured the relationship, you can carefully suggest the solution your business offers, but it should still be focused more on education and information than overt sales tactics.

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Finally, you’re in a position to send offers or reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers to promote yourself. This may seem like a long process, but by taking the time to nurture the relationship before jumping into sales emails will more likely convert your lead.

Email for Promotional Content

After building loyalty and trust with your lead, you can start promoting your products or services in a non-threatening way. This can be with a featured product, exclusive offer or promotion that’s relevant to the lead. If you’re not forceful about it, your lead will be tempted to act.

That said, promotional emails still need a few things to be successful. An obvious and compelling call-to-action is necessary for a conversion, and you want a landing page that’s related to the content in the email. Otherwise, you may not get your lead to act.

It’s also worth noting that the landing page, though not part of your email campaign itself, is a vital aspect of email marketing. No matter how well you develop your emails, it’s all lost if your prospect hits a landing page that isn’t optimized for conversions. Ideally, your landing page needs a clear call-to-action, intriguing headlines, attention-grabbing graphics and other proven methods for conversion.

Together, email and your landing page should streamline the process and guide your lead right through the sales funnel.

Ready to Get Started?

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Email has been around for many decades, and though it fell out of favor briefly during the rise of other digital marketing options, it’s poised for a comeback. Now, contractors are beginning to see how email can redirect website visitors and get them to convert, how it builds relationships and how it helps you build trust and loyalty with your customers.

Part of what makes nurturing leads with email marketing so effective is the ability to personalize the content and message according to detailed personas, but it’s important to use it correctly. A general email campaign won’t do anything for your business, so be sure to put the time and effort into your campaign to maximize your chances for conversion.

Email marketing is rising faster than ever and providing opportunities that contractors have never had before, so what are you waiting for?

how to get leads in construction
Oct 19

Increase Email Open Rate With 9 Key Factors

Lead Gen





The common goal of all marketers is to gain email addresses from web visitors. Unlike social media or search engines, which have a company standing between you and your visitor, email is a direct connection to the customer. Because of this, crafting emails that drive traffic to your site is high on the list of priorities.

Of course, driving traffic from email depends on open rates. Find out how to increase your email open rate with these nine key factors.

1. Keep Subscribers Engaged

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It’s important to send your subscribers regular emails to be sure that your list stays fresh, but you can still lose some of your email list over time. People may change emails or lose interest in your brand overall, so it’s smart to remove inactive subscribers regularly.

You can still give them one last chance to re-engage, however. This can be accomplished a number of ways, but it’s just an email asking your subscriber to engage with you before purging them from your list. Anyone who responds stays, but everyone else gets purged.

You can also check in with your subscriber list periodically to see if they want to update their information. This reminds them that they’re still in control of how they interact, which builds a more personal connection and encourages them to engage.

Finally, you can try to re-engage your list by conducting a survey to rate their satisfaction and gain some insight. Offering an incentive, such as a free gift, encourages their engagement and gives you valuable information to keep them satisfied.

2. Segment Your List

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One of the most important factors in whether someone opens an email is deciding if it’s relevant to their needs. Segmentation is an easy way to accomplish this and be sure you’re not flooding your subscribers’ inboxes with emails that don’t apply to them.

Segmentation can be done a number of ways, but the best place to start is by tagging your subscribers’ behavior. For example, you want to send different types of emails to your repeat customers, first-time customers and future customers you’re nurturing.

You may also want to create segments based on the types of products purchased, demographics, locations and other information, so you can tailor your emails to your customers’ needs and entice them to open.

3. Avoid Spam

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Spam filters are becoming more and more refined, but it’s still possible to end up with your emails in the spam folder. If this happens, you can count on your email never being opened.

So, if you want to maximize the reach and engagement of your email list, you need to do all you can to avoid ending up in the spam folder. Here are some tips:

  • Be sure everyone on your list opted-in.
  • Send emails from an IP address that hasn’t been used for spam in the past.
  • Send using a verified domain.
  • Make sure your code is clean.
  • Personalize the “to” field of your email.
  • Take the time to show subscribers how to add your business to their address book to be sure they always get your emails.
  • Avoid sales language that’s likely to trigger spam filters.
  • Avoid deceptive subject lines.
  • Include a location.
  • Make sure it’s easy for your subscribers to unsubscribe as they wish.

4. Get the Timing Right

Timing has a big impact on whether your subscribers open your emails, so it’s worth the time and effort to test different timeframes and see what performs.

You can also take advantage of others’ research, such as MailChimp. Though the research is general, it can give you a great starting point for when your emails will have the most impact.

Overall, they found that no particular day is better than another, but during the week is better than the weekend. Morning is also better than afternoon, evening or late night, but that’s also dependent on the location, occupation and age of the subscriber, as well as the type of content being sent.

That’s where you come in. Think a little about your subscribers and what their normal routine might be, what type of content you’re sending and when you would be most likely to want to read your email.

5. Improve Your Subject Line

Subject lines are a significant factor in your email open rate, so they have to grab attention. Some contractors get lazy with their email marketing and copy the same subject line formula over and over, leading to bored subscribers and unopened emails.

If you want to separate yourself from the pack, you need to get creative. Keep your subject lines intriguing but not overly clever or confusing, use a joke or question and speak in a language that aligns with your brand and your customers.

You can also check out this post from Neil Patel about writing great subject lines that get opened, which gives you some in-depth advice.

6. Write to One Person Only

When you write an email that’s meant to go out to thousands of subscribers, that can easily reflect in your tone. This makes sense, but it’s much less effective than writing as though you’re speaking to only one of your subscribers.

You want to keep your emails personal to connect with your audience, which can’t be done if you’re writing to the masses. This requires insight into your customer, however, and the ability to identify their problems, interests and values.

If you don’t have that type of insight on your customers yet, now is a great time to start. A simple email that includes a survey or a conversation allows you to ask the questions you need to better understand your customers’ problems.

7. Write Personally

As we mentioned, keeping it personal is much more effective that writing emails with mass appeal. Disconnected, sterile messages will never be opened on a consistent basis, regardless of how well you craft the rest of the email.

This is often challenging for people, but the key is to write to your subscribers as though you’re friends. They’re flooded with emails all day every day, so if you can reach them on a personal level and convince them that what you sent is worth reading, your emails will be opened.

8. Create Excellent Content

Content is read after an email is opened, so you may wonder why that’s included on this list. Even if your goal is to increase the open rate, you still want your emails opened consistently in the future, and that has everything to do with what’s inside.

Think about it this way. If your subscribers take a shot on you and start opening your emails, only to find content that’s subpar or shallow, they have no incentive to open your emails again.

Keep it valuable and relevant to your audience every time, and you may find yourself with a long list of loyal subscribers who look forward to getting your emails.

9. Make it Mobile Friendly

Mobile is increasingly more popular, so it makes sense that a lot of your audience uses their smartphone to open an email. Even if your product and target audience fall outside of the demographic most likely to use mobile for email, you still can’t afford to neglect the needs of your mobile users.

Mobile-friendly formatting is the first step in this process, but there are some other things to consider about emails specifically. Smaller screens make it more difficult to see graphics and shorten subject lines, so that’s something you need to think about as you write your email.

You also want smaller images that load faster, and make sure your email looks good without them. Some systems turn images off immediately, so you may spend that time on an email that doesn’t display images anyway.

Finally, pay attention to your buttons and links. Your mobile subscribers are using a touchscreen, so small call-to-action buttons and links that are too close together will have them accidentally clicking the wrong thing or unable to click altogether.

Keep at It

If you’re looking for better open rates, improving in these key factors will certainly help, but it may take some time to see what works and what doesn’t. Regardless of your insights, email marketing is a little bit of an experiment, so give yourself a chance to find out what works for your brand and your audience to enjoy sustainable results.