A key part of communication is subtext, the subtle connotations and unspoken meanings that people pick up on in a conversation. Subtext is easy to see in face-to-face meetings; you only need to do a little discreet people-watching the next time you’re at a party to find volumes of it. Email marketers also have to think about subtext even though they don’t see their audience in person.
Here’s a quick run-down of some of the things your prospects might be reading between the lines of your emails. Testing can also help you learn about what works for your audience.
What You Send: “Dear [USER NAME]”
What They See: “Who are you again? We forgot.”
With all the lead generation footwork you do, the last thing you want is to waste it by failing to fill in critical blanks. Marketing automation ensures that you never send out an email with key fields blank because the system alerts you when you try. Building email templates with your marketing automation consultant prevents this common error. The software also makes list hygiene easier so you’re less likely to use the wrong name.
What You Send: Catchy, descriptive alt-text for images
What They See: Links they want to click on any device or platform
Alt-text for pictures are a must in your email marketing, yet too many marketers assume their users are on a platform that supports pictures. Some recipients set email preferences to avoid auto-opening pictures, so your carefully designed and image-rich email is lost on them. Always include alt-text that supports the images it describes to reach your entire audience on any device.
What You Send: “Open NOW to collect $1 million!”
What They See: “We don’t really have $1 million for you, but we hope you’ll fall for it anyway.”
The best way to alienate an audience is to over-promise in the email’s subject line and underwhelm in its body. Because the average B2B buyer gets more than a hundred emails daily, you do want to stand out – but only for the right reasons. Be scrupulously honest about what readers will find in your email, and they’re likely to want to know more. It’s important to make subject lines compelling, but never at the cost of accuracy. “We’ll Market Your Next Million-Dollar Idea,” for example, hits many of the same notes as the previous example, but it makes no promises you can’t deliver.
What You Send: “Happy buying anniversary!”
What They See: “We value your business well beyond the sale date.”
Lead gen is only part of the wider scope of demand generation. Let your longtime customers know they’re important too with regular messages that maintain your brand’s mind-share. Reminding customers of a successful sale encourages them to upgrade, replenish, or refer others to you, all of which pay big dividends. It’s also good just to tell customers how much you appreciate their business. All marketing is ultimately about person-to-person communications, so maintain those long-term relationships with your buyers.
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