Join Maria Peagler for this 30-minute live webinar: Email Marketing for Small Business
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Before I ever sent out my first social media post, I used email marketing.
It was the first form of marketing I used to promote my books, my brand, and my new business. When I added social media marketing to what I was already doing, I saw phenomenal results.
How do they best work together?
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Maria Peagler: That’s what you want to do. How do you get those “opens” and “clicks”? The first thing you want to do is get people to open your email. The way you do that, is with your subject line. Now, as small businesses, it’s hard for us to test different subject lines. If you look out there for a lot of advice on email marketing, they always say to test your subject lines. We don’t have time to do that! Instead, I like to learn from the masters of email. The true masters of email marketing are political fundraisers; especially presidential campaigns. The things that I’m going to be showing you all are not an endorsement of any way of any of the candidates that are running for President, or have run for President.
These are simply from articles where marketers have researched how presidential campaigns send out their emails, and what works. Now, this is from Barack Obama’s latest emails, I think, last year. I don’t think it was for his last presidential campaign. I think it was for the different causes that he’s been doing in his second term. Look at these subject lines: “I’m just so happy; I want to do this again; My uncle Teddy; My place, June 14th.” These don’t sound like they’re from the President of the United States. They don’t sound like they’re coming from a company. They sound like they’re coming from your best friend, and they are intentionally done that way. They’re very informal and casual.
That’s the way they want it, because it makes it look like it’s coming from somebody who’s a good friend. Now, we’re going to look at some more of his headlines, and these were from his presidential campaign. The reason that Barack Obama’s emails have been so scrutinized is because he raised more money through email fund-raising than any other candidate in history. A lot of marketing companies really looked at what he did. These again, are subject lines from his emails. Look at this! Look how short they are! One word, “Hey; Wow; Hey, again; I’m saving you a seat; Meet me for dinner; Rain check!”
These things sound like they’re coming from a family member, or a best friend. Again, they’re designed to sound that way. Now here we’re going to look at some that are from all presidential campaigns; these are from everybody. These are how to really stand out. They use two things that really, I have found, especially in my own experience, work. The first is curiosity. Martin O’Malley sent out an email with a subject line of, “Gummy Bears and $1.74.” Now, that makes me curious. I want to open that. Especially if you’re a supporter of Martin O’Malley, you’re going to open it. The other thing that you just cannot beat, is don’t try to be clever.
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Be specific about what’s in the email. “Join Bernie for a rally in Manassas, VA.” If you’re a Bernie Sanders supporter, and you’re anywhere in this area, you’re going to open up that email. Again, here’s another specific headline, “[Poll alert] We’re ahead in Iowa.” If you’re a supporter of this candidate, you’re going to be opening up that email. Again, here’s my favorite curiosity headline, “I was in a jail yesterday.” That one was from Mike Huckabee. Again, if you’re a supporter of his, or even if you’re not, you would probably open that email. Using curiosity, specificity, being informal, casual and brief, are going to get attention.
Lisa, that’s how you grab people’s attention. You need to test this out on your own readers to see what works. These are emails that I have sent over the last three months. They are from January and November. They’re some of my best email subject lines that got the most opens. This one is, “Last chance …” Two words, that’s it.