• Size Matters…and Four Other Ways to Boost Email Marketing Response Rates

    Most of us who have run email campaigns understand that at times it isn’t an exact science. In most cases when faced with a time crunch, we’ll purchase a list of 20,000 names from Jigsaw, put together a wordy email and hastily blast it out hoping that we catch some low hanging fruit. To your surprise the whole shot gun approach nets little to no response and you’re left thinking…what next?

    Now I may be over simplifying a bit here, but whether we want to admit it to ourselves or not, we’ve all tried to pull something like this off in the past…or at least I know I have, and of course fell completely on my face.

    Here are 5 guidelines that should help to dramatically impact your response rate from your mass emails:

    1) Target 3 unique titles per company - If you are targeting an email to any C-Level exec, expect the response to be poor. Traditionally I’ve seen no more than a 2% response rate when targeting that kind of audience. What you should do is get a solid sampling of three titles that you traditionally see attending your webinars or downloading a whitepaper off your site. Then target the entire food chain within the organization from managers on up. Directors generally are my favorite entry point since they have some decision authority and they respond at a much higher rate than higher level execs.

    2) Keep the subject line simple - You don’t need to make it overly complex. Something as simple as “Referral Help?” has increased my response rate by 8% vs. a more formal subject such as “Optimize Your Prospecting Services.”  I wouldn’t open the second email …would you?

    3) Don’t buy a name over six months old - The older the data, the higher chance the email will bounce or the prospect will have moved on to another role within the organization. No list resource out there is perfect. In order to avoid a high bounce rate, sort your list by any contact updated date over the last 3 months. I’ve found if you stay within that window there is a much higher likelihood your contact will still be in his/her role.

    4) List Size Matters - As we all know at times it’s just a numbers game. We do need to touch as many people as we can. Just be smart and sharpen your sword a bit by using the criteria discussed above…then get in front as many of those prospects meeting that profile as possible.

    5) Remove flashy graphics - I’m conditioned these days to just delete any kind of glossy looking emails landing in my inbox. It seems obvious to me that I am one of 15,000 people who received this flashy solicitation. The obvious goal should be to get prospects to open our email. The fancier you get, from my experience, the less chance that it will get opened. Especially since most seem to get caught up in the spam filter. Keep it simple. It should look as if a colleague sent the email over to you. Also, make sure you keep your initial emails under a 2-minute read. If you cannot capture their attention in under two minutes, they probably will not be interested anyway.

    At the end of the day, running an effective campaign can have a huge impact on generating a healthy volume of leads. For those of us working with limited budgets and smaller inside sales teams these days, we know that email must play an integral role in our prospecting effort.

    Craig is responsible for nurturing and maintaining client relationships at AG Salesworks.  He coordinates all aspects of project management and is responsible for the overall project success.

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