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At least weekly, one of the Wizemail team will post a tip, trick or general email marketing advice here.
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At least weekly, one of the Wizemail team will post a tip, trick or general email marketing advice here.
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It’s official; you can’t trust online reviews. A recent Which? report condemns them and you can’t get more immutable than them. Rather ironically, people believe the headlines rather than reading through the copy and understanding what the actual conclusions were.
For email marketing generally, reviews of service are infrequent. On the other hand, if your performance doesn’t come up to the expectations, however unreasonable, of your customers, you will see the criticisms appear on social media almost overnight. Suggesting that they are criticising you for something you can’t control is a waste of time. In fact, it can make the matter worse. The only bright side is that your competitors are also being criticised unfairly.
Most people, at least most people who have been caught out in the past, tend to go more by the overall rating than by individual comments. If there are thousands of positive reviews, from three stars to five, and the negatives are few and far between, most people will tend to take the overall rating at face value. Don’t we all?
There are those companies that seem all but overwhelmed by customers saying positive things about how quick they were to resolve problems, that the item was well packaged, delivered when promised, and the van driver was smiling all the time. You should emulate them.
Generate reviews. Ask your customers direct questions: ‘Have you asked us everything you wanted to?’, ‘Did our delivery service conform to your expectations?’, ‘As a valued customer, I wonder if you would complete a short questionnaire in order to improve our service.’ Customers who have been dealt with politely and expeditiously (that should be all of them) are often willing to say nice things.
‘We will be grateful if you would share your experiences with others,’ puts a little pressure on your customers. Tell them that reviews help you improve products, reassure new customers and enable you to provide the best possible service. Make them feel important, because they are, and not only to you. Despite the Which? reports of fraud in generating reviews, around 95% of people read them and the vast majority trust them.
I recently spent what to me is a considerable sum of money on an IT item that was not essential, otherwise called a luxury, after it was pushed on a particularly convincing marketing email. I visited the FAQ page on the supplier’s website. I obviously wanted to ensure what I was buying was exactly what I needed and that it would be perfect for its intended role. I was reassured.
It was clear that a great deal of thought had been given to the content of the page and particularly the type of question that would likely be asked by potential purchasers in the current lockdown situation. They, like me, would have concerns. The question that popped into my mind was when did I last update my FAQ pages. I had no idea.
I’d clicked through from the marketing email to the landing page, was intrigued, but wanted more information. In other words, I’m a fairly average customer for a high value (to me) item and felt a little research was called for. Not only was I happy to find the item was exactly what I wanted and would work alongside those I already had, but the company was astute enough to know what their customers were concerned about in these rather strained times.
It seems likely that the market will become more competitive in the months ahead. Despite the strong demand for online sales, reassuring for anyone in email marketing, it seems likely that there will be a degree of recession in the short and possibly medium terms and we need to be ready for the difficulties to come. Now is the time to prepare.
Customers in the future are likely to have greater choice online and will exercise more discretion. I knew, honest, that the item would be just what I wanted but, given the price, I wondered if there was something out there that might fit the bill at a cheaper price.
This will probably be the norm, and for some time. Ensuring you have a pristine website, one that leaves the customer informed, reassured and impressed, is what you can do now.
There seems to be a general consensus that the current recession will continue even after the Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, although an agreement between all experts does not necessarily mean it will happen. It follows that there will be a certain reluctance to spend. Email marketing is likely to be hit less hard than many other forms of marketing, but you should be planning now for what will happen when lockdown ends.
I'm not going out on a limb when I say there will be pressure on marketing budgets, and campaigns, as well as investment generally, and as ever, it is how you respond which will define how successful you are. You may already have a plan, leaving the question as to whether it is a simple matter of cutting back or perhaps opting for Plan B, even when you haven't got one.
You will probably be thinking about prioritising the resources, or already have done so. It's where you go from here that matters. One option might be to concentrate on those gaps in the markets that you have not previously bothered with before due to lack of profitability. In a recession, cash flow alone might be enough.
Specific to email marketing is the data returns we get from our campaigns and if we want to do better than our main competitors, we need to exploit to the limit what we know about our subscribers. The information we currently have might not be accurate. The needs and desires of your subscribers will almost certainly have altered to a degree; you need to discover the extent of the change and what they want now.
Customers will almost certainly have changed preferences in the current Covid era. Using email marketing campaigns, you must discover how they have altered. Do not work out logically what they are likely to be as this is little more than informed guesswork; you need to do something better.
In the past, when you've used split email marketing lists, you have been searching for that elusive small percentage that will increase your ROI. Now, however, there is another purpose.
One rather obvious way of discovering how preferences have changed is to compare the returns with those from a time before lockdown. Split your email marketing list identically to the way you did in a January email marketing campaign, going so far as to use a similar product. Accept that it will be impossible to be exact. Close will be close enough as you will repeat the test a number of times until the results are clear.
You should also accept the returns. They will probably change significantly, although this means those companies who merely guess are likely to be way off. You will know.
At the start of the 2008 recession, a marketeer was on a news programme almost bubbling with enthusiasm, much to the annoyance of the interviewer. A statement of his has stayed in my mind. He said the disruption of recession always provided opportunities for those willing and able to grab them.
It's a question that is often asked. Should there be as few as were on the marketing email or is now the time to try and convince by overwhelming the subscriber with facts? The answer is simple enough. As in most things to do with email marketing, there is no optimum; it depends.
I've recently received a marketing email that had 274 words on the landing page and I think it was just about the right number – for me that is. It was for a computer component, a motherboard. It was easy enough to see the company's logic. Technical specs. are vital information with such an item and most purchasers would peruse the technical details closely. All the vital ones were on the landing page, together with click-throughs to 'further information. A nerd's dream.
The image was very similar to the one on the marketing email, but then even I will admit that when you've seen one motherboard, you've seen them all. That doesn't mean, of course, that 274 words is what you should aim for. The company's information on me predicted precisely what I would want, and it was delivered. If they were selling socks it would have been different.
One way of ensuring you include as much as necessary, and no more, is to write out the headings for what information you wish to convey on the landing page. Prioritise them. Despite us having more time on a landing page to get our message across, it is important to hit the reader early with your major selling point, which you probably mentioned in the marketing email. If you said it comes in any colour, then on the landing page ask them immediately ‘What Colour do you Need?’.
Follow up immediately with the second point and then it’s time to consider what words are essential out of the rest of the headings you came up with. An epicyclic trunnion, for instance, will appeal to different people for different reasons, and you would have split your email marketing list accordingly. If one or more of the headings would not interest one group, ignore them.
Your intent is to make the decision to buy easier for your subscriber. Overwhelming them with data is not necessarily the way to go. For a technical item, such as the motherboard, being all teccy works on a number of levels, the most important being the company shows it knows what it is talking about and so can be trusted. It went a little further on my one. By allowing click-throughs to further information it became more inclusive.
It’s a truism; know your subscribers. It should be easier for us as we are not making instant decisions on customers as they walk towards your counter. Ask yourself what they need to know and what will convince them to convert and ensure both are covered in the copy. Everything else is superfluous and probably a bit self-indulgent.
In fact, it’s not a bad motto for life; show what you need to show, and no more.
Your marketing email has performed well and a subscriber has clicked through to the landing page. From here on in you can only mess it up. You should remember that nothing is over until money has changed hands, and just because the subscriber has shown an interest does not mean they will complete. You’ve still got work to do.
Just as the image on the landing page should normally differ from that of the marketing email, the copy has a different function so merely repeating what you’ve already said is at best a waste of time and at worst the waste of an opportunity to sell. If anything, the copy on a landing page has to be tighter than on the email.
You pushed your very competitive price on the email and your subscriber is intrigued. They will have their doubts though. After all, other companies are selling at a higher price and they may well be wondering what corners you have cut in order to make it so cheap. The landing page should reassure them and copy can do it.
Obviously stick the price up front and clear; it’s your main selling point. If you have a reason you can sell so cheaply, such as a bulk buy or you are clearing your shelves, then tell your potential customer and be upfront and clear about that as well. Even so, doubt might remain, so you’ve more work to do.
If the product merits its, mention your after sales service, the guarantee you offer and that they can return it if not totally satisfied. Do not, however, go over the top. It can create doubt in the mind of a purchaser and that’s a poor move at this stage.
Reinforce the main selling point. Back it up with other features you were unable to mention in the marketing email due to space considerations, and, most importantly, build up the excitement in buying that most look for. You should know what the subscribers to email marketing list want from your product. Your job is to tell them that this is the one for them, at a price they can afford.
Many email marketing companies use the same image, or one very similar, on the landing page as on the marketing email, yet normally opt for different copy for the change in function. This shows one of two truths: either the original image or the one on the landing page is not optimal. They have different functions.
Almost by definition, an image used in a marketing email will be shallow as it has to catch but not hold the readers’ attention, and all in a fraction of a second. If it’s too pretty, it is obviously too distracting. The same goes if it is interesting as it will deflect the reader from what you want them to do; click through to a landing page. Therefore, shallow is good.
By clicking through to the landing page the subscriber is letting you know that they are interested in whatever product you are pushing and it is now up to you to convince them that it will solve a particular problem, need or indulgence. What they see next can make or break the deal. Reusing the image from the marketing email is not going to reinforce or encourage the reader.
The image on a landing page is there to convince someone, who has already shown they are half way to buying, that they should part with money. What we need to do is ensure that the subscriber is reassured that their decision to click through was a good one. There’s nothing like massaging the conceit of a customer to get them to complete. The image on the landing page should explain the unique selling point, something that was impossible to do thoroughly with the one in the marketing email. It’s expansion, not repetition, of the point that’s needed.
You should not ignore the original image when coming to a decision on what picture to pick for the landing page. You’ve got a base, flimsy at this stage, to build on. If you’re selling a luxury holiday and captured their attention in the marketing email by an image of a beautiful sandy beach, blue sky and sea, then one of the hotel room, perhaps with the balcony view in the background of the same beach, will work with the original image. They can dwell on it for a while: but not too long.
The image of the landing page is often most effective when it works on the emotion of the reader. That’s why images of babies and grumpy cats are popular. If, instead of luxury, you are selling an activity holiday, consider something along the lines of someone reaching the top of a mountain, breasting a hill or, my favourite, sitting outside a pub after a hard morning’s walk, with drink in hand.
Thankfully, holidays are not all about challenges. You have to work out what will attract those on your split email marketing list, what motivates them, and obviously what excites them. The landing page should make them feel excited, or happy, or envious.
The suggestion is that our brain processes images many times, many thousands of times, faster than copy. So let’s concentrate on landing page images.
Your marketing email has made your subscriber aware that you have a solution to a problem they may or may not have been aware that they had. They’ve clicked through to the landing page and are confronted by an image, as this is the first thing that will catch their eye. It has a number of functions.
The subscriber has already shown an interest in your product, showing that you designed the marketing email with some skill. Now is not a good time to throw away all that good work. You have to convince the subscriber your product is just the one they need and your choice of image will be the key to the success of your whole campaign.
Images on marketing emails are only glanced at, if you picked well, so we need something different, something that will overwhelm them, and a way to do that is to trigger an emotional response. This doesn’t necessarily mean a picture of a fluffy bunny. We need to go deeper than that.
One of the best emotions for us to generate is relief. You may well have shocked them by pointing out that they are not prepared for the changes Brexit will bring. If your product provides a solution, your landing page image of it solving one for someone else will show that it’s just right for them. They’ll replace the model with themselves in their minds. If you split your email marketing list with precision, you know what they need. The price is secondary.
Reassuring your subscribers by telling them how clever they are works wonders. If the image includes someone of their status or interests, and they are shown to be oozing success or superiority, then they too will feel successful and superior. Say it with images rather than words. You can see why the picture used in the marketing email should stay there.
The landing page is the next stage in the process of selling. It needs a special image.
The process of publishing a periodical is very similar to that of email marketing. We can learn from it. Publishers receive feedback from unsold magazines, albeit a couple of months after that particular issue was sent to the printers. They need to grab a passing customer’s attention, using images and words to get them to buy. It’s like looking in a mirror.
Even if you are not a philatelist, you will see what was in the mind of the publisher of a particular stamp collecting magazine. The background was a full page image of the Union Flag, with ‘101 GB STAMPS’ as the main title, reinforced underneath by ‘you need to own!’. It’s targeted. It’s precise. It’s clear. It’s what we aim for.
A recent magazine on computers ran with a feature article on building your own PC, the subject providing the obvious title. There was a subheading, ‘everything you need to know’, obviously aimed at a particular demographic. The background image was unspecific. It showed a man’s left hand, holding a screwdriver, prodding something equally vague on a printed circuit board.
This is email marketing in action. The title, which would make an excellent Subject Line or heading, is aimed at a specific group, for us a split email marketing list, and the subheading promised a great deal. The image merely caught the eye without it having to be understood or interpreted. Who cared what the prodded item was?
In many cases, the cover headline differed in wording to that of the article itself, although the subject matter was the same. In other words, they were broadening the appeal. Motor Sport’s main feature this month, highlighted on the cover, was ‘The Magic of Le Mans’, but the contents listing showed, ‘The Magic of the Mulsanne’, which is the name of the circuit’s long, fast, straight. The heading of the article was ‘Mulsanne – Motor sport’s greatest blast’. The same thing said three ways.
The cover was like our Subject Lines, meant to grab the interest, which it must have done for anyone who knew the 24-hour race, so it was well targeted. The contents title was our heading for a marketing email, meant to be more specific, without putting off those who perhaps weren’t interested in a straight bit of road. The subtitle excited. Greatest and blast; two words to enthuse motor racing’s aficionados.
Publishers of periodicals have been perfecting their craft much longer than we have, and there’s a lot we can learn from them. And pinch of course. It’s much better to benefit from their efforts than to pay, if only in time, for our own.
While you might be concerned about a full inbox for the subscribers to your email marketing list, spare a thought for the packed shelves of newsagents. They stack them high. The tricks, expertise and use of design and words that are required to succeed mean that those at eyelevel have normally earned their spot by being pretty good at grabbing and holding the interest of their demographic.
Seeing experts in action, with their honed skills, should inspire you.
The search for effective Subject Lines for an email marketing campaign is the bane of anyone whose job it is to write it. It’s bad enough sitting in front of a blank Word document waiting for inspiration to hit, but it’s much worse trying to pick the few words on which the success of the campaign depends to a great extent. It’s enough to freeze anyone’s creativity.
When researching an article on creating Subject Lines I went along the obvious route of studying those from the dozens of email marketing lists that I subscribe to. It was a dead end. There was a lot of similarity between disparate companies, despite them selling entirely unrelated products. If I was paid 10p for every word ending in -est I’d be rich.
For this post I was after one poor example to two or three rather good ones, but the lack of the latter stymied me. Where to look for them?
I’m lazy, and have a strong and evidenced belief that the easiest way to come up with ideas is to copy other people’s, although slightly modified of course. I went online and studied the covers of magazines. Now shops are opening post lockdown, you can do the same thing by perusing the shelves in newsagents. The publishers’ intent is identical to yours. They need to grab the attention of a potential customer who might casually glance at the cover and they, like us, have just a fraction of a second to get the person interested.
The first thing that will strike you in all probability is how similar the publishers’ headings are to our Subject Lines, although there was, thankfully, an absence of the suffix -est. They were obviously targeted. One history magazine had, under the title, just the one word, ‘Shaka’. It would mean little to most people, but there was a subheading of ‘Rise of the Zulu Empire’.
Now there’s an example of a perfect Subject Line. Someone teaching email marketing could create a whole lesson on just that one cover. So go out, study the covers of magazines, and your writer’s block should be no more.
It is common advice that when selecting an image for an email marketing campaign you should not go for one merely because you find it attractive. After all, you are not trying to sell to yourself. An image should catch the attention of a subscriber just long enough to ensure they do not to click on the delete key, and also to garner enough interest to make them read on through the email. Unfortunately, all this has to be completed in less than a second.
If that wasn’t enough for just one image, it should neither irritate your subscribers nor offend them as the unsubscribe button is always there, only too ready to be an outlet for their emotional response. In order for you to be able to pick an image effectively, you have to smother your own emotional response and instead view it as a subscriber on your email marketing list. Not too much to ask, is it?
I was reading an article in a photographic magazine, aimed at professional photographers, that contained an image I found remarkable. It grabbed my attention and I wanted to know why, as it wasn’t particularly outstanding. It was of a young, attractive woman in an evening dress, walking across an ice flow with what appeared to be the face of a glacier in the distant background.
There was nothing special about the composition. The woman was on a dividing third so it was a bit basic, yet it held my attention. I asked my wife what she thought of it and, after studying it for a couple of minutes she said that the poor woman must be freezing and it showed the casual attitude of photographers to the welfare of their subjects.
On the one hand, the image had interested both of us; the problem was it did so for different reasons. I was intrigued by the incongruity whereas my wife’s reaction was one of sympathy for the poor woman as well as resentment against the photographer. Yet it would have been a poor email marketing image.
It caught the attention, but held it. Being intrigued is the wrong response, as was my wife wanting to pick an argument with the photographer, so neither of us were likely to complete. To prove it failed, I cannot remember what the article was about. The picture of the person on an ice flow dominated.
An image should be unremarkable. Its sole function, as with the copy, is to keep the reader interested enough not delete the email, and also to encourage them to read on, in essence, forgetting the image. It is there merely as a stepping stone to the next stage.
When selecting an image, the one that leaps out at you from the array on your screen is probably not the one to include in your next email marketing campaign. You want the one that you noticed as suitable but was eminently forgettable. An image becomes effective merely by encouraging a particular response, in our case to make the person read on. Anything else is a hindrance.
I’ve spent much of lockdown attempting to learn a difficult piece of software. It’s technical, it’s involved, and it’s unlike anything else I’ve ever tried, which might explain why I’ve struggled with it. I considered an online course. I considered the cost as it’s more than I wanted to pay for just a hobby, especially as I would need around half-a-dozen of them to crack it.
I’m a subscriber to the email marketing list of the company that sells well-reviewed courses; the problem is they tend to charge premium prices. I don’t mind paying something worthwhile but there are limits. So imagine how I felt when an enewsletter, followed by a marketing email, dropped into my inbox offering the courses I was interested in at a much reduced cost. In fact, it was a reduction of all but 87%. That’s got to be good.
There was a time limit to the offer. Although it wasn’t stated in the enewsletter, the implication was that if I merely took advantage of the lower price for the first course, by the time I had completed it, the other five in the series would be back to normal prices.
This was quite clever as the threat was never overt, so one could not take offence. They did not total the six courses, although there can be few potential customers who failed to do so, and discover, like I did, it was less than the original price for the first one. An opportunity not to be missed?
Whichever way you looked at it, there seemed little risk. So why not go for it?
The course is a grounding for a career. We are told that unemployment rates are increasing, and are likely to continue doing so. It is probable that people are looking for a change in their career and are searching for opportunities. If the reported recession continues, the importance of qualifications to go alongside experience on a CV will improve one’s marketability. The offer in the marketing email might well have come at an opportune time for many subscribers, perhaps fearing their job might not be there for them much longer.
Further, it was a six-part foundation course. Implicit in that is the requirement for further courses. If I was after a change in career, I might feel that a successful foundation course, which resulted in a spectacular portfolio, might encourage a new employer to fund the additional courses, or they might have in-house structures to continue education.
It’s not such a risk for the company either as it gives what must be a welcome cash flow at a time when customers generally are husbanding funds. It takes a lot for me to bring out my credit card after losing a couple of contracts, but the offer was too good to miss, which was the intention.
Timing of an email marketing campaign isn’t just about ensuring your subscribers don’t receive emails when they have little time to open and respond to them. This one was perfect for both me and the company.
I have eleven dictionaries. In addition, I have two thesauruses. To be fair, I only use five of the dictionaries with any degree of regularity, although the two thesauruses take a bit of a pounding. Like me, you might think I would be a whiz at Countdown. After all words are my job and I don’t only write about email marketing. Prepare for disappointment.
In a semi-final of Countdown a few days ago, the abilities of the looser were stunning. I was nowhere near him. It’s good to be brought down a peg or two, but I am relieved I do not regularly watch the programme. Remarkably, after all that effort, the prize the chap won was a copy of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary. He must eat dictionaries.
Free gifts are an excellent way of encouraging subscribers to your email marketing lists. There’s something enticing about the word Free. But that alone is not enough and to offer the Concise, which a writer only uses when they are in a hurry, to a losing quarter-finalist shows a certain lack of appreciation of what the chap wants. Are you guilty of the same thing?
What you offer as an encouragement should be a choice based on information. Yet all too often an email marketing campaign will feature products left over from the previous one, which often had been extended because of poor results. As a way of clearing shelves it’s got a lot going for it. However, I doubt they got many subscribers for their efforts.
You must target these gifts in exactly the same way as you target an email marketing campaign; perhaps more so as you should be giving away something of value. If it doesn’t produce returns you’ve wasted your money, time and effort.
You wouldn’t give a loved one something you had left over, at least not more than once. So why do it for someone else you expect something back from? Work out what will enthuse those you want to sign up, otherwise the whole campaign will be a partial failure, and maybe even an expensive one.
We mentioned recently the advantages of social proof in convincing your subscribers to complete. There’s nothing quite as convincing as wondering why, if everyone is doing something, you are left out. We highlighted six general headings. This alone is not enough; like everything else in email marketing you need to target.
For instance, one of the headings was Expert, but just pulling some passing doctor in off the street to endorse the medical efficacy of a particular product isn’t going to do much for your completion figures. We need someone your subscribers can relate to. This is where returns from your email marketing campaigns will come into their own as you will need to look for somebody whom they respect and, more importantly, trust.
Social proof is one of the few cases where thinking laterally is not as beneficial as you might think. By all means be different from your competitors, but in essence there are just two requirements: that your subscribers trust them, and they are value for money. The mercenary aspect is probably the most important. There’s no point in picking the leader in the field if it means a significant increase in price.
Let’s assume the subject of your next campaign will be a fabulously healthy smoothie that’s remarkably, and provably, beneficial for those into weight training. What could be better than an endorsement from a fabulously healthy personal trainer? However, you can go one up on the believability scale. It would appear that many people who are trying to get significantly fitter will have a closer relationship to their physiotherapist. That’s my experience anyway. They tend to bring relief rather than pain.
It’s difficult to know whether reviews are trusted. The simple star-rating method is certainly treated as something that is expected but we need to go a fair bit deeper. As mentioned last time, recommendation of friends is highly convincing but it can be just as good to highlight those reviews from people in the same demographic as those on your split email marketing list.
Saying that 67% of those who purchased an item gave a good or excellent review when questioned is not overwhelmingly convincing. However, if you split your email marketing list by location, even if the figures are slightly worse, and say 64% of people who live in ‘your town’ thought it was good or excellent, you’re sharpening the targeting arrow. Now we’re getting personal.
The same method can be used with regards to someone famous. They don’t even have to be very famous, only well known in the area where the subscribers to a particular list live or work. They will know them. They will relate to them. They will be convinced by them. There’s no need to limit ‘famous’ to, for instance, the top 100 soap stars.
When targeting an email marketing list, you need to bear in mind the nature of your subscribers: who do they trust, who do they believe and relate to. These are the questions you need to answer. Crack that, and social proof becomes very much a doddle.
One of Ronnie Scott’s old jokes, and they were all old, was that the food he supplied at his nightclub must be good as 1000 flies can’t be wrong. I can speak from experience and say that there was a lot of truth in what he said, as well as it having a scientific basis as a publicity meme. It seems that we tend to follow the mob. It’s called social proof.
Before you use it in your next email marketing campaign, it is best to understand what motivates people to trust the wisdom of others. There is no argument against the fact that people like to fit in. In general, there’s an assumption that others around us have a certain degree of knowledge about a subject and without contrary information we will go along with them. In essence, most people trust reviews however they are demonstrated.
Social proof can be classified under half a dozen general classifications.
1/ The expert
We see this almost daily in action with regards to Covid-19 briefings. If the scientific person makes a statement, there is a tendency to believe them rather than the politician. Perhaps a learned action.
2/ Someone famous
If somebody well known to those on your email marketing list, or a celebrity, regardless of any connection to the product, endorses it, a degree of trust is established.
3/ Reviews by users
While a single endorsement of a product is not likely to cut much ice when compared to a celebrity doing so, there is certain authority to numbers. If it looks too slick and professional, it might create some doubt. However, if it is from people they can relate to, supported by the use of colloquial language, it increases the likelihood of the person being influenced.
4/ Lots of people
This is Ronnie Scott’s method. It’s unlikely that those attending his nightclub could relate to all or any of the flies, but if lots of people circle the food then can they be wrong? If your next email marketing campaign points out that a product is your best seller, or that there are just a few left, people will think it must be good.
This is gold dust. A product endorsed by somebody a subscriber knows, or whom they see on social media using the product, and hopefully mentioning how great it is, is social media overload.
6/ Official endorsement
If the item has some form of certification, or maybe has passed a series of tests, especially if those of your competitors have not, this too is a way of increasing trust. A literal stamp of approval.
One difficulty of email marketing is that you are asking someone to part with money for a product they haven’t seen, touched or played with, so how do they know it’s what they want and, probably as importantly, whether it’s worth the money. If you can demonstrate that other people thought it was great, by way of overwhelming numbers or by endorsement by those they trust or admire, then their reluctance is likely to be overcome.
There seems to be an increasing use of stock images on marketing emails and newsletters. I’ve nothing against them. If you lack the ability or facilities to produce stunning images that will help convert a campaign, then the options are rather limited. But that’s no excuse for uninspired images.
A bare picture of the product is very much like a bland descriptive few words. They’ll convince no one. Images and copy can be, and should be, significant factors in encouraging someone to complete, and the effectiveness of each is increased if the two work together.
If you intend to use a stock image in an email marketing campaign you should be prepared to spend a fair amount of time in doing so. The problem is the range of choice. It’s not that the exact image you want might not be there, but that there are so many to choose from that you can get overwhelmed by the choice.
You need a filter.
The baseline is that the image must reflect the copy and vice versa. This leaves you with just two alternatives: either pick the image to reflect the copy or insure your copywriter reflects the image. It’s immaterial which.
The marketing email needs to highlight the selling points. If the holiday you are offering is intended to target those who enjoy unstructured activities and the unusual, this is easy enough to convey in an image. Holiday makers alighting from a coach is not a particularly effective choice.
Massage their conceit. If they won’t want to be part of the herd, you could enter ruminants in the search box and pick an image of cows chewing cud contentedly. It’s not as if your point will be obscure. Think of how self-satisfied they will be to realise they are individuals, able to make decisions without the following the herd.
If you are looking for imaginative and striking stock images for your next email marketing campaign, then use your imagination when searching. Go for something unusual, and the fact that you are using a stock image won’t matter. It might convince for merely being unexpected.
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