Emails for Sales Best Practice

Brokers / 13th February 2018
We recently wrote an article about lead generation techniques in response to conversations with our brokers, who continually tell us that finding and maintaining business is one of the key issues they face. We now want to provide some guidance on email marketing, the use of emails to find and retain customers. If you are looking for some tips and ideas on how to maximise this often forgotten channel, then read on….
 

Email marketing…isn’t that a bit old hat?

For some people, the current obsession with social media has decreased the importance of email. But take a look at this:
You are six times more likely to get a click-through from an email campaign than you are from a tweet
Email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter.
When it comes to purchases made as a result of receiving a marketing message, email has the highest conversion rate (66%), when compared to social, direct mail and more.
Email’s ROI was 28.5% compared to 7% for direct mail.
These statistics show that email is an important way to get your message to customers.
 

Best practice techniques for creating emails

 
If you’re new to using emails for marketing, or it’s a while since you sent some to new or lapsed customers, we hope that these tips will help maximise the return on your email campaigns.
 

Make sure your data is clean

 
The most important aspect of any email campaign is to make sure that your data is clean. Sending emails to the wrong person, to incorrect addresses, or with spelling mistakes will all result in wasted effort. A forensic examination of your customer database is always going to be time well spent, as incorrect data will ensure the failure of any email campaign.
 

Make the email all about your customer

 
You wouldn't be emailing people if you didn't believe you had something to offer them. People want to be informed about this, so don’t just write about how great your organisation is. Given them something interesting and informative. Be clear about what your prospects need to know and talk about how it will benefit them. If you can offer something that will genuinely make their lives easier people will be interested in hearing more from you in the future.
  

Subject lines are important

 
This is the first thing any reader is likely to note about your emails. It has to motivate people to want to open the email and read more. So avoid clichés (Great New Offer, etc…) and try to keep it punchy.
It’s important to remember that many emails are read on mobiles so the amount of visible text on the subject line is limited. Most email clients can only display up to 50 characters, and research shows that subject lines with fewer than 49 had open rates 12.5% higher than those with 50 or more.
 

Writing style

How much content you should include often provokes much debate, but the rule of thumb is to keep it brief to get your message across. Research shows that emails of between 50 and 125 words have the best response rate at just above 50%. But don’t make it too short if there’s more you need to say. If you need to go to 250 words, that’s fine so long as the content is relevant and important to the reader.
The next thing to think about is your writing style. Keeping your sentences short makes them easier to read. People looking at emails tend to be multi-tasking, so their minds can be busy. Ask yourself what exactly you want your readers to take away from the email. What do you want them to do after reading?
Finally, avoid grammatical and spelling errors. Ask a colleague to read your emails before you send them or take advantage of the many online tools that can help, such as Grammarly.
 

Clear call to action

Be specific about what you want readers to do next. Keep options limited to one or two things such as ‘call us’ or ‘email us’. If you don't spell this out exactly, you run the risk of losing everything. So be specific, be clear and tell them what to do.
 

Make sure it is coded correctly

Once you have a beautifully written email with a great subject line and a superb, well written proposition, you’re almost there. Implementation is the next stage and this is just as important as everything that’s gone before.
Do you know about spam filters? How will the email look in different email systems?
Market leaders Mail Chimp offer lots of support for you to create your own email campaign. You can read more in their resource centre here.
 

Monitor performance

As with any form of marketing, monitor the performance. The stats below provide a benchmark for email campaigning in the insurance industry, which will help you assess your own performance.
Open Rate: 21.5%
Click Through Rate: 2.1%
 

Marketing Consents

All email communications must comply with the Data Protection Act and the Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations. The Data Protection Act specifies how you should collect and manage personal data, and outlines the reasons for which you can use it. The Privacy and Electronic Communications Regulations specify under what circumstances you can contact people using different media.
 
There are a few things you should always remember when contacting individuals, sole traders or small partnerships:
consent is required for unsolicited direct marketing; this must be knowingly given, clear, specific, particular to your company and expressly authorise email.
“unsolicited” is anything that has not been specifically requested by the individual concerned.
positive action is required, such as a tick box or subscription to opt in.
you must provide an option to opt out in each communication that you send.
 
For business (LLP, Ltd. and PLCs) the rules are slightly different:
you are able to market to businesses by email without their consent.
you must identify who you are and provide your contact details.
it is good practice to give businesses the option to opt out of marketing and create a ‘do not email’ list. You should screen against this before sending any communication.
if you email employees under a work email (firstname.lastname@org.com) they can request under the DPA section 11 not to receive marketing communications.
 
For more information on the legislation, see the links below:
Data Protection Act

Privacy and Electronic Communication Regulations
 

Conclusion

We know that email marketing can be highly effective and we hope this guide will help your business. In future articles we will be looking at newsletters, and how sending your customers regular updates can keep them informed and interested in what you have to offer.
 
All examples provided by Premium Credit Limited are for illustrative purposes only and not to be considered as advice or relied upon by you, your employees or agents. Premium Credit Limited accepts no liability for the content provided.  You should consult your own advisors for all advice on your regulatory and legal requirements.
 
Sources
http://www.webpresencesolutions.net/email-marketing-statistics-2017/
https://www.campaignmonitor.com/blog/email-marketing/2016/01/70-email-marketing-stats-you-need-to-know/
https://mailchimp.com/resources/guides/how-to-avoid-spam-filters/html/
http://www.approvedindex.co.uk/email-marketing/email-marketing-prices
https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/ideal-length-sales-email
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