When you’re trying to generate sales, there are two things you need:

  1. People who are interested in what you have to offer
  2. Information that gets their attention

If you don’t already have a list with permission to contact them, you need to generate that first.  The most straightforward way is to create a lead magnet.

However, assuming you have a list, you should be able to tick number one.  Your list should include people who have already expressed an interest in what you sell, whether they’ve downloaded a free lead magnet, completed an enquiry form, attended a free event or may even be a former client.

Then you can concentrate on number two.

And there lies a challenge – what will get their attention?

The right headline

You probably have Clutter and Junk folders in your email that are bursting at the seams – and you will never have time to read all those trivial messages.  But if you skip through them before deleting them you’ll probably read the odd one – usually because the subject line makes you curious.

So you need to know what will attract people who already have an interest and just need pushing over the edge.  Your subject line is your headline and the number one place to concentrate your creative attention.

For instance:

Fantastic offer!  Don’t miss out


Will you hate yourself tomorrow?

The first one may sound exciting – to you, but the second one creates curiosity.  People need to know what it’s about, it’s intriguing, there’s  a fear of missing out there too.

Planning pays off

One email doesn’t make a campaign.  If you send it on a Tuesday morning, what about all those people who are rushed off their feet on Tuesdays?  What about those who are out of the office?  What about the people who are on holiday this week?

Plan a campaign with at least three messages.  Each message should be different, but hold the same information.  Different headlines and approaches may connect better with those who didn’t open the first one.

Send them on different days of the week and at different times of day.

Work on short and succinct for business people, they appreciate not having to read miles of text.  Yes, there are long emails that work, but the art of writing these is another blog!

Think about whether you need to have a html email with images and sales material, or are you better off with just text and your professional signature?  This is where it’s important to see things from your customer’s perspective, what might connect with them – and what will turn them off and get your message deleted?

Test your message

If you have a strong network of business friends you might run a test mailing and ask for feedback.  Failing that try testing two different headlines (subject lines) for the same email and see which one gets most opens.

Review your opens and clicks data – and see if, over time, there are some common factors that perform better than others.

The more you learn, the better you will make subsequent campaigns.