Email Marketing Best Practices

Email Marketing Best Practices

I worked as a risk consultant and capital raiser for 7 years before starting my own firm.  During the last few years of those positions I was responsible for raising most assets on an email and phone-based system and I have slowly picked up some tips for capital raising since then.  I started my own firm 2 years ago and since then I have sent and received over 800,000 emails.  Our business is so email-based that we have been forced to study best practices within this space to improve our efficiency at connecting with potential clients.

Most CEO's don't invest their time or put much importance on managing email communications.  One of my favorite quotes by Brian Tracy is that if you want what to have others don't, you have to do what other's don't.  If you invest your time in increasing your effectiveness at email marketing you will have an edge over others.

Tonight I'm speaking on email marketing for capital raising.  I will be sharing best practices in reaching out to potential and current investors through writing copy and using email marketing best practices.  While 99% of those reading this blog will not be able to attend the event we will be posting a recorded video of this discussion to Hedge Fund Premium and sharing some of the tips below within this post:

Email Marketing Best Practices

  1. Understanding Importance of Copy:  What is the difference between a $1 and a $100 bill? The message on the paper.  The message on your email, the message on your investor letters, the message on everything you write makes the difference between it being worth $1,000 and $100,000.  I think that sales copy writing is consistently under-valued and overlooked by business and investment professionals of all types.  One of my best tips for email marketing would be to simply not overlook the power of a carefully constructed email marketing campaign or well written piece of communication.  
  2. Use the professionals first name within the subject of emails to them - Marketing Sherpa 2008 study showed this increased open rates by 30%, using both the first and last name increased open rates by 22%. 
  3. Focus on the Headline:  The most important part of any piece of copy is the headline.  Often times over email the headline of the email is a slight variation of the subject line, perhaps the subject line minus the person's first name.  Focus on fitting a benefit and then the chain reaction of that benefit into the headline if possible.  "Double Your Capital Raising Resources to Cultivate More Investors Each Day"  We have found that putting the benefit after your firm name is most effective.  Just be careful not to promise benefits that are odds with your compliance department.  
  4. Focus on the Start:  Hook the reader within the first paragraph.  Make sure the first paragraph is no longer than 2 sentences and provides a very concise summary as to what will be discussed within the following message. If possible try to fit in both what the benefits will be of hearing this information and what the dangers are of not paying attention to this information.  Psychology studies consistently show that professionals are almost twice as likely to listen more closely and take action on information related to a fear or some negative result rather than some potential benefit or positive outcome.  This does not mean you should scare clients into working with you, but you should hook readers using framing which mentions the positive as well as negative consequences of not taking action.  The recent use of email browsers which let you preview the first 50-150 words of email messages make the start of your email even more important.
  5. Use Professional Email Distribution Services: Use a professional email distribution services such as Aweber, this costs $10/month or less to start using.  By using this service your emails will be delivered more often, your campaigns will be more organized and the service will more than pay for itself through saving you and your time valuable time.  Make sure that whatever service you use, you consider opt-in confirmation and enable an unsubscription link at the bottom of each email you send. 
  6. Automate Relationship Development: Use automated follow up emails.  Write a series of 20 educational emails covering industry white papers, industry findings, commonly misunderstood terms, and information about your fund.  Once you have qualified an investor, ask for their permission to opt into an email list which will automatically email these professionals once a month for the next 20 months. If you deliver value within each of these 20 emails your further inquiries will be well received.  We currently use Aweber to send out automated emails to over 50,000 professionals each month. 
  7. Use Stories:  Whenever you are writing an email or sales letter try to incorporate a story of some type. How was this product created? How did your career and experience evolve and bring yourself to this point where you have gained this knowledge?  If you scroll up to the beginning of this post you will see that I have a short story about my own experience with email marketing which led me to write this article.
  8. Picture & Signature:  End your communication with a picture of the professional on your team which is held out as the communicator or leader.  Make sure that a real scanned signature and professional picture are included to help readers connect with your team.  
Hope these tips help you improve your email marketing campaigns

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Tags: email marketing best practices, business email campaign management, email campaigns for small business professionals, investment marketing via email, email marketing tips and strategies

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