Friday, November 30, 2007

Sample Marketing Email

Subject: Discover How To Make Your Visitors Pay You! (The subject line is unique to emails. It’s like a mini-headline, but it’s got to stay short.)

Want Your Users To Give You More Money?

Give Them More Value!
(There’s the headline. I’ve used a Question Headline here. I’ve stated the problem and followed with the solution.)

Dear Friend,
As the webmaster of a dating site, you know how important it is to keep your users coming back day after day, week after week. You know that the more your prospects see your site, the more likely they are to buy a subscription – and the more they’ll keep sending you cash!

(The first paragraph explains what the email is all about: making money.)

And you also know that the only way to keep those users logging in is to renew your content on a regular basis. is now making its dating magazine available to the webmasters of dating sites. GoDatingMagazine will give your users: (And here I explain how to do it: by adding value. Note the link so that they can see what I’m offering. and GoDatingMagazine are fictitious and simply created for the purpose of this example.)

.. Amazing, insightful articles on subjects ranging from matchmakers and soul mates to swingers and foreign brides.
.. Real, practical dating advice for both online dating and face-to-face relationships.
.. Exclusive interviews with dating experts, authors and celebrities.
.. Fun, interactive Love Quizzes to help your visitors discover their real selves!
.. Heartwarming relationship news from around the world.
.. Exciting, fresh content, week in, week out!

(Bullets and bold make the benefits stand out.)
GotoDatingMagazine is updated every week with new articles, news stories and an interactive advice column.

That’s 20 original relationship articles every single month! You can provide your users with all this fantastic dating content for just $99.95 a month.

If you were to hire writers to produce this content yourself it would cost you hundreds — if not thousands — of dollars. For the price of just a few monthly subscriptions, you can give all your users this incredible extra value increasing your customer retention and profits. (More details. As soon as I tell them it’s going to cost money, I explain why it’s great value.)

To learn more about what we can do for your users — and your income — contact me TODAY at: (And there’s a simple call to action.) We look forward to working with you! Sincerely,

Andrew Hudson,

Call to Action — Closing the Deal

At the end of the day, everything you do online is geared towards one thing: driving your users to take an action that will result in you making money. That might be buying something from you, subscribing o a newsletter, clicking an affiliate link, etc.

When you begin preparing your email copy, you have to know exactly what you want the user to do as soon as he finishes reading. You can have the most amazing headline and the greatest product described in the finest email ever written, but if the reader doesn’t know what to do at the end of the email, you’ve wasted your time. You’ve got to get them to take action.

There are a number of points to bear in mind when you’re trying to turn your reader into a customer.

Stand Out

You want to be sure that your reader doesn’t miss your call to action. It’s got to absolutely stand out from the rest of the page. You can do that by playing with font color, font size, underline, bold etc., but make sure it’s easily noticed so that it can be acted upon!

Be Clear

Orders rarely come in the form of long sentences. In general, marketing material should take the form of short paragraphs, punchy phrases, and bulleted points that spell out the benefits as clearly and

quickly as possible. Potential customers tend to scan rather than read. The easier you make it for them, the more likely they’ll buy from you.


The words you use to persuade someone to take action are crucial. You want your call to action to include real action-packed verbs that are simple to obey. Use phrases like “Click here”, for example, or “Press Submit”. The more precise the verb, the easier it will be for the reader to take the action you intend.

Play it Straight

Once you’ve got them doing what you want, you don’t want to waste time. If you’ve told them to click on a link so that they can fill in an order form, make sure that the link leads right to the form. Don’t give them a chance to change their mind. Even the best call to action copy only works for a short time.

Create a Sense of Urgency

Many people like to put off making a decision as long as possible, especially if that decision means spending money. The fact is though, if they don’t take action as soon as they finish reading the email, they probably won’t take action at all.

You have to create a real sense of urgency, an idea that if they don’t buy, click, order, whatever... right now, they’re going to lose the opportunity of a lifetime. This isn’t too difficult to do. Here are some options:

Offer a time limited prize: “Order now and receive a FREE copy of ‘Build Your Own Bicycle!’” Offer a quantity-limited prize: “The first 50 people to register will be entered into our FREE prize drawing!” Create a penalty for not acting immediately: “Every day that you don’t use the amazing ideas in this book, you’re throwing away thousands of dollars! Download your copy and start earning now!” Bear in mind that the kind of action you want people to take will depend on the kind of product you’re selling and the type of person you’re pitching to. If you’re trying to sell cars online for example, “Place your order here” isn’t likely to get many results. People don’t usually like to buy cars so quickly. You might want to say something like: “Click here for a picture of the interior” or something that's less committal than inviting them to part with lots of cash. Similarly, if your marketing material doesn’t contain all the information necessary for someone to buy, your call to action will only be to invite them t re.

Below, I’ve put all of these suggestions together in a sample marketing email. I’ve also added my notes to explain how I built it up. Feel free to use this email as template for your own.


Automation of your email marketing process is crucial for the success of your business. An automated system enables you to reply immediately to requested information, send automatic follow-ups to your prospects, and save tons of time. Automation can be achieved with a tool known as an autoresponder.
The autoresponder (Auto Responder) is a program that automatically sends an email reply with a pre-written response to any person with an email address that requests it. Anytime that you’ve visited a website and signed up for an online newsletter and found a reply waiting for you in your email inbox almost instantly, you’ve been automatically added to someone’s autoresponder campaign.

Advantages of Using an Autoresponder

An autoresponder allows you to capture the email addresses of your website visitors so that you can build your own opt-in targeted mailing list and follow up with your subscribers automatically. This is the tool most commonly used for sending an email newsletter. The autoresponder will automatically extract the prospect’s name and use this information in your follow-up messages. With an autoresponder, you can send personalized follow-up messages addressing each subscriber directly by their own name. If you personalize an email message with a subscriber’s name, this prospect is much more likely to buy from you.

You can sell your products 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with the help of an autoresponder. An autoresponder is also a handy tool that automatically follows up with a series of email messages at preset time intervals and works for you 24 hours a day. You will be able to develop your follow-up messages and set reliable time intervals. For example, you could write a series of 7 messages that you want delivered to new subscribers and set each of those messages to be delivered to new subscribers every third day. So, when someone initially subscribes at your website, that person will receive one follow-up message instantly and 6 more messages over the next 18 days. All of this is accomplished without any additional effort from you, other than the ne-time setup of the messages in your autoresponder.

Following up with your prospects could easily translate to a 100% increase in your sales or more. Your potential customers may simply forget about your initial message or they simply may have a bad day which is why it’s so important follow-up with your prospects at preset time intervals at least five times after sending your initial message. Autoresponders are great for sales letters. Suppose you posted to a couple of forums and newsgroups — you could offer a free report bout your industry. You then post the email address of your autoresponder instead of the website and within seconds the forum

user could be reading your free report via your autoresponder followup and your autoresponder messages could direct them to your sales letter for a related product. It’s 100% automatic. With your autoresponder, you can even set up predefined answers to the most likely questions. This can cut up to 80% of your normal customer service requirements.

Given below are some of the other key benefits of autoresponders:

.. They introduce your business to the prospective customer
.. List out special offers for members
.. List out benefits of joining your website
.. Compare your product or service with your competitors
.. Give testimonials of existing customers
.. Welcome letters for new members
.. Thank you messages for new orders
.. Order confirmation
.. Acknowledgement of a query or a receipt of payment from your customer
.. A reminder when their subscription or free access period is about to expire

Choosing and Setting up Autoresponders

It can be simple to set up and use an autoresponder, but choosing which one from the dozens of autoresponders that are available can be difficult. Most web hosts offer a simple autoresponder that gives one email message in response to an email to a specific email address. The problem with this type of responder is that one message is often not enough to keep the continued contact or deliver the content that you want to offer your visitor.

There are two main types of autoresponders. They each have their pros and cons.

Autoresponder Services

Autoresponder services are web based services that allow you to send a series of emails to a visitor who has either requested the email through a web-based form on you site (the service provides the html code for your site to use) or who has sent an email to a specific address the service has provided you to use. The primary advantage of such services is that they are very easy to set up, and are very reliable. In addition, they are host independent. This means that your web host doesn't have to allow you to run any particular services on your site to have access to all the features that an email autoresponder can provide. works perfectly well for most people. It has all the features you could ever need, and the price is very reasonable. Autoresponder Programs (or Scripts)

The other choice for an autoresponder is to purchase (or lease) a program or a script (usually written in perl, requiring CGI access on your server.) Several of these are available.

These types of autoresponders allow, potentially at least, for increased flexibility. Some are quite powerful in their own right, while perl scripts can generally be modified to suit your needs for a fee. A good example of a script-based autoresponder that you can install on your site and never pay monthly fees to use is Autoresponse Plus at

Autoresponse Plus offers the advantages of a system you can own along with all of the flexibility. It is available at a very reasonable price and most of the complexity often associated with such programs can be almost completely eliminated because professional installation is available for a small fee.

If you don’t want to deal with the headaches of setting up your own profit-pulling autoresponder campaign, I’ve developed a service hat sets up an autoresponder for you, loads it with a 400 day prewritten email marketing campaign, builds that autoresponder into your own website and provides step-by-step instructions on how to build your opt-in list and make money online. To learn more about how my service can save you time and make you money, click here now.

Should the message trick the reader or be honest?

Often, companies try to trick people into opening an email to start a relationship with a prospective customer. From the customer’s point of view, this is certainly not the most brilliant idea. Almost all potential customers would prefer not to do business with someone who deceives them, no matter how good a product or service they offer. As a marketer you must approach your direct mail and email marketing messages with the attitude that this may be the one and only opportunity to start a relationship with a new customer.

Considering this, the tips below will be helpful:
.. Messages should be honest and reflect the company’s credibility - Take the high road with your ads. Tell people who you really are and what you really do.

.. Be clear and concise with the offer - Don’t make it difficult for the reader of your message to figure out what you are promoting.

.. Test your message - Try your message out and ask for feedback. This is a good way to assure that you are not misleading your prospect.

Enhancing Email Response

The process of email marketing may not always bear the kind of results that you expect. In fact, even after doing all the basics right the response rates may fall way short of expectations. The good news is that email responses can be enhanced with a little bit of analysis and research.

We’ve discussed the importance of gathering statistical data during email campaigns. With this information now available and a few creative segmentation strategies, email response can be improved a great deal. Your emails may reach three sets of readers:

.. Those who deleted the email without even opening it
.. Those who opened the email but did not read it or click on the offer made
.. Those who read the email, clicked on the link provided but did not accept your offer

The set which represents readers who never opened your email is probably the biggest. In fact, it’s possible that at least 50% of readers discarded your email as junk. To boost response rates of such readers, you should segment these as a group and change the subject line of the email or the sender’s name and address. Chances are good that you’ll find some of the changes work better than others, and that some of the non-openers to the first message have opened up the new message based on a single and possibly simple change. Perhaps this change lies in a new appeal in the subject line, or perhaps it's due to the message coming from a living person instead of an impersonal company. Record and save those variables and continue to test and fine-tune them with each subsequent campaign. The next segment is comprised of readers who read the email but were not interested enough to click on the offer and land on your website. This segment may be pretty big as well. It is very likely that most of these readers may have read a couple of lines at the beginning of the mail and deleted it. The best possible remedy in such cases is to analyze that section of your promotion. Does it say enough to make people want to read further? If not, reformatting and/or reworking the introductory copy and headline may be all it takes to increase your clicks.

Finally, we have the last segment comprised of readers who actually read the email and were interested enough to click through and reach your website. However, once they got there, their interest faded and they chose not to follow through with the transaction. This segment of people will normally be much smaller when compared with the above two segments.

In such cases it’s best to take a hard, objective look at the landing page. Something is clearly missing or is not being communicated effectively. Does the offer remain clear? Is the form too cumbersome or too long? Can you revise the form, and perhaps also revise some of the required form fields within it, for purposes of having these potential customers complete their first transaction? Sometimes it may pay to instill a little humor in your email. There have been many instances when potential clients were so moved by a humorous gesture in the email so they immediately decided to do some business with the marketer. Make some assumptions and apply them to your next campaign. It's all about getting potential customers to feel good about you and what you have to offer.

Considerable time and effort may be required to improve the email responses you get. That said, the fruits such a process can bear over a period of time can be well worth it.

Analysis of Email Campaigns

Tracking Performance -

Measuring Useful Metrics

Tracking and analyzing the actions of your customers and prospects is critical to your success. After deploying several campaigns, you will have generated a mountain of response information that reveals invaluable data enabling you to create new and more effective approaches and offers. There are many software tools easily available that track, record and analyze all data pertaining to your email marketing campaign. Many sophisticated analysis tools predict future actions based on past behavior. Such tools are crucial for your campaign as response data is meaningless unless it can be analyzed and turned into valuable customer knowledge. Once you have the capability to track the vital statistics of your email marketing campaigns, the inevitable question becomes: how well are my mailings doing? Here are some guidelines on what information to gather and how to measure the performance of your ampaign from the gathered information. There are a number of different pieces of information that can be gathered when using any reasonably good email broadcasting service.

The five primary measurements are: the totals each of messages sent, message opens, click-throughs, bounces, and opt-out requests.

Total number of items sent must be accurately counted, based on reaching each individual email address only once. Opens measure the number of people who actually view the message using their email program.

I prefer to use “unique” opens, so that if a recipient views a message in their preview window, then opens it into a full size window, that this only counts as a single open instead of two opens. Clickthroughs are recipients that respond to your offer by clicking on a link in the email. Bounces are messages that are undeliverable to the ecipient. They could be “soft bounces” due to temporary issues such as a full mailbox or “hard bounces” from an invalid email account, but for our purposes here it means “people on your list who did not receive your message”. And last, opt-out requests are recipients who request to no longer receive email.

There are a wide range of results that can be measured for email campaigns, such as:
.. How accurate is the list (how many bounces out of total sent)
.. How active is the list (how many opens out of total sent)
.. How positive was the reaction to the offer itself (number of click-throughs out of total opens)
.. How negative was the reaction to the offer itself (number of opt-outs out of total opens)

The actual number of responses on any particular campaign can vary quite a bit. A newsletter whose primary job is to inform will not achieve the same click-through rate as a promotion, which is intended to get a specific response. The differing levels of permission within your list of recipients will also affect results. Until a list has been "cleaned" of bad addresses and those who are not interested, you may see far different data. Pruning these from your lists will help you improve your results considerably.

In order to account for these wide variations in factors, I suggest some general "baseline" ratios that should be achieved on any particular mailing. There should be more opens than bounces, or else the list is probably out of date. Also, there should be more click-throughs than opt-outs, otherwise the offer is poorly targeted or the list is of questionable origin.

In order to get the optimum response you will need to send two or three multiples of your email marketing campaign, each time using

a variation of the original offer. If they haven't responded by 3 attempts, it’s time to change your approach. The typical response pattern is that mailings 1 and 2 will have a similar response, with number 2 often having slightly fewer clickthroughs than number 1. Number 3 picks up the stragglers and undecided recipients, so the response will be much lower, but usually significant enough to justify the mailing. Please note that you shouldn’t necessarily just blast out three mailings one after another. For example, you might piggyback your first offer onto a monthly newsletter, send the second offer separately as a special promotional mailing two weeks later, then finish the series with the final offer in the next month’s newsletter.

It is useful to understand how the size of your lists is changing over time. By viewing how many people sign up for your lists each day, you can attempt to correlate list growth with other marketing activities that you may be conducting. It is also important to consider how many people are signing up for your lists versus how many are opting out of them. If your lists have been cleaned, and the overall list size is still shrinking, you need to reevaluate both your list acquisition strategy and the content relevancy of your mailings. Testing is critical to optimizing your email marketing campaigns. But in order to test, you have to measure first. Make sure you have a way to collect detailed information about your mailings, preferably in an automatic way. Careful analysis of the actual metrics will give you the information you need to take your email campaigns to the next level.

Refrain from Spamming

The proliferation of abusive email marketing has dramatically changed the landscape for anyone with an email address. Legitimate marketers now not only have to work harder to obtain a positive response for a campaign, but they also have to avoid a negative response and all this while trying to avoid getting filtered right out of the inbox before recipients even see your message. Make sure you have permission to communicate with every person on your lists. Many spam emails are now claiming "you signed up for the XYZ list" when in reality there is no existing relationship. If someone has indeed opted-in to your list, make sure they understand when and where this took place. If their relationship is with a thirdparty that you are partnered with, make sure to spell that out instead. You may be better off with a partner sending on your behalf, so as to avoid any confusion about exactly why the recipient is being emailed. Once you've crossed the line with a recipient by spamming, there is usually no going back. The same ability of email marketing to directly reach recipients, can inadvertently offend them. Like the difference between using a chainsaw to cut up a fallen tree versus accidentally severing your own limb, email marketing requires both care and knowledge to use correctly. Make sure you stay on the correct side of the line, and you can put that power to work and start improving your bottom line results.

Avoid Looking Like Spam

These days, many people’s email inboxes are protected by some sort of spam filter. The purpose of the filter is to block spam email from arriving in the user’s inbox. One of the methods used by spam filters is to identify certain words, known as “spam triggers”, found within your message. If your email contains too many spam triggers, it will automatically get deleted before reaching your subscriber’s inbox. Here’s a few frequently used spam trigger words: money back, order today, cards accepted, order now, extra income, money-back guarantee, for free, 100% satisfied, special promotion, check or money order. To avoid having your message automatically blocked, check your message content first BEFORE sending it out with the free analyzer tool found here: