A lot of marketers hate acquisition email. They see it as antiquated and intrusive. But don’t write it off so quickly. The strategy is usually the problem, not the channel.
I understand (and agree) that acquisition email can be irritating. If you’re anything like me, you receive several unsolicited emails in your corporate account before lunch. And most sound like they’re written by an illiterate individual that couldn’t be bothered to take the time to learn anything about me, or craft a compelling offer that caters to my concerns and desires.
That’s bad juju man; don’t be like those faux marketers. You won’t be able to sleep at night, and looking yourself in the mirror every morning will seem as daunting as facing the Four Horseman of the Apocalypse. Instead, bend your ear to the Marketfish way, and start sending the acquisition emails that leads want to receive.
Get permission. Absolutely the most important thing you can ever do as an email marketer. Never email someone that hasn’t granted you the right to do so. If you’re working with rented or purchased lists, ensure that the lists are fully permissioned for third-party offers. Never work with a list vender that can’t provide some proof of that. They should have screenshots of opt-in pages, time and date stamps, or the opt-in IP address. These items are often the closest you’ll get to a permission guarantee. And ALWAYS make it easy for recipients to opt-out of your marketing messages.
Send targeted offers and content. Accurate targeting is the number one way to prevent your messages from landing in the wrong inbox. You should work with your list provider, or segment your own list, until you have your target audience clearly defined. Tailor your messages, content, and offers so that they align with your intended audience. This ensures that your marketing resonates with your recipients.
Personalize but stay sincere. Depending on the study you’re reading, personalization can drive engagement, or it can freak people out. We’re of the opinion that personalization is a good thing; just don’t get creepy with it. Personalization can help with a soft landing, and take some of the sting out of an unsolicited email. It can also drive engagement and conversion rates. For more on conscientious personalization, head here.
Be brief and respectful of time. This is especially important in the B2B world. Execs are busy, so don’t waste their time. Clearly and quickly deliver your message. Copy and design should reflect this intention. People applaud those that don’t beat around the bush, especially when it comes to acquisition email. For more information about copy and design best practices for acquisition email, check out these fantastic posts written by our Creative Director Jonathan Chicquette. You can find them here and here.
Remind people how you met. If you’re sending a marketing email to someone for the first time, but you’ve met the person before, whether over the phone or at a trade show, always remind them of that. This helps connect the mental dots, and adds context and relevancy to your email. Think of your email as the follow-up to that conversation or meeting. Build off the established connection, and use email as another tool to transition the relationship into a deeper business partnership.
Take these tips to heart and use them to rethink your current acquisition email strategy. The channel isn’t going away anytime soon, and if you approach it thoughtfully, you’ll see a return worth dreaming about.
P.S. You know the drill folks. If you found this post relevant and helpful to your marketing efforts, please share. Thanks for reading!