8 Email Prospecting Best Practices
Using email for prospecting isn't about promoting your offerings or selling; it's about building trust and starting relationships. On Feb. 2 at the Direct Marketing Association's 2010 Email Evolution Conference in Miami Beach, Jay Schwedelson, corporate vice president of Worldata, offered the following eight tips — illustrated with examples from Worldata — that make a difference when it comes to email prospecting.
1. Make sure ISPs leave messages on your server several months after campaigns end. Sixteen percent of all clickthroughs occur after the event date of your offer has ended, Schwedelson said. As a result, "on both your landing pages and email messages, images must continue to be hosted long after the campaign ends," he said. "Most marketers are always on to the next thing. But your landing pages must cater to that after traffic. Not having an after strategy is doing yourself a big disservice."
2. Understand what your recipients are trying to tell you. Check your format image link regularly, Schwedelson said. "If it inches up from 12 [percent] to 16 percent, that's a bad thing. It means your images aren't rendering very well."
3. Personalize your subject lines by segment. Calling out a specific segment in a subject line generates an increase in open rates of 42 percent, Schwedelson noted. On the business side, he recommended categorizing by title (e.g., CFO) or segment (e.g., retail). "On the consumer side, make sure it's about the type of product you're selling," he said.
4. Put a date in the subject line. Having a date or specific time period in the subject line generates increases in open rates of 39 percent, Schwedelson said. "By adding a sense of urgency, such as 'Offer ends Friday,' '2 days left' or 'offer expires on Oct. 22,' your emails will more likely get opened," he said.