Staying in touch with your network is essential if you want to build a successful coaching business, and email marketing is still one of the best ways to do that. However, with an average person checking their phone 221 times per day and receiving over 1,500 irrelevant emails per year (U.K. data), it is becoming increasingly difficult for any coach to engage with their prospective clients.
Below are some typical mistakes that you as a coach are probably making when sending emails to your database and a few quick fixes. If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to double your open rate.
1. Your Subject Line
If you have an open rate lower than average (below 22 percent according to MailChimp data for the Training and Education industry), it most likely means your email either isn’t getting delivered or your subject line is boring and sounds too commercial. The subject line is half of your success—if you don’t hook people with it, they won’t even bother opening your email.
To come up with a good subject line, you need to write at least 30 of them (yes, thirty) and then choose a couple to A/B test. A/B testing consists of sending an email with one subject line to a portion of your email list and sending the same email with a different subject line to another portion of your list. Then based on the open rate, you send the winning version to the remainder of your list. Any decent mailing program can do it for you. Don’t follow your intuition here—check the numbers.
2. Your Name
You may sound too “salesy” and not human if you have a company name instead of yours in your email. Remember, people HATE receiving emails from businesses. They are much more likely to open your email if you are sending it under your personal name and not your business name.
3. Email Length
People these days are overwhelmed and have too many distractions. It’s been proven that people don’t read online, but rather, they just scan through texts in an F-shaped pattern. Given this knowledge, think about keyword placement in your text/email to make scanning easier. DO NOT WRITE LONG TEXTS. Period.
4. Too Many Links or Other Distractions
If you include too many links, your email usually doesn’t make it through the spam filter and even if it does, your readers can get distracted. Our brain stops processing what we are reading when we see a link as we have to make a subconscious decision of whether to click on it. The fewer links, the better.
Try to avoid distracting elements in your emails or website (e.g., flashy ads, lots of different fonts), as they also put you at risk of getting flagged by the spam filter. And, please, please never ever put your email on a black background—it’s impossible to read. You won’t send a flashy email to your friend, will you? So why torture your readers? Keep the design simple.
5. One email—one idea—one call to action
If people open your emails and tell you that your content is awesome but there’s no action following, you are probably suggesting too many things for them to do (e.g., subscribe, share, buy, reply, etc.). Or, you have shared too much content, creating too much choice and distraction. Remember, one email—one idea—one call to action. It’s better to give less than more.
Bonus fix (the most important one for all new coaches): Make sure you are not talking about yourself and your product, but rather about your potential clients. First give them value, then even more value, and only then, ask for a deal.
Anastasia Dedyukhina is an entrepreneur, startup mentor, coach and Huffington Post blogger. In the middle of a successful international career in digital marketing, Anastasia gave up her smartphone to start a digital detox business Consciously Digital. She is a frequent public speaker and also consults companies and individuals on sustainable online marketing that doesn’t distract people. You can learn more about Anastasia at www.anastasia.tips.
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