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Getting Your E-mail Blasts to Take Off

By Annie George

Posted on 09 Feb 11

Most of you as Storefronts are emailing on a regular basis, whether it’s a couple of times a week, weekly, or monthly, to get your program features, benefits, and enhancements into the hands of agents and brokers so that they can turn to you for the classes of business you write. You’re using our service as well as sending emails from your internal database.

To help you improve and enhance the effectiveness of your email campaigns (and this also applies to agents and brokers emailing customers and prospects about their products and services), I have put together some pointers. Take a look at the following, look at the email ads and campaigns you’re sending out and see how they measure up. Then make the necessary tweaks so that you can improve the conversion rate you’re getting with your emails.

1. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE SUBJECT LINE. Really it is. The subject line is the most compelling reason to open an email. It should tell your readers what to expect, what’s in it for them, and what you want them to do. If it doesn’t get the individual to think, “this is something I want to know, this is a market I want to go after or one that I need and this is how I can do it” then you lost them at hello. Discounts, offers, news and personalization are what drive people to open email most.

2. PUT THOSE SUBJECT LINES TO THE TEST. Choose a few subject lines to see what would work best. Look at negative (fear) vs. positive (quick turnaround, competitive pricing) subject lines and see what works more effectively. Test personalization vs. no personalization. If you’re selling a program to a consumer, does mentioning price work better than no mention of it?

3. MAKE YOUR EMAIL CONTENT RELEVANT TO THE AUDIENCE YOU’RE TARGETING. You have eight seconds or less to get someone’s attention, so you need to convey that message right upfront. If you have added coverages to an existing program, say so. If you’re offering more commission, say so!

4. CREATE LANDING PAGES THAT CONVERT, WITH A CALL TO ACTION. You get people to open an email, click, and where do they go? Are they going to website’s home page that gives them general information? Or, to a landing page that has been specifically designed to address what’s in your email and get people to contact you, or ask for a quote? Landing pages can increase email conversion rates by as much as 60%, so it’s critical that you build pages that restate the email offer, provide benefit statements, includes copy that inspires trust and converts, and incorporates design elements that highlight important content.

5. BE SURE TO USE BEST PRACTICES IN DESIGNING YOUR EMAIL BLASTS. This means designing for the most popular email clients (Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo Mail, AOL Mail, Hotmail) so your email is visible; using HTML coding and universally supported fonts, and avoiding using scripts and forms. Use color effectively in the design of your email; use alt tags to make your emails disabled image-friendly; and place test, image, and navigation links throughout your email.

6. MANAGE DELIVERABILITY. Look at why individuals are unsubscribing from your email list. Some of the top reasons include: irrelevant content, too many emails are being received, belief that address was shared or sold (especially important when sending to consumers), don’t remember signing up (opting in), and privacy concerns. Be sure to always obtain opt-in permission from those getting your emails, provide options to change, and send your emails from a recognizable address.

Get your email performance to take off with compelling subject lines, relevant content, well-implemented landing pages, optimized design and rendering, and adhering to deliverability best practices. You’ll see improved ROI in making every dollar count.