Promote Strategic Engagement In Your Emails & Build Your Business
First of all, I realize you probably didn’t wake up this morning asking yourself how you can promote “strategic engagement” in your email list.
What might have been on your mind though, was “How can I get more clients?”
You’re sending emails anyway, right?
So let’s make sure they’re earning their stay - and delivering the biggest bang for the buck.
Building engagement in your emails is one step you can take to:
- Better connect with your readers (prospects)
- Get your emails delivered and opened
- Get more clients
What’s Email Engagement?
Email engagement is pretty important. It reflects the level of interaction your reader has with your emails - and therefore how much they value your emails.
It’s essentially one of the metrics that the email gods (your email service provider) use to determine whether or not to show your emails to their intended reader. In other words, it’s a factor in whether or not your email gets put in SPAM (or “Promotions”) or if it lands in the inbox.
Obviously, you want your emails to land in the inbox where it has a much higher chance of being opened. That’s on the technology side.
On the human side, your email engagement matters as well because the more they value your emails - and interact with them - the more your reader trusts you and your business.
We talk about trust all the time for good reason: it’s a primary factor in you closing that sale.
People buy from people they know like and trust. It’s really that simple.
So, when you look at your emails, whether they’re email broadcasts, 1-on-1 prospecting emails, or bulk 1-on-1 emails that look like personally sent emails (like we can do with tools like Connect 365), it’s worth asking a few questions to evaluate your engagement every month:
- Are your readers responding to your emails?
- How? Do they get opened, do they click, do they reply?
- Do they want them?
- Are they responding at all?
- Do you have a deadweight list?
Non Engaged Deadweight
Ok, before we jump into what we do to build engagement with our list, let’s talk about minimizing the impact of dead weight, non-engagers.
First thing first: send them fewer emails.
They’re dragging down the email engagement stats and the email gods don’t like this. So if possible, you want them to unsubscribe, or you want to segregate your list and periodically send email “reactivation” campaigns to wake them up and get some sort of response.
First, you need to decide what a non-engager looks like to you.
Could be someone who has not engaged with your email in 30, 60, or 90 days.
You could think of this in terms of time (as in, they haven’t engaged with you in 30 days) or number of sends (as in, they haven’t engaged with the last five emails you sent).
Either way, you either remove them or give them a chance to reengage.
Engagement Best Practices
Alright, now you’ve taken care of the dead weight, let’s talk about how to create more engagement with your list.
Here’s a tip worth putting on a sticky note: What’s most important is that you need to give your prospects a reason to engage.
That means that you need to be trustworthy, transparent, and relevant:
- Clearly communicate the email content and frequency they can expect from you.
- Clearly communicate who you are and provide evidence in the content of your expertise and why they should trust you.
- Respect your list. Don’t try clickbaity tricks just to get an open.
- Know your audience. Become a credible resource they look forward to seeing in their inbox.
Here are a few ways we do that:
Surveys are amazing tools! We love to use them in email specifically because it’s an easy ask, meaning people don’t usually have an issue helping you out. So when they click the link to the survey, it shows the ISP that they are engaging with your emails.
On the back end, it helps us learn more about the people on our list, giving us insight into who they are, what they struggle with, and what they want. This helps us know what kind of content they’ll most likely respond to, further allowing us to create engagement with them.
Here’s an example email of how we ask for help in getting to know the people on our list:
Subject: Want to participate in my new study, ~Contact.FirstName~?
Big favor, ~Contact.FirstName~...
My team and I are updating our “State of Small Business Lead Generation” report and it would be really helpful if you could take 2 minutes before you start your new year's festivities to fill out a short survey about how your year has gone.
We’re specifically looking at how 2020 has impacted lead generation strategies and revenue goals.
I’ll be sharing the results in an updated report later in January.
Also, everyone who helps me out will be entered into a drawing to win one of three $50 Amazon gift cards that my team will be giving out next week. (Jan 7, I think)
I appreciate you and everything that you do.
The link there will take them to the survey. It’s a win-win. They help us out (providing insight and helping our list engagement and they have an opportunity for $50 Amazon card). These kinds of surveys usually get good email engagement because of the Amazon card offer.
Here, you can see the “Law of Reciprocation” comes into play. This is where if you ask for help, especially after giving it, the reader feels obligated to oblige. However, you don’t necessarily have to offer an Amazon card for this to work. Simply offering value in terms of your own insight, or content can work. Especially when you’ve done it consistently. This helps build trust and authority.
It’s also good to note here, you don’t necessarily need to link out to a third-party survey provider (whether Google forms, Typeform, SurveyMonkey, or the like). You can also just put a simple survey right in the email. For example -
Hey! Thanks for reading my emails. I make an effort to provide helpful information and insight. It’d make a world of difference on my end if I knew exactly what interests you most:
Getting leads consistently
Using email marketing to get more clients
How to save time sending emails to prospects
If you could do me a favor and just click on the option you’re most interested in right now, I can work on sending you more of the content you like.
Thanks for your help,
Obviously, you adapt these emails to your audience and your business, but I hope you can see how easy it is to use surveys to get engagement.
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Open-ended questions are brilliant tools as well for creating engagement. In our case at Connect 365, we usually send out emails that have a sole focus on some piece of content we want the reader to consume, or some other specific action (like clicking the link to a webinar, a pdf download or video, etc).
However, periodically, we provide no links at all and simply ask a question - and encourage them to reply with an answer!
It could be a form of the second survey email above, but instead of providing links, you ask them to respond with the topic they most want to hear about.
You can also ask things like,
What stage of business are you in? (0-20k per month, 21k-50k per month, etc)
The key is to keep it simple and specific.
Make it easy to reply, and be sure to let them know you’ll read their response!
Invitations to reply
In a similar vein as the open-ended questions and the surveys, regularly invite your reader to respond.
It could be with an answer to a question, or something that generates excitement or interest in an upcoming event or product launch, for example.
So it could look like this:
“If you want to get in on the exclusive list for our upcoming training, just hit reply with the words, “COUNT ME IN”.
We’ll add you to our list and make sure you’re first to be invited.”
This is just an example, but notice that you can literally give them the words to reply with. This makes it easy for them to respond.
If you want engagement, you’ve got to keep your reader interested. When you do, you’re actually able to “compound trust” over time. So not only do they start to look forward to your emails, but they’ll start to open them, in part, just because they’re coming from YOU.
This is why transparency and relevancy make a huge difference. You don’t want to ever “trick” them into opening your emails.
Randomly using “re:” and “fwd:” are old tricks trying to trick you into thinking you’re already part of a conversation. Not appreciated these days!
So, given that you’re transparent about when they can expect your emails, and what they can expect, you can focus on providing relevant content.
How? Well, you need to know your readers. This is where surveys, questions, and noticing which emails, and what content gets the most open rates is critical. You need to know your audience so that you will know how to help them. What are their other influencers? What do they spend hours researching? What do they worry about?
Provide content relating to those questions and it’ll go a long way to building trust - and ramping up engagement.
Ok. It might go without saying, but I’ll say it: it pays to show some humanity. Share your own stories. Share your client's stories (testimonials). Show how you overcame challenges the same challenges your reader has, or how you’ve helped others do the same. Draw on those universal core beliefs we all have. Those desires we all have - or rather that YOUR AUDIENCE has.
Share some of your own life that relates to those core beliefs, wants, desires and pains. When people feel you “get” them, they’re more likely to respond when you ask them to.
Your Turn: Email Taking Up Too Much Time?
To recap: The reason we email is ultimately to stay top of mind - and to get clients.
To help with that, remember, to maximize your deliverability, you’ll want to ensure your messages are getting a good response, and that you’re taking advantage of that response. This means that the more recipients engage with your email, the more your messages will find their way to the inbox, not the spam folder.
However, the problem too many businesses have with email marketing, whether to a mass list, or to hand-picked prospects during an outreach campaign…
Is that it takes time, they don’t really know what to do, and/or they don’t know what to say that will:
- Entice engagement
- Build a relationship
- Get sales
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It gives you:
- Thousands of high ticket leads sent directly to you over the next 12 months
- Increases your brand awareness and visibility without creating any content
- And improves your sales process so that taking sales calls is a breeze
- So you can sign dozens (or more) high paying clients
And most importantly…
- It takes work OFF your plate instead of adding it.
How does it work?
Is it for you?
What’s the catch?
I’m hosting a Zoom call to explain everything and I’d love for you to be there. The system is designed to deliver thousands of handpicked leads and dozens of clients every year
I wish I had something like this when I was still new in business. Especially because we’ve found a way to only ask 5% of the pricing that any traditional agency would charge for all of this.
That’s thanks to smart systems and technology that helps us do it. BUT - knowing the how doesn’t affect you as much, except that you get stellar results for an even more amazing investment (remember that you’ll be able to close dozens of clients with this!)
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