As cliche as it sounds, the concept of only getting one first impression has never carried more weight than it does right now. In fact, with so many other brands vying for supremacy in the inbox, that first impression isn’t just important, it’s essential to the success of your online marketing operations. In order to help you make the most out of prospective emails and this initial interaction with your audience, let’s spend some time covering the finer points of building a winning framework on this front.
What Is a Prospective Email?
Before going any farther, it’s a good idea to lay out the particulars of the prospective email. This way, as you seek to refine and optimize your content, you’ll have a strong foundation upon which to base any decisions, changes, or alterations that might come out of this process.
Essentially, a prospective message is not the digital equivalent of a “cold call.” In fact, trying your hand at this approach is a quick way to earn a warning or penalty from the team behind Canada’s Anti-Spam Law (CASL.) Instead, think of this message as your first formally requested contact with a potential customer or client. Even though reaching out via the inbox doesn’t seem like such a serious affair, the truth of the matter is that there is a rigid set of rules and guidelines for generating meaningful contact on this platform.
Breaking down the Phases of the Process
Now that we’re clear on what constitutes a prospective email, let’s dig into the phases of this outreach process. According to Brian Whalley of HubSpot you can whittle down this event to three key traits. The first portion covers why you’re contacting the consumer in question. Generally, you’ll want to focus on the event that triggered this contact – a contact list sign up, an on-site purchase, etc. – and why this contact is warranted.
From here, the next phase of your prospective email should be why your brand has chosen this time to reach out. This helps build urgency (more on that later.) Finally, the last portion of the process aims to show the person reading this message why fulfilling your request for future contact is quick, easy, and beneficial.
Taking on a Provocative Approach
Outside of molding your content to this basic structure, it’s important to find a way to differentiate your brand from the others that may also be following this approach. For this reason, Target Marketing magazine’s Jeff Molander suggests that it’s time to get provocative or get out of the inbox.
Now this isn’t to say that you want to fill your content with racy or suggestive offerings that would make your more modest viewers blush. However, finding ways to explore a problem or concern that the person on the other side of the screen might be dealing with is a strong tactic that helps highlight why your products or services matter.
Promote Urgency and Action
Additionally, Molander points out that the best prospective emails rely upon generating a sense of urgency within the target audience. What happens if the reader delays? Why is converting now vital to the best interests of these people? If you’re able to accurately answer these questions – all while avoiding unnecessary dramatics – then you’ve truly captured the concept of garnering action via urgency in this kind of email content. Adding in time sensitive information furthers this process and keeps the need for action moving forward.
Rethink Your Goals
After doing all of this, you should be cruising down easy street and heading toward more consumer interaction than ever before, right? While there can definitely be some truth to this line of thought, it’s also important to make sure you always approach the situation from a realistic perspective.
Prospective emails are all about starting a conversation. Sometimes, this can lead to an immediate and fruitful interaction that ends at the digital checkout. Other times, the relationship takes a little longer to bloom. The big key here is that there’s no way to reach either point unless your email content paves a path to success using these tips.
From understanding the nature of the prospective email method to keeping the right goals in mind as your campaign progresses, it’s all in front of your brand now. The only question left to answer revolves around when you’re ready to start leveraging email marketing and acting on these opportunities to reach out to new customers in a unique and effective way.