Market Your MSP: Email Marketing Tips and Best Practices
Managed and other IT services providers who want to differentiate themselves from an increasingly crowded field need to find new ways to engage and entice prospective buyers. For MSPs looking to up their marketing game, email is a tried-and-true element of any marketing program. Whether you’re an MSP just getting started, or a seasoned pro looking to optimize current marketing efforts, here are some email marketing tips and best practices from subject lines to performance tracking.
Email Marketing is Extremely Effective
Email is still one of the cheapest and most effective ways of communicating with your audience—did you know the ROI for email marketing is 4,200%?! You’re essentially just paying for the email platform and, depending on the service, you can send as many emails as you want. And not only that, but you can segment your audience to either cast a wide net or be as targeted as you want in terms of profile and attributes.
No, You Shouldn’t Use Outlook or Gmail for Marketing Emails
When you send an email through Outlook (or another standard email platform), it’s always going to look like an Outlook email and you’re going to miss out on some of customization features that marketing email platforms provide. If you’re looking for a provider, many platforms now are free or lower-cost for lower volume. Email platforms give you a lot more control over design, list management and segmentation that you’d have using something like an spreadsheet to build and manage lists.
Customer Segmentation and Targeted Lists Are the Keys to Success
The same message isn’t going to resonate with everyone, so if you’re able to segment based on something like company size, then you can build communications that speak more directly to their specific industry or pain points. So if you’re sending an email to a level two tech, for example, it’ll be a different message than if you were sending it to the owner of the company. That messaging is always going to be a bit different, and what they respond to will be different, so you want to tailor your message as much as possible.
Quality Over Quantity
There are varying thoughts around the subject of email cadence, but what it really comes down to is quality, not quantity. As long as you’re offering engaging content and content that your subscribers are interacting with, that’s the most important thing. With that said, one email a week or every two weeks is a good place to start, and will give you a feel for how your audience is responding to your content and your message. But again, don’t send just to send; it’s about having something worthwhile to say.
Tips to Increase Opens and Engagement
Open rates and clicks typically all tie back into content, how and how much you’re sending. If you’re using an email platform you have to consider your sender reputation, sending score and other factors to ensure your emails will make it to inboxes. If you’re sending a large number of emails that aren’t being opened, your company can end up in spam folders or blacklisted from your email provider and unable to send future emails.
For getting opens, the first thing people will notice is your subject line. It has to be something scannable; it has to be something catchy enough to make you want to click and open it. The second thing is that once you get them to open your email, you have a few seconds tops to get and keep their interest, so brevity is usually key and it’s finding that balance between keeping it short and keeping your audience engaged that’s tricky.
For increasing engagement and clicks, personalization is great. There are many ways to do this but at its most basic can be something as simple as including a first name or company name somewhere in the email, like in the subject line or in the body of the email. Emails with personalization perform much better than those without, with 82% more opens, 57% higher click-through rate and 58% better customer satisfaction. Your email provider and service level may limit your personalization options but with the right data and platform, you can build emails that are pretty customized for each customer. But just getting basics like first name, last name and company in your emails is simple and effective.
It’s also important to include calls to action in you emails. They should be short, a button or no more than a few words should be hyperlinked, and it should tell the reader exactly what to expect when they click the link. Something like ‘read more’ or ‘schedule a call’ or anything that’s going to get them to engage or want to learn more.
Email Habits to Avoid
One of the biggest things to avoid when writing marketing emails is trying to cram ten pounds in a five-pound bag, for lack of a better term, and overcommunicating to your audience. Thinking about a marketing email at its simplest, it’s just one stepping stone in the customer journey. You want to give just enough information to get the customer to take the next step, and that ties back into your content and calls to action.
Also, for display optimization and readability, avoid using one big image in an email, or an email that’s just an image with text overlay. Especially in a business environment when a lot of people are using Outlook or a company email provider, images may be blocked and your email will just show as a blank white space.
One last piece of advice, and this is one for all email marketers to live by: don’t send anything you wouldn’t want to open and read yourself.
So, what happens when your email marketing efforts start paying off and leads start pouring in? Liongard has your back when it comes to pre-sales assessments with data that can help you accurately price jobs and increase deal size. Learn more at liongard.com.