Sure-shot Tips for Successful Email-marketing from a Potter Fan

Admit it. We all wanted this at some point –

If you still do, I am not judging you. But let me tell you this, if it was upto me, this letter would have been even more awesome!

As a teenager, I read Harry Potter with overwhelming enthusiasm. As an email marketer, when I walk through the world again I cant help but wonder if it would have resulted in a successful email marketing campaign.

I shall tell you what I mean.

Personalization, without being creepy

Just take this Hogwarts acceptance letter. It’s very personalized, which is great, but is it really necessary to announce the fact that you know where he sleeps? That is down-right creepy. How would you like getting a mail from a stranger like that?

So, try to avoid mentioning extremely personal information in your emails to leads, especially if they don’t know you at all. Yes, it might generate click throughs because of the curiosity factor, but chances are you might end up freaking them out.

That does not mean you will have to resort to sending boring bulk emails.. Personalization is very important. You just have to hit the right area of warmly personal without being too intrusive or too impersonal. Give your recipients a context, tell them if you have a connecting link, or maybe a common interest, instead of implying that you know them, when you really don’t. Here are a couple of examples that show you how it’s done:

LinkedIn Connection

LinkedIn is a great platform for building your professional network. Infact, it is the perfect place to add an acquaintance you met for two minutes at a conference or a colleague’s colleague, without having to share a lot of personal information (I mean, they can’t see your vacation pictures or your embarrassing party exploits).

But I digress. What I mean to say is — have you tried checking your LinkedIn contact list to see if you and the recipient are connected on there? An easy way to do it would be to export your contact list to an excel and then compare it with your email list.

The email could start with “Hey, we are connected on LinkedIn” before you get to the point. Not only will it add to your credibility, and make sure that the recipient reads on, but also is the perfect way of showing your lead that you did some research on him. The details you have are pretty innocuous while being personalized. Overall, a great conversation starter!

Sending a Short Summary

How many of you have posted your Facebook memories on your wall? Well, I have too. Sometimes it is nice to look back and find out what you have done, isn’t it?

Your leads would be no different. With the new year right around the corner, something along the lines of these emails is a great way of showing your recipients that you care about them (even when it’s automated):

Photo credits:

Notice that in the above example, the information is quirky and fun. It won’t cause undue alarm and is still personalized enough to appeal to the target audience. Do you think you can structure the information you have along those lines?

In the B2B context, this can mean a quick compilation of their activities, perhaps their increase in the number of users or a non-intrusive chart of their growth over time. Or, if they have been continuously reading articles on your blog about a specific category, then you can send them across an e-book that covers that topic in detail.

The Subject Line

Only magic can make your recipient open a mail without subject, or infact a good subject line.

Well, it could be opened to share as an example of what not to do — like the one here.

Am sure you don’t want your email to suffer this same fate. Unfortunately, there is no secret ‘sure-shot’ subject line that has a 100% success rate. Testing is the only way to identify which works best for you. .

As Jordie van Rijn — email marketing consultant and founder of puts it –

Subject lines are a great starting point for optimization. From my list of 150+ email marketing tests, subject lines are some of the easiest type of tests to deploy.”

In this Marketing Sherpa case study, they tested a daring subject line — “So, I shall pick you up at 7 then” and went along to write up an equally intriguing yet light -hearted email. And lo! their click through and open rates rocketed!

However, just because it worked for them doesn’t mean that it would work for you as well. If the tone of your B2B company is extremely professional, then your clients might not appreciate such an email. (So, test).

I shall give you one more example. We all know that Obama’s email campaign was a hit. A part of it was because of using subject lines like “Hey”, “Hey again”, “Dinner?”. etc. Now, let us take a moment to examine that. Would you open such emails if you get them in your inbox? Well, if it is from The President, then Yes. Otherwise, most probably Not.

The take away here is that the Sender’s name matters! An email from a very important person will get more attention than a mail from folks who are a little farther down the ladder. In your company, this means that an email from a CEO or CCO is likely to garner more open rates.

So go ahead, test it out. It’s simple. Be daring and bold, but think it through!

Just because it is easy to do, doesn’t mean you should not spend any time on it. Instead of just testing random subject lines, try and think about your recipients. Test concepts or elements instead of random subject lines. That way you can learn what works for your audience.

– Jordie van Rijn “

So, think before you send. Keep in mind that the subject line you use should speak to the recipient and encourage him to click. It should make him want to click on it, either because of curiosity of because it was exactly what he was looking for.

This brings us to a rather important aspect of the whole thing-

Knowing Your Audience

The logic is pretty simple — how can you give what your audience likes if you don’t knowwhat they want? Sending a lead details about a course he/she is not interested in would obviously not get his attention. If you think you might be making that mistake, then you need to read the rest of this post.

You can find it here . Do read on and let me know what you think!