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Straight talk about Email Marketing

A good friend and a very smart one at that recently sent me a matter of fact email about how to improve my outbound marketing. I share it with you.

Ari’s 9 Rules of Outbound Sales via Email + a sample email for Michael!

Nothing beats email for getting in front of decision makers. But as more and more companies figure this out, how do you cut through the clutter and get people to respond and turn in to warm leads? I stand on the shoulders of many copywriting giants, who perfected and dealt with these problems in direct mail campaigns. A lot of it is psychology and human nature, and applies everywhere.

1. Personalize, Personalize, Personalize

Michael – It’s always about them, never about you. Get the name of the person you’re emailing, and use it liberally [see what I did there?]. In the subject line, every few paragraphs, whatever is necessary. If you can’t get the names, don’t send the email. I’m not saying you have to do this yourself – use oDesk, eLance or some other marketplace to give this to someone earning $3-5 an hour overseas.


2. Michael – Your Subject Line will Make or Break the email

Most people check their emails on their phone, and if they don’t know you, why should they open your email? These people are busy, they don’t want to waste their time! The subject line needs to be short,sweet, and cause curiosity. But don’t go overboard. I got an email this week from Tracking202 that said [and I’m not making this up] “Warning – Your Installation has been hacked”. It was a pitch to upgrade to the new version, but it just made my heart race and pissed me off. I’m not the only one – they had to send out an apology afterwards.


3. Keep It Short and Simple

Remember, you’re probably being viewed on mobile. Make sure the email can be read without scrolling.


4. What’s in it for them?

I’m blunt, so here it goes: No one cares about your passion or what you’ve done, no matter how awesome it is. I’ve learned this the really hard way. It sucks for our egos, but that’s life. What’s in it for them? How will it: make them more money, make them look good in front of their boss, or get them laid? Those are the questions you need to answer. What does it do, what does it solve, and why is it better?


5. Ditch the templates

You need to make your emails seem personal, even if they’re actually not. Get rid of the templates. Make the from be you, not the company. People will open these emails more.


6. Ask for one thing, and one thing only

What do you want from the email? A Demo? A Referral? Someone to visit a site? Pick, and then focus your email on that and that alone.


7. Multiple touches

You need to set up a series of these emails until they reply or unsubscribe or whatever. One email won’t cut it. I use a series of 3-7 depending on how annoying I want to be.


8. Use software to manage and measure.

There are a lot of these platforms. They handle personalization, reply detection, optout, etc. I’ve used ToutApp,, and am now currently on outreach. I like outreach the best so far.

9. Measure and test

Measure and split test subject lines, from, body, time of day. Whatever you can, and often. The lift is huge.
Here’s the sample email I came up with, it needs work but it’s a good first step. You need to modify some stuff, obviously. I dare you to try it and see which works better.

From: Michael Connolly


Subject: Ariel – Introduction?

I’m looking for the person in charge of increasing revenue and profits at Wired Rhino. What does your calendar look like this week? If that’s not you, who do you suggest I talk to?
Ariel – At Atlas Digital, we help companies like Wired Rhino make more money off of their existing spend.
The Atlas Sales Engine uses advanced heuristics to get you more, better leads, and helps you turn them into sales.
Companies like IBM, HP, Ma Bell and 45 of the Fortune 500 use our software every day to help increase their Return on Ad Spend. IBM saw an increase of 17% in revenue over 3 months, just by implementing our software.
Are you interested in increasing your revenue without upping your spend, Ariel? What does your calendar look like this week?