Here is where you will find different marketing ideas.
Last week we talked about increasing your open rates with seasonal subject lines. The topic of this week’s blog post is actually how to write those subject lines — ones that persuade subscribers to read your email newsletters.
ones that convince subscribers to actually read your email newsletters.
There are many methods, tricks and tips for writing great headlines – especially for direct mail pieces. Email subject lines are the digital equivalent of print media headlines. Unfortunately, we aren’t dealing with direct mail, and we have spam filters to contend with, and character counts to abide by when it comes to writing subject lines.
The best email subject lines persuade the user to open and read the messages that follow. Here are a couple of tips to get you started:
1. Be interesting!
“Creative Memories Has Launched a Storyboard 2.0 to Meet the Demands of Their Customers”. Boring! Who cares?
Now try this one. “Bring the Family Together – Organize Your Photo Album with Storyboard 2.0″. That’s already a bit better.
An email title should tell a story, even if it is a short story. Be passionate about what you offer and others will too.
2. Solve and problem.
“What’s in it for me?” This is what a reader asks when he/she sees your message. If you don’t appeal to your reader on an emotional level, chances are the message will deleted.
3. Keep it short, sweetie.
You don’t know what email client (i.e. Yahoo, Gmail) a subscriber is using, so try to pack the punch in the beginning of your emails. Like a good headline, a good email subject line is succinct. Hotmail and AOL truncate the email subject line if it is longer than 60 characters. Other email clients permit up to 80 characters. However, shorter email subject lines produce higher open rates.
4. Write an email subject line that works.
There are dozens of email subject line formulas suggested by top copywriters that both increase open-rates and and can sell more products. Try asking a question, or adding urgency to your subject line. How-to subject lines, like “How to Travel with Kids” or “How to Write Better Email Subject Lines” are also proven to have great open rates, especially if it is something the reader wants to learn. If you are reading this, my pointed is proven.
5. Entice them, don’t trick subscribers into opening your email.
Mystery is a good thing, just make sure not to cross the line of “tricking” your readers into opening an email that has content different from what you promised. The email subject line is not creative if it prompts the recipient to open your email message, only to disappoint or confuse the reader.
6. Don’t give everything away in the email subject line.
Is your email subject line sufficiently intriguing to prompt the recipient to open your email newsletter or sales letter? Or do you “give away” the entire message in the email subject line, diminishing the subscriber’s incentive to read any further?
7. Differentiate yourself from spammers.
It is much easier to stand out now than it was in pre-spam times. Thank you spammers! Think I’m full of b.s.? Well if you look at the messages sent by spammers, you will notice I am right.
Fortunately, spammers are quite unprofessional and their correspondence looks messy. The “From” line usually consists of a single word, a fake surname or an e-mail address. You shouldn’t use either. Set up your mail client (or newsletter script) so that it shows “Your Company” in the “From” line. This also saves space in your title.
Then comes the subject line. Here is another chance to stand out from the rest. Capitalize the first letter of every important word (don’t capitalize “to”, “in”, “the”, “a”, “and” or similar words). Use punctuation such as exclamation mark, a hyphen or a question mark, if really necessary.
8. Beware of spam-filter triggers.
Let’s face it, we get a lot of junk email these days. This has forced a lot of people use spam filters. Unfortunately, they may filter messages that look like spam but may not be. It is all because of some trigger words or “no-no” words set up by the email clients or the actual users themselves. Examples of these trigger words are: free, problem, earn, money, income, certain human body parts, buy, urgent and among others.
Email marketers do struggle with “free” and “urgent” a lot! While there is no sensible substitute to “free” (some people will use “complimentary” or “gratis”), there are many ways to indicate urgency without attracting unwanted attention from spam filters. And sometimes it is good to ask for an urgent action. You can say: “only 3 days left” or “act now to obtain…”
I bet you receive lots of email marketing messages yourself. Take notice of what messages you delete unopened and what titles you click on.
Read good quality newspapers/magazines (especially our trade magazines – Massage Magazine and the like). See how professional journalists construct their titles. They are professionals and usually do the right thing.
10. Research and test.
Have you already written a title for your email campaign? Don’t email it just yet. Ask your family, friends, colleagues their opinion. Sometimes a different perspective from someone who is not in your business can be very valuable.
If you have already sent it out, monitor the results. It’s important to learn what the response rate is for each individual email campaign in order to craft successful future campaigns.
Using these ten email title tips will definitely get your email campaigns on the right track. Everything else is just a matter of experience and intuition.
If you’ve got a email marketing campaign too delicate for you to screw up, contact me today. I’ll quote you on a perfect, professional job — no screw-ups, guaranteed.
Do you have any other tips to add about how to write better email subject lines? Share them in the comments.
By using seasonal email subject lines in your email marketing campaigns at this time of year, you can help increase your email open rates. This will help you sell more Gift Certificates and services/products.
Seasonal email subject lines have proven to be very effective at both building personality into your brand and as good excuses for sales. However, using a seasonal subject line can be a little tricky. You have to be sensitive to different cultures and religions.
The seasonal email subject line references a holiday or time of year. Often your control mailing can be adapted to use a seasonal reference, thereby increasing response.
Here are some examples of seasonal subject lines:
Your New Year’s Resolutions for Being Stress-Free
Thanksgiving Sale Starts Today
Unique Gifts for the Person Who Has Everything
Huge Savings on Holiday Gift Certificates
As the holiday season approaches, I’ve seen a lot of marketers already starting to take advantage of using a seasonal subject line.
Gobble up the SAVINGS – Details Inside (Harry & David)
Better Than Black Friday – 3 Days Only (Performance Bicycle)
Sending JOY all year long – NOW with FREE Standard Delivery! (Cushman’s)
15% off Everything… Our Thanks to You (Vosges Haut-Chocolate)
In case you are wondering, all of these subject lines made me open the email just to see what they were offering.
Did I act on any of these offers?
Yes, one of them. Because we are here in Costa Rica until December 17th, I am doing most of my shopping on line. So the offer for Vosges Haut-Chocolate really appealed to me for gifts for some of my friends.
So spruce up those email subject lines and get those emails opened. Happy selling.
If you are unsure about how to write powerful email subject lines, stay tuned! Next week, I will be discussing how to write better email subject lines.
If you enjoyed this post, you may want to read:
How to Write Better Email Subject Lines
Yesterday, we talked about different marketing ideas that you could do for Black Friday. Here are some ideas for Cyber Monday.
Ever since the phrase “Cyber Monday” was coined back in 2005, online retailers have realized the sales potential of this first Monday after Thanksgiving.
Well why can’t massage therapists use this idea too? After all, people are back at their office jobs, tired and maybe a little stuffed from the Thanksgiving dinner. What better to do than shop online?
1. Free gift at when you buy 3 (or whatever number you choose) Gift Certificates. Make sure the gift warrants spending that much money.
2. Send 2 Reminder Emails. For whatever promotion you run, your reminder emails will keep your company in your client’s/prospect’s mind after the Thanksgiving holiday. There will be a ton of marketing emails floating around, so you may want to send an initial email right before or after Thanksgiving. Then follow up with another right as the sale begins.
3. Give Gift Certificates, Not Discounts. Consider offering printable $10 gift certificate that can be used towards a future visit/purchase. For example, rather than offering a $25 discount, offer a $50 gift certificate. Incentives like these tend to cost less, and they may actually be more attractive to your repeat clients.
4. Bounce Back Incentives. Capitalize off the huge amount of traffic you’ll be receiving by offering an incentive for the next purchase/visit. While Cyber Monday sales may be great, you really want consistent clients who will buy from you all year long, even when there are no special offers. Try sending out a follow up email with a gift certificate to everyone who makes a purchase.
5. Create Spa Packages. The value of a spa package can be perceived as greater than the sum of its parts because you are conveniently creating a one stop gift.
6. “Blue Light” Specials. I took this name from K-Mart (or is it Wal-mart that has blue light specials?) Well anyway…randomly highlight specials/items throughout the day on your site. Better yet, highlight different items everyday through the holiday season to keep people coming back.
Wishing you the best and happy holiday selling!
Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving. It also begins the mad shopping spree from Thanksgiving to Christmas.
Thanksgiving is an excellent time to show your customers how much you appreciate their business – and a great time to attract new customers with well-played marketing strategy. Consider the following Black Friday marketing ideas to add plenty of trimmings to your return on investment and get a head start on the Christmas marketing season.
Show your appreciation
1. Many businesses send personalized thank you cards to their customers during the Christmas holiday season, but forego a great opportunity to grab a bigger share of the attention at Thanksgiving. Many people have come to expect Christmas cards from other companies, so a Thanksgiving card of thanks comes as a pleasant surprise and will be remembered as the first card received. You can even begin promoting your big Black Friday sales to gear up for the Christmas season.
2. Host a Open House. In my post on Marketing Ideas for the Holiday Season, I talk more about this idea.
3. The most endeared businesses give back to the communities that feed them, and Thanksgiving is the best time of year to express your gratitude by leading a food drive. Food drives are not only a worth charity and good PR, they’re also a great way to get customers in your door. To sweeten the deal, offer a coupon to anyone who donates food. Alternatively, you can enter donators into a drawing for a large grand prize. If you don’t have the budget to pull a Thanksgiving food drive off alone, partner with complimenting but noncompeting businesses for your color printing, mailing and prizes.
4. Another great Thanksgiving marketing idea is to distribute free calendars to clients and prospects. Many businesses do this, but if you get an early jump on your calendar printing you can beat your competitors to the wall, so to speak. Calendars are used by most people nearly every day, so calendar printing is one of the most economical ways to put your ad in front of hundreds or even thousands of people every day of the year. When designing your Thanksgiving promotional printed materials, follow the holiday’s theme, develop a great offer and a compelling call to action, and mix the above ideas in for a return on investment you’ll be feasting on for months.
5. Emails are a very low-cost way to reach out to your active customers. If you’re not already collecting email addresses, you should start right away. I encourage you to use an incentive when asking for the address, but rather than saying, “Can I get your email address to notify you of special sales,” I suggest you also offer a special gift.
6. Email Marketing Campaign. Send out an email in the next few days with the heading “Gobble up the savings – Look inside” (or something like that) and then in the email, tell them to stay tuned and open the email from you on Thanksgiving day to find out what kind of specials you have going on for Black Friday.
Stay tuned tomorrow as I talk about marketing ideas for Cyber Monday.
Did you know that Halloween is now the United States’ second most popular holiday (Christmas being the first) from a commercial standpoint. Marketing our massage services during this holiday often gets overlooked. I must admit that I have never offered a special for this particular holiday while I had my massage practice. I was prompted to think about it when Kris Kelly, a Facebook Friend asked “Anyone putting together exciting Halloween massage or spa packages?” as a status line on his profile page.
He goes on to post, “Believe it or not, there’s a lot of folks who don’t enjoy Halloween for one reason or another. I’ve put together a “get away from the gremlins” package. 90 min massage of their choice in the comfort and convenience of their own home. Just candles and relaxation! Another one I’ve done is while mom or dad are handing out candy, the other one receives a relaxing massage.”
These are two wonderful ideas, but before I give a few more, I wanted to give you a brief history of Halloween. If you can’t wait, just scroll down to the bottom and find out more bewitching ideas.
Halloween (or Hallowe’en … but also known as Samhain, Summer’s End, All Hallow’s Eve, Witches Night, Lamswool, and Snap-Apple), is a holiday that’s celebrated annually on the night of October 31.
History of Halloween
Halloween is said to be among the world’s oldest holidays. It has origins in Ireland and the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain which is a celebration at the end of the harvest season. The festival marked a time where the ancient pagans took stock of their supplies – slaughtering livestock for the winter.
The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundary between the living and the dead dissolved, and the dead become dangerous for the living by causing problems such as sickness (plague) or damaged crops. The celebration of Samhain would frequently involve bonfires, upon which the bones of slaughtered livestock were thrown; costumes and masks were also worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or placate them.
History of Halloween in America
Due to strict Christian traditions and lifestyles, Halloween did not become a holiday in the United States until the 19th century. The arrival of almost 2 million Irish immigrants in the mid-1850s finally brought Halloween to the United States. About 20 years later with the arrival of the Scots, the Scottish version and Halloween became ingrained in our American culture.
As promised, here are a few more Halloween marketing ideas….
Before the Haunt. Get relaxed and refreshed for all those ghoulish creatures with a pumpkin spice scrub and Swedish massage.
Pumpkin Patch Package. Enjoy this package of delicious pumpkin which is a excellent exfoliator. You will begin with a body scrub and the your face will be treated to Pumpkin Enzyme Peel.
Have other ideas for marketing for Halloween, post them in the comments and have a safe holiday!
Sources: www.whatishalloween.com and Wikipedia
Do you use money as an incentive (like cash discounts) to attract new clients? Science may not be on your side on this one…
Watch as Dan Pink presents his case, then decide. Click here to watch the video.
The holidays quickly approaching! Are you ready? You need to have your holiday marketing plan in place in the next week or two in order to take full-advantage of the holiday season to increase your business and income.
There are many businesses (i.e. retailers) that make 50% their yearly revenue from now until Christmas. With the economy still sluggish, competition is bound to be fierce. Businesses will be using a variety of techniques to draw in customers. Don’t get left behind!
You will need to develop your holiday marketing plan. When you develop a holiday marketing plan, you have to consider two things – your business brand (what makes your business unique) and your client demographics. If you keep these things in mind while you are coming up with holiday marketing ideas, you are more likely to choose the strategies that will yield the best success for your massage practice.
Don’t have a huge marketing budget? No problem. With a little know how and a dash of creativity, you will have your recipe for a successful holiday marketing plan.
Let’s take a look at some simple, creative and affordable holiday marketing ideas to increase your revenues during the holiday season:
Market the he** out of your Gift Certificates! A key selling point is that people don’t think to give services as gifts, but they can be very unique (and often much appreciated) gifts. Tell your clients how much the recipient would love your service instead of a fruitcake. Check out my post Gift Certificate Promotions for more ideas.
Do a little revamping. Take what you already offer and create new services such as:
1. Mini-session or samplings. The offer a “Create-Your-Own” package so you clients can have what they want.
2. Create signature services (i.e. take a Reflexology session add an exfoliation and a mask to come up with:
Chocolate Crème Bliss Reflexology
All of the pleasure, none of the guilt! Escape to a state of bliss while the sensory pleasures of chocolate indulgence entice your senses. Your treatment begins with a custom cocoa and honey exfoliation to your feet, followed by a tantalizing, cocoa-laced mud wrap. Next your ultimate journey to relaxation continues with pressure points being stimulated on your feet to pamper your body and mind. An application of deep hydrating, creamy mile and honey lotion completes this chocolate crème fantasy.
3. Offer product with Gift Certificates. You could bundle several products into a basket perhaps with special themes. This is the gift that keeps on giving. The recipient will get the actual gift that they can use until they redeem their Gift Certificate.
4. Offer a “Something of the Month” club: People are always looking for unique gifts to give. Why not help them out and create ongoing cash flow for your massage practice? You can do this type of gift series with almost anything. Seriously. Did you know there is a Bacon of the Month club? Well why not a “Massage of the Month” club.
Free Gift with Purchase. Give your client a gift. Giving a free gift with a purchase is one of the oldest holiday marketing ideas on the planet. However, you need to really consider your client base when you choose what that gift will be.
Send Out Cards. This is an nice way to remember your clients at the Holidays (depending on your target audience, it can be for Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or simply “Seasons Greetings”) and also to say thank them for their business. I used to put in a coupon that they could use next year – this idea is fully explained in my ebook Creating a Prosperous Practice with the sample card). You can also send a Happy New Year card. But don’t stop there. Don’t forget about your vast referral base. Be sure to send business holiday cards to your friends, family, associates, and vendors.
Give a coupon or discount. As both a gift to your customers and a way to boost your seasonal revenue, why not offer a discount or send out a coupon that promotes one or more of your services or products. Don’t send your coupons out so early that your customers forget about them, but send them out so they have an adequate amount of time to redeem them. Black Friday (the day after the Thanksgiving) is a good ear mark for sending out coupons.
Offer a holiday special. Encourage larger purchases with this marketing idea. Try offering “Buy Two Gift Certificates and Get a Third Free”. Or here is a variation on this same idea: Tell your customers when they purchase a certain amount, the will get something for free. For instance, “Buy $100 worth of products and get a free CD”. These are just a few ways that you can both thank your customers and offer them something special for the holidays.
Hold a Holiday Open House. This could be for your clients or for the general public (or both or have two separate ones). Offer mini-sessions (see above), products and Gift Certificates for sale. You may even want to have a holiday special for that event (see above).
Take a few minutes to which holiday ideas resonate with you and your business. You don’t have to do them all – one could be enough. Then, put it on your calendar and spread some holiday happiness to your clients!
Best of success to your business this holiday season!
Have a marketing idea not mentioned here that you would like to share? Post them in the comments.
Today is Blog Action Day which is “an annual event that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day on their own blogs with the aim of sparking discussion around an issue of global importance”. Blog Action Day 2009 is centered around Climate Change.
There is some debate about whether we really need to do anything about Climate Change. As I was doing research about what angle to take with this blog post, I watched a fantastic video on YouTube about the Most Terrifying Video You’ll Ever See. You might want to watch it here.
There definitely is an uncertainty about our future. I see it locally (some of our local county park wetlands are disappearing) as well as when we travel both domestically and internationally. I bet you are asking “How can I help? I’m just one person and I only have a small massage practice.” I thought I would blog about actions we can take to go green in our massage practices.
Well here we go…..
1. Use organic products. Here are a few companies that offer organic oils, lotions, spa treatments are Lypossage esthetique International, Massage Warehouse and Universal Companies. I’m sure that there are others, but these will get your started. If you know of other companies that offer organic products share them in the comments section.
2. Water conservation. This can mean anything from developing ways to reuse water (i.e. using gray water to water plants) to “unbottling” water (i.e. using reusable containers for water instead of giving your clients a bottle of water.)
3. Energy conservation. Try to use natural lighting as much as possible. Open those curtains/blinds when you can. Or look into solar or wind power options.
4. Create a more healthful environment: (1) use eco-friendly decor (i.e. bamboo or sustainable wood flooring, carpeting made from organic and sustainable resources bamboo curtains/blinds, sheets, blankets); (2) green lighting (i.e. use lighting fixtures that use CFLs and LED lighting to reduce energy consumption).
5. Incorporate natural and organic retail products in your business.
6. Eco Clothing. Wear green clothing – bamboo and organic cotton clothing during your work day (or at home too). On your feet, try shoes using natural rubber or plants such as bamboo, cotton or even hemp.
7. Go green in your marketing efforts. Use social media marketing, cooperative marketing and internet marketing (i.e. instead of printing out a coupon, tell you clients to use CODE XYZ when booking to receive the discount). If you have to mail something out or have a promotional marketing materials, use green products.
8. Green on Clean. Use all natural cleaners for both your office and residence. Check out the natural products from Young Living Essential Oils. I love the Thieves Spray. (P.S. If you want to buy products but don’t have a distributor number yet, sign up under mine 306809 – I get a little commission every time you buy something :0).
9. Recycle. Don’t have a need for something any more in your business (or home)? Can it be recycled or reused? I do this on a regular basis. If you aren’t using it, it is considered clutter. (If you missed my blog post on clutter and how it affects us, you can read it here.)
10. Green Promotional Ideas (1) Shopping Bags – Seems like every store you visit these days offers (for sale or free with purchase) a reusable cloth or heavy duty recycled plastic bags. (2) Put your logo on a reusable water bottle and retail or give them away. (Hint: these are great marketing tools — you will have all those shopping bags and Water bottles out there on a day to day basis doing their duty to tell the world about your business.)
11. Virtual Continuing Education Trainings. With the advances in technology these days, instead of going to take a CE class somewhere, check out who is offering classes on-line. (P.S. This is on my goals for 2010…so stay tuned.)
12. Business Equipment Sharing. Equipment (i.e massage chair, body cushion) that may seldom get used but may be beneficial in your practice can be expensive. Start a cooperative with other MTs (or alternative health professionals) in your area and share the costs.
These 12 ideas will get your started in how you can make a difference in climate change. Do you have any more comments about climate change and what we can do or ideas about going green that you didn’t see here? Please share them in the comments.
Jet Blue recently announced their latest promotion “All-You-Can-Jet Pass” where for a month you can fly as often as you want between 57 cities for a flat fee of $599. You can read the full story here. I thought it was a great idea and passed it along to my network on Twitter and Facebook. One reader wrote to me, “That’s an interesting way to get an influx of cash. You teach about marketing a massage business; do you think a similar idea could work for massage?”
Jet Blue’s promotion is for unlimited flights between September 8 and October 8 with booking 3 days in advance. Well why not take that idea and adapt it to massage? Here is my idea (you are free to take it as it is or “massage” it a little to make it your own).
Purchase your “All-You-Can-Massage” Passport (or maybe call it Platinum Membership which was my original idea to compete with the massage practices offering memberships) between now and December 24th (or while supplies last — I am only selling a limited amount of these passes) for massages in 2010. How it works is simple! Annual Membership dues are $3000.00 (this assumes approximately a 20% discount on 52 services at $75/hour) and you can use any of our services over one year’s time, up to 52 services. You can also use your membership for your family, friends or clients. A laminated membership card is issued to you, and is your passport to “All-You-Can-Massage”. Appointments must be made 7 days in advanced and is based on availability.
A Win-Win Situation
For Your Clients
- A savings of 20% (or whatever percentage you decide to offer) is huge and may be the deciding factor for someone who wants to come regularly but can’t afford the regular price now.
- Clients feel special to be a part of an elite program.
- They may decide that this price is too good to pass up and become weekly clients instead of bi-weekly or monthly.
- You get an influx of cash now which may help off-set any income loss due to the slow economy.
- You ensure that your regular clients will keep coming to you.
- You may get new regular clients.
- You have to do less advertising to get new clients (especially if you become fully booked).
- Take that additional income and invest it (probably not in the stock market) to gain additional income.
What do you think of this idea? Post your thoughts in the comments.
If you run this special, let us know how it goes. Post your results in the comments.
Have you tried searching for a particular type of local business lately on Google? You may have noticed that up near the top of the search results is a map with local businesses. Listing your business with Google Maps is a great way to get yourself a top Google listing for very little effort, and you don’t even need to have your own website!
HOW TO GET LISTED ON GOOGLE MAPS
1. Go to Google Maps and click the “Put your business on Google Maps” link.
2. If you don’t already have a Google account sign up for one, otherwise simply login.
3. Click the button to add a new business.
4. Enter your details.
5. Verify your listing. They will call you (or send you confirmation) and give you a PIN that you will enter.
That’s it – you’re all done! It’s currently taking one business day after you verify to appear on Google Maps, so why not do it today? Your listing will appear whenever someone searches Google for your service in an area near you. (e.g. Massage Therapy Alexandria)
Do you know of any other free listing services that you would like to share? Put it in the comments.