Email Templates are all the rage in the email marketing space. Who’s got the hottest templates of them all? Bloggers and marketers have built their email lists on the promise of business changing email templates. They would promote them with titles such as “How one template made me $500,000 in Revenue in 3 months”.
This convinces a lot of folks and they buy their email lists in the thousands, copy-paste these templates and pump out thousands of emails. The result?
Mostly failures and a little bit of success.
If marketing was so easy, there wouldn’t be a need to plan, strategize, optimize, write so much content, experiment with channels and so on.
So are these bloggers lying to build their lists?
Maybe and Maybe not. Email templates aren’t one-stop solutions. There is no one template to rule them all. Emails, just like businesses, who just like humans are individually distinct. Always remember :
‘Different strokes for different folks’
Email templates need to be individually crafted depending on the person, the business, their position, their personalities, their needs and maybe a few more things.
Before we get more into email templates, let’s get into, why generic email templates taken off of the internet will harm you.
Here’s how it can go wrong.
Used and Abused
There is a human problem. If there is a magic land providing abundant opportunity, humans will use it and abuse it until it becomes a useless resource. The same goes with email templates.
Here is a scenario. A blogger in good jest and wanting to contribute quality content to his readers publishes a high-quality email template. The readers blindly execute on this without any research or understanding of the audience and so on and sooner or later the recipients are inundated with the same type of email, they are fed up.
In a scenario like this, email templates come and go. Their effectiveness lost over time. So copy-pasting a template will not deliver results, in fact, will hurt your reputation as a legitimate marketer.
Templates have ruined templates
If somebody reaches out to me with a template that has no research and personalization, I refuse to engage with them. People can sniff a template from a distance and will refuse to engage with you. People want to feel special and get individualized attention, if they come to know that they are part of thousands of people who have got a generic message, they will be least interested in engaging with you.
Templates were created to automate and automation is killing marketing on the Internet. It takes away personalization and it takes away quality.
Would you prefer to eat a chicken burger from Mcdonalds or would you prefer eating a burger from your neighbourhood restaurant that cooks each burger separately? I’m guessing the latter.
Don’t sell shoes to a naked man
Generic email templates don’t cater to your particular situation. If you encounter a naked man, the first thing he wants to do is to put clothes on. Buying shoes are the last thing in his mind. So before sending out a template, do you understand the needs of your users?
A generic template can never do justice to your business. There is no, one size fits all.
You might ask, “What then?”
Create your own Template
Before you lose your mind and shout “Hypocrite!” Let me explain myself.
After you do your research, understand your audience and figure out what works and what doesn’t for your recipients. You will be able to form a blueprint for an email template that is filled with the right triggers that push the reader to engage with your content.
But before you cut the tree down, you need to sharpen the axe!
It’s not really hard to come up with a template and you can come up with a template that doesn’t look like a template because it’s original and has your style! Too many templates in one sentence?!
I want you to re-think the word email template. Let’s get to the basics of doing the research.
How to do your research?
I’m going to take a hypothetical scenario and assume you want to do sales and you want to do sales outreach by email.
- If you are a startup with a few clients, look through your paying clients and see who uses your product extensively?
- Which industry are they from?
- What are their job titles?
- What is the size of the company?
- If you don’t have any users, look at your competitor’s testimonials. What are the companies that are giving them testimonials?
Industry: The information about Industry gives you an idea of what to talk about, bring about competition and understand your recipient’s landscape.
Job title: Knowing the job titles makes you understand what it takes for that particular person to succeed in their job and keep their boss happy. That is your sweet spot. That will be the crux of your email. Also, people in higher position don’t have time for longer emails
Size of the company: This gives you an idea of how desperate they are. Younger companies reply faster and are way more desperate than employees in bigger companies.
So all this information should help you with
- Size of the email
- The crux of the mail – what is the main pitch point?
- Call to Action
Once that is done, it’s time to focus on the other aspects of your email.
You want your template to be genuine, personalized and actionable.
- Introduce yourself quickly and be nice. Ex: Good to meet you.
- Mention something about them. A tweet they sent out, an article they’ve written, a change in their job. This is all about personalization.
- The reason why you are reaching out.
- Provide a clear value in the email
- Ask them a leading question that evokes a response.
Testing your Templates
Creating your own template will take time, but after some time, with practice, you get good at creating it. But, the true measure of a template is the results you get out of it.
A good metric is reply rates. Open rates really don’t help. You can have a click bait subject line and have open rates go through the roof.
Also, bad emails, people tend to ignore. So reply rate is a good metric.
Ways to test your emails
A trial and error process will get you there.
- To test the effectiveness of a good email template, use the same subject and two different email templates for the same end result. Say you want your recipients to get on a call with you, try two versions with the same subject line. The one with better reply rates is your go-to template.
- Repeat the above process, meticulously over and over again, with smaller contact lists.
- You don’t want to lag behind because of your subject lines, so make sure to create good subject lines and test them with the metric – open rates.
- Don’t worry about numbers provided online. It doesn’t mean jack, you will have totally different results and it doesn’t matter. Do not compare your numbers with numbers provided online.
- Test, Test and Test!
We use an excel sheet to track all of our effective templates and see who we are sending to and what the crux of the mail is.
Here is a snapshot.
When you focus on your business, run your own experiments and test, you are bound to learn much more valuable insights than by reading other blogger’s thoughts and opinions. Execution and collecting data beats external information any day!
Kishen Sreehari is a serial entrepreneur. His main expertise is in SAAS and E-commerce. He heads Marketing for Find That Email and is the Co-founder of Stillersafe.com. He loves investing in the Stock Market and is also very passionate about partying during the weekends.