The marketing world has undergone some changes over the last two decades. While it was running to keep up with the ever-changing digital landscape, marketers and salesmen had to adjust to the new norm - and introduction of the words “spam mail.”
It created an atmosphere of caution. Scams, social trolling and exhaustive email campaigns further caused folks to freeze up. Now potential customers have wised up. With statistics showing that 84% of all mails are spam, it has become incredibly difficult to reach someone.
If you are going to sell to someone online or by email, you really have to stand out in the crowd. Marketing departments the world over had to change their approach and soften aggressive sales techniques.
With the ease of technology at their fingertips, potential customers would readily shift their interest to any of the many other companies that offer similar services than you might be offering. Consumer loyalty has become a negotiable attribute - and it is up for grabs all the time. There is no reason to become emotional about it.
As Michael Corleone puts it in The Godfather, “It’s nothing personal. It’s strictly business.”
Trial Email Marketing
Enter the humble and ever-inviting trial email. Digital marketing’s counter for viral marketing campaigns. Seeding trials, as it is known in the marketing research world, has been around for ages. The idea behind it is to create brand loyalty and advocacy while sampling new products and gauging customer feedback.
It makes perfect sense. Give the potential customer a little nibble, a tidbit to stimulate interest, just enough to get them wanting more. But there is an even greater reward to a trial-based marketing effort - and that is the actual duration of the trial.
Offering someone a month free of a particular service gives you 30 days to convince them that they can’t live without your service. And if it’s a product, then a trial period is just what you need to let them fall in love with your superior goods. You are actually buying time to engage with the potential customer and to endeavor to build a relationship with them.
However, most trial email campaigns die a horrible death. About 90% of all trial emails will not bear any fruit. While ever-green content and great data is important, it’s not the key ingredient that will keep your prospective customer on board. And having a killer product that has the whole world talking, or a service that meets impossible standards, will also just bring you to a certain point with your trial user.
Could that be because you came across as too desperate? Maybe you had just communicated once too often. Maybe you should have communicated with them more often.
How Not to Look Desperate in Your Free Trial Email Campaign
Here are a couple of things to ward off any hint of desperation before launching your free trial email campaign.
The Power in a Name
According to research, a personalized subject line increases email engagement by 22%. It has been proven that personalizing your emails will increase click-through rates and conversion rates.
Have you used your prospective customer’s name in the opening line or the subject line? Have you ask them an engaging question? Or offered a personal solution to their problem? If not, then you need to reevaluate your approach.
To Template or Not to Template?
This is a vital error that many companies fall victim to. They use sales or trial email templates and tweak it a bit to fit in with their campaign. But a template gets snuffed out by readers in a flash. Somehow, they just know. Rather take the time to make your communication, uniquely you.
Have you spent enough time writing your trial email, so that the reader does not feel like a number? If you need to pay a creative writing expert to improve the wording of your communication, then do so. The fruits of a well-worded, personable email will have great rewards.
Now that 41% of emails are opened on mobile devices, the question will always be if your emails are mobile-friendly. For instance, having mentioned the importance of a subject line above, keep in mind that a mobile screen only shows four to seven words in a subject line.
Have you taken every possible factor into account to optimize for mobile? How does your mails present once opened on a mobile device? Have you ventured as far as to trial your own email? Truth is, if you dislike the appearance of your email, so would everyone else.
The End is Nigh
As an after-thought, there is always a time where you have to say goodbye. The user or potential customer is nearing the end of their free obligation-free trial period. Without trying to over-romanticize the relationship, it is almost like a break-up.
However, it doesn’t need to be goodbye just yet. This is your moment. One might say you have nothing left to lose. Or, rather, you have one last shot at retaining or winning back a customer before they depart. Here’s a couple of tips.
Candy Coat the Deal
What will they miss out on if they don’t upgrade? They need to feel like everyone else will be at the party, except them. They will be missing out on all the fun, the dancing, the free drinks, the New Year’s countdown, etc. And you really don’t want them to miss out. Ask them how you can help them to get all these great rewards and benefits you have on offer? Any form of engagement is better than no engagement at all.
Features & Benefits
Highlight features and benefits of your product or service in a different way as before. If your previous communications or prompts for business didn’t convert to a sale, then try a different way of showcasing that which you have to offer. People respond differently to different prompts. Try changing sentences from active to passive voice, or use different descriptive words, while sticking to brand identity.
Keep it Short
Research shows that the top email marketing campaigns always come in at 300 words or less. This means that the old adage of “less is more” still holds water. This is easier said than done. With email communication, as much as with face-to-face selling, you often talk yourself out of a sale. So, be brief.
All or Nothing
Add a single, clear, and inviting call to action. Don’t be shy to ask for the sale. If you don’t ask now, the chances are you will never get another chance. But you are afforded the luxury of being very personable about it.
The best way to close the sale or to best direct the user down the sales funnel, is to engage with them one more time. This is your last chance. They should feel as though you are sitting down with them and creating an unmissable opportunity especially for them. A call to action in a short and powerful closing sentence can work wonders.