Social media marketing is an important tool for growing awareness and building brand reputation for your online tutoring or coaching business, but when it comes to signing up paying clients, it doesn’t compare with email marketing.
In a recent survey of marketing professionals, email was rated as a more effective marketing tool than social media, SEO or content marketing.
In another study, 59% of consumers said that marketing emails influence their purchase decisions for products and services.
So how do you write an email that gets a potential client to click through to your "Book a Session” page?
1. Your subject line is King
A great subject line will entice people to open your email. A poor subject line will mean people ignore it. And if they never open your mail, any other work you put into it doesn't matter.
Your subject line should invoke curiosity. Using numbers seems to work well e.g., “7 Ways to Impress at English Interviews”, “5 Common Mistakes Children Make with English Pronunciation”, “3 Ways to Improve Your IELTS Listening Score”.
Avoid using any words in your subject line which are connected to marketing campaigns, like "bonus", "free", "save". In some email clients this triggers the spam filter, and your carefully crafted email might never arrive in the recipient’s inbox.
Keep the subject line short. It is recommended to keep your subject line to no more than nine words or 60 characters.
2. The preview text is Queen
Email clients have made it much easier for the recipients to see what is in the email before they open it. This means that the subject line and preview text (a.k.a. “preheader text” are now equally as important.
Best practice is to limit your preview text to 80 characters and give the reader a summary of what to expect if they open the email and read further. Many people won’t open your mail if they can’t identify any value in your preview text.
3. Make it web friendly
People generally don't read things carefully online. We tend to scan.
So, use bullet points and short paragraphs. Images might work great on your website but don’t rely on them for communicating important details in your emails. Many people have image blockers enabled by default.
4. Make it personal
When you are crafting the body of your email, think about what is going to resonate with the reader. Think about the pain points and barriers holding them back and incorporate that into your message. Remind them that you understand your audience and you are there to help.
Also, it never hurts to personalise your message by using “merge tags” that dynamically insert the reader's name or other relevant details from your email subscriber records.
5. Keep it conversational
Don't try to impress with technical talk or flowery prose. Write the same way you would talk to a friend. Unambiguous and direct language always wins.
The rule of thumb with content writing is to keep it at a standard that a junior high schooler could easily comprehend. This is even more important when your audience may not be using English as their first language.
6. Use stories & analogies
Stories and anecdotes are truly powerful ways to communicate messages. For as long as humans have existed, stories have endured as a way of passing easily remembered details from speaker to listener. Use them when you can.
Analogies also have a way of cutting through confusion and planting a mental image that resonates. When we explain that A and B are a lot like C and D, you can often see the lights go on in the listener’s mind. They connect the dots. Use analogies to help your readers understand important points.
7. Make it mobile friendly
According to a consumer survey, 42.3% of recipients will just delete emails which aren't mobile-optimised. Always send a "test mail" to your smart phone device before you send it out. Make sure the font size is readable on small screens.
8. Understand “buyer psychology”
People often hesitate to commit due to fear of "buyer’s remorse". So, if you have some satisfied clients, including a testimonial into your messaging will go a long way to overcome those fears.
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is the flip side of buyer’s remorse. If you have a special offer, put a deadline on it. Inertia and procrastination are often your biggest competitors.
9. Align your messaging
When somebody comes to your landing page, they should see a clear promise about what benefit they will get by providing their email address. e.g., Learn How to Negotiate in English.
The subject line of the email they receive should match that promise e.g. Your Guide on How to Negotiate in English.
10. Have a strong call-to-action
After the subject line and preview text, the next most important part of your email is the button or link (but preferably a button) that you want people to click in order to take the next step along the road to working with you.
Make your button text action oriented e.g., "Book a Strategy Session", "Send Me the Worksheet", "Join the Group".
Email marketing is an underrated strategy that all independent tutors and coaches should be leveraging to grow their client list. It's effective, inexpensive and not very complicated. Don’t ignore email marketing as part of your efforts grow your business.
If you would like to discuss how to use email marketing to grow your online tutoring or coaching business (even if you already have a website) feel free to book a 15-minute micro-coaching consultation with BabelTEQ. I’d love to meet you!
About the Author:
Paul Sallaway is the owner of BabelTEQ, a service that empowers independent ESL coaches and tutors to get more students and charge higher rates so they can grow their income without feeling overwhelmed.