Email can be a great way to reach your target audience. A well-crafted subject line gets your email opened, and the right message on the inside can lead to higher clicks and sales. But even the best emails will get you nowhere if the reader does a little research on you and doesn’t like what they see.
Recipients of email outreach often do a Google search of the sender before taking any other action. What will the people on your email list find? Will they see a professional LinkedIn profile, articles, and examples of your work that confirm credibility? If your overall profile is thin, confusing, and doesn’t highlight your expertise, take these steps to fix it and get more returns from your next email campaign.
Reaching new clients is easy; getting them to purchase or click is the real challenge. You need to establish credibility and expertise in what you’re offering. This is more than just business. It’s about trust, which is emotional and personal. The sender name and email are the first things your audience will see and know about you. It can be enough to trigger opening or deleting the email.
To begin to establish trust with your audience, use a real name for email outreach. They will be more likely to trust and open an email from a real person than the name of your company or business, especially if they are not yet familiar with it. Name yourself as the owner or CEO but lead with your actual name.
By using your name, you personalize the email, but you also need to establish credibility. Instead of using just your name, include the company name too. For instance, instead of sending as Jane Doe, use Jane from Company Name. The reader feels like they are hearing from a real person, but not just anyone. Once you have a name chosen for your outreach, be consistent and use it every time so that readers begin to recognize and trust your emails.
The sender’s name and email address are likely the first things an email recipient will see and read. They are the beginnings of your profile that help the reader understand who you are. You can lose someone right at this first impression if you don’t do it right. With your sender name chosen, take a look at your email address. What does it say about you and what does it communicate to someone who sees it in their inbox?
The email address doesn’t need to be fancy: just your name and your website domain. The latter is what can help you or hurt you. Avoid an email provider, like Gmail or Yahoo. Instead, use your web domain, even if you haven’t built your site yet. This lends credibility and gives the sense that this is your business and you are committed to it.
There is no question that a .com extension is the best. It communicates credibility in a way the other extensions cannot, so do what it takes to get one. Other extensions have become more common, but .net just doesn’t command the same respect, and .org can be confusing as it is often associated with non-profits. Your readers will trust a .com the most.
Send readers right to your profiles—once you’ve improved them of course—instead of making them search. Include your social media and LinkedIn profile links right in the email signature. Studies of email campaigns have shown that emails with profile links have higher response rates. The most important profiles to link to, according to the study, are Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
As with using a real sender name, linking to your profiles highlights to readers that you are a real person, not a bot. And it’s helpful. If the recipient’s interest is piqued by your email, they want to check you out, so help them do it. Now you’re ready to optimize those profiles to ensure your audience sees the best you have to offer.
Nothing looks lazier than a profile on LinkedIn or Instagram that isn’t complete. It looks like you can’t be bothered to fill in all the information, and that sends the wrong message. To reach “all-star” status on LinkedIn, what the site considers to be the most complete and successful profile, you must have:
- A profile picture, professional of course
- Your industry and location listed
- A concise summary or headline
- An experience description, including your current position and two or more past positions at a minimum
- Education information, including schools attended and any degrees or certificates
- A minimum of five skills listed
- At least 50 connections
LinkedIn is your most professional profile, but complete other social media profiles as well. If you’re going to link to it, finish it first.
Filling in things like your industry and education credentials are simple, but what takes real finesse are the short descriptions in your profiles. Whether it’s on LinkedIn or another site, these brief summaries should tell your email outreach recipients exactly who you are and why they should trust your credibility.
In very few words, tell readers who you are, what you do, and why you have expertise or are successful at what you do. Check out this excellent profile for a creative director on LinkedIn. She grabs your attention right away with a short tagline. She then tells you exactly what she does in a numbered list of accomplishments plus a little bit of personal information. It’s easy to read, gives her credibility, and makes her seem human and trustworthy.
Establishing credibility is essential. When a recipient of your email outreach campaign does their homework on you, they need to see that you are an expert in what you’re selling. They have to connect you to that product or service in a meaningful way, or they’ll go somewhere else.
This is no time to be modest. Make sure your profiles list your actual accomplishments, the things that give you credibility, that show you know what you’re talking about: awards, honors, degrees, credentials, etc. List the professional organizations to which you belong and any publications or talks you have given in your area of expertise.
Credibility only goes so far when you’re the one talking yourself up. What have other people said about you and your expertise? Have relevant influencers mentioned you or written a profile on you? Do you have recommendations, references, or positive reviews? Include those. Let your target audience know it’s not just you that thinks so highly of your abilities; other people do too.
Who do you associate with online? Connections on LinkedIn and other social media sites say a lot about you and what you do. If you are in copywriting, for example, you should be connected with a lot of leaders in copywriting, SEO, content marketing, and other related fields.
On sites like Twitter and Instagram, you should be following relevant influencers. And they should be following you. Reach out and make these important connections to show your email recipients that you are a part of this industry, that you are recognizable, authentic, and credible.
Being connected is just the bare minimum. Your profiles should show that you are active with them, sharing information, linking to each other, writing guest posts, and interacting in other ways. Join and participate in groups relevant to your industry.
This great profile on LinkedIn shows how much you can use geography to communicate credibility and expertise. Imagine you got an email from a realtor telling you about open houses on Cape Cod. You check out her profile and see that she really knows the area. She grew up there, still lives there, knows all the best shops, and even taught in the community. Do you trust her more than a realtor from Boston? Of course.
If location is relevant to what you’re offering, point it out. Make the connection between where you are and why that increases your credibility or expertise. And if location is not directly relevant, it still provides a piece of personal information that makes you more relatable.
Email outreach is just the start of a successful campaign to get more links and sales. No recipient will follow through if they can’t see you as relevant, credible, and personal. Shore up your profiles to highlight what makes you an expert, a leader in your industry, and someone they can trust. Consumers are too savvy to ignore any detail. Be prepared to show them who you are and why they should trust you and your business.