Ah, email. So old school. Dating back to before the world wide web first entered our homes and offices, this retro communication method is actually experiencing a newfound revitalization. According to Mail Munch, email outperforms in sales compared to social media like Twitter and Facebook (by 60%!).
So what does this mean for you? Well your company’s database of email opt-ins is a shortlist of your brand’s fans, a valuable list of people who’ve voluntarily given up their contact information, waiting to be contacted – by you! Using email for marketing is, therefore, the most straightforward and reliable way to convert fans into customers.
But all too often, we see EMAILS GONE WRONG! Being the kindly souls that we are here at Mach Media, we’ve pulled together our best tips to help your emails evolve from spam magnates to sales magic.
Tip 1: What’s the point of sending this email?
Email is a direct communication, and the recipients’ time and attention are limited. So what exactly do you want?
What is your objective/goal with this email? Does every paragraph and sentence move the reader a step toward your objective? Is the copy engaging – why should the reader keep reading?
Start with a clear understanding of your objective, for example it could be:
- To inform your audience about a new product, service or to tell them about your company
- To guide your audience to a specific offering or call to action (CTA), hosted on your website
- To provide your audience with useful information or tips for their work or private lives, and in the process build loyalty to your brand.
The objective you set will inform the email’s content, determine its tone and define its CTA, by which you will be able to measure performance.
Tip 2: Know and understand your audience
Who are you trying to reach? Will they find your content relevant? The way you attract a CEO, for example, is not necessarily the way you’ll captivate a CFO…
Take a targeted approach. Emails can be segmented – so send custom, relevant, targeted messages to each audience group to ensure your content resonates and thus improve your results.
Try segmenting your email list based on role, language, age, gender, geographical location, and/or buyer identities/personas. Measure results. Rince, repeat.
Email is one of our Fresh Baked Ideas: 10 types of marketing that will work for you.
Tip 3: Timing is everything
Most people check their email daily (though we all have that one friend with 2,045 unopened emails in their inbox), but you can still be more effective if you send emails at certain peak attention times. Though these can vary per industry and job segment (i.e. shift workers) in general:
- Best days to send emails: Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday (in that order)
- Best times to send emails: 10am, 8pm, 2pm, 6am
Create a routine (specific day and time) and stick to it as your subscribers will get used to it over time. By doing this, your readers will anticipate your emails and may feel disappointed if you break this routine.
Meet expectations. If you send an email newsletter once per week, keep it consistent! Don’t disappoint your readers.
And less is more. Fewer, more effective emails are better than daily useless emails. Respect everyone’s time and energy – even your own.
Tip 3: Make the most of your subject line
The importance of a straightforward and transparent subject line cannot be overstated: it determines if your email is opened or not.
Grab the reader’s attention with a short (6 – 10 word) phrase or sentence that resonates with your reader’s needs, doubts, fears, desires or goals.
Be natural, not robotic, and transparent. Avoid gimmicks.
Questions and numbers are helpful – starting the conversation with a question will entice the reader to learn more. A number or fact will also draw curiosity. But remember – everything in moderation.
Tip 4: Body Copy
Be short and snappy. Get to the point.
Emails are not eBooks, whitepapers, or even blog posts. If you absolutely feel it necessary to include more information, you can include a link to some of your most popular resources.
Try keeping your paragraphs as short as possible, make use of subheadings, bullet points and mentionable facts
Try to make your content as easy to scan as possible for your readers so they can easily pick the key points. More and more people read their emails on their phones, so if your email is convoluted and not straight to the point, your reader may lose interest and not click on your CTA.
For better engagement, add colorful images that are consistent with your brand that’ll help convey your message. Try to limit the number of images to a maximum of 4 per email.
Tip 4: Call to Action (CTA)
Include 1 main CTA per email.
Remember the goal of your email? Typically, you want to incite the reader to act – to click. That’s where the CTA comes in.
Each element of your email needs to lead your subscriber to the next phase of the lifecycle of a subscriber.
For example, if your goal is for people to sign up to a webinar, make it easy to sign up with a clear button (UX/UI). Ensure your readers know signing up for the webinar is the goal of the email from the start. Mention it in the subject line and reiterate it throughout the email.
Stuck? Here’s our suggestion: Reverse engineer your email based on the CTA, by building each element of the email—subject line, storyline, hook, and images, to lead to it.
Tip 4: Gather analytics, analyze results, and implement changes
Analytics are valuable, it gives you insight on your success & shortcomings. Gather the information to improve all of the above as it relates to your industry, and your specific company, to see what worked and what didn’t.
Here’s what you should track:
- Open Rate
- Click Through Rate
- Unsubscribe Rate
- Complaint Rate
- Conversion Rate
- Bounce Rate
- Forward/Share Rate
- Campaign ROI
- List Growth Rate
The tips above may seem simple enough, but email is an art and a science. Focus on both the right-brain and the left-brain approaches to improve your email for marketing.