There's an art and a science to getting your message out. Here are six tips to help your next email campaign be great!
EMAIL, SO OLD SCHOOL
Ah, email. 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.
TOP THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN DRAFTING AN EMAIL
What’s the point?
Who is my audience?
When should I send?
Subject line? Body copy?
What is my CTA?
How can I measure my goal?
Tip 1: Determine your objective, clearly
Email is 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. Rinse, repeat.
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: 10 AM, 8 PM, 2 PM, 6 AM
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 4: 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 5: Don’t forget about 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 four per email.
Tip 6: Entice with your CTA
Include one main CTA per email.
Remember the goal of your email? Typically, you want to entice the reader to act – to click. That’s where the CTA comes in.
Each element of your email needs to lead your reader to the next phase of the subscriber lifecycle.
For example, if your goal is for people to sign up for a webinar, make it easy to sign up with a visible button. 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 7: Gather analytics, analyze results and implement changes
Analytics are valuable, they give you insight into your success and shortcomings. Gather the information needed 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 perfecting an email is both an art and a science. Focus on utilizing both a right-brain and a left-brain approach to improve your email for marketing.