So you’ve created that one-of-a-kind email, anticipating a great response from your mailing list. You’re having a sale and there are great offers and discounts available to your customers. But you looked at the stats. The numbers from your analytics drowned your eagerness. The click-through rates are low. The response is minimal to nothing at all.
But email marketing is still one of the easiest and cheapest ways to reach your customers. It’s an effective way to keep your customers informed. There are still a lot of customers who seek sales emails in order to get the best deals they can get. Both businesses and customers know that there is a lot of value in staying connected and having a relationship with each other. That is, if it is done the right way.
There are a lot of marketing tips around the internet for email, some numbering over 50 items. If you followed each and every tip, you would likely feel constrained by everything and your writing would suffer. It’s your email campaign and you should have the power over what you write and how your write it.
That does not mean that you should ignore these tips automatically. Most promotional emails from businesses are largely ignored. Sometimes, it could go as far as marking your emails as spam, which limits your interaction with the customer. So how do we achieve unconstrained writing but effective email?
Here are 7 tips which I believe are the most essential in creating an engaging email marketing campaign.
1. Use a short but interesting subject line.
Think of the subject line as the title of your email. Aside from your email address, the subject line is one of the first things that will be seen by your customers. It is also the most critical in terms of affecting your reader’s click through. It may be composed of just a few words, compared to the body of your email, but it is the door that separates your email and your customer.
First of all, make sure that you do not use keywords that could be mistaken for spam. While modern email engines do have sophisticated mechanisms that intelligently determine whether the mail is indeed spam or not, some words could still trigger a filter system. After that, there are still words that are filtered by the recipients themselves. Words like “free”, “affordable”, or “limited time offer”, have a high probability of being ignored. One way to mitigate this is to make your subject line a call-to-action, something that urges and excites them enough to open your email.
Next, make sure that it is consistent with the content of your email. Using Re: as an initial subject line for example, would give the deception of prior correspondence. Recipients are likely to open it, only to find out that they were deceived. Establishing trust is important in building a business relationship. Doing something to boost your click-through rates would just end up hurting your business in the long run.
Finally, review it and shorten as much as possible. The number of characters for the subject line is limited. People scan their inbox quickly and presenting your topic in a few words will give them the topic of your email immediately.
2. Go straight to the point.
As much as you want to cram a lot of information in, you should present the subject of your email immediately. If you’re having a sale or a new product is available for example, put it immediately in the first paragraph. It’s even better if you put it in big, bold letters to grab their attention. Time is a limited resource. Your recipient is being gracious enough to lend some of their time to your email. Deliver your message immediately and in a way that excites your reader.
3. Think mobile.
According to an email market share study by Litmus, 56% of emails are opened on mobile, an 8% increase from last year. Mobile email users are also predicted to grow by almost 25% in 2016. Thus, your emails should be redesigned with mobile in mind.
For starters, make sure that the photos you used are optimized for mobile. There should be a good balance between faster loading time and clarity, especially for phones with smaller screens. Use the single column format which is favored by mobile devices. Finally, keep it short. Mobile users are on-the-go users.
4. Be personal.
Avoid the shotgun approach of email marketing. Segmenting your target market through buyer personas and personalizing each email depending on your recipient could make it less likely to be marked as spam. Furthermore, sending an email based on their interests and behavior would yield a higher rate of lead conversion. Use the recipient’s name as much as possible. If not, at least try to make it look mass produced. Use your actual email address instead of a email@example.com. You want to engage them, after all, not keep them from talking to you.
5. Make it easy to read.
No one likes to read blocks of text. This goes for both mobile and desktop users. A reader who sees one long paragraph will likely just scan your email or even ignore it completely.
Keep your paragraphs brief and leave white space in between. Use the space efficiently. Break your emails into sections, similar to blog posts. If you need to go into details, put up a relevant link to your website or blog post. Italicize or bold keywords for emphasis.
6. Proofread your email.
It can be a turnoff for some people if they see typographical and grammatical errors in your email copy. It shows lack of attention to detail as if you’re not taking your work seriously. Another thing to consider reviewing is the tone of your email. Does it convey the intended message or is it prone to misunderstanding? Finally, make sure that if your emails talk about an attachment, you have a file attached to your email. Else, it will be all for nothing.
7. Give genuinely useful offers or information.
This is the most important tip in my opinion. Your priority for doing email marketing is not to boost your click rates. You want to start a conversation. You want to convert your recipients into lifelong customers. Blasting them with emails with whatever you can think of is not a good strategy.
Use permission-based email marketing. Let them have the choice to get your emails instead of pushing it aggressively. People who sign up voluntarily imply a higher level of interest in your business and are more likely to convert into customers. Do deliver on your offers in your email. Craft messages that are useful to your target audience. Finally, invite feedback. Two-way communication is key to creating a lasting relationship with your customers.
Do you have other email marketing tips that you’d like to share? Tell us your thoughts below!