We've all had emails which make us want to do something: yes, I want to visit that event, go to that restaurant, and I absolutely need those shoes! But how do they hook us in? We've dissected what makes a good email and put together our top 5 email marketing tips:
Who are your audience?
As with any marketing campaign the first step with email marketing is to understand who your audience are.
Get to know your subscribers before you send an email, find out how they were recruited, if they selected a preference for hearing about certain products or services when they signed up, and when they last opened an email.
If this is the first time you’re segmenting, and you’ve been sending blanket emails, run a report to see how many people regularly open your emails. There may be some people that you’ve been spamming, and you don’t want to end up on the naughty list like we saw from Fortune’s Worst Spam article naming the top 15 worst companies for it!
If there are some subscribers who haven’t opened in 4+ months, ask if they still want to hear from you, no one wants to be an email bore! Send an email to the remaining list, who aren’t already segmented, asking what they would like to hear about, you can then start sending relevant emails to relevant groups.
Subject lines can be tricky: you want your customer to open your email, but you just have so much to tell them! What is going to be the best message to encourage them to open your email over the million others in their inbox?
Make your subject lines short, intriguing and relevant. This might sound very simple (and it is) but everyone has received emails which don’t follow this formula. Subject lines should ideally contain 4 words or less and not use complicated words and phrases which get lost in email inbox translation. Most email platforms have a nifty tool to split test your subject line and test two subject lines against each other to see which one performs best.
Another top email tip is to intrigue your mailing list subscriber with a subject line that doesn’t say very much. For instance, Obama’s presidential campaign sent emails with just the subject line ‘Some scary numbers’ and ‘Hey’, which had Obama himself as the signatory. Obviously, we aren’t telling you to send out an email saying ‘Hey’, as this email was sent to people who were highly aware of who Obama is, but try and think outside the box. What will intrigue your customers, who do they want to hear from and what are they interested in?
Make your subject lines relevant, believe it or not, some subject lines aren’t relevant at all to the content within the email itself. Your subject line needs to sum up the content of the email to avoid bewilderment upon opening.
Ask yourself, who do your email subscribers want to hear from? Do they like hearing from your brand, or is there someone in your organisation who is a figure head for your company? People like to hear from other people, so if you have someone particularly relevant to use as your email signatory it’s always worth a test!
Now a note on length of copy; just as with the subject line, make your copy snappy! Your readers are busy people, especially when there are other emails to read. Attention is limited, get your main point across in the first two lines and put your main call to action above the email fold so they can quickly grasp what the email is asking them to do.
Everyone loves a beautiful clear image. Make sure your email images are the same and relevant to the content of the email. A picture says a thousand words, steer away from fuzzy pixelated images and tiny images with lots of text surrounding them.
We’ve all been there: you get a great email with a deal on a product you really want, you click on the link in the email in anticipation… only to go to the webpage which doesn’t actually show you that particular item.
At which point you’re done and they’ve missed a sale. A lesson learned from this sad event is to check your webpages are relevant to the email. If in doubt (and you should anyway) test the email journey, send a test email to yourself and click on each link to make sure it makes sense.
It's also worth testing the email with a colleague not familiar with the campaign, if at any point you have to explain the email journey to them it’s time to go back to the drawing board!