Email marketing can be a powerful tool to teach customers more about your brand, build strong relationships grounded in trust, and spur valuable conversions. It can also be a massive time suck bound for no greater destination than your customers’ email trash bins. The question is, how can you make sure your emails or newsletters skew more toward the former outcome than the latter? Put more simply, how can you ground your email marketing strategy in emails that your customers want to open and read? Here are four tips to get you there:
- Give your customers a reason to sign up for your emails. To start, it’s important to get an active custom opt-in before you start sending them your emails. Today, nobody reacts kindly to content they view as intrusive or spammy. Getting a customer to sign up or opt into your email list starts you off on a much better foot than simply adding them to your email list because they bought something from your webstore once. Remember: for your customers to want to read your emails, they first must want to be a part of your email list. Give them a reason to sign up or opt-in, whether it’s the promise of a one-time discount or some other valuable promotional offer.
- Set a goal. A big problem with many email marketing campaigns is that they are just too scattered. They are trying to accomplish too many things at once, which leads to cluttered, confusing emails crammed with content or links that don’t necessarily fit together in any cohesive way. The first step to avoiding this issue is setting one core goal for each email you sit down to send. Different emails might have different goals. One might be aimed at driving sales conversions. Another might be intended to build awareness around an event your business is holding. A third might be announcing a new product or service. The key is that, instead of cramming all these disparate aims into a single newsletter, you set the policy of “one goal per email.” That mindset will not only make your email communications a lot clearer to your customers, but it will also lead to shorter, more succinct newsletters, which your customers will be more inclined to read simply because they have the time to do so.
- Realize the importance of the subject and sender lines. Half the battle is getting people to open your email upon receiving it. In other words, even before you think about crafting email content someone wants to read, you need to think about the elements of your email that are going to convince someone to open the email in the first place: the subject and sender lines. The subject line is obviously important: it should tease your subject in a way that piques reader interest, but not in such a cloying way that it seems too promotional. It should contain some value proposition right there in the title, suggesting to the customer that they can get something they want from the email, be it knowledge or discounts. Asking rhetorical questions is often a great way to attract attention. Something like “Tired of a low email marketing conversion rate? Try these tips!” (if we were marketing this blog post through an email newsletter) would be a good example.
As for sender, conventional wisdom in the email marketing world goes two ways here. The first option is to give your email newsletter a snappy name and identify it in the sender column so that readers connect it with the email list to which they subscribed. The second option is to give your sender column a personal touch so that the email looks like it’s coming from a specific person at your company rather than from the brand itself. You might try some A/B testing to determine which option works best for your newsletter.
- Make sure the email reads (and looks) great. Lastly, don’t forget the email itself! Well-written, concise, goal-driven content is your best bet here. A long newsletter is a quick way to lose readers and never win them back again, so keep it brief. Don’t be afraid to link out to more in-depth content elsewhere, if needed. Aesthetic matters, too: short sentences and short paragraphs look better in email and are easier to read, particularly for users on mobile. An eye-catching email newsletter design that connects visually to your brand will give your email a boost, too. Finally, round everything out with a call to action, to spur your readers toward conversion (or toward whatever else you want them to do).
Need help revamping your email marketing plan so that your emails get opened and read on a more frequent basis? Our team at Distribion can help you assess your email communications, identify areas for improvement, and build from there to create a more effective email marketing strategy for the future.