With the whole world caught up in the social media marketing frenzy, email marketing has been somewhat relegated from its position of prominence. It’s like digital marketers discovered a new, shiny toy in social media marketing and as a result, they simply stopped playing with the old and trusty email marketing. Sure, email marketing isn’t as trendy as social media, but the fact remains that it is still much more effective in meeting your brand’s needs than any other channel of marketing.
Not only are there more people using email than Facebook and Twitter combined, but also a high-quality, segmented list of email subscribers affords you a personal audience with each individual on your list, through their inbox. With the right kind of email campaign, you can achieve a certain level of intimacy with the subscribers and build a trusting relationship with them. To establish this kind of rapport with your customers, your emails must satisfy certain criteria, and above all provide value to the recipient. The following tips will help you create the perfect email and contribute to the success of your campaign.
#1 Make the subject line concise and personal
The subject line of your email will be the first thing the subscriber lays his/her eyes on; it is therefore essential that you deliver a subject line that is clear, concise and intriguing. Your target should be to keep the subject line less than 70 characters long as anything more than that is likely to be cut-off in the subscriber’s inbox view.
Besides the necessary brevity, a touch of personalization goes a long way in building a connection with your potential customer. Including their first name in the subject line is a great way to start building a relationship and incite a positive reaction from them.
#2 The recipient should have a clear idea whom the email is from
There are two alternatives you can explore when it comes to the ’From’ field of your email – you can opt for using the name of a person (a representative of your brand) or include your brand name. Both these approaches have their own advantages – while having the name of a company representative adds a human touch to your correspondence, your brand name is more recognizable than anything else. Choosing between these two depends on what works for your particular brand in testing; just make sure that the recipient has an idea where the email is coming from and is not left in a state of confusion – that can have a negative impact on your open-rates.
#3 The body/content of your email must elicit a positive response
Once the initial hurdle of getting a subscriber to open your email has been crossed, your next aim should be to dazzle him/her with your content. And this doesn’t merely mean that your content should be visually appealing; it should also be formatted in a way that the customer gets all the relevant information with the least effort.
Before you begin designing the body of the email, bear in mind that the content must fit the following dimensions – 600 pixels across by 3 inches deep. This is the average size of the email preview pane across different mail providers; if you comply with these dimensions and ensure that all important information is displayed within this space, you can be certain that the subscriber will at least cast his/her eye on it and hopefully get hooked.
Lengthy paragraphs of text are a definite no-no when it comes to writing email copy. Your goal should be to provide relevant information only in short paragraphs so as to not intimidate the recipient into hitting delete. Interspersing contextual images with the text is a great way to liven up your content, though care should be taken to ascertain that the images aren’t too heavy and that they load quickly in the subscriber’s browser.
Additionally, a lot of email users disable the display of images in their emails by default; in order to make sure that such subscribers don’t have to put up with empty white spaces between the text, adding the necessary alt text is very important. Alt text is what is displayed in place of an image when the image can’t be rendered, a sort of textual description of the image that improves the recipient’s understanding of the content even if the images aren’t visible (at the very least, it doesn’t ruin their visual experience).
And finally, keep the colours and fonts in your body quaint and sober. Garish, loud and overwhelming colours and fonts don’t please anybody; they just make people unsubscribe.
#4 The call-to-action must be easily visible
At the end of the day, you want your email to instigate an action from the recipient – whether it is signing up for a newsletter, upgrading their membership or making a purchase, the call-to-action is the most important part of your email. It is therefore crucial that before your subscribers lose interest, a call-to-action button should tell them what they must do next. Make sure that the call-to-action button is easily visible so they don’t have to scan the email for it, and risk losing a conversion.
#5 Try to incorporate social media
Complement your email marketing with your social media prowess by including social sharing buttons in your emails. According to a survey by Econsultancy, three social media sharing buttons increase the click-through rate by 55%!
#6 Make it easy to unsubscribe
Users who don’t wish to continue receiving your emails must have the option to quickly and easily unsubscribe from the mailing list. A simple ‘Unsubscribe’ button in the footer makes sure that the users don’t get annoyed and simply mark your mail as spam, something that can greatly harm your deliverability in the future.
#7 Provide value to your subscribers
Apart from everything else, your email should provide some value to your subscribers. It should give them information or a discount; it should make them think or laugh out loud. You can ask for feedback or you can make them feel a part of an exclusive club. These are the things that help you forge a relationship with your customers – when they know they have something to gain from opening your mail, you can rest in the knowledge that your campaign has been a success.
Following these steps will help you design an email that is informative, concise, visually appealing and worth your customer’s time. Most importantly, your customers will look forward to reading your email rather than permanently designating them to the junk folder!
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