Writing an effective email blast to your fans or customers is an art that requires patience, testing new things, and analyzing the results in order to see what works. To be successful, you have to get all of the elements right when starting your email campaign. Think of it like a recipe—if you were baking cookies, they’d probably taste off if you forgot something small like the salt, or the brown sugar. This is what happens often with email marketing! We get most of the recipe right, but there might be one or two small things we forget about. When this happens, your momentum takes a hit, and it can affect the performance of your email campaign as a result.
If you know the components of what a great email marketing message contains, you stand a much better shot of coming up with something that will get results: better open rates, and stronger click through rates. In the long run, it will also be much better to tweak your content for optimizing those results!
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Have an overall goal for your email campaign.
Before you start writing or planning anything for your next email campaign, make sure you map out exactly what it is you want to accomplish with it. For example, you might want to raise awareness for a new section of your website, or direct customers to a brand new product or service that you offer. At the start of your campaign, define this goal, and then build your content and design around it.
2. Put way too much thought into your subject line.
Many authors and writers will give you this same advice, but there’s a valid reason: plenty of marketers still write spammy or boring subject lines for their emails! Would you put more time and effort if you knew that 47 percent of people say that they decide what to open and what to skip based on the subject line of incoming email?
Test multiple versions of your email with different subject lines, and see which one works best for the specific campaign you’re doing.
3. Then, dump just as much time into your headline and opening body copy.
If your customer liked your email subject line enough to open it up—congratulations! You’ve made it pretty far already. The next step is keeping their interest, and having a headline and introductory body copy that builds upon the excitement or curiosity of the subject line. Make sure this connection is consistent, and that you have enough content (but not too much) to explain the benefits of what you’re offering. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and ask, “What is in it for me? What would I want to read?”
4. Keep your design in mind.
You don’t necessarily need a work of art to be successful, but it’s essential to have your email designed and formatted in a way to make it easy for your customer to skim through your content and see what’s important. Base your use of colors, icons, and images around this to stay focused on your objective.
5. Make your call to action unique.
The goal of most email campaigns is to get the reader to click on something. After a customer has made it through your email, they’re usually presented with a button or some sort of link directing them to your site. What gets them to click? As we’ve covered recently, there is a notion that “friction” exists among your customers, and very slight subconscious cues can be what gets them to click or not. Therefore, you want to write your call to action in a way that makes your customer feel invited, rather than hesitant or unsure.
For example, a CTA such as “Submit” is much more generic and less action oriented than something like, “Show me all the new features!”.
6. Know when to send.
Just like in social media, timing your email campaign is critical. When is your customer most likely to check their inbox? In a 2013 study from MarketingSherpa, 26% of marketers rated Tuesday as the best day to send email. Looking at the graph below, we can also see that Friday is the worst day for getting a message out:
Once you have the day figured out, you’ll need to decide on the time to send your email. For that, look at the defining traits of your core audience. Are they seniors? Teenagers? Your open rate will vary greatly on when you send out your email, so it’s important to know when your audience is most likely to see it.
With all of these tips, there’s one key thing to remember: testing! You can have a lot of great ideas, but they may not work flawlessly when executed. However, with proper testing, you can optimize and design the perfect email campaign for your audience.