Email marketing is a powerful tool to communicate with prospects and customers. Email statistics, which prove its effectiveness, are often mentioned in any article regarding email marketing campaigns, however, there is still a remarkable amount of cynicism among marketers concerning the effectiveness of simply sending an email to a contact list hoping for some margin of return.
WRITING BETTER EMAIL COPY
Eyebrows are raised in astonishment when email marketing statistics are considered in light of their effectiveness. Consider the following:
- By 2020, email will be used by over 3 billion people. Can you think of a more cost-effective way to reach even a portion of nearly half the world's population?
- 205 billion emails are sent every day. That seems to suggest an over-saturated market where the small business person has little to no chance to compete. The opposite is true, however, because email marketing is the channel that places small and big business on equal footing.
- Email return-on-investment is for every $1 spent, a marketer can expect on average a $38 return.
So what are the best practices of a successful email marketing campaign?
The subject line is the most important part of any email marketing campaign. Its design and intent is to compel people to open and read a well-crafted piece. If it doesn't immediately grab the reader by the throat, click, and off to the rubbish pile it goes. Think of the subject line as the cover of a book. If people judge a book by its cover, you may assuredly assume email content is judged by its subject line.
Subject Line Best Practices
- Keep it short, under 50 characters because long subject lines get cut off in mobile
- Do not repeat the subject line in the body of content
- Do not call your email a newsletter
- Be specific
- Don't make false promises
- Subject line is a summary of what follows
- Stay away from words such as: urgent, important, matter of life or death, etc.
- Optimize for mobile
- Use action words
Audience – Segmentation
Do you want to send an email that discusses upgrades and updates of your product or service to generate leads? Probably not. That type of email would be more suited for an ongoing customer list.
Before you begin writing you must know your target audience. You want to send the right information to the right group of people at just the right time. Since over 60% of people say that most marketing emails appear to not contain content worth reading, it is wise to focus on context as well as content.
Segmentation Best Practices
- Segment according to interests
- Segment according to purchase history
- Segment according to where they are at in the buying process
If you target the right people with the right message at the right time, you increase the chances of your email being opened and read.
Now that you have a subject line dedicated to a segmented contact list you can focus on the message you want to send. If you were careful to avoid spam triggering words in the subject line that overly promote, it becomes just as important to know that there are over 200 words that will send your email directly to a contacts spam folder. Such words as: Act Now! Don't Hesitate!, Full Refund, Buy Now.
In general, stay away from words that oversell and promote.
The purpose of any email marketing campaign is to build brand awareness. You want people to know who you are without wearing out your welcome. Timing is everything in email and a wise marketer is one who has done the research.
Some emails build lead generation through the addition of a call-to-action button that should click-through to an inviting landing page where enlightened users are offered valued free information in exchange for an email address. The CTA button gives interested readers a way to respond.
If your subject line and body of content has done its job, readers will be looking for a way to sign-up and register with your firm.
Email Content Best Practices
- Compose a courteous greeting then head into the body of content
- Make it personal – use the contacts first name when appropriate which is most of the time
- Content must remain true to the subject line.
- State the reason for the email in the first four or five sentences
- Ask questions – get your readers thinking
- Be a problem solver
- Make emails easier to read by writing shorter sentences, shorter paragraphs, and creating space between paragraphs
- Create a list – use bullet points (like I'm doing here!)
- Use proper punctuation
- Try not to be overly clever with the English language – Use relevant words and phrases – Write like you're trying to explain it to an 8th grader
The definitive outcome of a well-planned and well-timed email campaign is to gather and garner conversions. It is going to require time, patience, and some trial and error to achieve a reliable return on your investment.
To learn more about how to improve your marketing strategies, give us a call at 661-702-1310!