Optimized email marketing is an effective tool to set a company apart from their competitors when utilized correctly. Sending emails that will help, not harm your relationship with your buyer takes time and attention. It can be hard to know where to start when writing an email unless first establishing a single goal. The more specific the goal, the easier it will be to focus the content around it. Although the body of the email is relevant, it is not the only area where details matter. To consistently create excellent marketing emails begin by asking “Do you have a goal for your email?”
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Set A Goal
No one feels great about having their time wasted. Hubspot reports that 63% of people who unsubscribe from emails do so because the content they are receiving is irrelevant. (source) We know segmentation will help with this issue. But this alone won’t ensure all email sent is relevant.
Before developing email content pause to set a goal. SMART goals are a process used through inbound marketing and should extend to emails as well. A particular goal will aid in defining which segment will receive an email. It will also include a call-to-action that directs the buyer toward an action such as downloading a free offer.
Email is a communication piece that should be designed to extend the conversation. It is a tool that when used correctly will delight the buyer by giving them helpful and relevant information.
What Should My Goal Be?
- Download an e-book or free content offer
- Sign up for a webinar
- Read a blog post on a website
- Share email content with a friend who can be helped by it
The common aspect of these four ideas is that they are all action orientated, and further, they all suggest one concrete response the person receiving the email is being asked to take.
A marketing email with a call-to-action invites the reader to choose if and when they are ready to move forward in their buyer’s journey. It also reminds them that you are there to help.
Emails have the power to draw someone in or turn them away based on appearance. Have you ever opened an email and thought, I don’t have time to read all of this? Have you found yourself missing content when you pull up an email on your phone? Mobile optimization is an essential part of the marketing email design. Another is the inclusion of purposeful white space. Developing skimmable content applies to emails just as it does blog posts.
Hubspot suggests in their email marketing certification that the principle of the inverted pyramid structure the body of the email.
By including details in this order, the eye is naturally drawn from one important piece of content to the next ending with a clear call-to-action.
Including white space, bolded lines to divide sections or an image shouldn’t change this writing pattern. Images should always be relevant to the content and optimized by including alt text for mobile optimization.
Each sentence needs to focus on helping the buyer achieve your pre-established goal.
Once an email enters someone’s inbox, it becomes the buyers’ turn to “speak” in your ongoing conversation. Have you ever received an email and thought, didn’t I already get an email from them today? The frequency of emails is one factor in email engagement.
Your chances increase when the time is spent developing an engaging subject line for your email that is relevant to the content. I should add, engagement by Hubspot standards isn’t defined as having someone open your email. It’s important to measure email analytics by a number of people who follow through with the desired call-to-action. But email analytics is probably best explored in another blog post.
Nothing annoys me more than when a subject line infers a relationship is established only to read the content and discover it was only a ploy to get the email opened. The worst example of this is when a subject line looks something like re: Our meeting later today followed by the content in the body introducing a company or a product. I can’t unsubscribe quickly enough to emails like that. Subject lines are a point of access to build or harm trust with a buyer.
Many email templates will allow for a customised meta description. This is the sentence that will show up as a preview in an email box. Spend time creating a teaser that will increase curiosity or demonstrate how the email as valuable. An excellent example of this is when you send a follow-up email from a call-to-action.
Subject: Your webinar registration is complete
Meta: automatically add the webinar date to your calendar
This email conveys the content of the email in two short lines which are relevant to the receiver.
Additional Email Marketing Tips
Finally, don’t be afraid to have fun.
- Emojis may trigger a SPAM filter when placed in the subject line, but can easily be added to a meta description or into the content of the email.
- Personalize the email by including the receiver’s first name or job title. These details invite specific engagement.
- Add your personality into the content even with informational emails.
- Pick pictures that convey positive emotions when applicable
- Choose an email other than a do-not-reply address
Above all, remember marketing email is an invitation for conversation. Invite your buyer to learn more about your company and consider asking them about themselves as well. If you are having trouble figuring out an email marketing strategy for your business, send us a note! We can help you create an individualized plan.