“Every email is a customer survey of your target market, by testing they vote on what resonates best with them” – Kath Pay
Email has been an essential part of business for many years now. For want of a better alternative and ease of usage, corporate houses have relied on various email platforms for internal and external communication. Email marketing still remain the most tried and tested marketing channel. Merits of email marketing are evident from following data published by Statista:
Approx. 269 bn emails are being sent and received everyday.
Active email users are expected to reach 4.3 bn by 2022. Practically half the world population is using email for various purposes.
For every USD 1 spent on email marketing, average return is USD 32.
However, before you jump on the email marketing bandwagon, learn how to draft successful campaigns so as to catch attention of recipients before your competition does.
“Treat your subject line like the movie trailer – give a preview so they know what to expect.” – Unknown
Subject line should be short, personal, action-oriented and honest. A study by Return Path found that subject lines below 50 characters increased open rates by 12.5 percent and click-through rates by 75 percent.
Most email clients show users a short preview of the email in addition to the subject line. If the preheader text is not specified, the software will simply pull in the start of the email. Customize the pre header with a few words e.g. six to eleven words that describe clearly why the email is valuable to the recipient of the email.
Personalize your emails
Address your customers by name in emails if possible. Send your emails from the same email address every time. Greater the personalization, easier it would be to build trust, better would be the chance of being opened and read.
It is also important to know the email campaign goals e.g whether the intended email is targeted at welcoming new subscribers, boosting engagement and nurturing existing customers or re-engaging subscribers who are not active etc.
Add your logo right at the top of your email and make it clickable by embedding the hyperlink to your website. Keep your message focused and precise. Studies suggest that for most industries, emails with around 20 lines of text and 3 or fewer images receive the highest click-through rates.
Identify the right spot for call-to-action button. It is advisable to keep it at the point when your audience has read enough to be intrigued but doesn’t yet need to scroll. Placing it right after the intro paragraph leads to click-through success.
“Not enough talk about the importance of brand in email. Customers don’t sign up for email – they sign up for your brand.” – Bob Frady
Keep your layout simple
Don’t overload the email with graphics, huge fonts etc. Keep the layout clean and simple. The layout should look professional and easy to navigate. A overly busy layout may turn the recipients off and compel them to send the email into the trash file. Follow the below guidelines for the email layout-
Social Media Links: Include links to all your active social media channels at the end of your email to allow the audience to connect with your through other avenues.
Include Address and Contact Information:Make it easy for the recipient to respond to the email or contact you in a different way. The email should can include your company’s physical address, email or contact number.
Unsubscribe Option: Offer your subscribers an easy way to opt out of future communication/s. Provide an easily visible unsubscribe link in the email.
Make emails mobile-friendly
According to Movable Ink’s Q1 2014 US Consumer Device Preference Report 66% of email opens occur on smartphones or tablets. If your emails aren’t optimized for viewing on these devices, you may miss out on a huge number of clicks.
Test the email before sending out to the actual recipient
Test and refine the email for subject lines, font sizes, colours, formatting, style, content and the call-to-action, as needed. Also test the email by sending to some employee or personal email accounts and view the email using various email clients like outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo etc and various mobile devices before finalizing your drafts. This would ensure to that any discrepancies get fixed and the message looks the way it is intended to look.
For more robust testing you can use various testing tools like Litmus(paid), Inbox inspector(free), EmailReach(free trial). These tools provide screenshots of email in different email clients and on different mobile devices.
Email Automation and follow up email plan
The automated emails can be in the form of onboarding emails, lead nurturing emails, promotional emails, and transactional or behavioural emails.
Automate the email campaign by deciding the type of follow up email and the frequency of the follow up emails. Ensure to not flood people’s inbox with too many frequent emails. This may result in high unsubscription rate.
Track your data
Before sending the email, set up proper tracking to analyse the effectiveness of your campaign. The metrics that should be considered include email deliverability, open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, unsubscribe rate, etc. Track your email performance on an ongoing basis and Modify your campaign according to the above metrics.
Tagging your emails with custom campaign tracking in Google Analytics can show how the emails are driving traffic to your landing pages and how those visitors behave once they arrive on your site. This information would be effective in tailoring your marketing message to people.
“I want to do business with a company that treats emailing me as a privilege, not a transaction.” – Andrea Mignolo