But gaining their email address is just the first step. Maybe you feel like it’s a challenge to ensure your subscribers open and read your emails? Is it even more of a challenge to get people to click through? This is a common problem and we’re definitely here to help.
We’re going to explore some great email marketing tips for creating content so once it has landed in your customers’ inbox it will get opened, read, and most importantly – clicked on.
What is email marketing?
Email marketing has been around for almost as long as emails themselves. Rumor has it, Gary Thuerk who worked for Digital Equipment Corp, sent the first marketing email to 400 people in 1978. This email reportedly resulted in $13million worth of sales. This was definitely a great move for their business, but it was also a strong start for email marketing.
Email marketing involves collecting a database of email addresses and sending out information intending to convert the receiver into a customer. Broadly speaking, any email sent to a potential customer could be considered email marketing; as seen with the ‘drip’ technique of peppering information, which builds their trust over time to make them more likely to purchase from you or want to work with you. These days it is often centred around available offers and deals, as well as brand storytelling.
Email marketing is a little more personalised than other forms of digital or traditional marketing, as an individual has to ‘sign up’ for a mailing list, creating a direct line of contact with them. Data privacy laws differ from region to region, but one thing seems to be universally true: an individual must opt-in to your mailing list for you to be able to contact them initially.
How do I create an email marketing strategy?
Before we begin the topic of email marketing, it’s important to have an overall content plan in place. If you don’t have a dedicated email marketing strategy or a plan for how you’ll release your content, your message could be inconsistent or confusing to your audience. We don’t want that.
A good place to start is our article on 5 Ways of Creating New Content Ideas for your Website. Once you read this through and know exactly what you want to say to your audience, it’s time to share it with the world.
Within your strategy, you’ll want to establish how often you intend to send out your emails, whether or not these will be delivered to your entire mailing list or whether you’ll be segmenting your list.
For example, you may wish to separate your database into those who have just signed up to the mailing list, those who have clicked through from an email but have not yet made a purchase, people who have already purchased from you and those who are regular customers. With a powerful CRM (Customer Relationship Manager) in place, these segmentations are far easier than it may seem. Certain email marketing systems will do this for you or you can segment your list manually if you’re closely watching your online data.
Working out a plan for up to 6 months worth of content will help you feel at ease about your email marketing strategy and allow you to pivot quicker, should the online climate require you to.
How effective is email marketing in 2020?
In 2019 email marketing had 3.9 billion users with that number looking to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023. Many brands have taken their business to a more online focus in 2020 and so being able to directly reach your customers’ inbox is potentially more valuable than ever.
Campaign Monitor, one of the world’s leading email marketing systems, has done repeated studies into the benefits of email marketing. Of those surveyed, 55% of marketers believe email marketing has the best ROI for their overall campaigns. Pair this data with DMA’s which states that for every $1 spent companies can expect an average return of $42, and email marketing in 2020 is sounding very effective.
Email marketing tips for 2020
1. Grab their attention with the email subject
The email subject is undoubtedly the most important part of the email. Promise something desirable – if the reader knows exactly what they are going to learn or how the email will make their lives better or how to earn more money, they will be much more likely to open it. For example, rather than saying “We’ve launched our new tool” try using a subject line explaining how that is beneficial for them like, “Discover the best secret destinations with our new tool.”
Studies also show personalised subject lines are still effective for increasing click-throughs. So be sure to organise your database to be able to draw this information into the subject line.
2. Use conversational, snappy language
Try to get away from the fact that you are writing a marketing email – this is an opportunity for you to talk to your users, use it wisely and make the language conversational. Imagine you are writing to someone you know and address them directly, “Hope you’re having a great week, here are some great recommendations for your next holiday”.
Likewise, keep your sentences short and succinct. You only have seconds to capture the reader’s attention before they swipe off your email, so avoid large chunks of texts with long sentences. Instead, choose a few strong and engaging images which can paint a clearer picture of your message.
3. Look at other emails from successful email lists
When did you last click to open an email? What about it made you open it? Perhaps you accidentally clicked on the email, but the imagery caught your eye, or the layout made it easy to digest the information. No matter how tiny the detail, list all of the appealing qualities of the email and think about how you can apply this to your own email campaigns.
4. Give a clear call-to-action
This will stop users from procrastinating. Give people a call to action they barely have to think about and you will see more reaction to your emails, as they click to make the most of the time they have after reading the email. Tying in with the previous tip, if you have lots of content you want your readers to click on, post some teaser text with a couple of snappy sentences and then include a clear, colourful button directing them to click it to get more information.
5. Optimise your content
You may have created your email on a computer, but over 60% of those reading it will probably open it up on their phones. This means you should really be optimising for mobile first. If your email design doesn’t respond to the screen size in a way that makes sense, then you’ll undoubtedly be losing out on potential click-throughs.
While you’re doing so, double-check your design looks great in dark mode. Many users have switched to using dark mode on their smartphones to save battery life, to reportedly minimise the addictive effect of blue light and to be kinder on the eyes. Often designs created with a light mode (white background) in mind can look stark or jarring when viewed in dark mode. This isn’t a necessity, but could certainly be a limiting factor for the all-important click-through.
6. Measure your efforts
The best way to ensure you are getting the most traction from your email marketing is by using a tool that measures the performance of your emails. There are many options out there to do this for you, such as the previously mentioned Campaign Monitor or popular system Mailchimp.
Once you have run several email campaigns you can assess which ones have performed best and determine what the patterns are – is it the subjects, the time of day you send them, the placement of links or is it the content in the email itself? The stats may challenge your assumptions, but it’s better to know what works with your subscribers and optimise accordingly.
Email marketing best practice
Above all, remember you should treat your subscribers with respect. They have decided to opt-in to your emails, but can and will easily opt-out if they feel spammed or bombarded. Consider your email marketing strategy with your audience in mind. Prove to them your content is worth a place in their inbox, which is likely to already be overflowing.
77% of people still prefer email marketing over social media marketing, so with the correct optimisation, it can offer you one of the biggest returns on investment and ensure your content is getting the attention it deserves.
We hope you have found these email marketing tips useful. If there’s a particular topic you would like advice on, please get in contact and we will do our best to accommodate your request.