When you're using email as a marketing tool, you're working on a pretty personal basis. This isn't ‘drive-by' stuff -you're directly targeting customers from their inboxes. There's a huge amount of potential which comes with this kind of marketing... but you'll only reap that potential if you REALLY understand both the marketplace you're operating from, and the audience you're talking to.
Embedding images, animation, and vids in an email are tricky, as these elements often mess up during the transfer from one platform to another. A multitude of email clients, operating systems, and connection speeds make this an area in which to proceed with caution. Videos and animation are undeniably eye-catching and engaging, so it may be worth the risk of a dropoff to include them.
Whenever possible, add a personal element to your emails. Most email tools allow you to enter shortcodes that will be replaced with the recipient’s name when the email is sent out. Emails from Treehouse Co-Founder Ryan are always fun and personal. The subject lines are creative, messages are sent "from" Ryan's email address, and the content is personalized. If you reply to the mail, you'll even get a prompt response from Ryan himself!
Use compelling copy – It’s important in your automated emails to create desire towards the conversion action, and there is no better way to do this than by using compelling, benefit-focused copy. We regularly use copywriting formulas such as the PAS formula or the BAB formula to achieve this in our own email campaigns, and they are two resources worth checking out. Alternatively, if those formulas don’t quite fit the message of your email then use these 5 persuasion techniques to help you write email copy that converts.
Be clear about what people can get and how to get it. This is the backbone of this email marketing strategy. Tell people about the benefits they can get. Write a separate email about each major benefit, if you want. Make sure those benefits come out clearly. But also keep it conversational. Don’t just list a bunch of benefits and expect people to buy. Also, remember to be clear about what they need to do to get those benefits. Tell them to “click here” or “apply for a consultation.” Don’t force people to think about how to move forward. It’s not that they couldn’t figure it out. It’s just unnecessary (and therefor annoying) when you could make it easy for them.
You split your email subscriber list into “cold” vs. “warm” leads so you can compare similar groups of customers in this test. You prepare two versions of your email—one with the normal subject line, and one with a much shorter, punchier subject line. You send half of your cold leads the normal subject line and half of your cold leads get the new, exciting subject line. You also send half of your warm leads the normal subject line, and the other half get the new subject line.
Technology has a significant impact on consumers’ expectations, and those expectations impact how subscribers engage with your email marketing. Brands need to continually demonstrate that they know their customer, which can make it a challenge to stay on top of the evolving context of marketing. An email strategy can make all the difference between building a relationship with your customers and sinking without trace.
That isn’t to say that sales-y promotions couldn’t ever create results—as marketing “gurus” have proved. The results just aren’t as good as they could be. Take the biggest gurus’ results—the ones they boast about—and calculate their conversion rates. Often their marketing is comparatively ineffective. They just have massive volume, so the sales numbers are impressive.
Take the email below from Paperless Post, for example. I love the header of this email: It provides a clear CTA that includes a sense of urgency. Then, the subheader asks a question that forces recipients to think to themselves, "Wait, when is Mother's Day again? Did I buy Mom a card?" Below this copy, the simple grid design is both easy to scan and quite visually appealing. Each card picture is a CTA in and of itself -- click on any one of them, and you'll be taken to a purchase page.
There are lots of ways to buy an email list, but none of them will actually benefit your campaign. Why? Since the owners of these email addresses didn't explicitly agree to receive content from you, there's no telling how interested they are -- or if they're even a fit for what you have to offer. A bought email list is also in violation of GDPR (we'll talk more about this in just a minute).
Sometimes low-hanging fruit is as easy as it looks. Personalizing emails, as well as segmenting them—a marketing technique that teases out your subscriber list to send relevant emails to specific subscribers—can offer significant returns. Segmenting emails allows you to target specific groups of subscribers, which leads to substantial increases in click-through rate.
A significant element of email marketing is relationship. Does a recipient trust you? Does a recipient even know who you are? When an email jumps the gun by forcing familiarity too soon, the personalization comes across as skeevy. Intimacy is earned in real life, and it would appear to be the same way with email. Take this example from my inbox; no one has called me lowercase kevan l lee in years.
What does your current email marketing performance look like? Analyse the performance of key metrics such as Open Rate, Click-through-Rate (CTR), Deliverability Rate, Unsubscribe Rate, ROI. What is working well and what isn’t. This can also be internally focused – for example, maybe it is taking a long time to create email content, or the creation process is inefficient.
Structure your email for scanners – Research shows people don’t read email campaigns word for word like they do a book, instead, they scan the email looking for elements that pique their interest. So in order to get your message across you need to make sure your automated email campaign is structured for scanners. This post on the subject outlines exactly how to do it.
Every week, the folks at InVision send a roundup of their best blog content, their favorite design links from the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt. (Seriously. They give away a new design every week.) They also sometimes have fun survey questions where they crowdsource for their blog. This week's, for example, asked subscribers what they would do if the internet didn't exist.