Email Marketing – Creating Emails People Want to Open
Email is the most inexpensive and powerful way to reach your customers and prospects alike. If handled correctly, your email campaigns will deliver some fine benefits. You will get greater visibility, maintain and even improve your image, and beef up your email lists so your next campaign will have even greater success.
The content for your email is of course, hugely important, and the structure of your email matters more than you might think. By following these 8 steps, people will not be able to help themselves; they will want to open your emails and act on them (translation: they will read then buy).
1. The more you know
The more familiar you are with your target audience, the better you can determine what the best message is to convey to them. Your message needs to be tailored to suit your objective and your audience at the same time.
2. Do not go all “Tolstoy” on them
It is not the time to struggle with your inner author. If you want to get overly descriptive and drawn out, go write a book. For email, you always need to keep your messages short and sweet. One or two short paragraphs with brief sentences should be enough to get your message across. People do not want to think too much and you have only got a few seconds to impress the reader enough to click and take an action within your message. Try being clever, or bring in some humor to the mix. Think about how you react when you get a good email offer that engages you, and actually contains something you really, really want. Something you just have to have. The response you desire is almost caveman basic: “Offer good. Me want to buy.”
3. Get their attention
Clearly spell out the offer right up front. Do not let your audience lose interest in your message before you even hit them with the goods. Highlight the top reasons the offer is a must have and emphasize the valid time frame for the offer right away. This sense of urgency will be a nagging inner voice, reminding them about this great deal. Example: “Limited time offer – 25% off Pool Repair when you buy a deluxe pool cleaning kit by April 3rd, 2009!” Summer is around the corner, that crack might get bigger, and that kit will help Johnny keep the bugs and leaves out! You get the idea.
4. Taking action
Be sure to have call to action links to make it uber-easy for a customer to take the next step. Include links right at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of your email to help them take action. In addition to the offer itself, provide supporting documents, a free download, and a link to your website for more information. They are going to hop, skip and jump around your message. Be ready for them and collect their contact information whenever it makes sense.
5. Sally sells sea shells
You need to make sure your content reads well. Read it out loud. Seriously – find a quiet space, and let it roll. If your content reads like a tongue twister, or feels like you’re stumbling trying to get the words out, it is not going to be an easy read for the recipient. It is time to rewrite. When you’re confident in your masterpiece, ask someone else to review it, they might have some great suggestions that you didn’t even think of, or catch some grammatical errors that you skipped right over.
6. Simplicity in design
A simple design is the most pleasing to the eye. Do not get overly complicated with format. Loads of graphics put the brain on sensory overload. However, you need to strive for the right balance. Have a picture of your product or offering? Add it in. Offering a service of sorts? Add in a nice graphic to illustrate. The right balance of pictures and text are an email’s best friend. Be sure you are consistent with your style and image for follow on email campaigns, it helps the customer remember you, and respond accordingly.
7. Match the shoes with the bag
The subject line is the first thing folks will read when your email hits their inbox, so you need to make sure your subject line relates to the topic of your email. After your email is all laid out, it is time to think of the perfect subject line that will entice folks to open it up.
8. Learn the lessons well, Grasshopper.
Track and measure your email campaigns. Note how many emails bounce, get trashed without being opened, and record how many visits you get to your website. After a time, you can compare the effectiveness of your campaigns and discern why one did better than another. This will allow you to learn from past mistakes, and make any tweaks you think necessary for the next round. Your email marketing campaigns are sure to evolve as you fine tune your offerings with lessons learned from past campaigns. Give these proven and sound tactics a try. You have got nothing to lose, and many sales to gain.