THE POWER OF THE INBOX.
MAKE YOUR EMAILS MORE EFFECTIVE BY FOLLOWING BEST PRACTICE.
Email marketing is one of the most successful ways to acquire customers and has the highest return on investment of all marketing channels. It’s worth getting it exactly right.
TARGETING & SEGMENTATION
HERE’S A FACT.
SECONDS IS THE AVERAGE TIME SPENT READING AN EMAIL.
Grabbing your audience’s attention and keeping it longer than 11 seconds will go a long way to making your emails successful. But the secret to this doesn’t involve any copywriting tricks or techniques.
IT’S ABOUT TARGETING
Targeting and Segmentation is key to email success.
Not all customers are the same and they don’t expect to be spoken to in the same way as everybody else. People don’t like being subjected to generic email blasts. They’re interested in something more personal. So, by segmenting your audience in different ways, you can tailor your message to that segment, making it more relevant, more powerful and more likely to be read.
OF ALL REVENUE IS GENERATED BY SEGMENTED AND TARGETED EMAILS
Source: The DMA
There are many different ways to segment your list. Some of the key ways are by:
DEMOGRAPHIC. GEOGRAPHIC. LIFESTYLE, ATTITUDES AND OPINIONS. PAST PURCHASE HISTORY. PAST INTERACTION WITH YOUR EMAILS.
Now that you know who you’re emailing and what’s important to them, it will be much easier to write emails that have more personal touches. You might be sending the same ‘personalised’ email out to hundreds of contacts but they don’t need to know that.
Here are a few ways to personalise your emails
- Add a first name field in your subject line and/or greeting
- Include location information if appropriate
- Send content that is relevant to a customer’s buying stage
- Only send emails that reference the last engagement the customer had with your company
- End your emails with a personal signature from a human being (not your company)
- Use a relevant call-to-action to an offer that the reader will find useful
It’s time to start crafting the email itself
PERSONALISED EMAILS DELIVER 6X HIGHER TRANSACTION RATES
THE ANATOMY OF A GREAT EMAIL
PERFECT THE SUBJECT LINE
Many people write it as an afterthought even though it’s more important than the body copy of your email. Is your subject line going to be interesting enough for someone to open it?
The best subject lines are short, descriptive, and give the reader a reason to explore your email further.
There are many different styles to subject lines and choosing one depends a lot on your industry sector and objectives. For example, clients in Financial Services like you to be direct. They like news and insights, things that can give them new knowledge and an edge. Therefore, we might use subject lines like:
Big News: The way Fintech firms gain funding has just changed.
New Insights: What the latest FS survey results mean for you.
You could also set up your subject line as a question, such as ‘What’s next for AI?’
Asking your audience a question in the subject line can instantly engage them and start a dialogue that you can naturally continue within your email. Make sure the question is open-ended though. You don’t want to give recipients the chance to answer ‘No’ and delete your email.
Then there’s ‘The List’ style, such as ‘5 Ways to Make your Small Business look Big’
Using the list can really work. It builds curiosity and focus because the audience knows that the information held within will be easy to digest.
AND DON’T FORGET ABOUT ‘SNIPPET TEXT’
Many people overlook this aspect of email marketing, but if you want to make the most of your subject line, you need to get the snippet text right.
The top-line, or ‘snippet’, is the first sentence in your email that gets displayed after the subject line. It gives readers a ‘window’ into the email you want them to open and read. And used well, it can really boost open and read rates.
You can use snippet text in three main ways:
SAY ONE THING AND SAY IT WELL
One of the biggest mistakes people make in email marketing is a lack of focus. Emails are often cluttered with disparate pieces of information because they’re trying to support every aspect of the business. People don’t have the time or energy to sift through it all.
The way to avoid this confusion is to focus on one single topic.
This focus has become even more crucial of late. The vast increase in viewing content via mobile means that people demand simplicity. When people are on the move, the single-minded message cuts through.
On average, 47% of emails are read on mobile devices1
48% of financial service emails are opened on mobile2
More than 50% B2B emails are viewed on mobile2
Source: 1 Litmus “The 2017 Email Client Market Share” (Jan 2018), Cited in: Email Monday, The ultimate mobile email statistics overview. 2 Email Monday, The ultimate mobile email statistics overview.
MORE AND MORE CONTENT IS READ ON THE MOVE AND PEOPLE DEMAND CLARITY. THAT’S WHY IT’S NEVER BEEN MORE IMPORTANT TO KEEP TO ONE TOPIC.
Phil Hawkins, CEO, 2112
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Like any copy, getting to know your audience helps to write email copy that’s more relevant to them and meets their needs. Use what you know from web and social analytics and interactions with customers to build a sense of who they are and what they want. When you know your customers, it’s much easier to write email marketing copy that makes them want to click through or get in touch.
MAKE IT SHORT & SCANNABLE
- Follow a logical structure
- Keep paragraphs short
- Three or four paragraphs max
- Make emails scannable by using bullets and subheadings to break up blocks of text, just like we did here
Whatever industry sector you are in – don’t be dull. There’s no rule that says emails from a business have to be dry.
One of the best ways to do this is to sound like a real person. Be conversational. Be direct. Be frank with people. Avoid marketing speak and write like you’re talking to someone sitting across the table from you.
Aside from the subject line, the Call to Action is the most crucial part of your email marketing campaign, because that’s what’ll get customers to convert, by taking the action you’d like them to take.
- Make the desired action clear and direct
- Try using strong command verbs like ‘Start…’, ‘Run….’, ‘Discover…’
- Use a benefit. Give your audience a reason why they should take the desired action
DESIGN – BE A MINIMALIST
CREATING AN EMAIL THAT LOOKS UNCLUTTERED DOESN’T JUST REST ON BEING CONCISE WITH THE COPY.
White space is key in email newsletters because it helps visually alleviate the cluttered feel. And on mobile, it makes it much easier for people to scroll and click the right link.
47% of emails are read via a mobile device. So, if your design isn’t optimised for it then there’s a good chance you’re making it unnecessarily difficult for your customers to view and understand your email.
STAY ON BRAND
It’s likely that your email campaigns aren’t the only way your audience interacts with your company.
Therefore, it’s essential that the design of your email campaign is aligned with the design (plus colours and fonts) that you use across all your other customer touchpoints.
This helps them to know the campaign is coming from you and helps create a level of trust and credibility in your campaign that reassures people it’s safe to click through. Nobody wants to open or interact with an email that feels foreign.
LOOKING AHEAD – TOP TRENDS TO LOOK OUT FOR IN 2019
MORE SEGMENTATION & PERSONALISATION
Segmenting audiences is highly effective, and according to HubSpot, it accounts for 58% of all earnings.
Email marketing is going to become smarter, and the trends are shifting more toward delivering content to the audiences who engage with it the most. For example, if a contact hasn’t opened an email for a while, they’ll no longer receive correspondence. On the other hand, if a lead has visited a web page on several occasions, or opened an email more than once, smart targeting and segmentation will follow up with this person, and nurture further engagement through relevant automated emails.
As segmentation and personalisation increase, so will the use of Storytelling.
Telling a story at the beginning of the email before bringing in the product or service can be highly influential when targeting a particular audience. It creates a more tailored experience and grabs readers’ attention.
MORE MOBILE READY
As already mentioned, 47% of emails are opened on a mobile device.
This figure is set to rise in 2019 and optimising for mobile will become the number 1 consideration when putting together an email marketing strategy.
MORE ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE
Companies are using AI for making their email marketing strategies stronger and more
AI is now being used for coming up with the most effective subject lines and images to predicting how a potential lead will interact with an email, how to make it more personal, and estimate when a viewer may unsubscribe from an email list. AI for marketing automation is growing demand, to the point that global automated email marketing alone is expected to account for $2.7 billion by 2025.
MORE RESPECT FOR PRIVACY
The main rule to remember here is – if you’re not sure you’re compliant don’t use the data.
Protecting people’s private data needs to be taken very seriously by anyone involved in email marketing campaigns. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into effect in May 2018, so making sure you’re compliant has never been more critical.
To find out what your organisation must do to comply with EU data protection rules, visit the official website here >