1. Perfect your timing to maximize engagement
Marketing via email is all about maximizing open rates. But this isn’t as simple as writing high-quality content that captivates customers and motivates them to make a purchase. It’s also about timing.
For instance, B2B marketers targeting network managers in the power sector may want to post newsletters between Monday and Friday, probably early in the working day. That way, they can catch subscribers before they get stuck into their workload.
B2C marketers looking to draw in fashion lovers may use a different strategy. If they post during working hours, they may miss the sweet spot in the day when people are looking to relax and read leisurely. Instead, weekends and early evenings could be ideal although lunch breaks are worth a shot as well.
Marketing via email is more dependent on titles than almost any other marketing discipline. It’s amazing how much money depends on a few words. When trying to persuade customers to open your email, even putting a character in the wrong place can be fatal.
Getting subject lines right is crucial. Firstly, think outside the box. Choosing subject lines which are a little bit wacky, fun and humorous is a great way to grab attention.
Secondly, use subjects that make readers feel a sense of urgency. It’s often helpful to link email marketing efforts to deadlines which make readers less likely to put the email to one side. So, highlight a sales event and how limited the window is. When readers know that time is short, their brains are much more likely to want to find out more.
3. Stand out from the flood of spam
These days, email marketers aren’t just competing with other companies in their sector; they also need to ensure that their content isn’t mistaken for phishing emails or other types of spam.
When writing newsletters, put yourself in the place of your email subscribers as they consider which emails to open. If they are paranoid about malware and sensitive to scams, they will stay away from anything which seems suspicious.
Double check headers for grammar and spelling errors, keep your style consistent and make sure that any links you include are 100% secure and accurate. This won’t just help to build credibility in the eyes of readers; it will also guard against your email newsletter being automatically consigned to spam folders.
Formatting your marketing material is as important as the content it features. Take mobile campaigns, for example. Nowadays, almost all companies need to appeal to smartphone users, which means that their newsletters have to be optimized for mobile devices.
Some formatting tips apply to all content. Firstly, make sure that headers, images and body text are properly arranged with no overlaps. Any visual flaws will be a big turn-off for casual readers. It’s always advisable to test each newsletter thoroughly to make sure that the layout works.
Similarly, try to ensure that your content fits into standard email client displays. This is easy to overlook, but it’s essential. Messages which require users to scroll sideways to read each line are never well received.
Finally, achieve the right mix of content and images. Don’t include images that are too large, and which dominate the newsletter. Be sure to add key text “above the fold” so that it is the first thing readers encounter. It’s the text that hooks them more than pretty images (although images can help!).
5. Content is crucial: make every word count
Our last tip is probably the most important of all: whatever content you include in your email marketing newsletter, make sure that it is relevant, concise, professional and speaking directly to your target audience(s).
If you use images, link them tightly to your brand identity and the subject of the email. Don’t just use them for decoration. When you write body text, focus on providing information that matters. Tell readers about why you’ve written to them and why they should read on.
Don’t waffle about your products or sales. Lead the readers clearly from an above-the-fold welcome through to an introductory paragraph, then concisely cover the information on whatever you’re trying to communicate and finish on a tasteful call-to-action to round things off. Emphasize the call-to-action with links or graphics, but don’t skimp on the body text. The body is the meat of your newsletter, and it has to be written professionally.