Every email you send should have a purpose.
Never EVER send an email just to check it off your to-do list. You’ll run the risk of losing credibility with your audience and you won’t see the kind of results that email is known to provide.
When done right, email marketing can be your most effective marketing channel. In fact, the Direct Marketing Association found that email marketing has an ROI of 4300%.
So how do you go about creating an email that makes an impact?
First, you need to understand the four goals of every email. It’s important to understand that without each of these steps working in tandem, you’ll never get them to the end goal – leads and sales.
Think of this process as a sequence of four triggers to move your email viewer to the next stage.
Goal 1: Arrive in the inbox
Seems simple enough, but deliverability is a huge issue for company’s large and small.
Here’s a quick overview:
- Clean your list
Remove unsubscribes, bounces, and clean out old emails that haven’t opened.
- Test your email creative
Use testing services like Email on Acid or Litmus
- Avoid using spam words
Here’s a list of 100 spam words you should avoid.
- Select a reputable sender
Only use senders with high deliverability rates like MailChimp, Emma, Hubspot, or if you’re a larger organization you’ll want to look into Marketo or Pardot from Salesforce.
- Use a real email address
Don’t send from a “no reply” email address. If possible, use someone’s name to make it more personal and respond to any replies you receive.
Goal 2: Open the email
We are bombarded with email daily. The average office worker receives 121 emails and sends around 40 per day. So getting eyeballs on your message starts with the inbox display.
You have three ways to affect the open rate:
- From name
You can test many different from names including: Different first and last name combos, First @ Company Name, Company Name, Blog or Product Name.
- Subject line
I love using this headline preferences survey to help me develop subject lines. My top tips: keep it short, use the word “you” in the first 3 words if possible, and don’t give away all the info, give them a reason to open.
- Teaser line
Over 50% of email is now viewed on mobile devices. So the teaser line, the line you see just below the subject line on your phone, is becoming more and more important. Make sure that your subject line and teaser line work together to get the viewer to want to open the email.
Goal 3: Read the email
The average human attention span has dropped to just 8 seconds. In comparison, the goldfish beats us at 9 seconds.
With email, it’s even worse. You have 2.7 seconds to grab your reader’s attention.
Make sure your email is:
This is where segmentation is important. You don’t want to send an email about baby blankets to a teenager heading off to college or a $10,000 watch to someone who makes under $50,000 a year. It’s important to fully understand your customers’ demographics and firmographics and provide relevant content.
Have fun with emails. Add pictures and animated gifs. Use bright colors and bring your audience into an experience.
Treat them to something interesting. Pull them into a story and make them feel emotion.
Keep it focused on one topic so that they can quickly make a decision.
Goal 4: Take action
This is the reason you sent the email. You wanted your viewer to do something. Sign up for a free trial, download an ebook, register for a webinar, purchase a product.
It’s important that your call to action (CTA) is:
The viewer shouldn’t have to guess what’s going to happen after they click. Make it clear what’s next. And avoid using ‘Click Here’ or ‘Submit’ any time you create a CTA.
Asking for someone to buy now when they don’t know the details can feel like a big commitment. So make sure your CTA is letting them know that they are just going to the next step. Ask them out for coffee before the marriage proposal.
Don’t give your viewer too many options. They should have one clear CTA so that they don’t have to make a decision.
As I mentioned before, over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices. The average finger is 44px so design your CTA button or text to be large and easily clickable.
I’ve laid this process out in steps so that you can avoid the overwhelm that comes with marketing. Use this as a checklist.
First set up your system so that every time you go to send you’ll have the right pieces in place.
Then, think like you’re the receiver of the email, putting yourself in their shoes. If you allow yourself to change your mindset like this you’ll quickly catch mistakes.
As I said before, email marketing is one of the, if not the most effective marketing channel of our day. Allowing you to create relationships with your audience, deliver engaging content that sets you apart, and drive ROI for your organization.