Customers have become used to advertisements presented everywhere they look and their mailboxes are as crowded with brand announcements as Times Square; that is why they usually treat marketing emails like spam. How can you attract the attention of the customer in this tangle of messages and encourage them to buy without being accused of spamming? Let’s take a look at a few tips that help make designing a mailing campaign a snap.
First of all – get permission
Before entering someone’s house, good manners (and the law) say that you should be invited inside first. Before you start sending emails, you need to have a sizable email list. The easiest way to get customer email addresses is to offer them something in return, like an ebook, report or discount. Put your incentive in a prominent place on the website.
Set your goals and segment subscribers accordingly
Communicating via email can help you accomplish different goals, the most popular being:
- welcoming new subscribers
- boosting engagement with your offer or business content
- nurturing existing subscribers by giving them something valuable, like educational materials or discounts
- reengaging subscribers who haven’t been active for some time
You can segment your clients according to other factors like place of residence, age, interests etc. – everything depends on what kind of campaign you’re going to run. This way customers will get content they care about and be more likely to open your message, get through it and check any links attached.
Get familiar with email types
There are three key email types that you will find useful:
1. Promotional emails, sent when you want to communicate an offer or sale; these are self-promotional.
2. Relational emails, giving subscribers promised materials, like monthly newsletters, free gifts, special birthday offers or any other relevant information.
3. Transactional emails, such as signup confirmations, welcome messages, order/purchase confirmation etc.
When you decide which types of emails you’re going to use, consider their number and frequency. You don’t want to flood your subscribers with unwanted messages, but don’t let them forget you, too.
Encourage customers to sign up
Try to prepare some attractive opt-in forms and display them in different places on your website. For example, you can use:
- website welcome gates, which pop up when somebody visits your website; they mainly consist of simple headlines and calls to action
- headers, which are a perfect place to put some email sign-up since they are clearly visible and can be seen without scrolling down the site
- lightbox popups, temporarily blanking the page, so the client can focus on the presented content; a good idea is also making such a pop-up appear after a few seconds of looking around the page content
- exit-intent popups, popping up when the client wants to leave the website
There’s no email marketing campaign without images!
Dress it up it with a GIF, video or graphic. Remember that graphics must be related to the content of the email. If you use external sources, make sure you do not break copyright laws.
What do you think?
Master your word
When creating copy consider parts such as:
- a personal story that will influence emotional connection with the client
- links to valuable materials and articles that further develop topics covered
- “person to person” approach, which means “I” writing to “you”. The more personal touches you include in your email, the greater the chance that the subscriber will engage emotionally in the presented content. Explain your offer benefits in the role of a friend recommending a given product;
- focus on the first paragraph – clients are busy, and if they do not find anything attracting their attention in the first part of the message, it is unlikely that they will read it to the end; what is more, this first-important-thing rule applies also to other things that the recipient of the e-mail sees first, including “from” address, subject line, preheader, greeting, etc.
- keep it short
- use bullets, boxes etc. and avoid making your mail looking like a serious scientific article
When you finally have content and a subscribers’ list, test them. Decide when to send a proper campaign and edit it if needed. If you are not sure if everything is ok, check the email in accordance with the checklist below:
- is your message clear to the reader?
- are the graphic elements of good quality?
- do you have a catchy opening line?
- is your email copy clear and concise?
- have you provided a visible call to action?
- do all included links go to the right destinations?
- does the email fit the designated goal?
- did you check the email for stylistic problems and typos?
You can check some of these points yourself, like image quality, text composition, links, etc., but copy transparency is more difficult, especially if it’s your own work. It is possible to carry out the first test within your team or on a smaller segment of subscribers.
And finally – send it
When everything looks good, share your campaign with the world!
The power of data feedback
Sending emails is not the end of actions related to the campaign. After a few days, check the results of the mailing and draw as many conclusions as possible, which will allow you to improve your future content. Below you will find a few questions that will help you improve your campaign strategy next time:
How many of your clients use mobile devices? Based on this information, you will be able to better select design and graphic elements.
Which client segment was least engaged with your emails? Answering this question will give you an opportunity to retarget them and try to engage them with an email once again.
The most important stages of creating a campaign are planning and checking feedback. It is also comforting that after the first mailing, thanks to the collected data and their more thorough analysis, you can avoid mistakes in future campaigns.