Of all the online marketing options that have become available over the years, email marketing remains one of the most effective. Inexpensive and in a format most people access daily, email marketing allows you to get your business in front of thousands of people with just the click of a button. Well, the click of a button and some great content! After all, to be an effective marketing tool your emails first need to convince recipients to open them. Writing emails people will actually open takes skill – it requires you to know your audience and craft your emails based on that knowledge. Here are a few of our best tips for writing great emails.
Don’t Send Emails Just to Send Emails
In other words, don’t send an email just to stick to a marketing schedule. Make sure you actually have something of value to offer your readers. The average person receives 96 emails a day, so if your emails don’t give them something useful, they’re just noise. You need to offer fresh, relevant information that gives your readers something valuable in exchange for their time. Don’t be too salesy either – nothing makes a person delete an email more quickly than a sales pitch. If your audience knows your emails always offer useful information, they will be more likely to open and read them.
Use an Attention-Grabbing Subject Line
Your subject line is the first thing readers will see, so it needs to convince them to open your email. It should be short, descriptive and make them want to read more. Your subject line should answer the question “what’s in it for me?”. The first 2-4 words are the most important and should make readers immediately understand that your email contains information that will be valuable to them. Try personalizing your subject line if you can by including the recipient’s name, city, or other relevant personal information. Avoid using words that trigger spam filters like “buy”, “click for more”, or “act now!” (check out this hubspot article for a full list of words to avoid).
And you know the text that appears after the subject line – the one that typically defaults to “Can’t view this email? Click here”? That’s the pre-header text. Make the most of this important bit of text by customizing it to give your readers a preview of what they’ll find inside.
Use Well-Written and Concise Copy
Spellcheck people! No one wants to read a poorly written email. Copy that has spelling or grammar mistakes can make you look unprofessional or even lazy – the opposite of what you want to communicate. Wordy and unfocused writing will turn people off as well. When creating your emails, use clear, concise statements – less is definitely more here. Also, address your content to a person, not a group. You want your reader to feel like you are speaking directly to them, not just throwing information out into the crowd.
Keep it Simple
Pick one topic and stick to it. You don’t want your emails to be so cluttered with content that readers have to work to figure out if any of it is relevant to them or not. Make your topic clear. If you have more than one idea you want to communicate, pick one as your main topic, using the bulk of the email to discuss it. Then briefly mention the others at the end or in a P.S. Make the most of your email signature as well by adding links to upcoming events. That way you can include them without having to take up space in the body of the email.
Great Design Speaks Volumes
Part of getting and keeping your audience’s attention is design. When a reader opens your email, you only have a few seconds to draw them in. Even if you have compelling topics and well-written content, you’ll quickly lose people if your email doesn’t look the part. Make use of graphics to ensure your email is eye-catching and not too text-heavy. If you don’t have a graphic designer in-house, try using a tool like Canva to build enticing graphics for your emails.
Include a Clear Call to Action (Just One!)
Every email you send should have a clear call to action (CTA), giving your audience next steps that are relevant to your main topic. Be concise yet creative with your wording, and avoid using vague phrases like “click here”. Each email should only have one call to action – resist the temptation to include more, as multiple CTAs will distract readers and result in lower engagement.
Update Your Address List Often
This is the boring part of email marketing, but it’s just as important as great content. Regularly update your address list to avoid sending to old or incorrect email addresses. Even though this kind of marketing is inexpensive, sending those extra emails is wasted money. Marketing to bad email addresses can also increase your bounce rate (i.e., emails that don’t go through), making you a target for spam filters.
When your audience knows your emails will be full of engaging, valuable content, they’ll be more likely to keep opening them. Looking for more great ways to connect with customers through email? Check out our recent post for some outside-the-box email ideas.
We know these tips will help you write better emails, but if you find you don’t have the time to tackle them yourself Wild Fig can help. Contact us to talk about outsourcing your email newsletters to our figgy team!
Wild Fig Marketing is your digital marketing agency! Whether you’re looking for marketing help in the form of website design, sales or process automation, content marketing, email marketing or lead generation, we have the knowledge and experience to help you rock your brand.