Updated: Jan 27, 2021
There's a surprising amount of thought which can go into sending an email. Here are my 7 tips to help you along the way.
Thinking about what you want to achieve before writing your email will help you to achieve your goals. There can be a lot to consider, and some elements could be restricted due to resources. Weigh up what you can achieve with the resources you already have.
1. Subject line is everything
You have just a few words to entice someone to open your email. What do your customers want to hear? Choose something short, snappy, and which shows your brands personality. Is it funny, serious, or informative?
Take some time to brainstorm ideas for the subject line before choosing the final version. If you can, you could test out different subject lines on a small segment of your audience and use the results of the test to inform which one to go with.
If you're looking for email subject line inspiration, start signing up to newsletters from your favourite brands and competitors and see what they do. It's always good to keep a folder of your favourite marketing emails in your inbox when you need to draw on some creativity.
2. Should you segment your audience?
How you'd speak to an 18 year-old about a product or service could be totally different than how you'd speak to a 65 year-old. Equally, speaking to a 25-year-old mother about a gym membership might be totally different to a 25-year-old working full-time. Personalisation and segmentation is super important when it comes to email marketing. Emails with people's names are opened up to 26% more than generic greetings. Sending your audience groups targeted campaigns is going to be much more effective than a one-size-fits-all approach.
If you have the ability in your email marketing programme to segment your data, it's worth giving it a go and testing to see if it improves the results of your email marketing.
3. How professional should the design be?
A fully designed email isn't always necessary if you don't want your brand to come across too 'polished', but it will always look much more professional.
Email marketing should always reflect your brand. Ensure you've got the correct logo in there, correct colours, and correct fonts. This is an easy win to make sure the people receiving your message know exactly who it's from without having to think about it.
Text-heavy emails won't convert as well as image-centric ones. The design of your email should guide the eye of the reader through to the call to action.
If your email is all based on images, be sure to add the copy as ALT-text. Just in case the images don't show up in the customers inbox, they'll still get the gist of what you're trying to say.
4. How long should it be?
In my view, the shorter the better. People have short attention spans, and in a world of constant scrolling, you might not have the attention of your reader for all that long.
If you can get your copy down to just a few lines and a call-to-action where the reader can find more information, that's a great outcome for them and for you.
Note: Always triple check your copy for spelling errors!
5. What is the call-to-action?
What is the action you want the reader to take after receiving your email? Is it to visit your website? To buy something? To donate to your cause? If you don't have a clear call to action, think about why you're contacting them.
Having just one call-to-action is going to be most effective. Make sure the call to action button/link is clear, enticing, and snappy. E.g instead of 'Find out more on our website' it could simply say 'Learn more'.
6. Optimise for mobile
Make sure the template of your email also works well for mobile. In programmes such as Mailchimp, you can preview what your email looks like on mobile and customise how it's going to look. This is a really key step, as many people view their emails on-the-go on their phones.
Check the size of the copy is still easy to read, make sure the images still look high quality, and that the call-to-action is clear.
7. What have you learned?
It's always useful to keep track of what's worked well in previous campaigns so that you can use that knowledge for the next one. If you know your audience respond well to taglines with symbols/emojis, keep doing that. If you had a lot of people unsubscribe after sending several emails too close together, be sure to space them out more.