Crush the noise with your email marketing.
Year on year research proves that email marketing is still a successful way to communicate with clients and prospects.
Have you ever looked at your results and thought “this just isn’t good enough” or “I wonder how I can emulate the success x, y and z are achieving”?
Successful email marketing requires careful targeting, testing and analysis. The companies who stand victorious are those with a strong clear plan, and win the glorious opens and clicks as their prize.
You might think that this sounds farfetched… but, we know the importance of making sure your email stands out enough to peak the recipient’s interest and have them open it, read it and take the action you want them to.
So, what makes a good email?
Firstly, there are the basics that must always be covered. Your email should:
- Plan a clear strategy with an end goal/objective in mind
- Personalise your emails so the recipient knows that you understand them. Use their behaviour to drive the content you present them.
- Give the reader value and something that is relevant to their industry and job function.
- Your message should be apparent from the start (never assume they’ll read to the end to get to the punchline).
- Keep your email concise and to the point.
- The email should be consistent with your brand and personality so that you are instantly recognisable. You can look at the profile of your audience to refine the tone.
- Different audiences prefer to receive content in different guises. A Managing Director might want to receive an ‘outlook style’ email, where a Marketing Executive might like to see something more visual with lots of imagery.
- Test, test and test again. See how your audience reacts to an email full of flamboyant colours and illustrations against a simple text email. You might be surprised at the results.
- Ensure your copy sounds human and approachable and is in line with your company tone of voice.
- Your email must be enjoyable and interesting to the reader. If you have sent to your data list previously, look at their historic behaviour and past campaigns to understand what they are likely to find interesting and engage with.
- Ensure your email can be viewed correctly on all devices (mobiles, tablets, PCs etc)
- Use very obvious call to actions. This could be a button or a link that is blue and underlined.
- Be careful of content that could potentially be classed as ‘spam’. These are words that are commonly used in mass marketing. ‘Free’ is a prime example.
- Have a plan for those who do not engage and look at alternative ways to get your message in front of them.
- Put a follow up process in place such as a drip-feed campaign, so you can get the best possible result with the least amount of resource.
Additionally, is there the possibility of using modern technologies to achieve something unusual that will stand out in the inbox – always worth consideration. For example Toni and Guy send images of hair styles with the model having the same colour hair that the recipient had done on their last visit – B2B businesses could use similar technologies but base content around products.
Drilling down to what matters
Once you’ve mastered the basics, you are in a position to take your customer journey to the next level.
One of, if not the most important part of your email, is the subject line and preview text. The subject line is your teaser to get the email opened and the preview text can add further personalisation to increase your open rate. You can have the best-looking email with the best content in the world but if no-one opens your email then you are just wasting your time.
See the subject line as a big juicy worm dangling on the end of a hook and make sure that it includes words that are going to interest your audience. Give your subject line as much time and thought as your main message, it’s really worth it!
If it’s appropriate to your audience, funny is good too… we particularly liked this one by Phrasee:
“Here is a welcome email, because apparently 78% of people expect to get one!“
If you can get it right (and that bit can be hard), making the reader smile in the subject line could make a positive difference to your opens. But there has to be a balance if using this technique as you need to ensure you still come across as professional.
Another option with your subject line is to sound human. As though you were a person speaking directly to your audience, by asking a question that’s of interest to them, or just saying: “Hey, so this just happened…”.
Getting your subject line right is a fine art, but an important one to master.
So now you’ve read the basics of how to create a really good email, it’s time to get creative! Remember, spam equals poor results – be innovative, grab attention and stand out from the crowd. Get yourself noticed and you’re halfway there.
When you are working with cold data, email marketing needs a bit more thought to get the results you’re looking for. The more you know about the contact in the first instance the better your chances for success. At Marketscan, we have market leading data for volume and quality, and are able to use our industry knowledge to not just provide you with new data but also work with you to turn these contacts into sales qualifiable leads.