Email Marketing That Doesn’t Howl at the Moon
When it comes to email marketing you’ve seen it all. The bad pitches, the spammy “Why did I sign up for this?” and the dreaded “I didn’t sign up for this!” By now, you definitely know what you don’t like, but do you know how to translate that into an email that you actually want to read?
No one likes being ignored, and, sometimes, email marketing feels a lot like a wolf howling at the moon. Pointless.
So, we’re sharing some advice from our experts on just what it is that makes a good marketing email.
Start with a Template
The template isn’t everything, but it’s a good starting point for the general design of your email. Most email marketing engines have their own templates. While MailChimp, and HubSpot both have a decent set of standard templates you can use, you can also go into HTML edit mode and edit them or create your own. The trick with the design work is ensuring you are staying simple enough to make email load times instant but designed well enough that they are still pretty to look at. That’s why it’s a good idea to start from a proven, well-designed template and small changes to add your own flair.
What to include in Marketing Emails
Before anyone even opens your email, the first thing they’ll see is the subject line. If you want to increase the open rate for your emails, you need a subject line that commands attention. You can have the best email in the world, but it doesn’t matter if no one opens it.
Think of the headline like the bow on top of the present. It’s enticing and makes you want to open it, but what’s inside the wrapping is what really matters. Interesting copy, simple and impactful image work, social share links, and a call-to-action are necessary to make sure that people not only open your email but also stick around to see what it’s all about.
Some tips you’ll want to be aware of when crafting your email:
- Limit your graphics usage. If your email is too graphic heavy, it can affect the load time. Also, some email providers remove images, which means that making your entire email an image can cause you to lose some of your audience.
- Add tracking tags to all links. Even if you’re sending an email with 5-10 links, each one needs to have a tracker on it. That way, you can follow the data, find out which links are more powerful, and see where people are clicking on your copy. Information is power, and this particular data can help you make better emails in the future.
- Use true social logos for your share buttons. This part of your email may seem inconspicuous and not worth spending extra time on, but it does make a difference. Having recognizable social buttons tells your subscribers that you understand social media (i.e. you’re not stuck in the stone ages) and that you can do it well. Using the wrong logos can seem amateurish, and not having them at all is just a wasted opportunity.
Tone and Temperament
Every business is different, and the same goes for your target audience. Make sure your emails match the same tone and temperament as your website and social presence. If you’re a smooth pickup line in your email but a biting comeback on your twitter feed, it comes across as inauthentic. That’s why you need to connect your brand tone and messaging across all avenues and create a uniform brand identity. It’s not about being predictable, it’s about being consistent.
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: The most important thing to include in your signature is social share buttons. However, that’s not the only thing you need for an effective email sign-off. You’ll also want to include contact information, especially if you have a direct number you can use. Although a 1-800 is good, most people prefer to text (phone phobia is definitely a deterrent), so including a work cell is a bonus. We’ve seen this first hand from people who have responded to our emails via text message.
Going the Extra Mile
Email marketing is a nuanced endeavor. There are many factors to research (best times to send, optimizing for mobile, how many images, how many links, etc.), and we haven’t even talked about list building—the most important part of email marketing. (It’s so important, in fact, we’ll be giving it its own blog).
So, if you’re looking for a partner to take your emails further, you’re in the right place. Just let us know what you’re looking for, and we’ll be happy to give your email marketing a little Wilder thinking…