Welcome back! On Friday, I posted a blog about why you might choose to use email marketing and how to get started with it. Today we have Part 2 of that post, outlining information on creating email, sending email, measuring performance and information on how we can help with your email needs.
Now it’s time to deliver the goods. The content in your emails is the first step to establishing a connection with customers and prospects, so it’s important to carefully craft your message. You’ll want to start with deciding what type of email you want to send.
Types of Email
There are three main types of emails you can create:
- Informational, for example:
- New content announcement
- Product updates
- Newsletter or magazine
- Event invitation
- Transactional, for example:
Automated, for example:
- Welcome email
- Confirmation (orders)
- Thank you (form submission)
- Lead nurturing
- Abandoned cart
- Product reviews
Before you begin writing, consider the value you hope to bring to your readers. The type of email you are sending will set the stage for this. With any branded content your audience will interact with, they will always ask, “What’s in it for me?” So:
- Have a clear purpose
- Know your audience
- Personalize if possible
- Focus on quality, not quantity
- Use images, but not too many
- Include a call-to-action
- Be mindful of spelling and grammar
- Write something you'd want to read
While great content is an essential pillar to creating an effective email, it cannot stand alone if the presentation is a complete flop. The human mind processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text and those visuals have the ability to influence emotion, which impacts behavior. So we need to put our content in a pretty package. Here are a few points to consider when designing you email:
- Layout - content hierarchy
- Usability / readability
- Brand consistency
Before you click send, there’s a few things you’ll want to check on first:
The From Line
Believe it or not, the ‘from’ line is an incredibly important part of your email and will impact open rates since it’s the first thing your user sees and lets them know who you are. Here’s what to consider:
The Subject Line
- Have a strong brand presence. Use your company name or company email address. If using a company email address, be sure it’s hosted by your company’s domain, not @google.com.
- Never use “Do Not Reply”. Not only does this come off as impersonal, but it leaves subscribers with the impression that your company doesn’t value your feedback.
- Watch the length – 20 characters at most. The longer the from line, the more of your pre-header text will be cut off.
Aside from the relevance of the sender, the SUBJECT line is the most important factor in whether or not a subscriber opens your message or moves it to the trash. Your subject line serves two purposes: to accurately convey the content of the message, and to entice the reader to open it. A few tips to remember:
- Include your offer or discount in the subject line
- Use expiration dates to increase urgency
- Ask questions to add intrigue
Unfortunately there’s no magic formula for writing subject lines that guarantee opens. A subscribers choice to open your message is going to depend on their expectations which were set when they first signed up, their past interactions with your brand, their state of mind, and numerous other factors that are probably out of your control. But you can always A/B test your subject lines to see what works best with your audience.
Time of Day
As I mentioned before, there are numerous factors that will play into the decision process of a user opening an email, many of which we can’t control. But one element that you can control is when that email is sent. To determine the best day and time to send your emails, you should start by researching the average send times in your specific industry.
When you find that sweet spot, it’s important to be consistent. By sticking with a regular send schedule, your subscribers will have a better idea of when they can expect to hear from you. This not only makes it easier for you to stay organized from an email creation standpoint, but also makes you more trustworthy to your customers.
You can also target your audience based on what you know about them, and their interaction with your site. This is where segmentation comes into play, which can be very effective. For example, you could segment your lists by:
- Product purchases
- Past purchases
- Occupation (B2B)
- Opened, but did not click
- Clicked, but did not purchase
By reviewing email reports, you can identify opportunities to improve the impact of your email messages, bringing more value to customers and prospects, and ultimately, build a loyal customer base. There are six key reports or engagement metrics that you should review:
The frequency of how often you review your reports and metrics will depend on how often you are sending email. If you are only sending one email every week, you may only need to review its performance quarterly or monthly. Frequency can fluctuate, especially around the holidays if you’re sending multiple promotional emails.
Align with Strategy
Reporting is completely useless if you’re not making sure it aligns with your strategy. Remember the goals and KPIs we talked about earlier – are you meeting your goals? If not, why not? And how can you change your emails to make sure that you do? Do a little extra research if your reports aren’t giving you a clear answer, and adapt your strategy so that you can meet your goals.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
We’ve covered a lot, so if you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, no worries. Americaneagle.com offers a variety of services that can help you out, such as:
- Advanced segmentation
- Strategic reviews
- Management services
- iDev Mail
If you have any questions or would like any further guidance, do not hesitate to get in touch, we’d be delighted to hear from you!