Email marketing has seen a lot of changes over the past few years. With all of the advancements in technology, though, a well-written, plain text email can perform just as well, if not better, than an email full of special features and graphics. No matter how aesthetically pleasing your emails are, your subscribers will stop opening and start deleting your messages if they don’t offer any valuable content.
If you’re just getting started with email marketing, check out our free course that offers everything you need to get started. In the meantime, let’s take a look at seven steps to crafting your best email ever, and ask yourself if your email meets all of these steps before you hit send.
1. Write a Compelling Subject Line
The first step in writing the best email ever is writing a subject line that will compel your subscribers to open your email. If your subject line isn’t interesting or attention-grabbing, any time you spend on the body copy is a wasted effort, because it won’t ever be seen. Here are some tips to writing a strong subject line:
- Use actionable language: Include a verb like “download,” “ask,” “buy,” “don’t miss,” etc. so the reader knows exactly what they can do in the email.
- Personalize: If possible, segment your emails as much as possible. Emails are proven to have a much higher open rate the more targeted they are. The more segmented an email, the more personalized you can make the subject line, which shows that the content is relevant to the recipient. For example, if you’re a realtor, and you have a group of your email list who is looking to rent in a certain part of town, you could send an email to them with a subject line letting them know you have what they are looking for.
- Keep subjects clear: Clarity should be your first goal over catchiness. If you can make your subjects clear and entertaining, then go for it. But, don’t sacrifice clarity for entertainment value.
2. Make Sure Your Email Copy Matches Your Subject Line
One of the worst things you could do is write a compelling subject line that makes a promise, then not follow through with the promise in the email body. Always deliver on your subject line in the email message. Not delivering will have an immediate negative effect on your click-through rates, and a long-term effect on your email open rates as you lose the trust of your subscribers.
3. Be Relevant
Your email copy should convince readers that your message is relevant to them, which takes more than a dynamic name tag. You can use the beginning of the email to remind readers how you know each other. For example, if part of your list gave you their email address to receive downloadable content, you can ask if the content helped them out at all. Remind them that they know you because they’ve read great content from you in the past, and they’ll be more likely to click through to the offer you’re giving in the current email.
4. Focus On You Not We
Write in the second person to orient the message towards the reader, not your company. Doing so keeps the focus on your subscribers. It’s a subtle way for you to stay value-oriented in your messages.
5. Highlight Benefits, Not Features
It’s your job to explain the value of your products or services to your recipients. For example, if your company sells clothing, you can highlight the versatility of a certain piece, which is its benefit, instead of just the basic features about it. Knowing the benefit of what you’re offering tells your recipients how it can solve their problem or fulfill their need.
6. Keep it Short
Most recipients don’t have time to read an entire story while they’re going through their emails. They are more likely to scan the message for important points then decide if they want to take action. If it’s not easy for them to get the main points, they won’t know if they should follow through on the call to action, so make sure the content is short, sweet, and skimmable.
7. Don’t Forget the Call-To-Action
Your email CTA should be easy to identify, so if your readers scan your emails, they at least pick up on your CTA. You can do that by making it a big button that uses a bright color, and by using language that is clear and action-oriented. If you’re using plain text email, make sure the links stand out. Use bolded words, images, and hyperlinked text throughout the email that reiterates the same offer so readers can’t miss the CTA.
There is so much more to email marketing than sending out a scheduled newsletter and hoping for the best. You need to put some thought and strategy into all parts of your email marketing strategy, especially the content. If you’d like some guidance getting started, call us today!