Your email marketing game can help you take your business to the next level. But, just like with anything in life, great results demand effective strategies and consistent implementation.
Around 77% of B2C consumers prefer receiving emails that they’ve agreed to receive (permission-based) rather than being intrusively approached through direct mail, social media, phone, or text.)
As for the B2B market, 86% of today’s business professionals use email to communicate business matters, and 59% of B2B marketers suggest that email marketing is their most profitable communication and marketing channel.
How are today’s most successful brands managing to create such powerful email marketing campaigns?
This question cannot be answered in one sentence. If I were to try, I would say that they’re leveraging lots of digital marketing knowledge, expertise, and experience. But again, this is a vague answer that lacks important details.
The key to email marketing mastery? Consistent practice.
In fact, that’s the key to any skill mastery because persistent repetition generates failures and eventually lessons. So, regardless of where you are with your email campaigns, continuing to implement new strategies, twists, and ideas will turn you into a better email marketer.
Obviously, your learning process can be improved and quickened if you absorb relevant information from different sources. For example, today’s post.
I’m going to share the top 10 strategies for writing an effective email, tactics that once implemented can generate significant positive benefits like increased traffic, leads, and sales. Pay attention and make sure you apply what you learn here!
1. Have a Specific Desired Outcome
Every time you create an email campaign or write a single email, you should know exactly what you’re after. Simply put, each email should have a clearly defined purpose like:
- Welcome the new subscribers and get them familiar with my brand
- Get users used to opening my emails and clicking my links by encouraging curiosity and anticipation.
- Make the readers click on a specific landing page
- Help the readers take action by encouraging reviews, feedback, direct communication, etc.
- Encourage readers to share your content on social channels.
There are many possible goals you can choose. What’s important is that you choose one and stick to it. One, never more. You don’t want to confuse people with too many triggers because they may end up doing nothing.
Before writing your next email, ask yourself “What do I want my subscribers to do right after they finish reading the email?”
2. Improve the Quality of Your Headlines
If your headlines aren’t well optimized, your awesome content will hardly be consumed and appreciated. When you enter the email marketing game, you should acknowledge a simple fact: you’re not the only advertiser who’s trying to sell. There are many others, and your subscriber’s email list might be filled with different emails, from garbage to exceptional.
The point is, in a sea of email headlines, yours must stand out in your prospects’ eyes. Fail to do so, and your email will be buried with the rest of the “garbage” that’s not worth opening.
Here are some tips on how to improve the quality of your email headlines, so that they attract and convert:
- Keep them short and concise (less than 50 characters)
- Invoke powerful emotions (curiosity, urgency, fear, compassion)
- Present offers and discounts in your headlines
- Personalize your email headlines (interests, demographics, name, age)
- Don’t tell them what’s inside the email
- Use simple language
- Make your subscribers feel special (e.g. “An exclusive offer just for you”)
- Attract more eyes by using numbers
- Ask an interesting question that generates curiosity
- A/B test your email headlines and get statistical proof on what’s working and what’s not
3. Get to the Point, Fast
People don’t spend too much time on an email. In fact, many people prefer skimming through the emails rather than reading the opening. In any case, the way you start your email is critical because the opening serves as the “first impression” and influences the reader’s decision to continue reading or to exit.
Your subscriber wants to quickly identify the following questions:
- What’s this about?
- What do you need from me?
- Is it important for me?
- Does it help me?
- Is it worth my time?
If you’ll talk about more topics, you can create a simple-to-read list that informs the ones in a rush what this email is all about. Just like an outline that simply displays the contents of the email.
Get to the point as quickly as possible. Unless you have an amazing story to tell, let your readers know of the benefits involved.
4. Focus on the Reader’s Benefits
Benefits – the prize that everyone’s looking for. Business is simple if you look at it from a simplified perspective. People are looking for value, businesses are looking for money. In people’s eyes, the value represents benefits. The more benefits involved, the more perceived value.
What you can learn from this is that your emails don’t have to be complicated, long, or perfect. They have to promise value, so they have to promise benefits.
You’ll be writing more types of emails: promotional, educational, inspirational, and so on. However, the benefits of the reader should be exposed in all of your emails, even if they’re not emphasized every time.
Let your reader be assured that you’re keeping his needs in mind and help him imagine a better future every time he’s reading your content. In time, he’ll perceive your email newsletter as a pleasant and empowering experience.
5. Make Your Emails Digestible & Easy to Skim Through
There are very few readers who appreciate content that is difficult to read, digest, and understand. Email marketing is basically a channel of communication. If the communication is simple and effective, both discussion peers shall be satisfied.
However, if you’re making your subscriber’s reading process a nightmare by posting content that is difficult to get through, you’re sabotaging your entire email marketing campaign.
Here are some suggestions on how to make your text enjoyable and highly readable:
- Always avoid blocks of text.
- Write short sentences.
- Use simple language that even 12th graders can understand. That’s what business writing is all about.
- Avoid jargons and complicated terms that people must look up in the dictionary.
- Don’t overbold, avoid using excessive italics, underlines, or colors.
- Choose a pleasant font (next subheading)
- Unless it’s truly necessary to write more, keep your emails short and on point
6. Use a Pleasant yet Professional Font
Some fonts are better than others, and the decision you make concerning the email’s font style is going to influence your email marketing performance.
Studies have already proven that the formatting of the text, the typeface, and the font can drastically affect readers, the same way colors, words, and images influence people.
If fonts influence emotions, then they must obviously influence the reader’s decision to keep on going or not.
We’re experiencing the digital era, so the standards are constantly changing. Most design professionals and email marketers agree that the minimum font size in emails should be at least 12, if not 14 or even 18-point font.
Concerning the typefaces, here are the most commonly preferred and used ones in email marketing:
- Times New Roman
When choosing your email font, make sure you take into consideration your target audience’s characteristics. Based on their personality types, interests, and reading habits, make sure you carefully count your decision.
7. Write for Your Audience Only
As I’ve previously explained before, the exchange between businesses and customers is basically the exchange between value and money.
If people are to pay you, which means they’re trusting you and investing in your solution, your offers (products/services) must bring enough value to keep the customer satisfied with the tradeoff.
For that, you must first fully understand your email subscribers, a.k.a. prospective customers. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes is one of the most common advice in the digital marketing education environment. I’m suggesting the same thing because without knowing what your customers are, what they want, and why they want it, you’ll never be convincing enough.
Here are some questions that will help you identify more characteristics of your email subscribers:
- Why did they subscribe in the first place? (this can be measured through analytics too)
- What is the #1 desire of my email list / this segmented list?
- What are the pressing problems and challenges of my subscribers?
- What do my prospects constantly like to hear?
- What can I do to bring more value?
- What makes them tick and pay attention?
- What type of content does my audience prefer? Text? Video? Audio?
- Do they prefer short, medium, or long content?
- How much time do they have to spend on emails each day? How much time do my emails demand?
- What writing personality do my readers enjoy? Serious? Funny? Inspiring?
In fact, you can ask yourself more and more questions up until you feel that you know your readers well enough.
Then its time to align your content creation process with the intelligence you’ve acquired through your questionnaires. Of course, brainstorming isn’t the only way to get more familiar with your target audience. You should also go for direct feedback, which could involve asking your prospects directly to these questions.
Bottom point – when you start writing an email, be very certain that you understand and align with your readers’ needs, problems, desires, preferences, triggers, characteristics, and circumstances.
8. Include Strong Calls-to-Action
Internet users are not very proactive. In fact, most people won’t take any action if they’re not encouraged to do it. For that reason, CTAs are essential components of any marketing campaign, especially of email campaigns.
You can implement more than one CTA per email, but make sure you use them wisely and non-intrusively. This means you shouldn’t constantly point your readers to different or to the same link.
There’s no concrete answer about the perfect CTA usage within emails. However, you’ll want to include one at the end of your email just to ensure that your readers get enough clues on what action they’re supposed to take next.
Here are some guidelines:
- Don’t hide your CTAs. Make them visible but keep them moderate.
- Differentiate your CTA button’s color from the background one.
- Don’t use very small CTAs that people can hardly click or tap
- Keep your CTAs simple, uncluttered, and short
- Use very concise language
9. End Your Emails Properly
The way you end your email significantly influences the subscriber’s behavior and perception of your brand. Your ending can leave your prospects with a pleasant impression that’ll make them come back again.
Obviously, the proper ending should also encourage the reader to take some form of action. Therefore, depending on your email’s objective, craft a compelling encouragement accompanied by a strong CTA that tells the reader exactly what the next step is going to be.
10. Finish with a Disciplined Final Check Process
First comes the draft, then the second draft, then the third draft…I’m kidding. Yet, some email marketers believe that the polishing process is the most important out of all.
A great email must bring quality information and should be always written properly. Before you decide to add an email to your campaign’s sequence, ensure that you carefully proofread and edit. Look for grammar mistakes, complicated language, and clutter that can be eliminated.
When running out of time, I’d suggest you outsource a writing assignment service that’ll put at your disposal professional writers and editors. Here are some tools I commonly leverage to improve my email content:
- Essay Writing Service Australia (great academic writers that know what they’re doing)
- Australian Writing Service (I love collaborating with AU writers)
- Business essay help UK (business writers that work in the academic field)
I choose academic writers because they’re often better at catching mistakes and at dealing with important details. If you’ve never tried this sort of collaboration, I’d highly suggest you do so.
Crafting and running successful email marketing campaigns is challenging yet highly rewarding. The potential benefits are huge, especially if your email campaigns are optimized over time because, at a certain point, some of your email sequences will be perfect as they are due to their consistent and proven high conversion rates.
Trial-and-error your way to mastery. Every failure should be treated as a statistic from which you can learn from. Combine the analytical feedback with the direct feedback received from your prospects and customers. Take notes, optimize, optimize, and optimize again until your campaign’s ideal performance and objectives are reached.