Email marketing is a fantastic way to connect, communicate and sell to your customer community. You can repeat sell, stay in touch & build relationships so that your audience become advocates of your brand.
Email marketing isn't really about sending out 'newsletters' either. The advent of ever developing email marketing platforms means that we can create any type of campaign that offers real value to your customers.
And 'value' is the key here. It's about them, not you. Whether you're launching a product, offering VIP information, giving them an update from the month or sharing your weekly wisdom, the focus should always be about what additional value you have added to their day.
Of course there are multiple layers to how you might achieve success with your email marketing including how to sign folks up, what journey you take them on, the quality of your value offer or when you send the campaigns out....but design matters too.
And that's what I want to focus on today. What makes an 'ok' email a better one? What design ideas or little extras can we throw in to make a difference?
Here we go!
Subject Line - this is so important and many of the email marketing platforms will give you tips. The most important thing to remember is to keep it short enough i.e. you get the main reason they might open it in there early, but also that it's inviting enough to motivate them. What is the 'value' you're delivering (an offer, advice, a launch, ticket availability etc)? Also think about the tone or voice of your subject lines too. Don't go all formal if your audience is used to you being a bit fun or chatty.
Personalise - all the major platforms will let you 'personalise' your email by allowing a 'mail merge' option. That is, you can embed their mini code so that the recipient's first name will appear. And you can add this anywhere and multiple times. Subject line, in the first greeting or even in the body of your text. Data shows that using first names really influences open rates, loyalty and rates of action i.e. if they clicked through and booked, bought etc.
Stay Focussed - it's so tempting to put all your information into each campaign you send out because you're keen and enthusiastic. But, try to resist if you can. It's often better to stick to one or two main themes per email. For example, if you're launching an event, you might want your readers to only focus on that for now and you can send an email about other news another day. The only only time this doesn't happen is if your email is more of a weekly 'round up' style when you may want to share a few things at once.
Give Over Control - remember to put your reader in the driving seat at all times. That is....they get to choose what they read, whether to go into more depth and are able to 'grab' the value quickly without too much preamble. Using boxes with a little text and buttons to click for more information is a great way to start. Unless your email is about your day to day (which is fine by the way!), don't waste your reader's time by writing lots of text that they have to plough through to find the good stuff.
Make It Attractive - daft I know to even mention this, but to be specific, illustrate or have an image for each element of your email. Humans process in different ways, some with words, some with images and some with video. Offer multiple different ways to engage to suit more of your readers. You may experiment with these elements to see what's most popular. Often readers will scan through your emails in seconds to check if they'll delete or ignore so you want to add impact as soon as possible.
Brand Everything - remember that humans today are overloaded and very short on attention, so it's really important to brand your campaigns clearly. That is, that the colours, fonts, logos are the same as your socials/website and that there is perhaps a template or 'look' to each of your emails to help with recognition & relationship building. Maybe keep life simple for you too by creating a template that you use each time.
Make Actions Easy - remembering that your email is about adding value for your reader, NOT just selling to them, it is, none the less, important to give them easy ways to click through to your 'place'. These CTAs (calls to action) should be multiple in number and offer variety. For example, your email is about the launch of a new range, you may 'hyper link' key words i.e., make that word or phrase clickable, add a link to to the image you use and add a button at the bottom. This allows your reader to explore your email and click, not only when they're ready but in a way that suits their processing.
Be Consistent - not really a design tip but important and related. Whatever your email marketing strategy is, make what you do consistent and in some ways predictable. This might be frequency - weekly, monthly etc. It might be in your design or subject line so that your readers look forward to receiving your emails. Or it could be about tone and relationship - is the email from you with warm funny vibes, is the email always offering something juicy and exciting? This requires some strategy and needs some thought but once you're happy with your plan, then 'thinking up' what to write and when to send becomes a lot easier!