How to write effective marketing emails

For any email to be effective, it must have a specific goal and capitalize on establishing trust with your audience.

Design and Decisions Dictate Success

Before we look at how to write effective emails, let’s start with a few quick points.

As human beings, we crave interaction. Emails are an opportunity to interact with your audience on a one-to-one basis. As I have mentioned before it is the only communication medium that remains private. If your emails are useful and engaging, they can be incredibly effective.

But, they have to overcome the information overload we are all exposed to every day. This is especially true of marketing messages as we have become experts at ignoring these.

Long-term success with email depends on if the recipients trust you. The content of your emails must give them a reason to do that. It must have the same tone of voice and personality you use in your other content marketing. Remember that you are a real person having a conversation with another person.

For any email to be effective, it must have a specific goal. Every decision taken about the email’s design and content must address that goal.

You must design your emails for mobile devices first. It is best to use a single column design and keep it under 600 pixels in width. Your font size should be 14 pixels high at a minimum. They should be standard web-safe fonts like Arial, Tahoma, Verdana, etc.. 22 pixels is a good minimum for your titles.

So, what should you put in your emails? The essential elements of a successful email are similar to what should go into a successful blog post. If you read my earlier post, How to make sure your blog posts are the most, some of this will sound familiar.

What to put in your emails

Your emails will, usually, consist of these elements:

  • The Subject Line
  • A Captivating Visual
  • Headline
  • Subheadings
  • Body Copy
  • Additional Visuals
  • A Call to Action
  • Sharing Options
  • Legal Requirements

The Subject Line

The subject line is the most important part of your email. It will determine if it will be seen, opened and read. Your subject line will hook the reader or be ignored. You should spend more time on it than the rest of the post combined. As with any content marketing, you must know your audience and what will appeal to them.

Even if your email list is an opt-in one, where people have subscribed to it themselves, only 20% of subscribers will open your emails on average. If you have bought or imported your list, the percentage will be even lower.

A great subject line can increase that 20%. It tells the viewer why they should open and read your email. It makes a unique promise to the reader. In general, it must offer usefulness or spark curiosity. If it is superb, it might do both. What can you do to hook your potential reader?

There are many techniques for writing effective subject lines. A good place to start is with what Copyblogger has noted as the Four “U” approach:

  • Useful: Is the promised message valuable to the reader?
  • Ultra-specific: Does the reader know what’s being promised?
  • Unique: Is the promised message compelling and remarkable?
  • Urgent: Does the reader feel the need to read now?

Other subject line techniques are positive and include:

  • targeting your readers as individuals (personalization) or very specific groups (the more you segment your list the more effective your emails will be).
  • asking a question. The frequently asked questions people ask you every day are perfect for this.
  • letting your readers see that you understand them and are on their side.
  • making a promise that you fulfill in the body of the email.
  • positioning your company against your competition.
  • being short and specific.

Or the techniques could be negative:

  • taking a pain point and twisting the knife in it.
  • playing on your audience’s fear of missing out.

A Captivating Visual

Continue reading “How to write effective marketing emails”

It’s closing time. Use landing pages to ask for the sale.

Well planned and executed landing pages turn your email, social media, and blog content into sales.

It’s Closing Time

Let’s start learning how to use landing pages to ask for the sale.

As we saw in my earlier post, copywriting is essential to any business’s marketing success. It becomes a high art form on landing pages.

Landing pages are ones where you want the viewer to take a single, particular action after viewing them. They drive the second A in your AIDA sales process. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. These actions could be to sign up for an email list, download a piece of content marketing, enter your online store or most importantly, purchase your product(s). They are where you want to focus viewers’ attention on your vital message.

Visually, a landing page should be simple, clean and easy to understand. If you are driving people to your landing page from paid advertising versus organic search, you want to tie the look and message of the landing page directly to that of the ad. Or vice-versa. Like any page on your site, but even more importantly, it must load quickly. If you have moved someone near closing, you don’t want to lose out because of poor website performance.

It is worth the time, effort and cost to do A/B testing with your landing page. Have two versions and see which one converts best. Over the course of time change your headlines, visuals and the designs of your call to action button. You want to continuously test these elements and repeatedly optimize your landing page. Your landing pages are where you get income from your viewers so invest in making the pages perfect.

Only essential information should be on your page. It must be relevant to the message you are communicating and the action you want the viewer to take. Most landing pages consist of the following elements:

  • an image or visual
  • an attention-grabbing headline/title
  • sub-headings
  • body copy and content
  • the close and call to action (CTA)

Here is an example:  Continue reading “It’s closing time. Use landing pages to ask for the sale.”