Email marketing is an affordable and effective way to advertise your business. It is a tool many companies use to stay top of mind with current customers and make connections with new ones. As the inbox is a direct pathway to reaching your target customer, it is important to get your email marketing strategy right. The way you approach this can make or break a customer’s decision to click through and discover more about your product or service.
The rate at which customers open your emails indicates how successful your subject line and opening sentence are. As of 2019, Mailchimp’s data had the average open rate for email campaigns in all industries at 21.33%. Government email open rates remain the highest, so their 28.77% sets a solid benchmark for success.
The benefit of email marketing is, once you have a prospective buyer’s eyes on your email, you’re in the perfect position to sell your product or service. At SG Content, we write and plan email marketing strategy for a whole range of companies. We have developed systems that increase your open-rate and turn readers into buyers. If you’re wondering, “What is email marketing,” read on to learn and discover our top tips for success.
What is email marketing?
So, what is email marketing? Email marketing is a form of advertising where companies send emails directly to current or prospective customers. This could show up in the form of a newsletter, promotion, notice of new products or services, and more. There are so many ways to use email to market your business, build awareness, and increase your reach.
The thing is, the way you develop your email marketing strategy can make all the difference in the open rate, click-through rate, and overall success of the campaign.
Master the subject line
What is email marketing without a killer subject line? This is the first thing a reader will notice and will make all the difference in your open-rate. Around 47% of email recipients decide to open an email solely based on the subject line, and 69% categorise email as spam for the same reason. So, if you get one thing right when it comes to email marketing strategy, make sure it’s this.
Ideally, your subject should be between 35 and 45 characters. Since 46% of all email opens happen on mobile platforms, under 35 characters works best. Our advice is to write your subject last, so you can develop it around the content and really make it pop.
Build a great subject line by asking a question, tempting the reader to click, making a grand promise, or including a special offer they’ll be curious to learn more about.
Get the first line right
After the subject line, the most important element of your email is the first line. This line will often come up as the preview text, so it’s a fantastic opportunity to reel them in. One of the benefits of email marketing is the real estate you take up in a prospective customer’s inbox, so use your space carefully with text that stands out and tempts the customer.
Know your audience
Of course, when building your email marketing strategy, it is crucial to know what your audience wants. You can build on their pain points and tailor your offer accordingly. Do they want discounts? Do they need to know more about your service? Can you offer them top tips? Eventually, you can use analytics to track your audience’s open rates and design a strategy based on content that has historically encouraged them to click through.
Keep it sharp
A benefit of email marketing is that potential customers may read your emails from anywhere. Keep your email content short and sweet to keep up with a fast-paced world. Short, scannable sentences and paragraphs keep your reader engaged, even if they’re reading on-the-go.
No matter who your audience is, they will prefer emails that are easy to digest. No one has time to stop and read long blocks of text as they’re sifting through their inbox. Keep in mind that your target customers have lots of other emails to read, so the goal is to grab their interest while respecting the short time they’d prefer to spend in their inbox each day.
Avoid all-caps, exclamation marks, and overly shouty language. This comes off too salesy and convinces the casual reader to steer away to calmer waters. An aggressive email marketing strategy is sure to turn prospective customers off of your product or service, and may even get you filtered into their spam folder.
In a similar vein, don’t over-promise and claim you can save the world. While grabbing the reader’s attention may involve grand claims, make sure you only promise what you can truly deliver.
Keep it friendly
Keep your language upbeat, friendly, and chatty. You’re not here for the hard sell. You’re aiming to offer the reader something useful and develop a lasting relationship. Whether you provide top tips or services to solve a problem, you’ll want to talk to readers like real people. Feel free to add some humour if it aligns with your brand voice. Just make sure to sound human.
If you’re planning to send a series of emails as part of your email marketing strategy, make sure there is a point to each element of the campaign. Are you promoting prices, debuting new services, introducing your brand to a new lead? Map out an email marketing strategy based on user journey, and make sure you have an email for each of the steps in the chain. If it’s a chain of eight emails, you want to change the messaging on each one, so as not to spam readers with the same message on repeat.
Don’t forget the call to action
Among the benefits of email marketing is the ability to persuade your target audience to take action. Including a call to action is also a fantastic way to make sure there is a point to each email you send. Decide your CTA by asking yourself what you want people to do with your email. Do you want them to book a service, get in touch, or click to learn more? Make sure you know the action you want them to take, and include a link they can easily click to realise the targeted CTA.
See what works
What is email marketing helping your competitors achieve? Do a bit of research to learn the types of email marketing strategy that set the competition apart. Sign up to competitors’ emails to get an idea of what it’s like to be on the receiving end.
Which types of emails convince you to click through, and why? Start paying attention to how you interact with brands. From there, you can discover tactics that work and incorporate them into your email marketing strategy.
Keep it newsworthy
When devising your email marketing strategy, consider any news angles you could hook into. What are people talking about online? Can you track any trends and then link into them? Use sites such as Google Trends to discover the topics making waves, and come up with creative ways to join the conversation.
Maintain an urgent tone
People don’t like to miss out on a deal, miss a new trend, or be the last to learn of a new company in town. Tap into the element of ‘FOMO’ to craft messaging about deals and discounts coming to an end. By appealing to this sense of urgency without using overly dramatic language, you can find a sweet spot in your email marketing strategy.
By now, you’ve realised email marketing strategy is an art form. From succinct subjects to chatty or urgent tones and newsworthy content, we’ve given you a lot to play with when it comes to building out your campaigns. The benefits of email marketing are well worth the effort involved in researching and devising your ideal style. However, there are experts out there to help if you’d prefer to spend your valuable time elsewhere.
Email marketing strategy professionals can help take a load off your mind, creating beautiful email campaigns that up your conversion rates and get customers clicking through in droves. If you’re eager to develop your email marketing but not sure where to get started, go ahead and give SG Content a call today.