How to craft a marketing email your customers will click
Learn how to write the perfect emails to send your conversion rates through the roof
You sit down for hours, drafting the budget for your marketing campaign. You're really excited about the all business this campaign is going to bring for your startup. You finalize the details and start pouring money into the campaigns. Your offer is great, the terms are great. It's bound to get a lot of sales. Right?
That’s what you hope!
But after days of waiting, you barely get any conversions. People are barely opening your emails. You hope things will improve but they only get worse. You can’t help wondering what really went wrong.
Was it the offer?
Maybe the targeting was wrong?
Maybe there were problems with the email list?
The actual problem is much bigger and much more surprising. It doesn't lie in the targeting and the approach. The biggest problem is actually, the emails themselves!
Most startups fail to recognize the importance of having well-crafted marketing emails. This results in resources getting wasted on targeting and other elements without realizing the core deficiencies.
According to a recent study published by the BBC, the average attention span of the modern-day consumer is eight seconds.
With the user's attention span rapidly decreasing, it's getting increasingly important to create insightful marketing content that's able to resonate with the readers. Without having the right elements, it's not possible to retain the attention of the modern-day reader. Add to the fact that companies are actively competing for the same audience pool, and the importance of having engaging content is higher than ever before. This leads us to the inevitable question.
What makes a marketing email engaging?
Just like any other domain of marketing, there's no magic fix that instantly makes a marketing email engaging. There are a plethora of different factors that go into making an engaging marketing email. With any of the right factors missing, it's an uphill battle to connect with the audiences and make the right impact.
Here are some of the ingredients for an engaging email:
- Insightful information: No one wants to read the same old clichéd marketing emails that every other company is sending out. Try giving your readers some information that makes it worth their while to read.
- Personable tone: Sounding like an actual human being can go a long way in building trust and driving people to read your email.
- Simple language: Whether you're selling extremely technical products or simpler items, it's really important to avoid jargon and maintain a simple tone throughout your text. Simple language can make your readers feel comfortable with the content.
Now let's dive into some of the specifics you'll need to get right.
The right subject line
The importance of having a great heading cannot be overstated. The perfect heading gives the reader a great idea of the contents of the email while maintaining a slight degree of surprise to keep the reader intrigued.
Most readers actively decide whether or not to open the emails on the basis of the subject line. This might be the single biggest factor in getting customers to click on your email.
The right heading should have the following traits:
- It should be concise. You've got about 60 characters to work with. Anything after that will be cut off when it appears in your recipient's inbox
- It should offer value to the reader
- It should provide some insight about the content of the email
You might also want to consider some of these subject line tricks:
- Use the reader's first name (most email automation platforms will be able to do this)
- Use emojis for a bit of levity
- Create a sense of urgency or a fear of missing out
The subject line allows the reader to determine if they want to read the rest of the email or not. Most emails fail to grab the right attention because they lack engaging subject lines.
However, the subject line is not the only tool you have that gets initial visibility. It's also really important to consider the pre-header of your email because it gets secondary visibility right next to the heading.
The perfect pre-header
The pre-header is the bit of text that displays after the subject line in the recipients' inbox. The purpose of the pre-header is to serve as a general explanatory tool for the subject line. It allows you to provide more context for the email and allows the reader to grab the complete context of the email.
The right pre-headers double the impact of your subject line. To get the pre-header right, you can use the following principles.
- Focus on keeping the it concise
- Be clear
- Offer value to readers
By keeping the text focused, you’ll have a much greater chance of getting user interaction and clicks.
Your pre-header is your chance to expound on your subject line. It's a second chance to entice your readers to open your email.
Use engaging media content
The primary goal of your marketing email is to have the user interact with the call to action. While opening the email is important, getting your readers to click on the CTA is the actual prize.
Using engaging visual elements can be a great way of keeping readers' attention. As human beings, we're wired to engage with visual elements much more than simple text does. That is why using creating media content can be a game-changer when it comes to your audience’s response.
Try using a well-designed header image that serves as a punchy headline for your email. You may even opt for a GIF to throw in some eye-catching motion (just keep in mind that some email platforms don't support GIFs). Just make sure you optimize any visual elements you use, or your email will take forever to load and recipients are likely to give up on it.
The email body
The body of your email doesn't have to be long at all. But it does have to be compelling. You have to make the case for your offer to get readers clicking on your call to action.
Keep it concise, and focus on the benefits of what you're offering. How are you offering the reader a better version of themselves? What's going to be different about their life after they accept your offer?
If your offer is a bit complex, you might need slightly more body text. If it's simple and straightforward, you might only need a single line.
The call to action (CTA)
The call to action, or CTA, is the call to get readers clicking through to your site. This should lead them to a landing page that helps convert them into a lead or sale. Put your CTA in a prominent button, and keep it concise (we know, we keep saying that).
These individual elements culminate in the creation of the perfect email. However, there is one other factor that needs to be given strong consideration before you get started with your practical email.
The importance of email sequences
Instead of just sending one-off emails, it's much more effective to build out an email sequence.
With single emails, there could be a range of factors that limit the success of overall marketing.
- The reader could be too busy to pay attention to that specific email.
- The reader might be close to converting but changes their mind at the last second.
- The reader might need further convincing to take the leap.
Having multiple emails timed out strategically allows you to exponentially improve customer interaction and increase sales. It helps you warm up your leads before converting them into sales. There's a reason these sequenced emails are often called nurture journeys. They nurture your recipients towards becoming paying customers.
There are a variety of different nurture sequences you can choose. Here's just one example:
- Email 1: Introduce your offer
- Email 2: Incentivize with a discount or upgrade. Make sure the discount or upgrade has a short expiration date to add a sense of urgency.
- Email 3: Expound on your offer's benefits
- Email 4: Remind recipient of discount or upgrade
- Email 5: Testimonials from existing customers
- Email 6: Last chance discount/upgrade reminder
When you get to the end of the sequence, you can effectively just repeat it with a different creative theme, different copy and perhaps a different incentive.
To have a better idea of the practical embodiment of some important elements, we will take a look at a sample email.
Get some help
Crafting marketing emails can be really tough. If you're running a startup, it can be really hard to devote the time to marketing emails. But make no mistake; good marketing emails do take time.
Consider reaching out to an email marketing professional to help. A good email marketing expert can help put together beautifully designed email campaigns with compelling copy and offers your customers won't be able to resist.
If you do it right, email can be your most cost-effective marketing channel. It's well worth investing in.