In the first part of this series we uncovered the importance of ‘why’ having an effective email marketing strategy is critical to your overall content marketing strategy. Uncovering the importance of why something so routine as email is only the first part. The ‘how’ is the second part and we’re going to show you some best practices to get you headed in the right direction.
STEP 1. CREATE AN ATTRACTIVE SUBJECT LINE
When it comes to creating an effective email marketing campaign people generally tend to focus on the emails content and neglect to put as much thought into the subject line. So why is it so important? Simple. The increasing popularity of email by both consumers and marketers as a marketing tool has also given rise to spam filters and firewalls designed to weed out junk mail.
When you sit down to think of the perfect subject line to your email marketing campaign it can be more about the don’ts than the do’s. Avoid using things like ALL CAPS, exclamation points, and “Hello” or “Free”. Most spam filters will sort your email into the junk folder, and that’s if you’re lucky. Some more advanced methods for screening emails will block your email altogether from getting to the subscriber.
When it comes to the do’s keep it simple. Keeping it straight to the point and not being too wordy increases the likelihood that even at a glance your message will connect. People who are purging their inbox and sifting through all the other email campaigns they’ve received will not likely take the time to read the entire subject line of every email.
STEP 2. CREATE YOUR CONTENT
When it comes to the meat of your email,less is more. If you’ve got an attractive subject line put together that’s simple and catchy enough to capture your subscriber’s attention you need to keep the momentum going. When it comes to crafting the perfect content portion of your email it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
While there are certain industry exceptions like real estate and eCommerce businesses,emails with roughly 20 lines of text content can increase your CTR (click-through rate) by as much as 50%. The importance of keeping this in mind is seen in the avoidance of a less is more approach to your content. Crafting emails with more than 20 lines of text for most industries can have as much as a 50% decrease in your CTR.
Now it isn’t all about just the text! Coupling an email with roughly 20 lines of text with 3 or fewer images results in the highest CTR’s generally amongst subscribers. Remember to use images that are related, capture the subscriber’s attention, and are high resolution. If you really want to make a splash and have the resources, addingvideo can not only increase your open rate by over 5% but your CTR by as much as 96%.
STEP 3. CREATE A ‘CALL TO ACTION’ (CTA)
Once you’ve taken the time to craft the perfect simple subject line and content of your email the last part of your strategy should be to create an effective call-to-action. So what is a call-to-action? Your CTA is what’s crafted in the content of your email to tell your subscriber what to do. And it’s also what turns your email marketing campaign into potential leads.
When you craft your CTA think about your audience. Do your subscribers generally use a desktop or mobile device to open your emails? It may sound silly but think about it. It doesn’t make much sense to put “call us” in your CTA if most of your subscribers use a desktop instead of a mobile device. In that case “contact us” would be a more appropriate choice and vice versa. Having the appropriate wording in your CTA can greatly impact the effectiveness of your email. In any case try to repeat your CTA at least 3 times.
… SO HERE’S THE GIST
Looking back at all three steps there’s one thing… or word they all have in common. It’s the word “create”. The key is to truly create something unique that will make your email campaign stand out. The popularity of email marketing makes peoples inboxes a competitive environment for marketers who are all vying for their subscribers attention. Whether it be a creative video that grabs the subscribers attention or an image that demands a call-to-action. Learning and following best practices will get you halfway, being creative will get you the rest of the way.
So what have we covered in this 2 part series? The key realization behind any effective email campaign starts with understanding of email’s importance and relevance in today’s marketplace as an effective marketing tool. Understanding the‘why’ will get us on the path to understanding the ‘how’ and implement a strategy around something some businesses take for granted into something your business can turn into an advantage.