We all have a pretty good idea of what email marketing is because pretty much everybody has received this kind of email. A successful campaign makes the recipient feel valued, provides useful information to them, and compels them to act.
Personalize it as much as possible.
When you’re sending a large volume of emails to many contacts at once, the tendency is to create a generic-sounding sales pitch that most people will ignore as soon as they realize what it is.
This is what you want to avoid. Wherever possible, it helps to include a piece of information that is specific to the individual recipient, such as their company name, some detail of a recent transaction, or you could comment on how long they have been a customer.
Avoid interruption-based advertising.
As with any other interruption-based advertisement, such as a TV commercial, it becomes a nuisance to people that they may resent or ignore completely.
When you are sending marketing emails to people which disrupts their day and work, instead of adding value or interesting them, that is an interruption.
You don’t want your emails to be an interruption, but rather something that offers something valuable, worthwhile, or at least mildly interesting to the recipient.
People don’t respond well to deception.
Remember the first time you saw an email with your name in the subject line, saying something like, “Check this out,” as if it was from a close friend?
That’s the wrong way to draw attention to your emails. Later on, email marketers eventually figured out that people were more likely to open an email if it contained the name of one of the recipient’s contacts.
That was a particularly insidious tactic that used personal contacts acquired from hacked accounts, which these marketers used to trick people into clicking on their spam emails.
There’s nothing wrong with using enticing language in the subject line, but just try not to be misleading; that could quickly put a bad taste in their mouth.
Keep it short and interesting.
It is usually better to be as brief as possible in the body of your emails, although it does depend on who your audience is.
For your long-time, loyal customers, they may be willing to read through longer content, but as for newer customers, they will have little patience for extensive promotional messages or descriptions.
As a general rule, you want to write messages that use an economy of words. There usually won’t be any promotion that takes more than a few sentences to describe.
Make it highly readable with quality writing.
As is the case with just about any marketing or advertising effort, the actual writing is possibly the most important. Many marketers believe that if you just get the emails out to a sufficient volume of people, then that’s all it takes to get a return on investment.
You will probably still gain a little traction that way, but if you really dig in and do some research about the people who will be reading it and write carefully-worded, interesting copy, it will perform much better.
Don’t forget the Call to Action.
Like any promotional content, you can’t just provide the information—you’ve got to show them the door. Hook them with your attractive, informative copy, then lead them to the next step with a link to a strategic section of your website or a signup button.
Are you telling the reader about a new product? Don’t forget to tell them how to buy.
Last, but not least, appeal to the senses.
There is a reason that social media and marketing blogs are image-heavy, and that is because visuals produce more clicks and more conversions. Emails are no exception. People are still willing to read through content, but visual imagery makes it just a little more compelling.
The bottom line is that you have to understand the people to whom you are sending these emails. What works for one audience may not work for another, and doing your due diligence always pays off.
Try to put yourself in their shoes. Find out what their needs are, discover the best way to reach them, and let them know that you can fulfill those needs.
Stephanie is the Marketing Director at Talkroute and has been featured in Forbes, Inc, and Entrepreneur as a leading authority on business and telecommunications.
Stephanie is also the chief editor and contributing author for the Talkroute blog helping more than 100k entrepreneurs to start, run, and grow their businesses.