Emails have several components and you’ll want to get a handle on all of them to make a good email as part of your digital marketing strategy. One of the things I suggest to all of my clients it to look at the emails you’re receiving and save any that you think are good. You can examine them more closely to figure out what you like and don’t like about them and build you emails accordingly.
Start with a clear purpose
Why are you writing the email? This should be a clear answer you can give in one sentence without using the word “and.” Emails need one clear goal which leads to one clear CTA (Call-To-Action). If it’s a newsletter, what is the overall message you want them to get from it? If it’s a sale, that’s pretty clear that you want them to buy. Unify your message with one clear purpose.
The title is everything
Well… almost. The title is the gate key to get your readers into your email. It’s vital to your open rates to have a good title. My recommendation? Take a look at the magazine covers at the grocery store checkout line. The title you see on the cover are all designed to entice you to pick up and open the magazine. But keep it short. Short email subjects have been shown to have higher open rates. You can also use emoji in some email clients, but keep in mind that not all readers will see the emoji; some will see an empty square.
Don’t neglect the preview
Most email systems will let you write in a separate preview text. This is primarily for mobile email applications, but other email delivery systems use it, too. Again, keep it short, but enticing. This can boost the open rates of your emails. If you’re doing a top 10 list in your email, a preview might say something like “I especially like number 3” to help pique curiosity.
Keep the content new
Often, newsletters have multiple articles shared in them as a sort of recap of the quarter, but assume your readers have already seen your blogs and share something new and exclusive with them. Having emails with exclusive and new content will condition your readers to open their emails because they know it’s content they can’t get any other way. If you want to do a sale, consider doing an email-only offer code to help bump up the exclusivity of the email.
Keep the content short
As I mentioned earlier, more and more people are checking their emails from their phones. If I’m looking at your email on a small screen, I’d like to see a small message. A lot of scrolling tends to turn readers off. If you’re doing a newsletter, which are usually longer (and that’s ok!), use bold text and headings to guide the reader through. I should be able to read only the headers in an email and still get the purpose of the email. If you’re unfamiliar with headers, they are the sub-title lines like in this blog where it says “Keep the content short” above this paragraph.
Make the CTA disruptive
A clear CTA (Call-To-Action) is what gets people to click inside your email once they are reading it. Just like on a website, the CTA should be disruptive to the eye. If your email is branded in blue, make the CTA button orange or bright green. It should be almost obnoxious in how much it stands out from the rest of the page. This will increase your clicks. CTAs can be things like “request a consultation now,” or “shop here.” It’s best to put them in button form in an email so that it’s obvious that it is something to be clicked/tapped.
Don’t forget the footer
If you’re using an email client like MailChimp or Constant Contact, they’ve already built in a footer for you. This is where you can have social media links, your contact information, and most importantly – the unsubscribe button. Unsubscribe capabilities are required under the CAN-SPAM Act. You may have seen an email or two without the unsubscribe link, but don’t do it. It’s expensive if you get caught.
Emails are a good thing
There are other tools, tips, and techniques that go into making a good email, but these are the most important ones when you’re just getting started. Frequent emails keep you at the front of your readers’ minds and are actually a good thing. You may feel like there are too many emails in the world and not want to contribute to the waterfall of information going on out there in the digital world, but remember that frequent communication with your customers and future customers builds trust, making them more likely to buy more often and more total. Set a goal to email at least once each month.