Content that is irresistible to your audience.
Getting it right has never been more critical for business. There are several components to writing more effective emails you must incorporate into your marketing emails. Depending on the intention or goal, the approach may be different.
According to data from HubSpot, 99% of consumers check their email every day while 80% of business professionals believe email marketing increases customer retention.
No surprise there. Email is an effective channel that not only keeps you in touch with your existing customer base, but also gives you a direct line to leads. It's a great way to communicate trends, new business initiatives or product launches, celebrate wins and make announcements, engage your audience, generate interest, and make sales. And the need to get it right increases every day.
In this article, we're going to look at some of the ways to craft messages that connect with your audience and drive action.
Here's a list of the most commonly created emails:
Offer emails — Used for B2C and B2B and involve a sale or promotion related to a product or service
Onboarding (welcome) sequence — A series of 3-7 emails to welcome the new customer and show them how to get the most out of the relationship
Ask emails — These invite a reader to take a survey, sign up for an e-letter, connect on social media, or make a review
Value emails — These are educational-based emails that can provide a quick tip or link to a blog post. They build trust and credibility with your reader because they’re useful
Newsletters — Designed to keep your brand top of mind. They can also highlight new services, introduce new hires, and provide insightful tips to help their clients
Launch emails — When businesses release a new product or service, they need to let people know about it. The most successful launch efforts include a series of emails that highlight different aspects of the product/service and mix in value posts with offers
First, Focus the Message to Your Audience
Know the purpose of your email and align the message with your target. For example, if the email is going out to a cold audience who doesn't yet know you or have any experience with you, then the message should be created to accomplish two things: (1) establish trust instantly, and (2) gently develop interest in your product or service.
If you go for the sale right out of the gate, you'll end up losing momentum before you round the first turn and you'll find yourself at the back of the pack. (If you've listened to my podcast, https://www.hogancopywriting.com/podcast, you'll understand the analogy.)
So how do you avoid coming in last with your audience?
Build trust instantly. Here's how: show them that you understand and empathize with a specific challenge, concern, or problem that they may be experiencing. The key here is to stay away from generic statements and be specific. Don't just tell them you understand they are stressed about horseshoes (widgets are overrated). Show them you feel their pain. Then, show them how your product or service can provide a solution.
Trust factor initiated.
Build on it from there with more value-based emails to deepen the relationship. Be sure to keep the content audience focused. Meaning, don't just talk all about you or your company, product, or service. Make sure you talk about them, what they need, and how you can help.
On the flip-side, if the email is going out to a warm audience who already knows, likes, and trusts you, then you have more opportunity to expand with more engaging emails like offers, asks, and launches. Be aware though, that if you constantly are asking your audience for their business, they may become deaf to you and you'll start to see a decline in the action you receive from your email efforts.
Instead, mix it up to keep it fresh. Don't always just inform. Don't always ask for a sale. Sometimes a little entertainment can lighten things up and motivate your audience to take the next step. Value emails and newsletters can be very creative and fun, leading to more engagement and better results. In other words, don't always try to sell them. It turns people off. However, inspiration yields motivation.
Let's say you are selling horse feed and last month your emails were all offers intended to drive sales with a promotion. If the email campaign went well, your sales should reflect that. But your customers who took part in the sale are now looking for something different. They may not be ready to splurge again the following week post-sale. Give them some time. Don't let them think that their wallet is all you value them for. Surprise them with a fun video or educational piece, something they can perceive as either entertaining or useful. It will be refreshing and make the next round of emails more attractive to open.
Make it Inviting and Friendly
One of the pitfalls to emails that go wrong is that inboxes have become inundated with intrusive, unwelcome, and sometimes even irrelevant emails. So much so that we simply avoid opening them.
Keeping the tone friendly, conversational, helpful, informative, and educational goes a long way. People can instantly feel when the tone is promotional or that they are being sold to. Instead, talk to them. Make it exciting and fun to read while tugging gently at their curiosity.
To avoid wasting your contact's time, and minimize the risk of getting another "unsubscribe," follow these techniques to help improve response rates:
1). Craft a compelling subject line. Subject lines are getting longer and longer. Everyone seems to have a tip, or a trick, or a secret to the next best whatever, or to increase your something. Those buzzwords are being overused, thus, we've become numb to them. Some of them even go for the call-to-action right out of the gate. They are being perceived as spam or salesy, and both will have the receiver clicking for the trash bin. Instead, keep your subject's authentic, genuine, and value-driven. Asking questions also works well.
2.) Lead with a big benefit. Let them know right away that there's a good reason they opened the email. This captures and holds attention.
3.) Cater to a shorter attention span. Depending on the email type, some may require a bit more story, like newsletters or value driven emails. But whenever possible, and especially if we're taking them to a product or a promotion/landing page, you want to get them their fast so that you don't lose their attention. Keep the message brief, yet engaging. That means your first paragraph must hook them immediately and summarize the message.
4.) Follow with details. After the first paragraph, start expanding on features, benefits, proof, and anything else you want them to know to help them take action.
5.) Repeat the Call-to-Action. Typically, the CTA should be visible in the beginning of the email and at the end (yes, both places). This ensures that the busiest of readers can click at a purchase point the moment they have made a decision. We don't want to lose them by making them wait. This works well for emails that have an offer or an ask.
6.) Keep it easy to read. Don't use too many all CAPS words or fancy fonts. They can be difficult to read. Use them sparingly and strategically.
7.) Shorter is better, but not always. Depending on the type of email, and how familiar your audience is with you, the length of the email should be considered. Generally speaking, for asks, offers, and sometimes even value emails, shorter is perceived as better. If the CTA is to take them from said email to a destination like your website or a landing page, then yes, get them there as fast as possible. But longer form emails (but not too long) work well for newsletters, education, and launches or announcements. There is no black and white one-size-fits-all word count. It depends on many factors: who the audience is, how well they know you, the purpose of the email, the message, and what you want them to do.
8.) Run a preview. Most of us have templates to create our emails, but make sure you are sending yourself or your team a test email before sending it to your contacts. Check for margins, any funky spacing, or weird line breaks. The visual appeal of an email is just as important as the content within it.
Including a video in your emails can increase brand awareness and conversions. The bonus: video is one of the best ways to create an authentic, personal experience with your audience. Plus, it gives your reader one less thing to read. Video is easily absorbable and also easily sharable. There's a reason why there's an entire social platform with only images and videos (ie: #Instagram). People get tired of reading online all day every day. Mix it up with video.
To make video effective, it needs to support the content in the email. Keep the video brief - under 2 minutes - and include a CTA. Most servers struggle with supporting embedded video within the email, however, a link to the source is just as effective.
Since video marketing is such a mega hot topic, I will create a separate post soon specific to video content so stay tuned.
But for now, the information shared here should give you a jump start on crafting content for emails that perform. If you need help with email writing and growing your business through email marketing, don't hesitate to hire a professional. Your revenue and growth depends on it.
To your success,
Janine Hogan is a professional Copywriter, Brand Advisor, Copy Consultant, and LinkedIn Profile Writer. To learn more about how Janine can help take your brand to the next level, use the Book Now button below to schedule a consultation or DM her on LinkedIn here: