Tips to develop great marketing email content
Email inboxes are not a novelty anymore. I don’t remember the last time I got a personal email in my inbox. However, every day, I get various emails that speak to me about opportunities, personal or business related. It becomes difficult to sort through all these emails.
As a rule of thumb, I pick out emails that capture my attention one way or the others. If you ask, these are the winners because they have successfully mastered the art of email marketing. I have tried to analyze what I want to read as a consumer and used that as a barometer to identify how a good marketing email should be.
Ultimately, all our marketing content is directed towards the customers who would be investing in our cause.
1. Subject matters:
The first thing that stops me from scrolling through the emails is the Subject line. If I find a subject line that is short and quirky and gets me curious, I’m sold. It’s not surprising because curiosity is what gets us to try and learn about anything.
I have noticed that the emails that normally pique my interest are those that seem to respect my interests. If the subject line speaks to me as an individual, then I feel obliged to return the favor. We are all humans at the end of the day and who doesn’t want to feel special.
However, is it only enough to get my attention? I don’t think so? I could pause for a second and continue with my scrolling unless I am emotionally invested in the subject line. If I truly believed that this email would matter to me, I would drop everything I did to try and learn more.
My personal opinion is that a subject line should be looked at as more than a combination of words. The subject lines should interest the customer, increase the curiosity and speak to the customer about the brand with empathy and urgency.
I am sure being nice matters too because I don’t want someone sitting in my inbox going “I command you open me right now”. I’d rather open an email that gives off positive vibes and makes me feel good.
If this sounds too tricky, let me suggest using some of the free online tools that will help you analyze the emotional marketing value score of your headline. I know that it might sound incredulous that there is a headline score analyzer.
Yet, it is the headline that will decide whether the email will stay in the inbox or not; at least for me.
2. What does the email say?:
Now that I have gotten past the subject line, what do I want to see in the email? Do I want to see a glaring mix of colors and graphics that’s going to burn my cornea? Do I want to see multiple gifs jumping across the screen? Or do I want to see an email that makes me scroll through it until I reach the informational pot of gold at the end of the page?.
Well, you and I, we know that we are going to click the mini Trash Icon faster than lightning if you found any of the offensive elements mentioned above in the email opened. What I am trying to say is that a well-designed email screams effort and efficiency to me.
An email that has been organized well, tells me what I want to know and helps me with my decision making, all while being unobtrusive is going to help create a perception about the brand.
I give extra brownie points to those marketers who have put some thought into the readability element as well. A marketer who has focused on dividing the content into easily readable, legible content, according to me, is someone who is serious about what he or she is doing.
Also, if I can read an email content without having to pinch my phone screen to zoom the content up, makes me super happy and super impressed as a customer. Readability, legibility, device responsiveness might all seem like too much effort for an email.
But believe me when I say that when it comes to a marketing email, this will go a long way because it means that you care about customers like me and are willing to make your brand accessible to us. If that doesn’t earn a customer’s respect, I don’t know what will.
Now that I have read the subject line, have gotten suitably interested and clicked open the email, I don’t want to go into a brain snooze mode thanks to what I read. Sure, the layout looks nice and readability is A+ but what about the content.
3. Engaging content:
I am someone who makes a swift decision on whether to go through an email based on how much the email will keep me engaged. If I think I am reading a long winded pretentious email that goes on and on about how your product is the next best thing since sliced bread, I’m going to use that X button on the top right corner of my screen, and soon. Worse still, I might as well use the Trash Icon.
I like to read an email that is unpretentious and friendly and yet speaks about themselves with rightful authority. I am not desirous of pulling a dictionary open just so that I can get through your email. Read your email once you are done with it and see if it is something you would like to read. Even better, try and analyze if that email is a reflection of you as a person and brand.
If I were to write an email to someone, I would want the readers to get me. I believe that’s what everyone wants when they read an email as well; to be connected and read about something that sounds spontaneous than an abridged copy of Oxford dictionary.
Now that I have read the email, I want to feel that this email was meant for me. Now, who wouldn’t want to get an email that seemed to be for them, about them and speaks to them. I don’t want to be one of your many subscribers who is addressed with a generalized Hello. I would prefer an email that makes me feel like the sender knows my tastes and interests and had this email drafted just for me.
It isn’t that difficult to achieve this effect. This is what segmentation does for you. A segmented campaign is sent to only a specific set of your subscribers who meet the criteria used for segmentation. How’s that going to help?
Imagine getting an email that speaks about the rainstorm in Wales and speaks about the bright and yellow umbrella and the 10% discount on their wellingtons. You are in Wales and it is raining cats and dogs and you appreciate that offer.
Now, how about getting the same mail that speaks about wellingtons and umbrellas and raincoats, when you are right in the middle of Sahara desert? If I were you, I’d think someone’s pulling a fast one on me and unsubscribe from the list. This, right here, my friends, is the impact of segmentation and how it helps.
5. Testing your marketing mails:
Now that we’ve got the subject right, email format right, message right and sent it to the right group, do we send that email out and sit on our hands. I don’t think so.
Email campaign, like every other marketing techniques, need to be constantly modified and tested. I know that I get a series of mails from the same marketer across the week. Sometimes I click them open and sometimes, I ignore them.
It could be the timing of the email, the subject line, the date or the day; but there are various reasons that determine the success of an email sent. In order to be successful, we need to learn which emails worked and which emails didn’t and what differentiates one from the other.
You need to constantly analyze this to find out what is the winning combination. Don’t rest yet because you need to constantly change the content to keep the readers interested and engaged.
I know that it might sound too complicated but here’s a simple tip that will help you see through the fog. Ultimately, all these emails are going to be sent to a real living person who is going to click them open and read. There are emotions, thoughts and intellect involved and so, anything substandard is going to be rejected.
Read through that email multiple times before you click “Send”, because once it is gone, the damage is done. Read through that email over and over again and analyze how it makes you feel as a customer. In the virtual world, your email becomes your brand’s identity.
Funny or serious, quirky or authoritative, the tone of the email and your interactions with your customers is going to be set with that first email. Send that email out as an extension of your best handshake and sit back in the knowledge that someone is going to read that email and appreciate your earnestness and authenticity.