5 Tips for Engaging Email Marketing
March 20th, 2018 by
Sending frequent emails isn’t enough. In fact, if your content isn’t thoughtfully developed for your target audience, your hard work can find its way to the spam folder. From collecting email addresses to allowing people to unsubscribe, basic newsletter marketing is required to reach your audience’s inbox. Once you’ve got an interested audience, engagement is the first step to generating conversions.
Craft a Strong Subject Line
If your subject line isn’t engaging, the email may not be opened. Your subject line needs to communicate the content of the message clearly. Are you talking about a new product that’s not available anywhere else? Create urgency by emphasizing the timeline on the sale or promotion. From commercials and social media, we all have a basic understanding of how to make a compelling pitch. The challenge is creating an original subject line for each email marketing blast.
Your subject line should attract interest like a BuzzFeed headline, whether it’s describing an upcoming sale or exciting news updates for your stakeholders. Numbers are easy to digest, and they make better use of fewer characters. An email with “5 insider coupons” is more appealing than a vague promise of a special promotion. Similarly, “curiosity gap” is a term for headlines that give just enough information to make readers curious to read the rest of the story. Give the reader just enough information to pique their interest, and they will open the email in search of the answer.
Create Valuable Content
Before you put too much work into planning the perfect subject lines, make sure that your email marketing blasts are worth opening. Collect compelling, interesting, and useful information that rewards subscribers who continue to open and read emails. With both your website and email marketing, content is king. Whenever practical, offer special advantages and updates on future events. Are your subscribers offered insider discounts and advanced notice of sales?
If your email marketing campaign suffers from a high rate of people clicking “unsubscribe,” then you aren’t meeting the expectations of subscribers. Think about the types of content that would most interest your target audience, whether they are interested in regular news about your industry or only occasional updates, presented in a timely manner. Offer special promotions and tips that reward people for continuing to follow along.
Optimize for Mobile
Many viewers will be sorting through their inbox on a smartphone. In fact, mobile devices are where 65 percent of emails are first opened. Those first seconds are critical in determining whether the recipient reads the message, archives it to read later, or deletes it immediately. A complex, information-rich chunk of text may get archived for later, but that’s no guarantee that it won’t be forgotten.
If you have too many images or a poorly formatted page, you’ve already alienated a lot of potential readers. A modern email marketing campaign needs to leverage a mobile-friendly approach to newsletters, as well as websites. Short lines of text and a fast loading speed are essential. When targeting readers on their mobile devices, try to get them to engage while still on their smartphone. Keep your message short and clear, and quickly convert views into leads with an effective call to action.
Use Compelling Calls to Action
What’s your desired outcome for your email marketing campaign? Whether you’re looking to collect more followers, increase website traffic, or turn subscribers into repeat customers, the call to action should reflect your goals. The call to action should have a sense of timely urgency, and it should dovetail with the value offered by your email. Are the readers looking for a coupon or more information about new technology? Direct readers to your website for additional details. Have them call or visit your contact page to use the coupon today.
Be careful about sounding too gimmicky or cheesy, both with your subject line and your call to action. We’re all familiar with the promotional hyperbole of excited advertisers, promising that this one-time offer is the best thing ever. Try to avoid language like “click here,” which is both overly specific and vague. “Here” doesn’t explain the content or purpose of the page that you want the reader to visit. “Click” places all the emphasis on the first action you want from the viewer. A stronger call to action would focus on the benefits of calling or visiting. Will they learn more about a new service? Will clicking or calling allow them to schedule a free consultation or request a proposal?
Break Up the Text With Subheadings
Attention spans are shorter, regardless of whether readers are pausing with their smartphones or relaxing with their laptops. Even a compelling subject line won’t compensate for a large, intimidating block of text. Break up your message into short paragraphs with frequent subheadings. Get conversions instead of TL;DR responses and deletions.
Like subject lines, subheadings should summarize content in a concise and interesting way. Readers who aren’t interested in the first paragraph may find a later subtopic appealing. Similarly, readers on a tight schedule should be able to skim the page to locate the information most relevant to their needs.