Email marketing is far from dead. If you’re not doing it at all, or if you’re doing it wrong, then you’re leaving money on the table. Today’s guest post shares some of the best practices to increase conversion from emails.
We need an email marketing strategy to appeal to consumers and make sales. The data-crunching always backs this belief. Sometimes, unfortunately, even after building their mailing lists, email marketers find that their email campaigns aren’t bringing in the sales they had hoped for. Don’t be like those who assume their audience doesn’t respond well to email marketing. That is just a cop-out. Admit that your newsletters could use some work, and try implementing some changes. You already know from this blog how to write engaging posts, so now it’s a good idea to start writing engaging emails. This advice will get you started down the path of better converting emails.
Relevance + Length + Power Words = Successful Headlines
When you want your emails to lead to conversions, the first step is convincing readers that you can provide value. A reader will determine whether he wants to even open your email, let alone buy your products and services, within just a couple seconds of glancing at the subject line. Here is a formula to help you write enticing subject lines that offer a sneak peek of what is to come. In turn, you will see a higher open rate in your email campaigns.
Relevance: The Subject Line Must Be Pertinent to the Message Inside
Your subject line should correlate with whatever you share in your email. The first thing to do is summarize what your message is about. Don’t put too much effort into this, as the preceding steps will help you fine-tune the outcome.
Length: Shorten the Message to the Right Length for Your Audience
A leader in email marketing, MailChimp, suggests short headlines. This way, readers will never need to spend time making a decision about whether or not to scroll past. The recommended length for email subjects is 50 characters or less. MyEmma, another email marketing platform, suggests that mobile optimized emails be even shorter, only 20-30 characters. Frontloading is when you place the most important words in the front of your subject line, and is often recommended if you’re going with the full 50 characters. Step 2 in this successful headline formula is to shorten your subject lines to the appropriate length.
Power Words: Replace Spammy Adverbs with Emotional Terms
After you’ve shortened your subject lines to the appropriate length, look for words that could sound like spam or decrease your open rate, and replace them with more powerful and emotional words. To make it easier on yourself and save time, use some of the free tools available on the web. CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer is an easy-to-use and entertaining way to test the potential clickability of your subject lines.
Give Proper Attention to the Structure And Length of the Email Body
As important as the content within your emails, your structure and message length will play a role in conversion-potential. When you want to make sales, every little detail should be considered. Here’s how to determine a structure and length for email body construction.
Have You Heard of the Rule of 7?
All email recipients have an information processing capacity. Breaking information down into about seven pieces of information seems to be the best because of the way the human mind works. It is safe to recommend that you keep the information preceding any calls to action in your newsletter from five to nine parts. Even if these points are not entirely separate from one another, it will be more likely that your audience will remember what they read and be engaged by the information when it is broken up into parts that are easy to process. So, whatever message you have to convey in your emails, remember to use “the magical number seven, plus or minus two.”
Make Considerations Based On Your Target Audience
Nobody can tell you exactly how long to make an email body or what structure to use – if there were a formula for this, all messages would read the same. Each email audience is different. When you know who your target audience is, understanding their needs and desires needs to become a priority. You can target your message with methods that are already proven to work, and use customer surveys to appeal to your audience directly. Almost all demographics have been or are being studied by someone. If you seek out research on your target demographic, you may be surprised at the wealth of knowledge that is available, giving you insight into what seems to work and what doesn’t. Despite what you may think, market research doesn’t have to cost a fortune. There are places to find valuable marketing research for free. This list should get you off to a good start.
- SilverPop – In exchange for your email address, SilverPop will give you access to hundreds of studies at no cost. Research includes information related to email marketing, marketing automation, social, mobile, campaign automation, contact storage, and much more.
- MailChimp – The industry standard email platform has access to tons of information from their clients’ marketing campaigns. The latest findings and reports can be downloaded on their Research page.
- MarketingSherpa – This is a research institute specializing in practical case studies, research, and training for marketers. Free reports and paid training is provided through their website.
- Edinformatics – The directory here includes both current and dated journal articles, open for distribution via creative commons licensing. Do a couple of searches to see if you find anything valuable to your campaign.
- Google Scholar – Everyone knows about Google search, but not everyone knows that they have an engine dedicated to peer reviewed articles and essays. You can find loads of market research here for free or for a small fee.
Apply the information you find strategically, and these resources will help you make the most of your email newsletter campaigns.
How to Execute Your Call to Action Delivery
The call to action is the final and deciding factor in whether or not your email will bring in conversions. When sales are your goal, you need to know how to craft them for optimum engagement. Your call to action should have the following characteristics:
- To the Point
Create a sense of urgency without getting too wordy, and say what you mean. To get a better understanding of how to design your call to action, see what MailChimp had to say. They are the authority on the matter. When crafting an email newsletter with the intention of making sales, there are three major segments to focus on. First, structure your subject line with intent. After that, conduct some research to find out which length and structure you should be using for your audience. Finally, put some effort into your call to action. Application of this advice, paired with some insightful analytics on your own campaigns will bring you email marketing success. So, get out there and start working on your next campaign.
Megan Hicks is a content manager at WriteThisEssay. She also provides online PR and marketing consultations.
Elena is founder of a technology PR agency that works with startups to billion-dollar companies. She is passionate about helping marketers and small business owners with practical publicity strategies, which she's also using for her own bling flip flop company.
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