Does your Email Marketing Campaign Score 5 out of 5 for Content?
How easy is it for your email marketing campaign recipients to read the emails you send them? Before hitting ‘send’ on your next email marketing campaign, ensure you are scoring 5 out of 5 on your content selection.
By now, most business owners like you have heard the buzzwords that ‘content is king.’ This is true in all strategic and reaction-based tactics you manage from social media to blogging to web page copy and so on. It is crucial to ensure your copy (content) is well positioned for your email marketing campaigns too.
How to get 5 out of 5 on your Email Marketing Campaign distributions
[**NOTE** before going any further, it should be noted that prior to writing your content, you should already have set up a solid goal, an attractive offer or purpose for interaction and a focused list of email recipients to send your electronic communication to. The below blog does not cover these aspects of email marketing campaign strategy. We cover strategy first here and here.]
For best results on your next email blast, answer these five questions:
- Does your subject line make an impact to your recipients?
- Can my email be easily skimmed to get the point across?
- Have I included the proper text and visuals?
- Did I include campaign specific links and Call-to-Actions (CTAs)?
- Is my typography and font selection on brand and easy to read for my recipients?
If you can clearly say “yes” to each of the above criteria for EVERY email marketing campaign you distribute, you are in good shape to hit ‘send’ with confidence (read on to refresh and hone your skills on industry best practices). If not, keep reading below on how you can score a perfect quadfecta on your electronic messages.
1. Your winning subject line: If your email doesn’t get opened, it doesn’t get read
People receive on average 120+ emails EVERY day, according to Radicati. And, almost half of those (47%) are solicitations or spam. Just because you have the opt-in permission to send a target recipient an email, does not mean it is getting opened – or even seen for that matter. Most emails will be overlooked or automatically redirected to spam folder sight unseen. Or they end up in a trash folder after your audience makes a millisecond sortation decision based on the email subject line or who the sender is. This alone is why the subject line must answer WIIFM for your recipients of your well-crafted email marketing campaign. What is in it for them to receive and read your email?
Your email has plenty of noise and clutter to break through. Unless something grabs their attention at once, it’s going in their trash folder. A successful email starts with a subject line that grabs the attention of your recipients. Mailchimp has literally analyzed 1000’s of email campaigns and their subject lines to find what works best. They found that impactful subject lines are personal or descriptive and they give people a reason to check out the content within. Subject lines resulting in the best open rates include the following traits:
- Add personalization through use of merge tags
- Be descriptive as opposed to general
- Keep it short – target less than 10 words or less than 60 characters
- Avoid the use of punctuation or keep it minimal (no more than 3)
- Emojis work – limit it to one VERY selective choice
Test. Subject line testing of your campaign will prove what works and what doesn’t. Whatever your approach, it’s important to keep your audience in mind, and test different words and phrases to see what gets opened.
2. Skimmability (not sure it’s a word but you get the idea)
People don’t have a lot of time to read an entire email to find information, they’re too busy. You want to ensure your email is easy to understand at once. Does it get your main points across early and consistently? Can it be skimmed and intrigue the reader to read more. Or can it be merely skimmed and still get results? Word count and headers play a key factor in skimmability of your email marketing campaigns. Once completed, estimate how long it will take the recipient to read your email. According to MailChimp, industry best practice recommends you keep the read to under 45 seconds – roughly 200-225 words. In addition, sentences under 25 words have proven to be easier to skim in electronic form.
3. Links & CTAs
As a marketing agency, it brings tears to our collective eyes whenever we see marketing tactics without a clear instruction of what the recipient is supposed to do next. It happens far too often. This should be a tick box on every marketing tactic checklist and especially important for email marketing campaigns. Asking users to take a specific action through a compelling CTA is how you drive results from your campaign. Don’t be shy! Don’t send without adding CTAs (such as “buy now” “learn more” “add to cart” or “contact us”) and links within your email that connect recipients to your web content.
Inclusion of links and CTAs is a must but don’t overdo it. If your email has multiple product or service offerings, link to each individually. However (and this is also part of the Text and Visuals section below), ask yourself if the email would be better with singular focus on one product or service. If your email is a digital newsletter format, multiple abridged messages and associated links is ok. But if your email marketing campaign has one goal, don’t muddy the waters of your messaging adding other offers or messages to your recipients. Stay laser-focused on that topic and ensure all your links and CTAs complement that end goal.
[**Bonus tip** Subtly ensure your email includes ways to like and share the email via your social media platforms. Invite your recipients to follow you on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. You have their attention via this email. Make it easy for them to follow you in other platforms. But, per above, don’t make this the accidental CTA. Simply add the linking icons to your email. They’ll know what to do.]
4. Text & Visuals
Building on the last section’s best practice of staying laser-focused with your message, you need to use proper and relevant copy, headings and imagery. These are mandatory components for a successful email marketing campaign. Your subject line – as covered above – has done the heavy lifting and got your email opened. Now, it needs to keep interest to your reader through esthetically appealing content placement. If you include headings, keep them short and break up your copy with sub-headers (this increases the skimmability as well), A good email has a relevant “champion” image that brings your message together visually. But don’t stop there. If it helps you use a more concise choice of words, add images and pictures (possibly product images) within the body of your email.
Depending on your email marketing campaign, your target base of recipients are likely quite diverse in education and native language. According to Readable, shorter words and shorter sentences are best. Select language that is right for most of your distribution group but cater your copy roughly to a grade 8 reading level. And don’t forget to spellcheck before hitting send!
[**Note** Don’t forget to use “alt” text on all your images. In simplest terms, image alt test is an alternative display of words acting as a description of the image. It also usually displays when mouse hover occurs. Many recipient email applications remove imagery by default. Ensure the copy/content of your email still works even if images get removed.]
5. Typography and Font Selection
To serif or not to serif. That is the question. To make a professional, easy to read email, the fonts you use can go a long way. Ensure they are on-brand and consistent throughout. Size and weighting of your copy’s font should also be intuitive for the reader. Headlines are larger than sub-headers which are variant from body copy. But no matter where in your email the reader is, paragraph text is same font and size and weight and can never be confused from other typography elements.
Font colour choice is also an important consideration. Dark (black or reduced shades of black) font on white background is standard. However, many recipients use “dark mode” on their computers, so the colours are reversed. This only becomes a problem if your links are of a hue that does not contrast effectively against either the black or white background.
So, there you have it. You can score 5 out of 5 with your content on your next email marketing campaign. Use the above 5 steps to get improve your open and conversion rates. Good luck! And if you need a hand, remember that Wingman Direct Marketing can help you take the next step toward powerful client emails. If you want a Wingman to help you out, we’re only one contact away. Book a Wingman today. You don’t have to fly solo.