What to Include in Your Marketing Emails

E-mail marketing today is crucial to monetizing your product. It’s a way to keep in touch with your customers and letting them know about potential opportunities. It’s also an excellent market research tool – data gathered in relation to these e-mails can be of serious help to your future marketing and audience engagement strategies. Don’t treat email content as an afterthought.

How to write e-mails that work

  1. Catchy subject line that matches content. Not many people bother to even open an e-mail without a subject line, and few bother reading past the first line if the subject line doesn’t grab their attention right away. Some retailers pose their subject line as a question to which a customer’s hypothetical answer would determine their interest in the product. You could take that approach, but don’t make it too wordy or too complicated. Adding discounts to a subject line can work too. Whatever approach you take, make sure that the subject is in tune with the content of your e-mail – customers don’t appreciate their attention tricked by a catchy subject line that has little to do with the actual e-mail.
  2. Have a clear purpose for your e-mail. Get to the point. Whether your e-mail is about sales, or the launch of your brand new product, stick to the subject throughout. Don’t make it overly long or wordy – include links to your site so that the customers could click for more information. The rule of thumb is that you’re trying to “sell the click”, i.e. you just want the prospect to click a link (to a sales page, perhaps) to learn more. The purpose is to encourage the customer to click something and you don’t need a lot of text to do that. In fact, you probably can easily cut at least 25% of text after you’re done composing your e-mail. If your sentence doesn’t relate to the purpose of your e-mail, it has no place in the text.
  3. Call-to-action vocabulary. “Buy now”, “Sign up”, “Click to order” are the type of words that you should include in your marketing e-mails. Action words are what inspires and compels the customer to click and make a purchase or sign up. Presenting information about a sale or a new product is well and good but a customer needs to be told to take action. If they don’t see the call-to-action, they’ll probably just ignore the e-mail, wasting all the hard work you put in it.
  4. Good formatting. Prospects would probably ignore large blocks of texts, especially in case of marketing e-mails. More often than not, emails are skimmed. For that reason, you need to make sure that your main points stand out and can be read in under a minute, or even a few seconds. This can be achieved by smart use of lists, headings and bullet points. (We recommend you send emails out as plain texts to maximise the number of people who can read it – HTML emails rarely display as you would like as most people deactivate the feature on their email client for security reasons). Don’t be afraid to include several calls-to-action – just the one might not do it.
  5. Appeal to readers by focusing on what’s in it for them. Telling your readers about technical features of your newest product is important, but don’t include it in your marketing e-mail. These technical features are of no interest to a customer. What they want to know in the first few seconds of opening your email is what your product can do for them. What you want to do is to appeal to them and make them think about how these benefits would affect their life in a positive way.
  6. Personalise. Make your emails personal to the recipient. Mail marketing services like Aweber let you automatically personalise your messages with the recipient’s name.
  7. Proofread. Spelling mistakes and typos stand out in marketing e-mails and they hurt both your credibility and your open rates. Typos in your copy suggest a lack of care in your work. If you don’t care to get your emails right, what does that sugget about your product? How you do one thing is how you do everything.
  8. Do your data analysis. E-mails are a market research tool, as well as a marketing instrument. Don’t neglect to study your email analytics to track how many customers clicked on your order link and bought something as a result. This data can help you track your performance across this particular marketing channel and see what you can do better next time. Email marketing service, Aweber, has built-in analytics data that shows you how well your emails are performing.

Takeaway points

  1. Be concise, relatable and attention-grabbing.
  2. Format, personalise, proofread, cut.
  3. Your marketing e-mails have multiple uses: promote your product; build anticipation; market research.

Action steps

  1. Write out your email sequence.
  2. Draft a copy of a marketing e-mail and cut it down by half and keep cutting down until its main points can be understood within 5 seconds.
  3. Open an account with Aweber and learn how to use it. If you want to market and monetize your know-how, you need to master the technology for building your email list.

Photo credit: Chung Ho Leung via Flickr.com / CC BY-ND 2.0

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