The goal of email marketing is to drive traffic to your site and encourage purchases. Bizzy’s email marketing best practices orient your entire email strategy around this common goal.
(In a hurry? Check out the infographic: 6 Email Marketing Content Tips!)
When writing a marketing email, the entire purpose should be to generate sales for your business, and the only way to do that is to use the content of the email to drive customers to your shop’s website. If a customer gets to the end of your email and has no incentive or desire to head over to your shop, then your email did not accomplish its goal.
Before you get started: Know your audience
One of the key mistakes people make is putting too much content into marketing emails.
Most customers are going to be opening their emails on their mobile phones and spending about 15 seconds reading each email. These two facts are the most critical contributors to what makes a successful marketing email.
- Since 64% of decision-makers read their email on mobile, all important content needs to be immediately visible when the email is opened on a phone. Despite this convincing statistic, 39% of marketers have no strategy for mobile email.
- Since customers are spending only about 15 seconds reading your email, there cannot be any ambiguity about the key point of your email. This means that every email should have a single message with a single call to action. 15 seconds simply is not enough time for customers to sift through information and decide what to do next. Instead, your desired follow-on action needs to be abundantly clear.
In this article, we will go through the components of a Bizzy email and talk about how they work together to encourage customers to visit your site.
The subject line: Tell customers why they should open your email
Did you know, 64% of people choose whether or not to open an email because of the subject line alone?
The average email user gets around 150 emails per day and deletes half of them. Those numbers will continue to grow over time, making your email’s subject line increasingly critical. If you want your customers to open your emails, your subject line absolutely must give them a compelling reason to do so.
So, what kinds of reasons can you give customers to open your emails? People will react if you are offering them: (1) exclusive information that they cannot get elsewhere, or (2) convenient information that is harder to find elsewhere. Great examples of exclusive information are special discount codes and early access to new product announcements. Convenient information is a little less straight forward, since you also have to ensure that you are giving people information that they actually want. Stellar examples of convenient information are recipes, style tips, and creative hacks that make the product you are selling more useful.
The right subject is the first step on your way to encouraging customers to visit your site and make a purchase.
The headline: Follow through (succinctly!) on the promise you made in the subject
7 in 10 people say they made use of a coupon or discount from a marketing email in the prior week.
Let’s assume your customers opened your email with a subject promising something exclusive or convenient. Now, your headline is the opportunity for you to deliver on that promise. If your subject line was misleading, you will lose credibility with your customers. So, make sure that your headline delivers on the promise that you made in your subject line. This trust will continue to build your relationship with your customers and keep them subscribed to your list.
Your headline must get straight to the point. Remember that customers are looking at your email for about 15 seconds total. One or two sentences is enough to accomplish your goals of (1) delivering on your promise of exclusive or convenient information, and (2) encouraging your customers to take the next step of following your call to action and visiting your website!
No matter how you slice it, customers love exclusive access to coupons and discounts, making a discount offer an ideal email headline. At the same time, though, there are many other items of value you can deliver to your customers via email. Just remember the golden rule: you need to be offering exclusivity or convenience.
The image: Entice customers to come to your site.
Emails with images have a 42% higher click through rate than emails without images.
Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest have prioritized images in the lives of consumers. Because images have become such a core part of how people communicate and make decisions, a compelling image is core to a successful marketing email.
So, what makes an image compelling?
- The image must be relevant to the point of the email. If you are announcing a new product, the image is a great place to highlight it.
- The image must be clear. If customers do not know what they are looking at, they are unlikely to keep reading.
- The image must be attractive. Your images do not need to be artistic masterpieces, but they do need to be visually appealing.
The purpose of your image is to support the promise made in your subject line and delivered in your headline. All of these pieces are working together to encourage the customer to follow the call to action and visit your site!
The call to action: Guide customers to the next step — visiting your website!
A single call to action (as opposed to multiple) will increase clicks by up to 400% and conversions by up to 1600%.
And now for the main event! The call to action is where you tell your customers to take the next step and visit your website. Effective calls to action are:
- Linked to the action that they are encouraging.
If your call to action is “click here to get yours today,” then that text must be a link that the customer can click on to get to your site.
Your call to action is where you tell your customers what action you want them to take next. If you subject line was enticing, your headline delivered on your promise, and your image was compelling, your call to action is where you are able to capitalize on the efficacy of your messaging thus far. You have built your credibility and now it is time to use it to guide your customers to your site!
For some great ideas on building effective Calls to Action, see our previous installment in the Bizzy Expert Email Marketing Series: A Guide for Growing Your Subscribers in 2015: Get People on Your List with a Killer CTA.
Following these email marketing best practices will keep your customers subscribed to your list and will also keep them shopping on your site! Sign up below for Bizzy’s Weekly Tips to get notified of future installments of our Expert Email Marketing Series!