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Stop Dreaming Of The Perfect Email Marketing - Start Writing It

Stop Dreaming Of The Perfect Email Marketing - Start Writing It

Posted 19/06/2009 by Gareth Cutter

When composing your email marketing messages, our guess is you probably have the following scenario in mind: recipients will receive and open the email, read it from top to bottom, love it and then exit via the 'call to action', whether that be downloading a white paper or emailing / calling one of your agents - simple as that.

Why is it then that there's often such a huge disconnect between what's planned in the boardroom and what actually goes out? Marketers are still sending email marketing campaigns with uninspiring subject-lines, calls to action buried under sales puffery and a poor sense of overall design that leads to high list churn rates as subscribers opt-out of the process through frustration and / or disinterest (delete as appropriate).

This unpleasant reality can easily be avoided. When composing your email marketing message, think of it not as a one-off mail shot but a guided tour through your chosen industry and brand experience. The subject line should be enticing; the content reflective of your business culture and the calls to action weighted with clear benefits. Here are some useful pointers:

  • Place your best content 'above the fold' - this is the content (text & images) that shows up in an email client's preview pane when the message arrives in the inbox. Time-poor subscribers use it to vet an email for relevancy and interest, so it should be intriguing enough to prompt further investigation. Use attention grabbing images and headlines to prompt more opens whilst making sure nothing important gets cut off.

  • Use space wisely - there's nothing less appealing to first-time subscribers than an email packed to the eyeballs with text. Not that there should be a dearth of content; text and content is not quite the same thing. Your emails should be designed to spark interest and whisk subscribers to your web site via a hyperlink: so pare the text down, leave plenty of space to let content breathe but keep enough interest to generate click-throughs and enjoy a more 'spacious' email experience.

  • Finish with bold calls to action - as subscribers come to the end of your latest email, the exit points should be signposted with bold and unequivocal instructions. If you want subscribers to visit your web site so they can use a redemption code, tell them how and why they should do this. Keeping subscribers 'informed' is all well and good, but ultimately, you want them to interact with your business in a way that is profitable, and a well-written invitation is more likely to get your the result you want.

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