Four Tips for Better Email Marketing Content
There are many reasons why email marketing remains popular, not the least of which is if it is done correctly it is very effective and has a positive ROI. Creating an effective email marketing program and campaigns for your business is not overly complex, but there are some fundamentals that you need to keep in mind. This article addresses Content – what you actually put in your email marketing pieces.
These are the top content tips to remember:
Write for your audience. Sounds simple, but what you put in your email should be what the recipient expects to see, needs to see, or wants to see. To do that effectively, you have to understand your audience. Keep in mind that your business may have many audiences and sending slightly different versions of an email, with the content tweaked for each group or segment, will be more effective that one single email that ignores the nuances between segments.
Your email content will be more effective if it is tied to things that your readers are already thinking about. Marketers call this seasonality. Think about tying your content to the literal seasons or holidays as appropriate (e.g. President’s Day Sale!). You might also tie your content to events in the community or news items. Business-to-business marketing might correlate with annual conferences or trade shows (even the virtual ones). Including seasonality will make your audience more likely to read your emails.
Images & Videos
People love images. Humans are drawn to images, particularly if they are images of people where you can see the faces and the hands. There is a lot of research that ties these preferences back to cave-dwelling times, but you only need to know faces & hands. Think about the copy that will be in the email to determine if the people in the image should be looking at the reader, looking down or up, or at another person. All that makes a difference.
People love videos even more. While you cannot actually send a video in the context of an email marketing message, you can incorporate a clickable image that links to a You Tube, Vimeo, or other hosted video service. Email marketing templates in services like Constant Contact have a video content block that you can put into an email. Enter the web address of the video, and the system will display a preview image that will go directly to the video when clicked. Keep the videos short (15 – 30 seconds). The first eight seconds are critical; the viewer will decide within 8 seconds if they like the video and will continue watching.
Personalization means inserting names or bits of data that are specific, or personal, to the reader. An obvious example is a Dear <First Name> salutation, where the <First Name> is filled in from the contact database built in to the email marketing platform. Each email that goes out is personalized with the first name associated with the email address that is being sent to. Any bit of information that is in the database can be inserted into the email, too. We’ve all received emails that remind us of our most recently purchased item from a retailer, or a membership renewal date for an organization. People pay much closer attention to an email when they recognize their own details. Putting the person’s first name in the subject line works well, too.
Email marketing campaigns are the foundation of many online marketing programs, from responses to website form fills to drip campaigns to regular newsletters. Doing them right and helping clients create the copy and content that tells the story of their unique ability to help their customers is what we do best.
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