Monday, July 6, 2015

How to write a good marketing email

If in every email you send you optimize each of these elements as explained in this guide, you can be sure you have a winning email.
  • Personalisation
Personalisation can still be an important factor in writing effective emails. Recent survey data conducted by Economist Intelligence Data and Lyris shows that the majority (63%) of consumers feel personalisation is so overused that they have become numb to it. Not only that, 33% actually cited personalisation as one of their top annoyances.
Your subscribers know your email is automated, you shouldn’t insult their intelligence by pretending otherwise.
However this doesn’t mean that personalisation is dead.
Check out the graph below which demonstrates how personalisation affected open rates in data analysed from 100’s of millions of email campaigns. So personalisation can give a slight lift, however over­personalisation will cause your response rate to plummet. So personalise the subject or body, but never both.
  • Creative Use Of Images
For years images were tricky because by default gmail had images disabled for all users (as many as 50% of my subscribers use gmail), but they have recently changed this policy, and since, I have been using images in my emails with great effect. Try to use images that arouse curiosity.
For example, if your email is trying to get people to a webpage where they will be watching a video, take a screenshot of the video and embed that image into your email. And of course make the image a clickable link to where you want them to go. What really makes this more effective is to make sure there is a play button in the image, either in the bottom left corner, or right in the middle of the video. You could also screenshot the video at a place that again arouses curiosity.
You’ll often see this tactic used on facebook by sites like buzzfeed or even those spammy “oh my god you must watch this to the end” type posts that you see on facebook. Their images always arouse curiosity and force you to want to click them. You can learn from these techniques, but in an honest, sincere and non spammy way. If promoting a product, you can use clickable images of the product in your emails. Again always try to cause an element of curiosity to get more clicks.
Use images as often as possible but always keep the majority of your email text. Emails with images will get a better response, but use too many images and your response will plummet.
  • Call To Action
Try to ensure that every email you send has THREE calls to action. This has been tested and proven that three is the magic number for getting the most clicks. You can even use four if the email warrants it, but always aim for three link / calls to action, any less and you’re leaving traffic on the table.
  • Sign Off
You should always sign off every email with a personality. What I mean is, and I see this time and time again especially when I join a site and get their welcome email, they sign off with something like:
“Thanks,
The Bestsure Team”
Don’t do this.
Always use a real name, perhaps followed by their position in your team. This helps bring people closer to and feel more connected to your brand. This can also open up another opportunity.
Lets say you have a content writer as part of your team and a customer support agent. If after some time being involved with your site, your subscribers can get to know and expect emails from each of these people.
With this you can send more emails and not seem like you’re overdoing it. Your content writer could send an email about the latest blog post, and on the same day another member of your team can send an email promoting an offer. Coming from the same name this can seem like overkill to some, but your subscribers will not see it that way when the emails are coming from different members of your team.
Now, ideally these will be real separate members of your team.
But there’s nothing unethical about creating a number of different personas and writing the emails yourself, just make sure each writer has their own voice and their own personality.
One could be confident and excited in their words, the other could be more reserved and factual.
This one tactic alone can double your traffic as you can realistically send twice as many emails
and not have people complain.
  • P.S
It has long been taught and remains true to this day that most of the people clicking on links in your emails are clicking on the link in the P.S line.
It makes sense given if they read the email, that's the part they’re at when they finish.
But even among those who scan read or read very little of your email, the P.S will be teh most read part of your email.
So always include a call to action / link in your P.S.
  • Subject Line
When it comes to subject lines, the data shows that short is the way to go, the graph below shows email open rates by subject character length.
  • Pretty conclusive.
There are always going to be exceptions, so don’t ditch what you think could be a great subject
line because it’s longer than 15 characters.
But try to stay within the range most of the time.
A study conducted by an email service provider, where they analysed every email from every one of their clients, and some of the very best performing subject lines are these:

  1. You are not alone
  2. Your registration info inside
  3. Check this out (pics inside)
  4. A powerful idea… (video inside)

The “You are not alone” subject line for some reason was the very best performing email ever for open rates. The others are just general styles that have gotten the highest open rates.
You can use these, or model some of your subject lines around them.
  • Personality
This is pretty much covered is the main Art ofEmail strategy guide.
That is to write your emails in a conversational style.
Don’t write like a robotic salesman simply conveying a message.
Write as though you’re talking to someone you know, introduce your message with a story that
draws readers in.
  • Connecting Loop
The connecting loop is an invaluable tool you’ll need to use to connect your story to your promotion.
This is especially important when promoting affiliate products that might not be directly connected to your main product.
You need to find and make that connection.

Some things will connect naturally, for example if my product is around list building, traffic getting
and email conversion products are a natural. But an important part of being successful in any online venture is also mindset, or goal setting, or productivity.
My subscribers might not be instantly interested in such things, but because I know of their importance, it’s my job to make the connecting loop.
I could do this by telling a personal story about how I struggled online until I changed my mindset
and started setting goals, making to­do lists etc. Then introduce the tool I used that made the
difference which is the tool I am promoting.
If you’re struggling to find that connecting loop, simply search google for articles that contain
what your market is interested in, and the market of the product you want to promote.
Do the research, you’ll always find an interesting news or other article to make the connection.
  • Dominant Emotion
This is an amazingly effective tactic for creating super engaging emails. Before writing an email, try to think about what is in your prospects minds at this moment. As I write this (from the awesome coworking space Hubud, in Ubud, Bali), the dominant emotion or topic on everybody's minds is the Ice Bucket Challenge.  So I could write an email today talking about the ice bucket challenge, then find the connecting loop to whatever I’m marketing.
In this niche, that would be extremely easy, the Ice Bucket Challenge should be an interesting
subject to all us marketers as it’s definitely the most effective viral craze in recent memory. I could easily talk about that and relate it to internet marketing.
But you could also find a connecting loop in pretty much any market with a little research.
For example, the magic trick market you probably know I’m involved in, I just google “ice bucket
challenge magic trick” and actually found a magic trick with an ice bucket challenge presentation
to it.
I could send an email promoting that, but that’s so easy it feels like cheating.
I could also start by talking about how people got more and more elaborate and creative with the
challenge, and talk about how that made things more engaging for those watching the videos,
then go on to talk about how my product teaches how to create similar engagement from
spectators when you are performing.
I’m just thinking off the top of my head here but I know I could easily create a connecting loop
from the current dominant emotion of the ice bucket challenge to almost any market.
Browse news sites to find the current dominant emotion, be aware that the dominant emotion
isn’t always and often isn’t the top stories.
The top story may be a war in the middle east, but is that really the topic on the general
populations mind?
  • Entertaining
If you can be consistently entertaining, your emails will get read and acted upon.
So what do people find entertaining?
Obviously this is discussed in more detail in the main strategy guide, but here’s a little short­cut
you can use to be entertaining. People love interesting facts and statistics, you’ll see them being shared on facebook all the time.
They’re quick to consume, satisfying to learn and people remember them, and they’ll probably
remember who told them that interesting fact, that interesting guy/gal they get emails from, YOU!
Keep an eye out for these things and think of how they could relate to your market when you see
them.
Create a little swipe file where you can copy/paste them into, eventually you’ll just start naturally
finding little tidbits that you’ll be able to piece together to make connecting loops using interesting
stories and facts and the current dominant emotion. Doing is learning
  • Open Loops
This is all covered in detail in the main strategy guide. However, open loops can also be created using the image styles I talked about earlier. Images that arouse curiosity, that get people to click on them to find out what happens next or what the video is all about is basically a short­cut style open loop


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