April 8, 2020
Email marketing is all about grabbing the attention of your audience, and you better do it quick. Attention span nowadays might not be the best, and we don’t know anyone that looks at every single email in their inbox. So we’re here to walk you through some advice and tips on increasing those CTR rates and how to pull in more opens on those emails for your biz.
Do you know anyone who doesn’t always have their phone on them? If they say they don’t “carry it around” run, because they’re probably a psychopath. People who aren’t active on their phone or rely on it a lot, well, they’re few and far between. From checking social media apps to messaging friends, people are inevitably connected through their phones. So obviously everyone is going to look at most if not all notifications they get, and one of those is emails.
Think about it- the emails you look at on your phone are almost always user-friendly, right? Put aside those boring work ones, and think about those you get from various brands with super cool graphics and fonts. They’re cool to look at, have fun tones, and offer a little excitement to your inbox (some of our notable mentions for the most fun emails are Betches Media eblasts, The Daily Carnage, and The Mention Memo) Now think about the ones that are crowded, or frustrating to zoom into and just don’t look right, maybe don’t load all the way, and aren’t aesthetically pleasing- yes, that is a thing in eblasts and email marketing. We don’t blame you if you took one look at those, hit “unsubscribe” and tossed it in the virtual trash. You don’t want that for your own brands’ emails. Make sure they’re optimized for mobile! Double-check that your layout relays from desktop to mobile formats. Saves all that time and effort you put into your email marketing from being thrown into the trash.
We’re talking design and usability of your email, so listen up. First, plan out what it is you’re sending this email for. Is it to bring attention to a new service? Update on your audience on a new blog? Is there an important announcement you have for your audience? Do you have a main point that you want your audience to learn from? Don’t send an email without a plan, it’s not cute.
Do you include links for viewers to find your website and social pages? If you didn’t immediately say yes, we might need to have a little one on one. You need to make sure people can easily click within the email itself to contact you or look at your other content. Plus, having interactive material in general makes emails more engaging and pulls in more consistent viewers. Include links on those pictures, or have a “read more” button if there is something you’re featuring specifically on your website or other platforms. Have a call to action in there, and link it up! And make sure the links work before you click send. Even though some sites have funny 404 page not found links like Pixar, it’s not where your viewers are wanting to go.
So let’s talk design. The design aspect is obviously important to having a captivating email to make people want to scroll down and read more, but it also needs to be functional as well. It should fit with your brand, but also not be so busy that it takes away from the content. Include pictures, gifs, or anything that could fit and that will keep your audience’s attention. You also want to make sure your message is simplified enough that it conveys the main point, but doesn’t drag it out. People aren’t gonna be spending too much time on the email itself so make it easier for them to get to the point. Lastly, hit send it. *Put your hawk to the sky move side to side* Okay, we’ll stop with the Hannah Montana references, promise.
Today’s consumers love to see a brand being authentic and transparent. We sift through so many polished emails that have a great look and deliver great content, but we remember the ones that include people and faces in them more than just the text and products alone. A trend we’re seeing lately is brands including team members pictures and using it to show off products, services and overall tell their story. Try to do this by sending an email out that tells your brand’s story while accomplishing something else. Link it to a blog, or even to employee’s Instagram accounts if you’re wanting to promote what they’re doing! It’s great to humanize your brand, and it lets consumers feel like they’re getting a behind the scenes look at how your company runs. It carves the brand into their memory as they have a story and a face to associate it with.
How many emails have you glanced at and didn’t even open because the subject line was boring, lengthy, and just didn’t catch your eye? Too many to count we’re sure. Consumers today are always multitasking between apps, scrolling through Instagram, and just checking their inbox for work-related emails. You have mere seconds to pull in your audience, so do it with something that piques their interest.
There’s a bunch of different ways to do this, and it all goes back to your own brand messaging, and what the content of your email campaign entails. Let’s say you’re introducing a new service. Grab the reader’s attention with a subject line that emphasizes the newness of the service or product, like “NEW! We’ve got [insert service] for you!” or “Open for something you won’t want to miss!” Don’t be afraid to throw in some trendy terms too! We could literally write a whole blog on subject lines alone (and we might), but we’ll keep this short and simple for you this time around. Here are some key things to note about subject lines:
Don’t let it get over 60 characters. The average subject line is between 35 and 50 characters. Mobile viewers subject lines cut off at the 32 character mark, so 4-7 words is a good rule of thumb.
When all else fails, make it witty. OpenTable used “Licking your phone never tasted so good” as one of their email campaign’s subject line, and honestly we don’t think it gets better than that.
If you’re really stumped, look for inspiration from others! Search what other email campaigns have done for their subject lines, but be careful- what works for others, doesn’t mean it will for sure work for you. So do your audience research and keep that in mind when playing off some inspiration.
No, literally, this section is about timing for your email campaign. Have you ever taken a look at the times you send your emails and noticed the open rates vary at different times of the day? No, just us? Cool. Well, if you haven’t, you should look at the appropriate times your audience is likely to be checking their emails. On average, people check their emails about 10 times a day, so yes this can vary a lot. But luckily for you, email campaign software such as MailChimp can optimize a good time to send emails to your customers. We’ll tell you this, some of the best times to send emails when in doubt are either 10 AM or 4 PM.
You also might want to line up the timing of your email to match what’s going on around it, in terms of events or new content. If you’re releasing a new blog, let your subscribers know! If you have an event coming up that people could attend, such as a webinar (thanks corona) or a zoom conference that could be informative to your audience, send out an email at least a few days in advance. Include a calendar invite, and link it in such a way they can add it straight to their own virtual calendar.
This is a subject we couldn’t have ever predicted writing about but it’s one we need to discuss in regards to email marketing. With everything happening, we’re seeing brands everywhere say something about COVID-19, revamping their messaging, and checking in on their viewers. If your brand isn’t doing the same, maybe it’s time to say something.
It’s important to act quickly with information such as what your business is doing in these changing times. Update your viewers on new cleaning measures you’re taking, on your employees working from home, if your hours of business have changed, and how you’re looking to continue conducting business. You don’t need to report on each of these topics, but think about what is important information for your consumers or clients to know. Don’t joke about the situation, and be serious even if it’s not your typical brand voice. Otherwise, try and find ways to help out your community and let your viewers know via email. Whether you’re releasing new services in this time of need, setting up a relief fund, or discounting current services, just consider what works for your business, and what is useful.
Now that you’ve got a good sense of what to do with your email marketing campaign, give it a shot! If you’re still a bit lost, reach out to us via email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll throw it all together! We also created a handy email marketing checklist for you to download if you want to see everything you’ll need for a successful email marketing campaign. Happy planning!
Written by Nicole Bordelon
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