Hundreds of billions of emails travel from inbox to inbox every single day, making it difficult to stand out from the crowd.
In fact, a whopping 93% of business-to-business marketers use email to share content; 83% run a regular email newsletter (and we’re one of them – sign up here!); and 40% say that e-newsletters are the most critical aspect of their content marketing. Some suggest that every US$1 spent on email marketing strategies generates US$38 in return: an incredible return-on-investment of 3,800%. In short, email is one of the most effective forms of marketing, and can work wonders for your business… if you do it right.
Reaping the benefits of email in a saturated marketplace is tough. How can you best harness the power of email comms to ensure that your customers open your send-outs, read them, and even click through for more information?
Consider the purpose
As with any form of communication, purpose is key to success. This holds true for oral, audiovisual, written, and any other kind of comms: why, exactly, are you creating your product? What message do you want to convey, and what are you hoping to achieve? Rather than managing a newsletter for the sake of it, consider why you’re sending it out into the world. Here at The Giles Agency, for example, we create newsletters every month, direct marketing emails for special offers or to attract potential customers, follow-up surveys to check in with what our customers and clients are thinking and feeling, and special emails to celebrate milestones and holidays. We aim to offer a real mix of valuable content to our recipients, from intriguing industry tidbits to discounts to Giles updates, to mirror what we post here on The Feed.
Use clear, thoughtful calls to action
Calls to action are essentially a part of your email’s roadmap: you’ve won a customer’s attention, they’ve read some of your content, and they’re looking for what to do next. Your call to action tells them to click here, read on, go to this page now, why not get in touch? – it retains their interest and offers them something else they may gain value from. These should be bold, visible, and simple: make them easily spotted by an email’s reader, make the text clear and concise, and steer clear of overused phrases like ‘find out more’ or ‘click here’. According to Marketingland, “The user’s action is what it’s all about. Once you understand the basics of what a CTA is, its function, goal and proper content and usage, then you can create CTAs that improve conversion. A CTA that works consistently is a creation of art and beauty.”
Mix strong visuals with snappy copy
Web users are incredibly visual content consumers – but also want to gain some kind of added value from anything they take in. The best way to approach this is to create your products with both copy and visuals in mind; design from the beginning by imagining how it will eventually look, and what message(s) you’d like to convey, or feelings you’d like to evoke (again: think purpose). We’ve written about the importance of mixing written and visual content before on The Feed – this Talk from the Top by our Founder, Freya, elaborates on why this is so important.
Invoke exclusivity with personality
Email may seem like a somewhat less personal way to interact with customers than meeting face-to-face or speaking on the phone, but there’s no reason you can’t build a feeling of exclusivity and sincerity within your content. For example, in our newsletters we include a special offer each month solely for those on our email lists; they’ve invested their time into our email subscription, and we’d like to repay them with a professional service – if it interests them. You could – or even should – also look at segmenting and personalising your mailing lists further, so that what you’re offering becomes even more relevant and interesting for your email recipients. For this to work, it’s key to combine all of the tips in this blog post: in the copy and visuals, focus on the benefits your customers can gain by doing whatever action you’re hoping for – for example, how they can save a specific amount of money by purchasing a work package with you in the next 3 days – and include a strong call to action to encourage them to follow through. It’s also important to speak to your customers as you would normally; use your brand tone and voice, and don’t speak down to them. Include a little of your brand personality. After all, you want people to know and appreciate that they’re interacting with you as a business, and not any old generic company.