An integral part of any inbound marketing campaign, email marketing is essential for directly connecting with current and potential customers.
Not only does an effective email campaign help keep your company on the radar, it also shows that you’re serious about your role as an industry leader and influencer.
In the United States alone, there are more than 224 million email users on the web.
This isn’t going unnoticed: Marketers are set to spend more than $3.07 billion on email marketing by 2019.
But more than 20% of marketing email recipients report marketing messages as spam.
So how can companies ensure their emails stand out, and what elements go into drafting a truly effective, lead-generating email?
Below, we’ll explore the five critical components of successful email marketing and outline how to best approach them.
Create An Eye-Catching Subject Line
First impressions really do matter: Studies have shown that over a third of email recipients decide whether to open an email solely based on the subject line.
The body of your email may be fascinating, well-written, and highly informative, but it makes no difference if people aren’t opening it to begin with.
Crafting a pithy, eye-catching subject line — one that gives users enough information to understand why opening the email will be valuable to them — is essential for drawing in readers and site visitors.
Keep your subject lines clear and succinct, appealing directly to the needs of your target audience. And, if possible, personalizing the subject line to include the recipient’s name can go a long way in capturing people’s attention.
Put Together A Targeted Email List
You may have great content, but if your emails aren’t reaching the right people, you won’t be garnering any new leads.
Take the time to cultivate a well-thought-out email recipient list, one that includes current customers, users who have provided their contact information on your site, valuable LinkedIn and other social media connections, and industry professionals with whom you’ve had meaningful interactions.
It’s better to send an email to a smaller group of carefully chosen people than it is to bombard a huge group of users who likely don’t have any need for the content you’re providing.
Experiment with different emails for different groups of people — emails for procurement managers, for instance, or emails directed at designers — and gauge the response.
You can also try out A/B testing, in which one group of people receive an email formatted in a different way than another group, in order to determine what your audience is looking for.
Include Captivating Content
Don’t send emails just to check a to-do off your list. Take the time to ensure you’re reaching out to the right audience with directly useful, informative content.
Has your company added a new capability to its list of services? Have you just purchased some new cutting-edge equipment? Do you have a list of valuable tips to help industry professionals succeed in their jobs?
Put yourself in the shoes of the recipients and assess whether the content you’re putting out is pertinent to their needs.
And keep in mind that useful, directly practical content is key to attracting new customers, but if that content is poorly written, users won’t be compelled to keep reading.
Keep writing clear and concise, and avoid snarky or sarcastic phrasings.
It may come off well in speech, but tone can be easily misconstrued on the internet. Showcase yourself in a way that accurately conveys your company’s personality, and take the time to review all content to eliminate errors and confusing phrasing.
Create A Well-Designed UX
Creating a positive user experience (UX) is just as important as offering valuable content.
If your email formatting is confusing, outdated, or just plain boring, you run the risk of quickly losing readers’ interest.
On average, recipients spend just 51 seconds reviewing an email campaign, so it’s critical to make a lasting, positive impression.
Avoid garish, overwhelming colors and fonts, and keep an eye on graphics and image sizes. You don’t want to overwhelm your audience.
Make sure the body of the email isn’t too dense, and try to break up larger sections of writing with bullets and separate paragraphs.
Including the right type of images is also critical for capturing users’ attention; don’t just include graphics or photos for the sake of it.
Users can spot sloppy or lazy formatting, and an unprofessional or outdated image will only detract from your content.
Use images that speak to your brand and relate to the content you’re offering, and be sure they’re not too heavy, or the emails may never even make it into users’ inboxes.
To get some ideas for sophisticated, clean email design, check out some of these examples.
End With A Relevant Call To Action
Include a specific call to action (CTA) toward the end of your email; these serve as a way for potential customers to stay in touch with your business once they’ve finished reading your email.
For example, if you’re pushing a new eBook, you may include a CTA encouraging users to download it. Or, if you’re announcing a new website design, you may simply direct people to your site.
Most CTAs are designed as buttons containing the given copy, but there’s a lot of opportunity for experimentation here.
Play around with different text and button colors, links, and other features to test how users respond, and then assess what resonates with your audience.
CTAs are essential for analyzing whether your email was successful; various software options allow for easy tracking of user interaction with your emails, and changes and improvements can then be made for future campaigns.
Helping to drive your potential customers down the marketing funnel, CTAs can play a major role in converting your subscribers to customers.
Creating a sophisticated email marketing campaign doesn’t need to be hard; keeping these five essential components in mind will get you off to strong start in reaching current customers and attracting new leads.
If you’re curious to learn more about the benefits of email marketing campaigns, or need help getting started, reach out to Thomas Marketing Services.
Our inbound marketing experts can work with your team to develop a comprehensive, customized email strategy.
Did you find this useful?