Valentine’s Day has been and gone, but for some love is still very much in the air.
The run-up to Valentine’s Day is a busy time of year for marketing mails – how successful were yours this year? Did you hit your hoped-for response rates? Could have done better?
Let’s look at our 10 top tips for the perfect email storm
1. Your subject line is your calling card
Know your audience so you can hit the right note in your sales pitch. Funny is good; a dreary overkill of huge discounts valid for one hour/one day less so, the need to scroll through 50 low-cost travel deals will elicit a yawn and an ‘unsubscribe’ request. Keep it simple: one perfect red rosebud can say more than an armful of roses. Spike your reader’s interest on a high and memorable note that follows through on the promise as soon as they click through.
2. What appears in the “From” name?
This may sound like a secondary question, but the reality is that it’s critical – the subscriber usually checks the “From” name first and filters out the email if it sounds dodgy or unfamiliar. Here we recommend the obvious choice – your brand name or publication name, as long as it’s trustworthy, recognizable and a name your recipients would expect to see.
3. Congratulations! Your subscriber has opened your email
Are you keeping to the same style and tone you set in your website content and other materials? Is the writing good? Is your language on a par with your reader? You’ve already got your subscriber’s attention, don’t drop the ball now: you’re aiming for personal yet professional.
4. Is there one persuasive call to action?
This is the ideal, but will also depend on your type of business. If you are in the fashion industry, you might want to offer more than one item within an email, but if you are launching a new event or course, there is no need to include additional distracting options. Are you taking your audience directly to a landing page dedicated to your offer? You want to score – to move from open rate to conversion rate – so don’t waste the promise in that catchy subject line, make the most of this prime real-estate.
5. Visualize who you’re talking to
You need to make sure that you’re sending the right piece of content to the right person at the right time. An email about ‘The best beer bars in NYC’ would be perfect before a holiday weekend; or one about ‘How to get the most out of your reward points’, including how many points the subscriber has accumulated, would be very useful for anyone on your list who has gathered a substantial number of points.
6. Don’t lose sight of your email’s purpose, make sure it covers at least one of these
- Are you aiming for some laughs or light entertainment – is that the end in itself or does your audience have to take action to get the punch line or the product? Spell it out!
- Does the information provide value or email solve a problem? Perhaps it’s gift ideas for Valentine’s Day or the Definitive Guide to Blogging? Show them and encourage them to share the delight and surprise of their partners, aka 1+1=3.
- Are you hoping to teach them something new? Learning something new in itself is good enough, but you can also think of ways to incentivize the learning curve – perhaps online testing or prizes for the first users through the finish gates!
7. Keep the romance brewing: don’t bore them with overly promotional content
Marketing emails are like dating: it’s all about being fun and interesting, and not about you speaking about yourself all the time. The rule is maintaining a good balance of more educational content than promotional content. Some even recommend up to 90% educational vs 10% promotional content.
8. Images are Important
And not just because they are pretty. Since not all email clients show images automatically, you’ll want to make sure to optimize your emails for images-off viewing. Use Alt text, image slicing, opting for html coded buttons and the right image and text ratio (not more than 40% images), ensuring that your emails look good even with the images “off”.
9. Songs have been written about html emails, but they aren’t always the right choice
Other than two nice-to-have perks of text emails – they are easier to setup and look the same on all email clients, there is another mega perk – text messages look more like a message that you’re sending to someone on a one-to-one basis. It makes them more personal and less of a ‘hard sell’, which can brings in better results depending on the message type and the audience.
10. And if the ‘date’ proves a dud, be gallant
Make it easy to unsubscribe from your email list.