With new marketing channels popping up regularly, email marketing may seem like an outdated technique. Despite this, email marketing remains the channel with the highest ROI per marketing dollar and is an incredibly effective tool for everything from direct and effective sales to growing social media audiences. The main thing that has changed over the years in email marketing is the scope of the emails themselves (and the ability to get placed in the inbox). While some businesses still use email to deliver promotional or sales-y content, the most successful marketing emails are focused on valuable, educational content. It’s the content of your emails that gets people interested in subscribing regularly in the first place. Email can also serve as a great way to lead people from being simply aware of your company to being brand advocates. Here’s how to upgrade your content to make email marketing work efficiently. Put more work into it The first step toward creating better content is simply stepping up your game. You may think that people are now too engaged in 140-character Twitter posts to have the time to read anything for longer than a few seconds. That’s simply not true. Posts that contain over 3000 words show remarkable results in every metric from social media shares to attracting traffic. Invest more time in each email. Even though it’s more time-intensive to create them, the benefits will pay off later. Don’t just go for the length, go for the detail in the way you describe the topic at hand. The easier it is to consume and the more information there is about the topic, the better. Read existing articles on the topic you’re covering and make sure the content you’re creating is both detailed and actionable. Use editing and proofreading services like Grammarly, Typely, or any professional content writing service to make your content higher quality. Here are some ideas for formats you can implement in your email marketing. Guides While some industries are harder to create interesting, creative content for, downloadable guides are a format that seem to work for everyone. Whether you’re dealing in software development or home repairs, there’s always something to write a how-to guide on. Guides or e-books naturally lend themselves to long-form content. If something requires a guide to understand how it’s done, you’d expect it to have enough intricate details to explain at length. Checklist Checklists, while often short and sweet, can be a long-lasting resource for your prospects and customers. The most successful ones will become a go-to tool for your subscribers. The best way to approach checklist creation is to identify key processes and tasks that people in your industry struggle with and to create a detailed breakdown, explaining each step. It doesn’t need to look fancy, but make sure it’s printable if you truly want it to be an everyday resource for your contacts. Source: Totalhomeinspection.com Case study Case studies are a win-win for your subscribers and your business. Not only are they a fantastic brand awareness tool, but they do much of the research legwork potential customers might be doing before pulling the trigger on making a purchase from your business. Case studies make great email content because they’re promotional without being outright sales-focused, and they give prospective buyers a look into what a partnership with your organization might look like. E-book No, you don’t actually need to a 400 page book and publish it on Amazon. Sales and marketing e-books are typically anywhere from 10 - 30 pages (depending how detailed the information you’re providing is). Think about it as a long blog post taken to the next level. Since there’s a finite number of topics you can cover in such a long format, you’ll want to be sparse on e-books. The ones you do create, however, should be valuable enough to contribute to your email marketing campaign popularity and the success of your website as a whole. Be ready to spend several weeks creating an e-book. You may also hire a designer to do some illustrations for you. That’s not a must, but a good bonus. Even the biggest companies can keep their design minimal like Ahrefs here. Source: Ahrefs Ready-made content Long, detailed content keeps readers interested when they can gain a ton of benefits from reading it. Give them even more benefits if you want to keep your audience engaged. Share ready-made content in your email marketing campaign to increase traffic and social media shares. Ready-made content is something your reader can directly use in their job or hobby. Here’s what you can create. Template Templates are a great way to give your subscribers something of value that they can tailor specifically to their needs. The most commonly offered marketing template is the email template. An HTML email template may be useful for hundreds of people, and all they have to do it just change the text and insert their own images. Source: Benchmarkemail An email template can be even easier like this Quicksprout example. It’s a textual template that users can make their own by filling in the blanks. Source: Quicksprout You can do the same with any type of resource and share it in an email marketing campaign. Industry-specific resources You can create a guide on an industry-related topic in almost any walk of life. It’s much harder with resources, though. Every industry has its own set of resources that may be useful for the public. If you’re a software development company, you can share snippets of code that can later be used by other developers. A carpentry company can share specifications for a DIY bench. A web design company can create a set of icons and give them away for free. Think of a resource that is relevant to your industry and invest some time in creating it. Change the medium Content is king, but not all content has to be in a written form. Consider changing the medium to attract more people. Here are your two main options when it comes to diversifying your content. Podcast You’d be surprised by the fact that some people who don’t have the time to read an article for 10 minutes will gladly listen to a 30-minute podcast. Whether they’re listening to it during their commute to work or after working hours when they’re tired of staring at a screen, some people want to listen to what you have to say instead of reading it. Considering the fact that podcasts now show up in Google results, this medium is becoming even more lucrative and potentially beneficial for marketing strategies. Infographics You may be tired of infographics because for some time they’ve been everywhere. It’s not because they’re not useful, however, the infographic format became too popular and too many people jumped on the bandwagon. Now that the infographic hype seems to be passing, you can revisit the medium without being viewed as another company that contributes nothing with their visual media. Focus on the data instead of graphics, and your newsletter subscribers will appreciate the ability to see complex ideas in an easily digestible form. You don’t even have to provide proprietary data. Presenting old but reliable research can work as well. Source: Visual.ly Gather your own data Now that you know the basic content formats that work well in email marketing campaigns, here’s a great tip that will take it to the next level. It will undoubtedly take a bigger monetary and time investment, but it’s worth it. Gather your own data. It’s okay to do research and aggregate complex ideas into one resource, but what is more compelling than presenting your own research? It will give a fresh perspective on the topic you’re covering and establish you as an expert in the industry. Add unique content How do you motivate people to subscribe to your newsletter? You give them an incentive they can’t refuse. You offer unique content for newsletter subscribers, content that doesn’t appear on the website. The only way to get that unique information and resources is to be a subscriber. It’s a small sacrifice since your website users will miss out on the content, but it’s worth making. It will help the email marketing campaign become even more successful and make newsletter subscribers feel special. Want to have it both ways? You can mention the unique content on the website but make it accessible only by email. Ask users to subscribe before they can get it. Make it personal Not all emails should be serious, formal, and straight to the point. If your audience is okay with a bit of personality in their inbox, give them a glimpse into your inner workings as a company. Share a photo from the office, tell a bit about one of your employees, or share a story of how you solved a problem at work. These things can provide necessary relief from the stream of business emails your subscribers get every day and can help them see you as a group of people, not just as another company on the web. Conclusion Email marketing isn’t just about sending the right emails to the right people. It’s also about the content you send to them. “Give value for free” is probably the shortest way you could describe what creating successful content for email marketing entails. You have to invest more time into creating content in different formats and make it as useful for the reader as possible. With these tips in your arsenal, your email marketing campaign will no doubt be a success!
Email marketing is still among the best marketing techniques. Despite what many marketers fear, 73% of millennials say email is the best way to communicate with brands. The practice is not going to die out any time soon. The driving force behind email marketing is psychology. You’re more likely to perform an action if you’ve already performed a smaller step. This makes people who have subscribed to your newsletter more likely to go deeper into the sales funnel. Besides, many subscribe with the sole aim of waiting for a discount to buy something later. Leverage psychology even more to supercharge your email marketing campaign. Here’s how you do that. Segment the audience You probably know that segmenting the audience is considered to be a standard practice in email marketing. But you don’t have to do it just because everybody else does. You have to do it because it works wonders for your campaign. Segmented emails bring in two-thirds of revenue. This is the case because people expect to see personalized offers. They don’t want to browse through everything you have on the list, they just want to read about what interests them. This is why personalized emails are opened 26% more often. What do you do to make the emails really personal? You get to know your audience with as much detail as you can. Here’s what you have to consider when segmenting the audience. Activity on the website Activity with the emails Social media activity Explicitly stated preferences With these four factors, you can deliver the content and products your subscribers want to see, making the click-through rate higher. But it’s not the only way of doing it. Create a subject line The subject line is the first thing your subscriber sees. Write a catchy line, and the CRT is going to skyrocket. Write a boring or a spammy one, and it’s going to plummet. Here are psychological tricks for writing a killer subject line. Mention a name Are you writing a B2B email? Business people tend to not have time to read every email they receive. Attract their attention by mentioning a name they’re familiar with. It’s perfect if they know you already and will open an email that mentions your name. If you’re sending a cold email, mention the name of a shared contact. Invoke urgency You probably know that many people buy based on emotions rather than meticulous calculation. What you may not know is that negative emotions sell just as well as positive ones. An urgent offer puts the customer in a state of stress. They need to decide on making a purchase now, or the discount will expire. Many people will choose to buy out of fear of missing out. Include a deadline in the subject line or the email preview to leverage this fear. Make a free offer Offering something for free is a classic strategy for making customers convert more. It still works, too. Subject lines that feature words “free delivery” receive 50% more clicks. Use this magic phrase to increase CTR. Invoke curiosity without being fishy Why do people click on your emails? Because they want to know what content or hot deals you have for them. Because they’re curious. A good email subject line has to evoke curiosity. A great subject line evokes curiosity in a subtle way, avoiding the Nigerian-scam-email curiosity. You don’t have to come up with fantastic ideas or promise something you can’t deliver. Often, it’s as easy as withholding the right information. Use this free tool to check what your subject line looks like on popular mobile devices. Craft the email Now you have a great subject line that attracts clicks. The customer journey doesn’t stop there. You have to lead the users down the sales funnel. This involves doing two key things, grabbing readers’ attention and directing them towards a certain action. Here’s how psychology helps you do this. Place the logo in the top-left corner Grabbing attention starts with small details. One small detail like this is the very first thing you see when you open up the email. For many people, it’s the brand logo placed in the top-left corner. As left-to-right language speakers, we instinctively start looking through the email from the left corner, so placing the logo there increases the chances of being seen. Norman Nielsen group research suggests that brands whose logos placed like this have 89% more chances of being recognized. This both build the brand image and increases the chances of visitors reading your emails to the end. Even the big brands do it. Source: Really Good Emails However, some companies can pull off a quirky logo placement in their emails. Source: Really Good Emails Catch attention with the design 3 in 5 people check the “Incoming folder” on the go and don’t have the time to decide whether your email is good or not only based on the content. Make the template design appealing to the readers, and more of them will keep reading the email. Compare the price Price anchoring is the psychology marketing tactic that’s been working for decades in retail and can be used in your email. The thing is people don’t know how much your products are worth. If you only show the discounted price, they won’t make anything of it. It only matters if you compare it to the original price. Always show the original price of all discounted goods in comparison to the new price for a better effect. This email sure looks good, but it only mentions a 30% decrease in price with no numbers. Learn from their mistakes and craft a better email. Source: Really Good Emails Personalize You weren’t segmenting the audience for nothing. You can’t personalize every email to every person, but you can use marketing automation to craft the perfect emails for different audiences. People who subscribed to you may only want one type of content or products in their “Incoming” folder. Deliver what’s relevant to each group, and you’ll increase the conversion rate. It’s not purely theoretic either. Personalized emails can lead to a six-fold increase in transactions. Show faces to invoke emotions A human face is one of the best ways to make readers feel emotion and associate it with your brand. This is why your email can benefit from a human face. But don’t put a cheesy happy face from the stock website in there. The emotion you’re trying to invoke doesn’t even have to be happiness, for that matter. In this Adidas email, it’s focus. Source: Really Good Emails Uniqueness and urgency Many people who subscribe to your newsletter seek a bargain. They want to get something unique for a low price. Their biggest fear? The marketing classic, FOMO, or fear of missing out. Show that the deal you’re offering needs an urgent decision. The urgency can be in the form of a promotion that ends in a day or the last 10 items in stock. If you’re doing a good job personalizing your sales and marketing emails, you can offer truly unique offers for different groups of people to make this psychology trick work even better. Keep it short, simple, and visual 61.9% of emails are opened on a smartphone. Many people who open them are checking the emails for only a couple of minutes when they’re on the go or getting prepared for a day of work in the morning. They don’t have the time to read a 500-words email. Keep the content short and express what you can with imagery. Don’t tell the readers how good the product you advertize is, show them a picture, describe the main points in a few words, and leave a link. Make these few words as simple as you can without compromising the meaning. It’s not “dumbing down,” it’s just making your email easily digestible for a 10 second’s read it’s probably going to get. Even the President knows this, this is why Trump’s speeches use the vocabulary of an eight-year-old. Include a clear CTA In a perfect world, your subscribers will see a discount and head to the website themselves. In reality, they need a bit of instruction to make the decision easier for them. The discount seems fair, the button is right there, so why not do it right now? Besides, the CTA button is probably a part of customers’ perceptual set by this time. This practice is so widespread, customers expect to see one in the email. Don’t fail their expectations. Put a foot in the door The “Foot in the door” technique is extremely important in marketing, and email is the channel where this technique can be used best. The point of an email is not selling something upfront, it’s making the reader do a small action that doesn’t require that much dedication to your brand. Once they do it, they’ll be more likely to invest their time and money in a more demanding action like making a purchase. It takes multiple touchpoints to make a single conversion. Email can be the touchpoint you use to take your leads on a journey from sharing an article on Facebook to become a brand advocate. The bottom line It’s been a long read, and the fact you’re still here shows your dedication to your job. Now that you’ve learned how to make your sales and marketing emails more effective, from segmenting the audience to writing the body of the email, don’t stop there. Build your email list, and try creating an email yourself.