How to get your emails read – 10 Tips
The email inbox is a very personal place for most people. They check it on their computer, their phone, many even give out email addresses before they give out a phone number. So when you use email to speak directly to a customer or prospective customer, you must keep in mind that you’re on their turf, you’re in their house. Your messaging you convey has to be able to keep up with the fact that it’s surrounded by emails from friends, co-workers, colleagues, appointments and so on.
Speak as a human to a human, and make sure the campaign has a clear and definitive action for them to take. When this happens, a relationship is created, trust is gained, and a customer’s lifetime with your business grows and continues long term.
This isn’t hard to do if you follow a few steps and implement them. You are going to see positive results, clicks and conversions. So here’s a breakdown of tried and proven methods to win over new customers, and nurture those you have.
1. Set your email campaign goal
To start a great email campaign, you have to define your goal. In doing that you give yourself a benchmark for success, and eliminate creating too many options and too many messages that will confuse people. So map out what you want to happen.
Are you looking for people to take a free trial of your product or service? Buy it? Read more about it? Making that clear to yourself is priority one. Once you’ve done that, you can make it clear to your customer. That will lead them in the right direction to the step.
2. Define the actions you need taken to hit that goal
Getting someone to read an email in and of itself isn’t going to get you much. You need the customer to go somewhere. So, now that you’ve set your goal, you have to create a simple path for the customer to get there. It might be as simple as getting them to click on a sign up form, or it may be more intricate.
For example getting them to click a link to fill out a form for a free trial or buy a new product. To keep them onboard, you need to make sure the language in your email matches the language and style of your site, your blog, or wherever it is you’re taking them.
3. Identify your audience
Now you know what you want your users to do, and how things will happen when they do. The next step is to identify who they are. This is a step that can make or break your campaign.
Assuming too much about your customers, or having a “blast” approach with a one size fits all message can make your campaign a waste of time, and a one way ticket to spam boxes around the globe.
Drilling down to the core needs of your audience is going to increase opens and clicks even more. You have to know who they are so you can dial in a personal message. That’s going to give your users the feeling that you are speaking to them and offering a solution that can help them, as opposed to just talking about your product or service.
Gender, location, product’s or pages they’ve visited – anything that says something meaningful about them will allow you to say something meaningful to them.
4. Define your message
Just like defining your audience, you need to define your message. We’ll get to how to write copy for that message shortly, but first you need to focus on what that message is. To do so, ask yourself a couple of questions – What benefit am I offering in my email? Why should someone want it? Once you’ve got those points dialed in, you can focus on the look and feel of your email, as it’s going to go hand in hand with your message.
5. Create your style
A badly designed email is going to get closed immediately. So make sure your email is attractively designed and easy to read. Use images that are welcoming, happy and upbeat. Avoid using excessive capital letters, and go easy on too much bold font. Make sure your color scheme is consistent with itself and isn’t overly aggressive. Red text on a black background for example, it’s hard to read and reflects negativity.
Using email services like BigEngage can make it easy to design your email by using awesome pre-created templates. Using these kinds of services and templates will make your emails look like a mini webpage, good sites are consistent in style and feel, as they’re designed to keep a customer from leaving. Your email should be no different.
Now we’ve got everything in place, and the only thing left to do is write copy. Since goals, message and style are now established, the writing will be easy and enjoyable.
6. Use realistic and personal subject lines
Far too many email marketing subject lines are filled with offers without having established what’s being offered. “Act Now for half off!” are bold proclamations intended to draw a user’s eye “The Most awe-inspiring product…” Subject lines like that are best left for widespread spray campaigns to anyone with an email address.
We’re looking to make a connection with a customer, show them the true value of the product or service. Offers and a little bragging are ok, but first let’s let the customer understand what kind of benefits they’ll be getting, and why those benefits matter to them.
7. Keep your copy simple
Avoid long winded talk about your product or service. Again, a customer received your email, they didn’t go out looking for it, so you can’t afford to be taking up a ton of their time. Highlight the benefits from the last step in a clear, simple, and brief manner.
8. Talk to the customer like a human being
Overused stylized marketing talk is generally ineffective in email marketing. A bunch of Television type marketing language has its benefits in mass advertising, but that’s not what we’re doing here. We’re speaking directly to a customer, in a one to one style. So avoid marketing clichés and talk to the human being. The easiest way to do that is to make it about them.
One simple trick here – say hello first. It seems obvious, but so often a marketing email will jump right into their message without even acknowledging the reader.
9. Show them what’s in it for them
Speak first to the customer’s needs, if you know your product is a great solution, then you are well aware of the problem it solves, so at first focus on that. When they know you understand their problem, they’ll be interested in your solution. After all, There’s the great acronym “WIINF” – aka “what’s in for me?”
Keep this in mind at all times and make sure you spell it out. Let them know why your product is ideal – for *them*. This will spark their interest and if they are experiencing the problem you’re addressing, they’ll want to check out what you’re offering.
10. Close the deal with a great CTA
This is where the customer reaches your call to action, so keep it simple and attractive. It might even be as simple as a “Read More” or “Click Here” button. Still it needs to stand out, look good, and be easy. A long text link with a bunch more text is no good. A tiny button sitting on one side of the page isn’t going to help you either. A big CTA with an attractive color or style is the last and most important thing you’re going to present.
Your CTA text size should be about twice what the rest of your copy is, and when using colors, think of soothing and attractive colors like orange, blue, and green. There’s a reason you see these colors a lot on the web – they inspire creativity, calm, and positive monetary thinking.
Once you’ve created an email campaign with these steps, you are inevitably going to see much higher conversions, response, and a longer customer lifecycle. Remember, ultimately you are walking into someone’s inbox to bring them an experience they didn’t necessarily ask for. So use these tools to create a personal, welcoming, and informative message. If it’s worthy of their time, they’ll find it worthy of your business.