By Julia Kim, Solution Implementation Consultant at Coffee + Dunn
For more than a decade, email marketing has been one of the most important means to interact and engage with leads. While the importance of email marketing has not changed (rather amplified), the trend has been changing apace. As the visibility of web-based marketing, such as social media and online-ads, has increased to a broader audience, people have become more selective on what they want to see and what they don’t. Essentially it has become a lot more challenging to write effective email marketing messages to make sure the right information is delivered to your leads without disturbing them and, more importantly, to ensure your email stands out in the first place.
To keep your emails out of spam filter and junk folders, let’s explore some ways to create effective email marketing messages and drive better email marketing results.
1. Ensure your marketing lists are up to date and segmented
Prior to composing your email marketing messages, double check your marketing list and make sure it is up to date and segmented. It is easier and more impactful to compose your email marketing message when your target audience is clear. Regardless of how persuasive your email marketing message is, it may not have the best result if your message is not relevant to your recipients.
2. Subscription Center vs. One-Click Unsubscribe
In most cases, having a subscription center is a better way to persuade potential leads or opportunities to manage their preferences rather than just unsubscribing. Marketers often have a one-click unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email to make it easier for their contacts to opt-out if they do not find the content relevant. But what if they want to receive email updates around other topics from your company? Unless you only send out one type of email, set up a subscription center with a reasonable and thoughtful number of topics and types of communication. This gives your potential leads and opportunities the option to choose what communications they want to receive and what they don’t, instead of opting-out of all communications.
3. Personalize your email
Make your recipients feel special. Use a personal approach to address them by name and draw attention to your content. Use dynamic content to highlight specific product, service, or behavioral activity (e.g. event attendance, recent purchase, etc.) associated with your contact. Depending on their segmented group, and especially for subscribers, invite them to relevant events or offer exclusive content just for them. Also, remind them about what they are missing and what they need (product or service updates, trial expiration, event dates, etc.), and be sure to thank them for purchasing your products or services and registering for and attending your events. Show them you care.
4. Minimize the character count
Less words…more images! Most people do not simply sit and read emails at their leisure. They scroll through emails on their phone, looking at the images and skimming the text. Use fewer words and more direct statements. Try using a maximum of two font colors and no more than one font style. More images are good, but do not go overboard otherwise your email will be automatically filtered as spam.
5. Strategic CTAs
Through all your marketing efforts, you need to be persuasive, demonstrating why leads should choose your product or service. The ultimate goal of your email marketing is to create awareness and drive interest. But, how do you gauge their interest by just sending an email? If they opened the email, that’s a start. And, if they clicked any of the links in the email, that’s a good indicator of interest. Some basic rules around call-to-actions are to minimize the number of decisions you want your leads to make in a single email, and make them simple and obvious and explain the what, why and how’s of your call-to-action. Lastly, do not use images as they can be displayed as broken or may not show up at all. Instead, create fun call-to-action buttons to help increase your website traffic and get them engaged!
6. Create a mobile responsive design
As indicated many times above, the number of people reading emails via smartphones or other handheld devices other than desktop computers is increasing at a rapid pace. Because there are so many different types of operating systems and versions, your recipients may experience your email marketing messages differently depending on what smartphone or tablet they own. Ensure your email is friendly for all devices out there.
Coffee + Dunn is a leading advisory and implementation partner for ClickDimensions, Adobe, and Microsoft. Uniquely focused on the marketing solutions that align with Microsoft Dynamics 365/CRM, we bring our clients thoughtful and practical process and technology solutions for marketing. Our award-winning services have advanced the effectiveness and efficiency of our clients across various industries including financial services, technology, manufacturing, consumer goods and federal government.