Email is one of the most popular modes of communication in the world. Last year, it was estimated that 306.4 billion emails were sent every single day worldwide, and it will only increase as the years go by.
Emails between organizations and their patrons are a vital part of modern marketing campaigns. It doesn’t cut it anymore only to put up a billboard or some online advertisements. Organizations have to create more personal communications with their patrons through email campaigns.
A well-done email marketing campaign can generate bountiful rewards for any organization. But, as I’m sure you know, an email campaign process is a bit more complex than simply sending out the same email to a list of people.
First off, let’s talk about the process to start an email marketing campaign:
Create a list of clients that have opted in to receive emails from your organization
It’s essential to make sure that clients will be happy to receive emails from your organization in the first place. Additionally, you don’t want to violate the law (you can read up on the CAN-SPAM law here, which establishes rules and regulations for any form of commercial emailing).
We want to keep everything as transparent and aboveboard as possible. By ensuring that your email list includes only clients who want to receive your emails, your organization also benefits by keeping your campaign emails out of the spam folder—we’ll talk more about avoiding the spam filter further down.
Now that you have your list, you need to figure out what you are going to send.
You can’t just send any old email. Do not email clients with unimportant stuff—that will only annoy them. Do take the time to figure out where to start with your email marketing campaign. Here are the three types of commercial emails most commonly sent out:
One great place to start when considering email campaigns is for upcoming promotions. This is a very common form of email marketing, but it isn’t the only one! Remember, the goal
of these campaigns is to build recognition and trust between your organization and the email recipients—these present recipients with opportunities to interact with your business.
Another type of email to send out can be relational emails. These are very important too. Relational emails can be regularly scheduled emails that you “promised” those who signed up, such as newsletters, gifts, and information relevant to your organization—these build pleasant sentiments and goodwill towards your organization.
Lastly, but most importantly, it is important to always send out transactional emails: sign-up confirmations, welcome messages, order and purchase confirmations, and any changes to the client’s account or your organization’s policies—these establish trust and credibility with your client.
Promotional and Relational emails will require the most regular input by you and your organization; meanwhile, transactional emails can, for the most part, be set up and automated without too many regular changes.
Once you know who to email and what to say, it’s time to begin crafting that email campaign.
It’s crucial to impress your clients with your emails. You want each email to look nice, presentable, and professional. This will, again, create that trust with the client, which is critical as many people are hesitant to open unfamiliar emails due to the risks.
So, take your time as you craft these emails.
Here are some fundamental principles to keep in mind when crafting the email copy.
Keep it simple and skim-able.
Remember, you’re just trying to get them to your website, where the website should speak for itself. Don’t overload the recipient with pages and pages of information. If someone opens up a page full of text in their email, they’re likely to read the first line, then chuck your hard work in the trash.
Also, be sure to keep your emails skim-able. Space out your information into small, easy-to read paragraphs. Keep the sentences short and to the point as well. Someone should be able to open your email and instantly know what it is about.
Accessibility is key.
We could write an entire instruction manual just on the accessibility of emails, but we’ll give you the gist.
Two things are most important: mobile-friendliness and don’t present information in images.
The internet has been shifting in the last decade to more and more of a mobile-friendly place. Most of the internet is now set up in a mobile-first fashion. Many people check their emails on their phones—probably more people check their emails on their phones than on a desktop or laptop computer nowadays—which is why mobile-friendliness is crucial.
And don’t present any critical information in images. Images can take too long to load—either because of slow internet (which many people still have) or bad mobile network connection (which even more people deal with). Additionally, images can’t be read aloud to individuals who use text-to-speech applications. If you are going to use images, include descriptions or image tags to allow those who can’t see the pictures to understand the presented information.
Still, use images in your emails. They will make it look much nicer that way, but don’t rely on them to present the information in your email. That is what the written copy is for.
Avoid the spam filter.
A number of things can set off the spam filter, but the three biggest mistakes in your copy to avoid are:
Don’t use too many exclamation marks.
Don’t make hyperbolic statements.
Don’t use all caps in your email.
Additionally, your emails could get flagged by spam filters if your recipients mark your emails as spam.
This is something that you won’t have control over. Still, it is important to avoid this situation altogether by having a link for recipients to either unsubscribe (opt-out) of your emails or to opt-down, where they only receive some of your emails. Implementing one of these two strategies will give more flexibility to your recipients and help steer your emails away from the spam folder.
Call the recipient to action.
Calls to action are one of the most important aspects of persuasive writing, which email marketing is a form of.
Promotional emails can end with a call to visit your organization’s website to check out the sale. And relational emails can urge the client to visit the website as well. For example, a weekly newsletter that summarizes a recent blog post by your organization. Urge the recipient to read more with a link to the blog post in the email.
Now that you have the copy and the list of recipients, it’s time to set up the email to be sent.
Here’s the moment you’ve been waiting for! Only a few more things to make sure of before you send it out, then you’ll be well on your way to a successful email marketing campaign.
Last two things: add a compelling subject line and pre-header to your email.
When someone first receives an email, the first things they will read are who sent it and the subject and pre-header lines.
For subject lines, keep them simple. At most, use about seven words. You also want to compel them to open the email and read the contents without sounding like a scam email. Think more “Check out our new Fall catalog!” and less “Rare opportunity! Click here to find out more!” The second one would most likely get flagged as spam anyway.
Pre-headers are where you can add a bit more information that didn’t fit into the subject line. These are great if more context is needed or if you want to slip a little call-to-action in there so the recipient can know what is expected of them before they even open the email.
Lastly, make sure that you keep the email for your marketing campaign consistent throughout its run. Multiple senders make it harder for recipients to search for a specific email or catalog them (if they do that). It can also decrease trust if a person receives one email from one sender and another from a different email sender, but they both look like they’re from the same company. That can look like a scam or phishing email.
We hope all the information above gives you a great starting point for your email marketing campaign. Running a successful email marketing campaign can be challenging, but we promise the rewards are worth it.
Additionally, if you would like any help with your email marketing campaigns, we at Tom Sadler and Associates are partners with Constant Contact , and would more than happy to help!