Write engaging emails

Are you introducing email campaigns into your marketing communications?

Wanting to get better results from the emails you send?

This article will help you write engaging emails that help you meet your targets sooner.

Creating conversations

First things first: it’s helpful if you consider emails you send to clients as conversations, rather than one-way blasts. Customers today are heavily marketed to, and are quick to tune out to ‘advertisements’.

Keeping it relevant

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/49000A personal approach, which considers the needs and interests of your subscribers, will have the maximum effect.

Talking to the reader in second person helps, for example:

Hey! We wanted you to be the first to know about our new gelato flavour: pineapple. Try a free sample next time you’re at Mollison’s cafe.

Compare that with this much less personal example:

Mollison’s cafe is pleased to introduce a new flavour in our gelato range: pineapple. Free samples will be available at the cafe for our customers. 

Writing directly to the subscriber can also make your call to action much clearer – and more likely to be followed up on.

Segmented subscriber lists

If you have a diverse range of customers on your subscriber lists, it might be worth segmenting your lists and sending emails tailored to customer groups. For example, if you service both a residential and commercial market, the interests of each of these subscriber groups will be quite different. Segmenting your lists will ensure your subscribers are getting content that’s relevant to them.

Giving subscribers options

From the moment a subscriber signs up to receive your emails, you are able to offer a small selection of choices to help you best meet the subscriber’s needs and expectations.

For example, you can ask your subscribers if they would like to receive emails:

  • Daily
  • Weekly
  • Monthly

Or you can ask them whether they’d like to receive:

  • All emails from Company name
  • Just monthly product catalogues
  • Just the latest sales and new product announcements

Segmented lists and options for opting-in may not seem necessary if you’re just sending out small batches of emails, but as your subscriber list grows, the better results achievable from this customisation may well be worth the extra time needed to set up and manage your campaigns.

Keep formats consistent

Being familiar is an important quality that nurtures trust in the sender/subscriber relationship.

1. Sender name: It’s important for your subscribers to immediately recognise who the email is from. Freshness is rewarded in email subject lines, but keep the name in the ‘from’ field consistent. This might be just your company name, or it might be more personalised eg ‘Bob from Manning Building Supplies’.

2. Timing and frequency: Send the same number of emails each month – even at the same time  on the same day if you can.

3. Consistent branding:  Setting up a template which uses your company colours and logo will help you keep things consistent. If you haven’t got style or writing guidelines, it might be time to put something together.

4. Predicable layout: By basing your email on a repeated design, subscribers can scroll around your email easily, knowing where to find the content they’d like to read.

Making exceptions to the norm

With a routine email campaign in place, occasional ‘surprise’ emails which deviate from the norm are often welcomed by subscribers. If you have a particularly exciting announcement to make, you may decide to stray from your usual format and timing to send an email which is designed to most perfectly encapsulate your single key message.

And finally; don’t forget to keep it clean

Avoid trigger words in the content – even if you’re aiming to be cheeky or fun, if you use words in your body content that might trigger a spam filter, it is likely your email will be classed as junk and never reach its destination. Read part one of this series for more information on words that trigger spam filters.