Email marketing is an incredibly effective tool in your digital marketing strategy. But you’ve got to nail the tone of your emails, and work out your strategy before you begin. Otherwise you risk falling into the biggest pitfall of marketing emails – sounding too salesy.
So before we get on to how you write killer marketing emails, let’s first begin with why you’d bother at all.
The Reasons Why Email Marketing Works
“Nobody reads emails and they just go into spam so they’re ultimately a waste of time” – Does that sound familiar?
That’s the lazy marketer’s guide to finding something easier to do. How often have you checked your emails today? Most of us check our emails daily, hourly, whenever the phone pings at us… We read emails all the time!
So now we’ve dealt with that objection, here are a few other reasons why emails are a good idea:
- It’s a friendly, cuddly, warm audience
Your audience has already invited you into their inbox. Somewhere along the line they subscribed to your emails and ticked the box that they’d like to hear from you. You’re speaking to people that want to hear what you have to say.
- The best return on investment out there
Running an email marketing campaign is pretty low cost. You might spend money on a copywriter, or a graphic designer, or a subscription to software. But it’s a relatively small outlay. If you’ve got the time and the skills, you could even bypass the copywriter and graphic designer and make it even cheaper.
But here’s the golden bullet… 2020 reports show that email marketing provides an average 4200% return on investment. Which other marketing channels will provide you with that level of ROI? With such a small initial outlay, you’ve really got nothing to lose by giving it a go.
- You’ll build a connection with your customers
The beauty of email is that it’s intimate. It’s a 1:1 interaction with you and your customer. It’s not a social media post to the masses, or an advert seen by all. This is personal. It’s the best way to build a connection with your customers and let them know a little more about you, your brand and why you care about them.
And remember, even if your recipient doesn’t open your email, by popping up in their inbox every now and then, they’re aware that you exist. You’re top-of-mind when they need your services.
Top Tips For Writing Killer Emails
Before you begin writing, have in mind your objective. You’re not using your email for a hard sell (although your call to action will feature). Your main objective is to build a connection with your audience. You want to give value and build a fan base. Get a little more creative and aim to be entertaining and personable.
Here’s a rundown of eight top tips for better emails to your list:
- Don’t rush your subject line
Your subject line is crucial. You’re vying for attention among hundreds of other emails in the inbox melee. Your subject line needs to evoke curiosity or even make the recipient laugh. Here are some of the best ones I’ve received:
- Proof that estate agents are aliens
- Raise a glass! You’re invited
- Millie and Bella for president (explainer: Millie and Bella are my cats)
And three more pointers to help your email get opened:
- Emojis work well in subject lines. Experiment with one or two.
- Avoid using upper case in the subject line – it looks clunky and junky.
- Square brackets often look a little salesy so avoid those too.
2. Think hard about your first line
This is your preview. Your teaser. Your tantalising opener to the value stored inside. If you’re offering your reader something in your email, pop it in the first line that appears in their inbox.
3. Write to one person
Think about one person receiving this. They know it’s going to a wider audience, but they want to feel like it’s an email from a friend. Avoid saying things like “Hi everyone!” or “We’ve got top tips for you all this month”. Just write to “you” and it’ll feel more personal.
4. Tell a story
It doesn’t need to be a long story. But if you’re writing with news about your latest sale on BBQs, don’t start with your offer. Begin by setting the scene of a hot summer’s day enjoying a cold beer in the garden with friends. Describing the music, the holiday feels of relaxation and community. And then remind your reader that a brand new BBQ can complete the picture and you’ve got just the thing they need.
Or you can take an alternative approach and demonstrate your knowledge. If you’re a garden centre, tell your reader which plants they can plant in this season. Or how to look after their garden in summer. You’re adding value, and being helpful and personable.
5. Write in short sentences (but be conversational)
Short sentences keep your email moving. It’s easy for the scan-reader to pick up your message. And your message will be clearer. Generally, sentences of more than 16 words take a little more effort to understand and your short-attention-spanned reader may just give up.
6. Use the active voice
Passive sentences are a sure fire way to take the life out of your email. Notice the difference between these:
- If you’d like to get in touch, we can be reached on the following number
- Get in touch. Call us on the following number.
The active voice makes you sound much more confident and engaging. And it’s easier for your reader to understand. It’s more conversational and helps you create that all-important connection we’ve been talking about.
7. Finish with a call to action
Once you’ve told your story, or delivered your value piece, you’ve carried your reader through your messaging. Now you’ve made a friend, piqued their interest and it’s then time to tell them what you’d like them to do. Your reader is probably in a rush so make it simple for them. Tell them to click the link. Or email you for a discount. Or call you to discuss.
You can add in your sales piece this way without sounding salesy. Because if you’ve written your email well, it’s the logical next step. If you’re a garden centre and you’ve just told your reader all the benefits of your new vitamin-enriched soil, tell them where they can buy it.
8. Use a P.S.
Always use a P.S. Some people will scan an email and just scroll right to the bottom. You can use your P.S. to tell them the crux of your email, the reason why you wrote to them in the person. And for the non-scroller, you’re reiterating the most important takeaway. You can pop your link in the P.S. or repeat your key message. But don’t leave it out. Everyone likes a P.S!
If you’d like to talk to us about your digital marketing strategy, please get in touch for a no-obligation chat.