The Write Way: Six tips for better email marketing

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In some ways, email marketing is a necessary evil.  It’s a cheap and efficient way to reach all of your former customers, colleagues, subscribers and anyone else that’s randomly ended on your list.  It’s today’s version of direct mail marketing—only worse, in that it’s so cheap that nearly every company in existence can afford to do it.

If you find your company’s marketing emails struggling to distinguish themselves from that Nigerian prince who keeps asking you to send him money, then perhaps its time to reevaluate your email.  Here are some tips to help you pack the most punch with a single message:

KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid):  You may have the urge to pack your email full of stories, articles and news in order to make sure the subscriber knows everything.  But edit your message, and think about what the reader sees… does he really need to know that your friend’s mother’s brother saw Les Miserables and thought it was “pretty good?”  Cut out all of the extraneous information and focus on the important selling points.  If you want to offer news and about your company (and you probably do), offer short snippets and link out to full web pages and blog posts that explore the information in more detail.

Make the Email Part of the Marketing: Are you in the business of design, yet for some reason you send text-based emails?  In doing this, you dilute your message of innovation, no matter what types of services you provide.  However, it is important to note that some companies tend to stick to tech because some email applications, such as Gmail.com, do not automatically show images.  Account for this by naming your images accordingly so that the picture titles show up automatically, and do so in a manner that helps prompt people to click the option to open all emails from your given email address in the future.  Then, you can focus on ways to integrate your brand identity with your email design.

Use Catchy Subject Lines: This may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many emails I get on a daily basis with titles like “January Newsletter” and “Blog Update.”  Unless these are from companies I rely on to provide me with relevant information, I immediately delete these kinds of messages.  Think carefully about what your readers want to hear about – is it a sale? A giveaway?  Maybe a piece of advice you know they’ll use?  If possible, come up with something catchy and use it as a lead-in to your email message, which will lead to significantly higher open rates.

Include a Call to Action:  If you’re able to get your reader to read through your newsletter, bulletin or sale information, why not use the opportunity to encourage them to also “like” your Facebook page or follow you on Twitter?  In doing so, you can get double the impact out of your email message.

A call to action? You don’t say? Since we’re on the subject, why don’t you go ahead and like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. You’ll be glad you did.

Optimize Your Email for Mobile:  This seems like a no-brainer, but so many companies these days still haven’t fully latched on to the fact that millions of Americans use their phones as their primary source of email viewing.  People check from their phones or tablets early in the morning to see what they missed overnight, and they continue to check throughout the day when they are away from their computers.  If people can’t see your messages, those messages will likely go down the tube into oblivion with thousands of other jumbled emails that people like you and me see daily.

Avoid Spamming Your List: Email glut is a reality these days.  In writing and sending emails, remember that you are asking for a piece of your subscriber’s time.  If you fail to offer interesting and informative information, your potential customer will hit unsubscribe faster than you can check your inbox.

Email lists are extraordinarily valuable to businesses of all sizes, and it is important to remember that every email is a potential sale.  Use the kind of courtesy in a marketing email that you would in a friendly email.  Our Florida marketing agency is certain that if you use these tips, you’ll notice immediate returns.

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