If your company has decided to step up its marketing efforts with weekly emails, there’s much to consider before hitting send. Creating a successful email marketing plan is more than dropping in some content into an email template with a link and calling it good. To see results, you need to strategize.
Far too often I’ve witnessed companies sending unfocused emails to their audience only to experience low clickthrough and high unsubscribe rates. Here are some tips to help you create engaging email blasts – sure to build and maintain an engaging audience.
Building an Email Marketing Plan
Okay. First question.
Why are you sending out your emails?
If you couldn’t answer this question, stop now. Don’t pass go. Don’t collect $100. In order for your emails to be effective, they must have a purpose. For instance, sending an email about “How to Properly Groom Your Cat” to an audience of dog lovers may prove ineffective – and a huge waste of time. And let’s face it, time is money.
When building out your email marketing plan, ddetermine what you need to communicate to your audience. Is it to educate your them about your products or provide a new offer? Is it to showcase your work to draw in leads? Whatever your goal, make sure it’s clear and you stay the course.
Second question. Ready?
Who are you sending your emails to?
Again, this isn’t a brain teaser. You should know to whom you’re sending your email since your email should serve a specific purpose. You may be sending them to a list of subscribers. Maybe you want to entice some potential customers. Or maybe you want to educate and reward current customers. Whatever your reason, be sure you’re clear since it will have a direct effect on your content, tone and design.
How often will you be sending out your emails?
You’ve got to keep a schedule and you’ve got to stay organized. Keeping to a schedule will help you prepare quality content and a timeframe that meets your capacity and will help to not overload your audience with content. This may take some trial and error on your part to see what works best with your audience, but have a starting point and go from there.
When you build out your email marketing plan, be sure to evaluate these key points to help you determine the best course of action. From there, you can develop a strategy to help you implement your email project and measure the results.
Get more email marketing tips with our Ultimate Email Marketing Cheat Sheet.
How to Create Engaging Emails
Ask yourself, “Self. Why do I unsubscribe or delete email blasts?”. More than likely there were key elements that turned you off about an email blast. Maybe it was a boring subject line? Or maybe it wasn’t helping you solve a problem because it was just promotional noise.
Whatever the reason, here are a few items to consider to help you seduce and engage your audience.
Create a topic
Keep it 90/10
Create an engaging subject line
Prioritize your Call-to-Actions
Keep it short and to the point
Use proper alt text
Make unsubscribing easy
Don’t create ‘SPAMMY’ sender info
Create a photo connection
Test before you send
All content for your email blast should be focused on a chosen topic – helping to keep the attention of your audience.
You’ll want the newsletter to be 90% educational and 10% promotional. It’s not about you, it’s about helping your audience solve their problem.
Don’t be boring. Give your audience a reason to click. Offer incentive and get their attention.
Again, keep it focused. Choose which piece of content you want to get the most attention and then offer the others as options for the reader to explore should they have time.
You want the reader to click through, so don’t keep them lingering with long copy and cluttered design. Let white space be your friend.
Sometimes images don’t appear in an email – and it’s usually due to the reader. Alt text will appear when images don’t – driving your reader to click.
Creating an easy path to unsubscribing from your email allows you to maintain an active and engaged subscriber list and help minimize marked SPAM.
Try to make your email more personable. Provide a From name and email address that doesn’t seem robotic or spammy.
If you’ve decided to use images, make sure they speak to the content. Having an image which ties to the content helps create a connection with the reader and will assist in creating better engagement.
Make sure you catch any errors ahead of time. Check your copy, links, images, Sender information and lists. And make sure you test it on mobile. Please! This will help you retain a healthy email subscription list. We like to send a test email out to the team just to make sure.
Creating engaging emails takes time, preparation and focus. Going into email marketing with the notion that “any monkey can send out an email…” just isn’t true. I mean, it is if you don’t want to see results and you’re just sending it out for the hell of it. And you may not see the results you anticipated right away, but it’s important to evaluate your results and build on what works and learn from what doesn’t. Stay the course and your hard work will pay off.
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