Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Three Phases of a Successful Email Marketing Campaign, Part 2 – What to Say and How to Say It

Last time on the Terrapin Shout Box, we covered how to put together your email campaign mailing list. Now that your signup pitch worked, what’s your message?

You Can't Land Anything with a Bare Hook 
When your email comes in, your recipients will ask, “What’s in it for me if I open this?”

Start with a punchy, concise subject line. For example, Clear our shelves, stock your closet or 5 Can’t-Miss Sales Tips. Make an effort to work in numbers. Using “5” instead of “five” makes for a more readable subject line.

Some bad subject line habits to avoid include use of words like Free! and Advertisement. Check your own spam folder and make a list of what’s in those subject lines. These words will likely get your email tagged with the exiled princes offering you $1 million.

Just remember, if a song has a catchy intro, you’re more likely to keep listening. You don’t want your recipients to skip ahead to the next “track,” or the next email in their inbox. 

Keep Your Momentum Going 
Your content has to keep reader attention now that the subject grabbed it, just don’t count on a long attention SPAN. Keep your message tight and to the point.

Supply the reader with appealing, diverse content. Don’t repeat yourself. Shake things up from mailing to mailing. Good starting points for content are:

  • Expertise
  • Industry Trends
  • Company News
  • Special Offers

Include eye-catching but not overbearing visuals. Follow the written content philosophy of clean and tight. Don’t turn the mailing into a “Nascar” by overloading it with graphics and color. 

What is Your Email's Endgame? 
Is your email’s purpose to keep the line moving to your site or a download? Maybe your goal is a “call today” scenario. Either way, a clear call to action (CTA) is a must.

Lay out your CTA in simple, clear terms. It could be as basic as a post-text button or hyperlink labelled, “Click here to download,” or “Check out our latest deals.” 

Not to Be Overlooked... 
Check back next time with Terrapin for our wrap-up email campaign post. Here’s a quick checklist of other email campaign best practices:

  • Use a consistent format, but don’t be afraid to experiment with subtle changes
  • Offer HTML and plain text
  • Make your email readable with images disabled
  • Address your recipient by name; no one wants to be called “Dear subscriber.”