Date: 19 October, 2019
Turn Leads into Conversions with Effective Email Content
You already know why email marketing is effective: 72% of adults prefer email communication to other forms, email is the most powerful method to drive conversions, and it has been shown to have a huge return on investment, generating about $38 for every $1 spent. Some companies have seen a ROI as high as 4,400%. For these reasons, email marketing is one of the most popular types of marketing used by small businesses.
So we know email marketing is effective.
But if you've worked with email marketing before, you'll be familiar with this problem: you've got a good product, you know there's an audience for it, and you've been able to find their email addresses… but what do you say?
"Content is king" for a reason. With effective email copy, you can convert a list of leads in sales. But what is good email content and how can you write it?
I've answered those questions here. In this post, you'll learn how to create email marketing content that converts, and you'll get actionable steps for writing email copy that is relevant, clean, interesting, and trustworthy.
Your content should be aimed at achieving a particular business goal that you have, and also be relevant to your audience. Here are some tips to help you write relevant email marketing copy.
Each email campaign you send should have a clear goal, and this should be consistent with your overall marketing strategy.
"Well, obviously my goal is sales!"
Great, but good copy can support sales growth in a number of ways. Your email might simply be the start of a relationship. Maybe you're trying to increase download rates, provide product information, or attract returning customers. Think about this particular campaign and decide what you want it to do. Having a clear goal will help you keep your content relevant.
Segmenting your audience means splitting them up by relevant variables, and sending different emails to each segment. Research by MailChimp found that segmentation of email campaigns increases both open rates by 14%, and increases clicks by a whopping 101%.
Build buyer personas so that you get to know your customers. You can do this based on analysis of data from your social media interactions or just from your own knowledge of your customers. Once you have a clear buyer persona, you are better able to imagine what that person would be interested in reading and keeps your message relevant to them.
How can you segment your audience? Here are a few ideas.
Think about meaningful categories for your business, and you can create signup forms that ask for this information.
Personalizing your email marketing campaign for your audience goes beyond segmentation. For example, research has shown that including a first name in the subject line of an email campaign increases open rates by 20% and results in a 31% increase in sales leads. Use the information you collect about your audience in your emails to them to make your copy more effective.
Looking for names for your audience? Try using an email extractor.
Part of personalization is also telling your audience about you. Including information about your company can help build a relationship with your customer base. You can do this by making sure your emails are addressed from individuals and not just from a company address.
On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy. It follows that unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money. – David Ogilvy
The number one way to get sales from email marketing is to get your audience to open the email. To do that, you need an engaging subject line. Writing these is more of an art than a science, but there are a few formulas that can help.
Preview text is text that users see just after the subject. This can also be very important—you want to maximize this space to persuade the email recipient to open your subject. Typically, that means making sure the first words of your text are engaging.
However, there are a few things to know about preview text that are out of scope here. Check out this guide for everything you need to know about preview text.
What we mean by clean email content is copy that is well-organized and error free. Clean copy is easy and pleasing to read.
Good writing starts with the basics. Make sure your content has a logical structure and has one idea per paragraph. Use subheadings to keep it organized, if appropriate. This ensures that someone can quickly scan the email and still understand it.
Once someone opens your email, you have just seconds to keep them interested. Short is good. So is clear. Try to avoid jargon or technical terms. Use a variety of sentence structures, sure, but avoid huge, complicated paragraphs.
Call to actions or CTAs are a clear ask to your audience to make an action. Each email campaign should have a single CTA, which should be consistent with your marketing goal. They might be to "Subscribe to the mailing list", "Sign this petition", or "Donate now". Clear calls to action help turn readers into buyers.
For good CTAs
Research suggests that over half of emails are opened on mobile devices. And, if your email is not formatted for mobile, it is deleted in less than 3 seconds. Make sure your email is optimized for mobile viewing.
You know this, but I still regularly get emails with brutal mistakes. People notice errors, and they can severely diminish your authority. Make sure your copy is properly punctuated, the grammar is good, and there are no spelling mistakes. Get a colleague to read it over one last time before sending.
Make your content easy to read, conversational, and interesting. Yes, you're running a business, and yes, you should be professional. But that doesn't mean you have to overly formal and it certainly doesn't mean you have to be boring.
Create interesting copy by:
How do you know if it's interesting? Ask someone to read it. Then make them promise to tell you the truth. Then ask them if it's interesting. If they hesitate, sound unsure, or say something like, "I really like the font you used," take another look.
Effective content makes the reader glad they opened the email. You can do this by always making sure the email has what the subject line promises.
You can also go further. Offer a gift to your reader—a free eBook or webinar or something else that they value. This will ensure they continue to stay subscribed and make them more likely to open your emails in the future.
Tell the truth about your products and don't over promise. Consumers are good at sniffing out marketing strategies that seem sleazy. If you promise something and don't deliver, they'll remember. You want to ensure that they associate your emails with useful content. Avoid being marked as spam by simply being legit.
What makes good email content ultimately will depend on your audience. That means there may not be a single formula for good content that you can find in one blog post.
One of the best ways to find out what is effective for your audience is to test it. A/B testing is a feature included in most email clients. It allows you to split your emails into groups to test how each set performs on a given variable. So, for example, you might do an A/B test sending emails to half your audience on Monday at 1:00 pm, and half on Monday at 3:00 pm. If there is a higher open rate at 1:00 pm, that can inform your next campaign.
This kind of testing is very useful to help you optimize your emails. It's not difficult to set up with most email clients.
Finally, before you click send, do a preview or a test. Make sure your email comes out the way you think it will. Most email marketers can tell you, and I certainly can, about that one time their campaign began with a "Dear *|FULLNAME|*". Send a couple test emails to make sure you avoid embarrassing mistakes.
P.s. If you're still having trouble, consider hiring a professional. Many contractors pay for themselves in increased sales they bring in.
Ramsay Lewis is an experienced freelance content writer and copy editor. He writes for crisptext
About the Author