Writing Emails People Want to Read

People get tons of emails every day. They don’t read a whole lot of them. Stuff from unknown senders, junk mail, and all kinds of stuff get sent straight to the recycle bin or junk mail folder. In order to avoid that same fate, marketing emails need to be short, clear, and worth your customers’ time. Here are some tried-and-true techniques to help your messages get attention and actually read.

The good news is that people are more willing to fork over an email address if they think they are getting exclusive offers or valuable discounts. Use the “fear of missing out” to your advantage. Promise people something to make mailings worth their while. Gone are the days of expensive and glossy seasonal catalogs, and not everyone has time to check your website frequently. But sending people messages can bring traffic to your site on a regular basis. The trick is to send them often enough that they stay a regular customer but not so often it annoys them.

If you don’t have a good subject line, your message won’t be read no matter what, so be sure you have a good one. A subject line needs to both explain why you’re messaging your customers and to let them know there’s something in it for them. “Your gift for being a great customer!” “Exclusive sneak peek at our new collection” or “We miss you, please come back!” will definitely get a customer’s attention. Even if it is only a few percent off or free shipping, you’ve lured them in and back onto your site. If you send out 100 of these messages a week and 10 of those people buy something, that’s ten people you would not have made a sale from. It’s a form letter sent automatically, so how much work are you actually doing?

Next, avoid crazy fonts, lots of colored text, and large, high-quality images. People usually read messages on the go so easy-to-read text and smaller images are the way to go. Black text on a white background is still the easiest to read for most people. Stick with it. You don’t need to overwhelm your customers with everything at once – the goal is to entice them to the website. One or two popular product images should do the trick, at a small enough size that it will easily display on a data-using cellphone. Company logos are fine images to include, but again – make sure it is a small enough file size that it loads quickly and clearly.

Finally, have a clear and consistent message. Keep the text short and to the point. Make sure there are no spelling errors or grammatical problems. Select images that go with your message and are properly labeled. Ensure that any products highlighted in the message are easy to locate on your website. Verify that the links work correctly. If people can’t understand your message or find the products you want them to buy, they are going to give up rather quickly.

The goal is to increase traffic to your website and convince people to buy something or to use your services. A smart email campaign will help you do that, and following these tips will ensure that you do it right!

Email Marketing vs Traditional Mailings

Hurray for email! It makes reaching customers easier and cheaper, yet there are some companies that don’t yet have a great website or newsletter. What are you people waiting for?!? Email marketing campaigns are a great thing for your business, and I’m not just saying that because it is what I do for a living. Don’t believe me? Here are some reasons to join the 21st century and focus on electronic mailings:

  1. They are so much cheaper. You cut the cost of printing a catalog or mailing, for one. And postage rates keep going up, to the point where it can get pretty expensive to reach your customers. Now, if you make your living by direct marketing, I am not suggesting you stop altogether. I love getting full-color catalogs in the mail. You can just cut back on the amount of direct mail pieces you send by supplementing with electronic marketing, and you’ll keep a nice chunk of your expenses in your pocket.
  2. A good marketing company will have information for you that you cannot get from mailings. We can tell you which emails bounced without you having to worry about those little return cards or having your hard work go simply to “or resident” who does not care about your products. They simply get taken off the list and you can move on. We can even let you know how many people opened your messages!
  3. We know what your customers interact with. If you send clickable images or links in your messages, we can let you know which items customers were interested in and how many clicked on each link. You’ll be able to tailor messages to what your customers want and make your messages more successful. You can’t do that with direct mail!
  4. You can target messages to fit different groups, or even individual people quickly and easily. You don’t have to shell out money to create more than one version of a catalog. If you’ve got clients that regularly buy the latest trend, you can send those people “first look” messages. If you ask people to provide their birthdate, you can send a birthday message along with a discount code or other perk. What used to be time consuming and costly is now super easy to manage.
  5. They’re efficient. Draft one message and you’re set. Create several different templates and you’re covered for an entire campaign. You can schedule when the messages go out and then it is done automatically, no additional work required from you. No worries about printing delays or delivery mishaps. You press the send button and your intended audience receives the message. It’s that easy. Got a great last minute idea for a sale? No problem. Email lead time is so short, you can send messages out anytime, quickly and easily.
  6. Finally, there’s one other reason: the environment. It’s much easier and more practical not to cut down trees to use for a mailing that may or may not end up in the recycling bin. Sending something electronically requires no trees or other materials whatsoever. You cut down on waste on your end and on the consumer’s, too.

I hope that if you haven’t already, I have increased your interest in email marketing. Reach out to me if you have additional questions! I’d love to help.