UNSUBSCRIBE: the word no email marketer wants to hear. With people becoming more protective over what lands in their busy inboxes, can the age-old email marketing strategy survive in the coming years of digital marketing? If done right, the answer is yes. While other marketing trends come and go, effective email marketing remains a steady source of traffic and conversions. It’s one of the very few ways you can directly reach your customers and prospects because it’s not impacted by changing algorithms. Sure, you need to stay out of the spam folder—but if you can master deliverability and keep your list healthy, you end up with an invaluable platform for communicating with your audience.
What are the 4 Cs of email marketing?
By keeping these 4 Cs in mind, you’ll be crafting emails that are not only informative but also engaging and respectful of your reader’s time and understanding.
- Complete: Imagine your email like a puzzle. Each piece of information is like a puzzle piece, and you need to make sure they’re all there to create the full picture. Leaving out a critical piece could lead to confusion. So, before hitting send, double-check to ensure your message is complete. This way, you’ll save yourself from any awkward follow-ups that can eat up your time.
- Clear: Think of your email as a friendly conversation. Avoid using complicated office jargon or acronyms that might leave the reader scratching their head. Instead, spell things out clearly in every sentence. If there’s any supporting information or documents needed to back up your points, make sure to include them. This helps ensure your message is crystal clear.
- Correct: Sharing information is like passing a powerful torch. But before you pass it on, make sure it’s a reliable flame. Fact-check and make sure the information you’re sending is accurate and up-to-date. If you’re referring to any external sources, provide the links. Remember, emails can have real-world consequences, so always stick to the truth and avoid spreading rumors or unverified info.
- Conversational: Even though emails can feel a bit distant, you can still make them feel warm and friendly. Start with a friendly greeting, address the reader by name, and then dive into your message. Add a touch of personality to your words. And don’t forget to suggest a next step or follow-up date. Finally, always show your appreciation for the reader’s time.
Stop and clean up your list
Whether you’re just building your list or have been sending emails for years, pause for a moment before hitting send on another campaign. Take some time to clean up your list. Sending to contacts who aren’t engaged is going to hurt your deliverability. Make sure you’re only sending emails to people who want to hear from you. Along those lines, make sure you aren’t sending emails to people who didn’t opt in to hearing from you. Practices like buying a list or automatically adding anyone who comes across your path are strongly discouraged if you want to stay out of the spam trap.
And now, five ideas for email content generation.
Reduce the time it takes to create email marketing content by reusing and repurposing previous content you have produced. Take a look through your social media and blog content to see which posts received the most attention and engagement. From there, refine your list to the content that’s most relevant to your email campaign’s specific goals and audience. You can then repurpose the content with a quick rewrite or by additional details. If one of your goals is driving traffic to your website, you can entice readers with a blog snippet and supply the link to read the entire article.
Are you worried about being perceived as repetitive or unimaginative by your audience? Don’t be. The truth is, all of our attention spans are short. In all likelihood, if they have seen your content elsewhere, they have either completely forgotten about it or could benefit from a refresher. By adding on actionable next steps or new information, you take popular content to the next level.
Are you sending your email campaigns using the bulk ‘spray and pray’ approach? These days, there’s no reason NOT to be personalizing your email campaigns. This can be as simple as including the recipient’s name in the email subject line or customizing content and offers for specific user groups.
Customers of today expect companies to know who they are and what they want. Have you ever felt exasperated by the email nagging you to book tickets to an event you’re already attending? Or rolled your eyes at the email encouraging you to sign up for the loyalty program through which you’ve been racking up points for years?
Wherever possible, personalize and customize your email content to make it appropriate, relevant, and engaging to the specific audience. Include dynamic variables that are differentiated from one another based on data points you know about each segment.
No images, no fancy design, no pretty fonts, just a typical email you would send to a colleague—this is the idea behind a plain text email. Sure, it may look boring and uninviting, but it doesn’t look like marketing. Plain text emails are used for a number of reasons and have an important role to play in a well-rounded email marketing strategy—particularly as you get further down the funnel.
For example, new subscribers on your email list may receive bright, attractive content that brings awareness to your product and service. Later down the line, as they start to engage with your emails and move into the consideration or decision phases, a personalized, plain text email from a real person may be just what they need to convince them to become a customer.
You can also be sure that a plain text email will display correctly, even if someone has chosen not to load images in their emails. If recipients are viewing your emails in a non-traditional inbox (such as a smartwatch, gaming device, or voice assistant) they are more likely to be able to get the message from a properly written and formatted plain text email. Plain text emails are also less likely to get caught in the spam filter, so always include a plain text alternative when you send HTML emails.
Transactional emails are the untapped gems of email marketing. They’re not necessarily the most exciting element of your email strategy, but they do come with high open rates. You can use your transactional emails (which can include important information such as order status, returns and exchanges, and billing) to showcase your brand personality and help you establish a relationship with your customers and subscribers.
Revisit your transactional templates to see how you can make them work harder for you. Consider how you want people to feel after reading the email. What do you want them to take away from the experience with your brand? Rework the tone and copy so that the message is received in the right way and leaves them with something unique or memorable. You can also include a dynamic field showcasing your latest news, offers, or specials.
Word-of-mouth recommendations are your best form of marketing, so bring them into your email campaigns to target anyone in the consideration phase or ready for an upsell:
- Use customer stories (ideally with their names and photographs) that explain how your product or service improved their lives
- Include a testimonials section in your newsletter
- Use testimonials in your transactional emails
- Feature endorsements from industry influencers or thought leaders
- Share media coverage about your company
At Brighter Messaging, we use effective email marketing as a successful strategy for top-of-mind awareness, lead nurturing, enhancing reputations, and creating loyal customers. We can help you measure your progress, track email leads, and help you create email campaigns that convert. Get in touch with the team to learn more.