Email is officially celebrating it’s 43rd birthday this month! Whaaaaa?!
It’s true folks! The very first email was sent in October 1971 and we’re celebrating with an ode to the topic of email marketing.
Email newsletters. Email blasts. E-blasts. Whatever you like to call them, we’re all familiar with them and what they do.
Email newsletters connect your business with existing and potential customers.
Receiving an email blast from a brand or service that you’re drawn to can be insightful, and even spark excitement. From recipes, to new product launches, sales and deals, or simply good quality news content that peaks mass interest, email marketing opens the door to marketing pathways that can lead customers directly to your business – making it an extremely powerful marketing tool.
But what about being considered spammy? How do you capture and maintain interest, much less prompt people to open an email and read it? Well there really is no magic formula to guarantee conversion or hold the ongoing interest of subscribers, but devising a solid plan can help you set deliverable goals that align with your overall marketing strategy and (hopefully) make your email newsletters interesting, clickable, and share worthy.
Here are a few tips to help you in those initial planning stages:
Make a Plan
Chances are you and or your marketing team are pretty busy, right?
Proper planning can make all the difference when it comes to email marketing. Ask yourself some key questions in the initial planning stages such as:
- What is the general purpose/goal of your email marketing efforts?
- Who is your audience?
- What message(s) do you want to convey?
- What are the overarching topics?
- How can you work it into your existing marketing calendar for overall brand cohesion?
- How many should you send out each month/quarter?
- Who is in charge? If you have a marketing team, determine the roles for each person from design, to content generation, proofing, deployment, and metric follow-up.
Design and Layout
Once you’ve laid out a solid plan, start mapping out the design of your email newsletters. The design layout of your email newsletter depends on your industry, product, or service. However, the saying, “less is more”, rings true with email marketing designs. Keep the layout simple and give it good bones. People are busy and generally don’t have time to (immediately) dedicate to reading a long winded email right away.
Many email newsletter systems such as MailChimp and Constant Contact offer a variety of pre-made templates with multiple options that allow you to implement your own designs and content. If you don’t have an in-house designer, it’s a good idea to outsource one who can design a template for you that incorporates your branding (i.e. logo, colors, icons and fonts). A lot of email newsletter systems also offer design service – among a host of other services in their bag of tricks which is a blog topic for another day.
If your business is product driven, go for visual impact with minimal content text that triggers a call-to-action response and drives traffic to the page you ultimately want customers to land on for sales conversion.
If your business is service driven, it inevitably calls for content. But content specific email newsletters can still be kept simple and generate leads. A common practice we like for this is to present a layout with topics that have an overarching header and a few intro sentences followed by a call-to-action that prompts the reader to “Learn more. Click here”. The reader will then be directed to a specific page (such as a blog) on your website that houses the remainder of that content.
Quick tip on those call-to-action buttons: have them programmed so they pop-up in a new window so the reader can easily refer back to the email newsletter.
As mentioned above, whether your email newsletter is product or service driven, keep the content clean, simple and to the point. This ensures that you’ll keep the readers attention focused on the specifics you’re hoping to convey.
At Organik SEO we also like to have a second pair of eyes review any content for proofing purposes before it goes out. So definitely make it a regular practice to ask a friend or a co-worker (who’s preferably a savvy writer) to give it a once over and check for typo’s or mistakes before you send out your email newsletter.
Images always have an impact, so add it to your checklist to incorporate at least one relevant image to accompany your content.
While it’s best to make use of images you own (whether professional or taken via your smart phone), you can also look into purchasing stock images or photography. We could honestly go on and on about images, but again this is a blog topic for another day.
Bottom line, email newsletters are considered part of your marketing collateral which are ultimately meant to drive traffic to your business. When adding clickable links or images, make sure they direct users to immediate extensions of your brand (i.e. recent blogs you’ve written or specific pages your website, and social media channels).
What are your best practices with email newsletters?
Which platforms do you prefer and why?
We’d love to know! Feel free to share your knowledge in the comments section.
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Results on Brand Investment”- The New ROI for Digital”. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today.