It’s often said that email marketing is a dying breed. The truth is it’s far from over.
Whilst its effectiveness could be questioned among millennial audiences, it is still one of the most noticed forms of advertising amongst older generations, sometimes by gaps of up to 10%.
Market research firm Mintel have released data showing that people perceive it as one of the most useful and relevant types of digital advertising in comparison to other methods like display ads, search engine listings and sponsored social media posts. In that spirit, we’ve created a quick guide to running an effective email campaign.
Gathering an Audience
Depending on the industry, emailers can sometimes prove a more long-term strategy. Therefore, it is imperative to maximise reach early on and grow a large audience from day one. This really needs to be achieved in a number of ways unilaterally.
The most obvious is latching onto the flow of traffic going through your website. These are the users most likely to want to see more of you and your content, so set up a ‘sign-up’ box in a visibly apparent area or within a pop-up modal which will appear after a given time period. However it’s done, remember not to be too intrusive; you may just turn people off if you appear too forceful or ‘desperate’.
Offering some form of incentive is seen as one of the most successful methods of obtaining new email addresses. Some want special promotions or freebies in return for signing up, others simply want a guarantee of news updates about your products or services. Be sure to evaluate what method to use based on your target audience and the desired path you wish them to take in order to create a conversion.
Once you’re into an inbox, you need to ensure people still want to view your email. The first thing they will see is a subject line. This needs to be engaging and interesting enough for them to warrant opening the email. A strong subject line comes from a good understanding of your content and how your audience will interpret it.
For example, subscribers on an email list for River Island will want to hear about fashion, purchase advice and any ongoing sales that are of interest to them. Therefore, this thirst should be quenched within the first line. Ones I’ve had recently are “Three Shirts to wear NOW” and “Up to 70% off, GO! GO! GO!” They understand what will make the audience continue through to the email.
It is then down to the content of the email to get them to take up the company’s desired CTA. Again, this is rooted in realising what your audience wants to see from you. A fashion retailer would need a visually excellent emailer that properly displays their fashion and artistic prowess. It should make the viewer want to progress to find potential purchases, whilst a service-based or B2B business might want to link them through to a blog in order to show off their industry expertise.
At KVA Digital, we can create bespoke written or visual content for your online channels including editorial content for your blog or email campaign. We have over a decade of experience in communications including content development for successful campaigns in the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. Drop us an email to talk about the sort of content we could develop for you.
Include Appropriate Click-Throughs
A large part of your content creation should be about getting the viewer to follow through with their interest in you. Where do you want to direct them through your email campaign? Should they be making an online purchase? Should they get in contact with you for a consultation? That needs to be factored into the design of the email and therefore the overall content which needs to link back well to the CTA. For example, the “Three Shirts to wear NOW” email discussed earlier should have buttons under each image clearly labelling a link to a purchase point.
Getting a Visual Balance
This can often be the most difficult part. A good design should be neither too text-heavy nor too image-heavy; a balance must be struck. Too much text and your post looks boring, whilst too many images risks not getting enough detail through and viewers become distracted from your overall message. With every addition made to the email, ask yourself “does this enhance and/or reinforce the message I want to give the viewer?”
Use a Campaign Planner Tool
A platform such as MailChimp can save you a lot of hassle when running any sized emailer campaign. A dedicated platform allows you to tailor campaigns to specific lists of contacts, schedule and coordinate campaigns weeks and months in advance; and use analytics tools to survey how successful a campaign was in order to plan future email strategies. It’s very much a no-brainer if you want to be able to adapt your campaigns at short-notice. For example, by analysing click through rates on various links within the email, you can understand where viewers are most likely to click through to. Therefore, future campaigns can be retargeted to focus wholly around this behaviour.
Written by Andrew Thomson