Presentation is everything, or so they say. With this old adage in mind, we’ve compiled our best tips for anyone who wants to send emails that subscribers click into a handy email design guide. We cover each facet of design: content, templates, identity, color, images, layout, fonts, and calls to action. Design is as much science as it is art, and we take the guesswork out of what can seem like the most challenging part of sending good emails.
We also love how consistent the design of Uber's emails is with its brand. Like its app, website, social media photos, and other parts of the visual branding, the emails are represented by bright colors and geometric patterns. All of its communications and marketing assets tell the brand's story -- and brand consistency is one tactic Uber's nailed in order to gain brand loyalty.
This ties into the second 40 of the 40/40/20 rule – now you’re probably beginning to see why that was listed up front and why it’s universally considered the gold standard when it comes to direct mail marketing guidelines. With other forms of advertisements or marketing, it is perfectly acceptable to only go after impressions – a billboard in a highly-trafficked area or a TV spot that is more of a teaser in nature can sometimes go a long way toward educating the public of your existence, which is the first step in getting them to engage. With direct mailings however, you might as well be printing cash to send out to people if you don’t have a compelling call to action to give people.
A wide variety of organizations and companies employ some form of direct mail marketing. For example, you might already receive an envelope from ValPak, a direct mail company that sells space in its envelopes to a variety of local businesses offering coupons and discounts. Additionally, they entice consumers to look through these coupons by promising that $100 has been inserted into 10 random envelopes.
Most newly-minted marketers entering the workforce spent their college focus learning digital marketing – social media, mobile marketing, search engine marketing and possibly email. If you’re one of them, and are looking for ways to improve your overall marketing results, think about using direct mail. With everyone getting bombarded by digital campaigns, a well-done mailpiece can really stand out.
I think this email also makes quite a brilliant use of responsive design. The colors are bright, and it's not too hard to scroll and click -- notice the CTAs are large enough for me to hit with my thumbs. Also, the mobile email actually has features that make sense for recipients who are on their mobile device. Check out the CTA at the bottom of the email, for example: The "Open Stitcher Radio" button prompts the app to open on your phone.
Keep your list fresh and up-to-date – It’s an unfortunate fact of life that occasionally email addresses become invalid. People’s work email addresses change as they move between companies and others abandon old AOL and Compuserve email addresses in favor of modern platforms like Gmail. However, by focusing some of your time and energy on building your email list, you can fight list decay and ensure you have a growing list of people to receive and click-through on your email campaigns.
To build a maling list, marketers collect information about clients and potential customers through in-house research. Many stores offer a substantial percentage off a first purchase when consumers apply for a credit card in the store, or when they opt-in to an email list. Other organizations and companies might set up a booth at a fair or conference, offering a chance to win an iPad when customers sign up for their newsletters and mailings.
Understand the statistics. Click-through rate or CTR is how often customers click on links contained in your email. There is also a conversion rate, which tracks how many people took action after clicking your link, as well as a rate for how many people opened and read your email. Many email blast software will have these metrics built in. Do not make things in the email blast confusing or complicated as it can prevent people from taking action or even reading the blast.
This one really ruffles our feathers because it implies that you are shoving a bunch of spammy emails down your unsuspecting audiences throats. Blast away! In reality, we want email to be strategic, targeted, personalized, and properly segmented. Additionally, we want the content to be simple, direct, to the point, and useful. With this in mind, the word "blast" seems a bit too intense.
In dividing your list in this manner, you give yourself the ability to send more targeted communication. Some customers want both product and sales updates, while others might only want to hear about new versions. If you don’t give them the chance to choose, you risk losing them all-together. Since customers make the best buyers, it’s fairly obvious why you want to keep them subscribed to your customer email list.
Perhaps you're a new company and don't have a customer base. Maybe you have a service you're sure that people will love... if only they heard about you. Whatever the reason, buying an email list seems like an easy, low cost way to grow your business. But, there are some serious consequences to purchasing. And there are real benefits to using an opt-in list!
Have a few different buttons on your email template: separate social media buttons that produce pre-written social posts linking to a webpage version of your email, and an "Email to a Friend" button that transfers the email into a compose window so your contacts can instantly forward the message. Just make sure your email has an opt-in button so each new viewer can subscribe to more emails from you if they like what they see.
Focus on the reader first. You should always write your emails to address the needs of your subscribers, not yours. Offer ways to solve their problems, don’t simply talk about your products and how great they are. (This is a part that so many companies get wrong.) Ask yourself, what are the biggest pain points/struggles for my subscribers? How can I solve their current problem in this email?
The recipient of your email blast is unlikely to commit a lot of time to reading what you send. If you keep the content short, make it easy to scan and easy for them to digest, it will be a much better value for both of you. Aim the content toward providing the reader with enough info to get them interested and then encourage them to follow the links to learn more. http://dgmseo.com/images/email1.png
Blast email and other forms of email marketing have grown increasingly popular for businesses, due to the relatively low cost and easy tracking abilities involved. In most cases, individuals must opt-in, or subscribe, to an email list to receive blast email from a particular company. Newsletters, for example, are a common form of email marketing. The company, in turn, must create and manage a large mailing list that identifies all the individuals who have subscribed to the email marketing service. Depending on the size of the company and the amount of recipients, managing this list can be quite daunting. As a result, most companies hire a third-party vendor or use software to manage mailing lists.
To do an email blast, start by finding an email blasting software or website you can use, like MailChimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. Then, upload your email blast and all of the contacts you want to send the email to. When you're writing your email blast, include a compelling subject line, like "Act Today, 25 percent off all shirts," so people are more likely to open it. Also, try to use actionable language throughout your email, like "Buy now" or "Call today," to encourage people to act when they read your email blast.
Thank you for this great roundup of tips regarding marketing emails. I especially appreciate your mention of tracking emails so you can continually improve your strategies, including an above the fold call to action so customers know exactly what to do next, and most of all making sure you have a solid (not necessarily huge) email list. Reaching out to those you know may be interested in your company and what it has to offer is always going to garner you the best results. I would also love to add that focusing on the customer, proofreading your email, and making the email conversational are other excellent tips for making your sales emails stand out and actually get read. Thanks again for sharing!
You just rock with this post Jonathan. Really a great and wonderful article with great list building ideas. As a digital marketing guy I also found that e-mail marketing works better than any other digital marketing tool. Because subscription list gives a chance to convert more leads with a little effort. Thanks again for this informative article bro, It will help many newbies to learn Effective List Building Techniques. Jitender Sharma
Much of this increase can be attributed to the ability to couple physical mail pieces with mobile and online marketing efforts, resulting in a sound multichannel marketing program. Think of how many pieces of mail you've seen recently sporting QR codes, URLs to social media sites, and SMS short codes. Mail affords marketers greater reach, allows more information to be communicated than most online advertising efforts, and gives buyers the opportunity to respond to a call to action in the way that they want, on their own time.
A lead magnet (a.k.a. an optin bribe) is something amazing that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. This doesn’t have to cost you anything to create– most lead magnets are digital materials like PDFs, MP3 audio files, or videos that you can create yourself at minimal or no cost. It can be absolutely anything you want, so long as it provides value for free.
Target Corp. inadvertently drew an early line in the sand between good data use and data use that was too personal for customer comfort. In 2012, Charles Duhigg reported in The New York Times that Target addressed a mailer, which featured coupons for cribs and baby clothes, to a high school girl. When her father complained to the company, yelling that his daughter was not pregnant, the company apologized; when the father called back a few days later, he was contrite. “It turns out there’s been some activities in my house I haven’t been completely aware of,” the father said, according to Duhigg. “She’s due in August. I owe you an apology.”
You could use your Hotmail, Gmail or Yahoo accounts, but if you need something professional and fool-proof and want to avoid being labeled a spammer, it’s a far better idea to use an email blast program provided by a professional email marketing company such as Benchmark Email. Benchmark’s partnerships with elite consortiums like The Email Sender & Provider Coalition (EPSC) and leading delivery experts like Return Path give you the best chance of reaching a prospect’s inbox, which is a major challenge in email blast marketing. Benchmark Email even has built-in data merging features, which allow you to import contact information from different databases so you don’t need to re-enter long email lists. Besides this, you can also customize your mails in easy-to-use HTML editors before sending them to your customers and prospects.
Send yourself a test email. Before sending an email to a list of people, send one to yourself. Read over the email carefully and keep an eye out for poor formatting or incorrectly sized pictures. Check the email in multiple browsers and use different devices to see if it works across different platforms. Click all the links within the email and make sure they are working as intended.
Digital strategist Dr Dave Chaffey is co-founder and Content Director of Smart Insights. Dave is editor of the 100+ templates, ebooks and courses in the digital marketing resource library created by our team of 25+ Digital Marketing experts. Our resources are used by our Premium members in more than 100 countries to Plan, Manage and Optimize their digital marketing. Free members can access our sample templates here. Please connect on LinkedIn to receive updates or ask me a question. For my full profile and other social networks, see the Dave Chaffey profile page on Smart Insights. Dave is a keynote speaker, trainer and consultant who is author of 5 bestselling books on digital marketing including Digital Marketing Excellence and Digital Marketing: Strategy, Implementation and Practice. In 2004 he was recognised by the Chartered Institute of Marketing as one of 50 marketing ‘gurus’ worldwide who have helped shape the future of marketing.
USPS® Every Door Direct Mail® (EDDM®) is an affordable targeted advertising technique that lets you map your marketing mail audience by age, income, or household size2. You can use the EDDM mapping tool to choose the ZIP Code™ and carrier route that will target your best possible customers—current and future. The EDDM mapping tool is easy to use and discounts are available even for small businesses.
Find things that encourage people to engage. By tracking the statistics on each of your emails, you'll be able to develop concise reports about what works and what doesn't for your target audience. Take note of the specific days and times for your highest open and conversion rates. Test different tones and subject lines and see what causes your audience to read the blast. Stick to the things that your consumer tends to favor or enjoy and avoid repeating aspects of emails that do poorly according to the stats.