Saturday 1 October 2016

How to create compelling emails that make your customers click

Ian Dodson

Published 06/05/2015 | 08:05

Make your customers click
Make your customers click

Some 74pc of marketers believe that email produces ROI according to a recent Salesforce report. But with so many emails flooding your customers’ inboxes and fighting for their attention, it’s never been more important to get your message right. Do you fear annoying customers and prospects, or putting too much effort into producing content that won’t deliver the results you desire?

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You can solve this problem by understanding the importance of focusing your message on what your customers need, rather than what your business needs. Below, I’ll show you how to create engaging and customer-focused emails that your customers actually want to receive and read.

1. Set an Email Strategy & Schedule

First, decide what you want your email marketing to achieve. Consider creating a newsletter to keep your customers and prospective customers engaged with your quality content and new offers, for example. This will help keep your brand front of mind and will warm prospects up for when they’re ready and able to buy.

If you create a newsletter you’ll need to decide how to populate it - for example, will you use your most recent and popular blog posts you’ve published? Will you offer additional tips, offers and advice? You’ll also need to be consistent with the frequency your newsletter gets distributed. Will you send it once a week, once a month or bi-monthly, for example?

2. Create Customer-Centric Content  

Your email content should be centred on your customers and not about your business. That means that you need to give rather than sell. How do you give to your customers? First identify their pain points and then create valuable information that helps them solve their problems.

Target Customers’ Problems: 

If your customer’s problem is that he/she needs to learn more and wants to appear more knowledgeable in his/her industry, you could create a newsletter with value-adding content, including how-to articles, industry news and best-practice tips. 

Answer the ‘Why Should I Care’ Question:

If the nature of your email means that you have to sell, you will still need to focus on your customer first - this means addressing their needs and communicating your value proposition immediately. It’s important to answer the ‘why should I care?’ question from the outset.

3. Craft Clickable Subject Lines

33% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line alone according to a report conducted by Convince and Convert. It’s therefore essential to implement the right tactics to ensure your emails get opened and subsequently read. Any good subject line clearly communicates the value of opening it - like your content, it needs to solve your subscriber’s problem. It should be direct and non-salesy and yet engaging and attention grabbing. You could also try personalising your emails and including your subscriber’s name in the subject line.

4. Split Test to Select the Best 

The beauty of email marketing is that you get to test your subject lines with a small section of your subscribers before you send your email campaign to your entire database. Any good email provider like MailChimp will allow you to enter two subject lines and conduct a user test on your behalf. Whichever subject line is clicked the most by your subscribers gets chosen and automatically sent to the rest of your database.

Stayed tuned for next week’s article when I’ll discuss how to measure and track your email campaign’s success with ease.

Ian Dodson is Director and Co-Founder of the Digital Marketing Institute. Visit the Digital Marketing Institute's website here.

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