5 Keys to Creating Emails You Would Actually Want to Read

Posted by Sarah Wai on Oct 24, 2016 8:30:00 AM


An email expert over at Hubspot once told me that, as marketers, we need to start marketing to people in the way we want to be marketed to. I could not agree more. When I start sifting through my emails first thing in the morning, the last thing I want to see is yet another email that brings absolutely no value to my day. I'm sure you think the same! So, why do businesses keep sending crappy (there really is no other word to describe them) emails that nobody wants to read?

If you are ready to put aside your old ways of viewing and implementing email marketing campaigns, you've come to the right place.

Getting Past Email Discrepancies

There are many ways to create effective emails, but there are also many ways to flop. There are many articles about "what not to do," and I highly recommend you search those out. The most important thing to remember, above all, is to treat every inbox as if it were someone's home. Don't bring junk to someone's doorstep; bring them a gift they'll enjoy and value.

Give the Gift of a Valuable Email

There are five key things to implement in every email campaign you launch. Although some of these are behind-the-scenes, they have high impact.

1. Segment Your Lists

One of the best ways to ensure people will open your email is to make sure you are sending different content to different people based on what they will find valuable. You can do this by segmenting your lists.

The most simple segments are industry, location, and the stage of the buyer's journey they are in. These segments give you a solid start, but you'll want to segment even further than that. These further segments will largely depend on your industry and your buyer personas, so I suggest getting with an analyst who can help determine your next segmentation steps given the data you already about all the people in your contact list.

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2. Use Personalization

If you've ever received an email from us, you know we like to use personalization. Dale Carnegie once said, "Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language." Yes, humans are all a little self-obsessed. It is what it is.

So let's capitalize on that.

Your emails are going to real people doing real things in the real world. Treat them as such!

3. Create Compelling Subject Lines and Copy

All the tips we have ever given you on writing compelling website copy and blog posts also apply to your email marketing. Ensure that you are communicating your message concisely, with breaks in text, and lots of white space. Draw attention to your copy and your calls to action by using these simple things, and you'll find your email click-through rate increase exponentially. Emails aren't about opens. They are all about what happens after that. An opened email is only a "touch," not a conversion.

4. Eye-catching Graphics or Imagery

There are some really great email marketing campaigns without graphics or imagery. However, the senders of those emails have already gained credibility and trust from their recipients. Don't assume that you have your audiences trust or attention.

You add value and intrigue to your emails with eye-catching graphics and imagery. If you check out inVISION, you get a good idea of how they design their emails. They are clean, enticing and compelling. I love their creativity and simplicity.

We, at Tribute Media, have strived to do the same. You'll find that our branding is the same across all platforms. This is key to gaining audience trust.

5. Perform A/B Tests to Improve Open Rate

We have spent hours and hours on our email marketing campaigns, and the best tip that we can give you is this: understand what works best for your industry, your business, and your audience. There is no cookie-cutter answer.

What will work for you can only be discovered through testing.

The key to A/B testing is to change one thing at a time. This is the only way you can accurately assess what is influencing your audience positively or negatively.

It's Not About You

It is, but it isn't. Treat your email recipients with the highest respect.

Don't smother.

Be real.

Remember: Don't bring junk to someone's doorstep; bring them a gift that they can't resist.

Sarah Wai

Written by Sarah Wai

Former Content, Email, and Social Media Marketing Specialist of Tribute Media. Bachelor of Science in Digital Communication Arts and Master in Business Administration.

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