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The anatomy of a successful email marketing campaign

Why use email marketing?

Despite the advent of social media, email marketing remains one of the most effective ways for businesses to generate leads and sell their products and services online. According to recent research, 77% of consumers prefer to receive marketing communications via email, and a massive 91% of consumers check their inboxes at least once a day.

However, with an estimated 1.9 billion non-spam emails sent every single day, creating a successful email marketing campaign is not an easy task. You need just the right combination of great content and an eye-catching and intuitive layout to achieve a solid click-through rate for your campaign. Luckily, we’re here to teach you about the best practices for optimising your emails!

The elements of an effective email marketing message

While the factors that make an email marketing campaign successful vary from one business to another, there are a number of common elements that can help your message stand out from the crowd.

Trustworthy sender

No matter how good the content inside it is, the recipient isn’t even going to open your email if they don’t know who it’s from. Make sure both your ‘from address’ and ‘from name’ are clear and trustworthy. Use a branded, domain-specific email address rather than a generic, third party one to convey a professional image, for example, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , not This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . With the ‘from name’, you have a little more flexibility to be creative. Studies show that using an individual’s name as the sender can increase email open rates by 3 – 5%, so you should test different variations to see what works for you. Try combining a person’s name with the brand name for the best of both worlds.

Attention grabbing subject line

There’s probably going be a multitude of other marketing messages jostling for attention in the reader’s inbox. A compelling subject line is the only thing that can set you apart from your competitors. The email subject lines that make the greatest impact are clear, immediately understandable and directly address the reader’s concerns. We recommend experimenting with them to see what your audience responds to best. Effective techniques include:

  • Using action words like ‘Sale’, ‘Free Delivery’ and ‘Ends Today’ to instil a sense of urgency and excitement in the reader
  • Using numeric values like percentages to convey the value of your offer
  • Personalising the subject line to include the reader’s first name
  • Asking a question
  • Incorporating a timely, topical theme
  • Keeping it brief – subject lines will get cut off if they’re too long, especially if the reader is using a mobile device

Clever timing

Not only do you need to send great content, you need to be sending it at the right time in order to succeed. As with most marketing efforts, you need to do some testing to find out what works best for you, but sending your emails mid-week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday), during the middle of the day is a safe bet for most companies. MailChimp suggests 2pm as the optimal send time based on their extensive data. Generally, it’s a good idea to avoid Mondays, as people tend to be busier and suffering from the ‘back to work blues’. Similarly, most marketers avoid sending out emails at the weekend as people are more likely to be busy running errands or out having fun. However, this is not the case for all industries. Entertainment, hospitality and certain retail businesses could get great open rates for an email sent on a Friday or Saturday, as the reader may be looking to make plans for the weekend.

Consistent branding

Your email marketing campaigns must reflect your company’s branding in order to create a professional impression and give the reader the visual cues they need to quickly recognise who you are. Design an email template with your company’s branding, including your logo and corporate colours, so that you can keep the style of your messages consistent and quickly put together sleek campaigns in the future. Don’t forget to link your logo to your website’s homepage, and add follow buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Google + and any of the other social networking sites you use to help increase your social media reach.

Optimised body content

The content of your email marketing campaign should clearly state what your offer is and, most importantly, why it’s valuable to the reader. For best results, stick to just one conversion goal per email – this could be attending an event, purchasing a product or enquiring about a service. Use simple, compelling language and keep it succinct to retain the audience’s attention. You should also ensure that the message is easy for the reader to scan, by using bullet points, pertinent headings and relevant professional images to break up the text and leaving plenty of white space.

Powerful Call to Action

Make it easy for the reader to act on your offer with a prominent call to action (CTA) button that links to your target landing page. Employ a concise phrase with imperatives to make it clear exactly what clicking the button will lead to, for example, ‘Buy Now’, ‘Get a Free Quote’ or ‘Read More’. Your CTA should be visually striking and differ significantly from the rest of your message so that it can immediately grab the reader’s attention. Place it in the top third of your email, so that it is visible ‘above the fold’ - the portion of a web page that you first see in your browser window without having to scroll down. For more advice on driving traffic to your website through email campaigns and other online marketing strategies, call Trendzer today on 0800 047 6777 to discuss our Search Engine Manager Service.

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