Today I want to go over what I believe to be the key 11 components of Email Marketing. Understanding each of these allows you to truly maximise the results you get from them.
Before I start, I’m sure some of you reading are thinking ‘Isn’t Email Marketing dead’?. I hear it every now and again, and the fact is NO — it isn’t dead, far from it.
The 11 components are split into two categories: Those that impact an email being open, and those that impact an email being read and action taken from it. 1–6 impact open rates, and 7–11 impact action.
An email’s subject is literally one of a handful of aspects of your email that will determine whether a) your recipient will even notice it, and b) they will open that email. So it’s important to get it right!
When it comes to subjects, there are a limited number of variants you can try.
The main variant is the actual copy itself. What the email subject says, what it suggests, and the call to action it makes. The first thing to think about before you start writing multiple different subject lines is to consider the TYPE of email you’re writing.
WHEN you send your email can also make a huge difference between whether the email is even noticed. Remember, the first part of the process you want to improve is getting the email noticed. The more people who notice it, the more will open it and so on.
How OFTEN you send an email is another big influencer on open rates, etc. In basic numbers, you’d typically expect to get more conversions for more emails you send. Makes sense, right?
But if you’re sending out a similar email every hour, you’re going to end up upsetting more people than converting them.
4. Sender Email
Next up we have the actual email address which the email is going from. The impact this has can vary depending on whether or not a person’s email software includes viewing the sending address at the inbox.
That aside, it can still be a game changer what email address you send emails from.
5. Sender Name
Alongside the sending address, the sender name can be a game changer too. While not all email providers show sending addresses straight away, you can almost guarantee they will show the sender name — so choose it carefully!
The main things to consider about the sender name, which have already been covered with the sender address, are branding & segmentation.
6. First Line
So far, we’ve covered factors which are critical to the first conversions of importance when it comes to email: Being noticed and being opened.
Following and ending that theme is the first line of the email. In recent years and in aid of providing the best service to their clients, many email providers have turned to providing previews of emails without having to open them.
Now different providers allow different previews in different formats on different technologies. But the least preview available is simply the first line of the email, besides just the opening “Dear X,” “To Y,” or “Hey Z.”
If somebody has reached the point where they’re reading the first line, you’ve nearly got them to commit to opening and at least reading some of your email. You’ve worked hard to get them to this point, by having a great subject and sending name/address, as well as sending the email at the right time and in the right frequency.
Now we’ve covered everything we need to do to get people to notice and open our emails, we now have to a) keep them reading and b) convert them!
Images can be a great addition to your emails. Whether it’s an image of a product for a sale email, or an image of an invoice for a fulfillment email.
Many email providers may require the reader to click on the image and approve the revealing of it. Before then, it may simply be a grey box with a red X on it. Some providers may require their readers to take further steps to view the image.
This in itself can naturally cause frustration, confusion, and also alarm. Three things you want to avoid like the plague! But does this mean you should avoid emails entirely? Of course not!
If 50% of your audience can view images instantly and this helps them both keep reading and also convert, it’s worth it even if the other 50% can’t view it? Of course there’s no absolute right or wrong, which is why we’re doing the testing and optimization to find out what works and what doesn’t, for our very own audiences.
Links are the most concrete way of maximizing your chosen conversions. If a reader cannot go exactly to where you want to take them to via a link but has to take alternative routes, then they’re less likely to do that. This applies to all email types, as even value emails have their own conversions such as subscribing to a social channel.
Next up we have the body of the email — its text. This has a huge impact on your conversion rate with many different variables, but that doesn’t mean you should underestimate nor neglect the other optimization options covered already, and to follow.
The main variable for the body of the email is literally the content itself — what do you write, and how do you write it? The first step is, surprise surprise, take into account your email’s type first! Once you know what you want to achieve, you can make a start.
There are several elements of the body you need to ensure are in place to ensure success, regardless of the purpose of the email:
-Introduction — Namely, how to start the email, how you persuade a reader to read to the very end. This should be a continuation of the first line of the email that we’ve already covered. Please refer back if you aren’t quite confident in the topic yet.
-The offer — This will be the chunk of your email and simply means what is in it for the reader.
The offer must include specific details, benefits, costs (if applicable), what they can expect, etc. Some examples by email type:
Fulfillment — You want them to feel great about their purchase and put off any doubt while opening up (gently) an opportunity to upsell.
Value — You want them to watch a 10-minute free video that will inform them how to make money in marketing. So you need to sell that free video. Give details of the video, the benefits they will get from it, clearly express it’s free to them.
Sale — If a specific product sale, give further details. If a large, widespread sale of products, give overall benefits. Talk in detail about the % off or specific offer details and give a clear, specific deadline — whether that being time or limited spaces/stock.
Abandon Cart — A smaller condensed version of the sale email but focused on the specific product(s) abandoned.
-Social proof/testimonials — Regardless of how good you say your product/services are, how great an offer you’re making, you need social proof or testimonials, i.e., evidence that your products do what they say on the tin, you’re great at what you do, you give value for the money spent and really care.
10. Colours, format
Colours you could use in your emails have been given their own section because it’s not just limited to the colour of your text copy. You can vary the colour of anything in your email. And it can play a huge part in determining how successful your email is, or for that matter, is not.
As for your options with colour, well just look at a rainbow!
There are however some very common and physiologically tested messages people receive depending on what colour the message is received in.
Red, for example, is typically translated as DANGER. What does that mean for your email then? Most people would say stay away from it, not just in your copy but your branding and everything in your marketing!
What do I say? Test it!
The threat of danger can mean anything. It could mean stay away, or it could mean — you could miss out on an opportunity of your life if you don’t read the rest of this email!
Red also stands out very well in most background colours, which means it’s more likely to be read. Yes, red = read!
There are also some very obvious considerations you need to make. Is your chosen colour easily readable? Yellow, for example, is often hard to read and understand. Dark blue is easier than light blue, but is commonly used in a lot of branding — is that a good or a bad thing? Give it a try!
Next up, buttons. The factors revolving around buttons are a combination of both images and links that we’ve already covered. Buttons are, for all intents and purposes, images with a link. The only real difference is the button’s entire purpose is to convince readers to click it and bring them one step closer to conversion.
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