12 top tips for killer email marketing that converts
Updated: Feb 24
So, you’ve spent ages getting together a pretty decent mailing list full of all the kinds of fabulous people you want to engage with. Top work!
But when it comes to finally writing an email that will actually convert readers into customers and not just be relegated to the dreaded trash, you’ve drawn a total blank.
Email marketing is an effective tool for engaging with your target audience and pushing up your sales, but it can also be a thankless task when something you have worked so hard on doesn’t even get opened, let alone read.
Before you put pen to paper, why not have a look at my top tips for making sure you are sending out hard-hitting email marketing that doesn’t get deleted and actually WORKS.
Craft a great subject line
First things first, your subject line needs to be GOOD. How many times have you opened your inbox and just deleted a load of marketing emails because they just don’t look interesting? They probably had dull subject lines and zero hook to catch your attention so why on earth would you want to open them.
You need to speak to your readers directly and promise them something that stands out from the hundreds of other marketing emails they receive each week. Try using words that create interest and intrigue, such as:
· Thank you
Nail your preview line
This is also a biggie! A lot of inboxes show you a preview line of text which is usually the first line of text in the email. Use this to your advantage. Instead of having your first line (and thus preview text) as something a bit rubbish like ‘Dear Reader, I am writing to you to…’, you need to be thinking about how to grab your reader’s attention off the bat.
You could include your call to action, expanding on your offer from the subject line, evoking a sense of urgency or creating an air of mystery. Or you could try telling a joke where they must open the email to get the punchline (one so good, you know they’ll open it!)
Use headings and subheadings
Using headings and subheadings in your email marketing is a must! Not only do they break up the text and make it easier for the skim readers among us to absorb the key information (more on that later), but they can give your email much more impact. Use of headings and subheadings draw the reader’s attention to particular sections of text that you want them to read, and thus lure them neatly to your call to action.
Know your audience
Make sure you are clued up on who you are talking to! What do your audience want to know? What do they want to learn? What do they want to get out of subscribing to your mailing list? Once you have worked that out, you can tailor your email more specifically to that target group and tap in to their needs. If you are giving your readers something they want, need and that can help them, they are far more likely to give your email the time of day. Splendid.
Forget stuffy and formal emails. Chatty, conversational pieces seem to work much better when it comes to email marketing. Your readers will be much more engaged if it feels like a friend is talking to them!
Don’t be afraid to show off your personality, and try to write like you are talking directly to you customer. This will keep subscribers interested in what you are saying and mean they are more likely to follow your call to action of they feel a sense of familiarity.
Have a clear call to action
Aside from your subject line, your call to action is the most important part of your email marketing. The whole aim of your email is to get subscribers to convert by getting them to take a specific action, so try using driver words and phrases that will prompt them to act. Here are some examples of great calls to action:
- Buy before 30th January and receive a 15% discount!
- How much more could you do if you were pain free? Click here to book your free consultation
- Sign up today to get a free SEO performance assessment on your website
- Hurry! This special New Year offer ends on 10th January
What’s in it for them?
Don’t focus on the features of your product or service in your email marketing. Instead, hone in on the benefits of what you are offering and why working with you or buying from you will solve your customers’ problems.
As well as listing all of the benefits you offer, email marketing is a great place to put forward an incentive. Give people a reason to click on your site or buy with you! You could offer a limited time discount code, a helpful free guide, free gift with a purchase or buy one get one free.
Remember - don’t sell a mattress, sell a good night’s sleep!
Write in the second person (you/your/yours)
I have said it before, and I will say it again until the cows come home. Instead of focusing on your business and what you are about, make sure your customer knows you are focused on THEM. One way to do this is to write in the second person.
This means writing as if you are talking directly to the customer. You can achieve this by using lots of you/your/yours, which have been shown to appeal more to readers as just like when you write conversationally, they feel like you are talking directly to them. Avoid using too many words like I/we/us, stay in the second person and focus on the customer, and you will be laughing!
Be brief – make it scannable
Don’t overwhelm your reader with a whole heap of text. Keep it as short as you can and build in some elements to break up the text. Images and headers work really well to chunk up larger bits of text, and don’t forget to keep your sentences short, sharp and to the point. If you can't get to your point in a few decent paragraphs, then should you really be sending this email?
Know your goal
What is the goal of your marketing email? I mean let’s face it, you aren’t going to spend hours writing, tweaking and finally sending something just for the sheer fun of it, so what do you really want to get out of sending this email? What action do you want customers to take?
Once you are clear what your goal is, you can build your email around that. Do you want customers to sign up to something? Do you want them to buy something specific from your website? Do you want them to share your content? Figure that out and writing a great email should come easy!
Only email when you have something useful to say
People are turned off by spam. It’s a fact!
Don’t just send email marketing for the sake of it. If you are sending emails with no goal (see above) whenever the hell you feel like it, people are going to get a bit sick of seeing you in their inbox, especially if they aren’t getting anything out of it. They might even go as far to unsubscribe from your email list if you are too spammy!
Make sure you only email when you have something to say, even if that means you only email once a month. That way, when you actually do send an email out, your subscribers are far more likely to engage with it as they know you have something important to talk about!
Make it personal
We all know that email marketing is automated, so often that mass marketing feeling resonates with your subscribers. So how can you make your emails personal and like you are talking directly to the recipient?
For starters, use email marketing software that allows you to automatically add each subscribers name. You could also try personalising emails based on their location. For example, if you have a shop, or offer classes, you could include information about things happening at the location closest to them.
Another way you can personalise an email is wish your subscriber a happy birthday, and even offer them a special birthday treat to really engage them!