Email campaigns are a powerful and cost-effective way of engaging with your audience.

Last week we looked at why your business should be embracing email marketing and how to get started.

This week, we look at how to create an email campaign which will keep your audience engaged with your brand and hopefully drive more sales.

Create email campaigns that convert

Make your emails useful

Make sure the information you send is of benefit to them.

To win in the email marketing stakes, make sure the campaigns you send out have purpose. They must speak to your subscribers, so keep in mind what they signed up for when they joined your mailing list.

Consider the following content suggestions:

  • News about upcoming events
  • Report and photos from recent events
  • Recap popular posts from social media
  • Details about new products or services
  • Contests, discounts and special offers.

Grab attention with your email subject line

People are busy and often receive dozens, if not hundreds, of emails every day. The difficult mark of email marketing can be standing out and actually getting your email noticed – and read – in the deluge.

One of your key tools in this fight is your email’s subject line. Use it wisely to grab the attention of the recipient and make them want to read on.

There’s lots of advice out there on what makes a good subject line, but the key thing is to make it descriptive and straightforward.

Again, Mailchimp offers a feature where you can test various subject lines for each email campaign to see which results in the highest number of opens, so you can use what you have learned next time.

Show some personality

Often the way we speak, the tone of voice and language we use and our sense of humour are one aspect of what draws people to us, or turns them off. The same goes in business. People will often we drawn to your business by the way you “speak” and your sense of humour when they are dealing with you personally or when they visit your website or read or view any content you have created.

For this reason it is important to try to write as you speak and let your personality and sense of humour shine through in your email campaign, while keeping in mind the personality of your audience.

Keep your emails short

It is likely that the recipients of your email campaigns will be receiving dozens of emails every day, so keep yours to the point to make them easier to scan read if they are busy and short on time.

Get inspired

Inspiration for your next email campaign may strike when you are in bed or in the supermarket, so use apps such as Pocket and Evernote to make a note when it happens.

If you are anything like me, the best ideas are often the ones you are convinced you will remember, only to forget when something else forces its way into your brain space.

Establish an email campaign schedule

You are busy running your business. Email marketing can be one of those things you start with gusto, only for it to slide when something else crops up, as it inevitably does.

As with blogging, consider setting up a schedule which will help you be a step ahead of the curve when it comes to sending our regular email campaigns.

There is nothing set in stone which says how often you should send out emails, so be realistic about how often you will have something useful to say and how often you will have the time to create an email.

If you send out email campaigns too often and you don’t really have anything to shout about, it’s possible your recipients will tune out – or even worse, unsubscribe.

Plan B Marketing sends out an email campaign once a month, at the beginning of the month, which is suggested as often enough to keep subscribers engaged without them feeling as though you are spamming them.

There is something to be said for creating a regular schedule, but if you can’t commit to even once a month, make it quarterly, or even just send out sporadic email campaigns when you actually have something to say, such as news of a special offer or an event.

Design a winning email campaign

You don’t need to be a whizz with design software to create an attractive email campaign.

Many email campaign platforms such as Mailchimp uses a simple drag and drop building block interface, where you can simply add your own images and text.

Focus on the message of your email campaign and keep your design straightforward.

 

One simple suggestion Mailchimp gives to create an effective design is laying out the elements of your email in a hierarchy, with the most important elements and the top.

What’s most important is that your emails are easy to read.

  • Divide the content into bite-sized sections
  • Choose easy-to-read fonts (between 14-16pt works best)
  • Use bullet points where appropriate to break up chunks of text
  • Add a really obvious call to action.

Check and test your email campaign

When you have created your email campaign and before you hit send, consider sending it to your co-workers or friends. 

It doesn’t matter how many times you have checked it yourself, a second pair of eyes may well pick up a typo you have missed or offer valuable feedback on your content and layout.

With platforms such as Mailchimp you can also try A/B testing on your campaigns, which allows you to experiment with different versions of your email, such as your call to action and subject lines to see which works best.

You can then use the open rates and click rates to measure the success of your email campaign and use that data to guide you when you create your next one.

Plan B can help

If you don’t have the time, skills or inclination to try your hand at email marketing, but can see the benefits to your business, let Plan B Marketing help. 

I can help build your email list, create and design templates and write content for your email campaigns on a schedule that suits you.

Get in touch for an informal chat about the next step.