How to Create Effective Emails

I once heard in a lecture that the best time to send an email was 11am on a Wednesday. The reason for this is that apparently it takes a few days to respond and get your head around the plethora of emails and SPAM you get over the weekend…and Friday afternoon when you don’t really respond to emails 😉 But if your emails aren’t good, then no one will read them, and ultimately it’ll be seen as SPAM (and not the food kind).

So here’s a nice acronym to keep those emails great. Make sure they are C.R.I.T.I.C.A.L.

Creative: It must have appealing colouring, images, graphics with a visually pleasing layout to attract people to respond to it and make it unique.

Relevant: Is there any point in sending an email that’s not relevant to the person you’re sending it to? Nope, there’s not. I personally wouldn’t want an email about some casino offer, pension plan or news from boating weekly. So if it’s irrelevant to the user, they are pretty much likely to consider it as SPAM. Thus it should be tailored to the recipients needs to ensure they perform the crucial calls to action.

Incentive: You need to consider what’s in it for the recipient if they click the link. Maybe they get a discount, are entered into a prize draw, get free subscription or being notified of a website, brand or offer. So giving the person a reason to interact with the email is key to them opening and engaging with it.

Targeted & Timely: Double ‘T’ here! The email must be personalised if someone is going to take it seriously. Starting an email with ‘Dear Reference Number 28474’ isn’t very personal really. Try to use first name terms and if possible use the persons or company’s name somewhere in the text. This might not seem a lot, but it makes it so much more targeted to the individual.

As stated before 11am on a Wednesday is a great time to send an email…but the message must be sent at the right time if the notable calls to action are going to be performed. Sending an email to launch a new campaign at 2.30am on a Friday night might not be the best idea! Usually the morning is best, but depending on what the message is, this could vary. But the most important thing is if it’s received at a convenient time, you’ll be more likely to respond to it.

Integrated: A good way to get maximum success from an email is if it’s coordinated with other communications to provide a cohesive message. Therefore, messages, designs, layouts, images etc. should all be consistent on the email, website, social media, advertising and more. This can reinforce the message and create a better awareness. Something as simple as putting the website URL or social media links on the email can create this integration and have such a big impact.

Copy: The text that’s used must be clear and concise with a good structure, style and explanation to ensure the offer appeals to the recipient and entices them to undertake the necessary calls to action. It might sound obvious, but the message must effectively inform, persuade and create awareness if it’s going to be successful.

Attributes: Many of the emails features must be assessed before launching the campaign. These include a compelling and bold subject line, checking that all the addresses’ are correct (and thus don’t bounce) and the date & time you send the message are relevant. If these simple things are effectively done, it goes a long way.

Landing Page: This is the page the recipient will go to once they’ve clicked the messages link, so it must be relevant, well designed, with good usability and appearance. If you want the recipient to purchase, then the link should go to the final stage of the purchase. If you want them to sign up, the landing page should be the sign up form. If the page isn’t related this won’t entice them to perform the calls to action. You can’t afford to ask your customer to click through many pages to the desired action, as you only have a limited time to attract them.

So there’s a few tips for a successful email campaign, and hopefully they’ll make your emails brilliant!

Thanks for reading, and please feel free to comment 🙂 For more digital marketing news please follow me on Twitter @DigitalStuart

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