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6 Tips For Crafting A Brilliant Email Marketing Campaign

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August 21, 2013

6 Tips For Crafting A Brilliant Email Marketing Campaign

Email is a cheap and underrated way for small businesses to build their brand and generate leads, but how can you ensure that your newsletter doesn’t get sent straight to the trash folder? Here are 6 ways to create amazing email content that your subscribers will want to read.

Write an Enticing Title

The headline and first few words of each email are key, as they show up in the inbox preview and help the reader decide whether to open or delete your email. Keep your headline simple, short, and to the point. The title should capture the key points of your email and be appealing enough to generate a click – offers like “Free Shipping” or “20% off!” work brilliantly in titles. Think “Back to School SALE | Save 30% on Backpacks” as opposed to “Great new backpacks for boys and girls, just in time for back to school!”

Segment Your List and Create Customized Content

Dividing up your mailing list by gender, interests, location, purchase history, etc. is a great way to deliver relevant content to the right audience and increase conversions. For example, online clothing retailer Johnny Cupcakes worked with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) vendor to unearth demographic data from social media sources. After finding that many of their customers had interests in baseball (which they concluded whenever someone liked a baseball-related page, posted about attending games, or had interests in professional teams), they decided to send out a newsletter advertising their own baseball-related apparel.

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Johnny Cupcakes then segmented their list according to gender, and sent out emails featuring models of the same gender as the recipient. This highly-customized marketing plan drove up revenues by 141% and increased conversions by 123%.

Draw Back Your Customers

Just because a customer has left your site, it doesn’t mean that you’ve completely lost their business. A number of companies now use email to remind customers of products that have been abandoned in the cart after a certain period of time. Kate Spade, another clothing retailer, takes this to an entirely new level by offering a 15% discount code to “help make up your mind”. The email smartly includes a list of suggested products as well, in case the reader had changed her mind about the purchase.

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Make Your Newsletters Mobile-Friendly (But Not Mobile-Specific!)

93% of people switch between devices when reading their email newsletters, and 400px-wide emails look strange on the big screen, so don’t design your messages only for mobile. Instead, opt for a responsive design – one that’ll change according to the device used. This means using fluid scaling, media queries, and a number of other responsive design tricks. Or, take the easy route and download some free responsive email templates by clicking here.

Visual Appeal is Key

Keep your copy as short as possible – no one likes reading a long, tedious email. Instead, make use of bold images and animated .gifs to get your point across more effectively. Place the most important information at the top of the email, above the fold (in other words, make sure the key message is fully visible without scrolling down).

Sometimes, email filters can stop images from loading, so be prepared! Always enter appropriate alt-text or descriptors for any image components, as they will be visible in place of blocked images. Bonus points if you can create an entirely HTML-based design that resembles the actual newsletter images, like this company.

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Make it Regular

Lastly, make a habit out of using email to deliver company news, weekly promotions, or links to other digital resources you’ve posted (such as blogs, videos, whitepapers, etc.). Establish a regular email schedule so that you can collect sufficient content and keep the number of emails to a minimum. Customers will also appreciate knowing when to expect news from you.

So there you have it – 6 tips for crafting an amazing email marketing campaign. There are tons of resources that make this process easy, such as MailChimp or ConstantContact. For great newsletter design ideas, check out this Pinterest board, curated by ExactTarget.

Written by Joanna Xu

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