Take full advantage of each message you send by including these nine elements of highly effective marketing emails.
1. Friendly From Name: A friendly from name is paired with your from email address, and it is dominantly displayed in your recipients’ inboxes. Your from name should clearly represent your organization, company or brand. Without a friendly from name, your recipients will only see a from email address, which may not be immediately recognizable to the subscriber. Your email administrator should be able to help you set up or revise your friendly from name. Katey Charles Communications clients can email for assistance with friendly from names.
2. Unique Subject Line: Great subject lines are relevant, pique your subscribers’ curiosity, and are unique! Time after time we see marketing emails with the same subject line – usually the title of a newsletter – repeated. We’ve found better engagement (higher opens and clicks) when email marketers focus on a What’s In It For Me subject line. If you must use the newsletter name, we recommend putting it at the end of your subject line. Get more tips about subject lines.
3. Snippet: A snippet, sometimes called a pre-header or preview text, is a critical piece of text in a marketing email. Along with the subject line and the friendly from name, the snippet is the only other copy that appears in most inboxes. You can use your snippet to build on ideas introduced in your subject line or to include content not mentioned in the subject. In newspaper terms, if the subject line is a headline, then the snippet is a subhead.
4. Relevant, Skimmable Content: Subscribers who open an email spend an average of 15-20 seconds reading or looking at the message, according to Marketing Sherpa. The average reader can only consume 50 words during that time. How long are your messages? If you include a lot of copy, consider these strategies:
- Get straight to the point. Don’t bother with long introductions. Tell subscribers why you are messaging them and what you would like them to do.
- Use subheads, bullets, captions and call outs. All of these writing tools provide opportunities for skimmers to digest your key messages or find information that is personally relevant.
5. Graphics: Showing is better than telling. Photography and illustrations provide a more robust experience for your subscribers. Use these graphics to educate subscribers about your products, services or mission.
6. Call to Action: What would you like your subscribers to do after reading your email? The answer to that question is your call to action. Some common calls to action include:
- Shop now
- Make a reservation
- Make a donation
- Learn more
Be sure to articulate your call to action with a link in a variety of different locations within your message, including in your copy, in a clickable button, in image alt tags, and perhaps even in your snippet.
7. Sharing Options: Give your message legs by encouraging subscribers to share it to their social networks, and don’t forget to encourage subscribers to forward the message.
8. Contact Information: The CAN-SPAM Act requires that businesses include their physical postal address on commercial email. We also recommend including your phone number and web address. Subscribers are more comfortable trusting your brand when you provide an easy way to reach them with questions.
9. Unsubscribe Link: We get it. It’s sad when someone wants to stop receiving your emails. But you are legally required to provide a method for subscribers to opt out of future emails. It’s best if you continue to provide subscribers with an excellent experience, even as they’re leaving. Make sure your email has a crystal clear method for unsubscribing. If a subscriber does not know how to leave your list, chances are he or she will flag your message as spam. Too many spam flags, and your future messages could land in your subscribers’ junk folders instead of their inboxes. Not good! We recommend a link in your footer that simply says “unsubscribe.”
Consider placing your unsubscribe link on its own line or in bold text. Sometimes subscribers don’t want to leave your list entirely, they just want to receive fewer emails or more relevant email from you. Provide them with the option to adjust their subscription settings, also called “opting down,” using an “Update Your Email Preferences” link in your footer.