The email is probably one of the easiest and quickest methods of generating business online, be it nurturing prospects or direct offers. It is vital however to get email content that works as people’s inboxes are inundated with offers, news, tips to name but a few and so your email has to stand out.
The following are a few things you need to focus on when crafting your email. I should point out however that every email is different in its aim and outcome and so you need to think through what you want before even setting pen to paper.
Short or Long
Both short and long work but which is right for you? I have sent e-shots that are 2 A4 pages long as well as a single sentence (which actually worked really well).
Which is right for you? There is no real right or wrong when crafting email content that works, so I would recommend testing to find out for yourself. For those of you that do not test, you are missing out on a really easy way to gain a valuable insight into your emails and what works (and what does not).
What is Your Goal
As I mentioned earlier, before you start work on the copy you need to be clear in your mind what the goal of the e-shot is. It is good practice to avoid selling with every e-shot that you send. Offer hints and tips and nuggets of advice to gain the readers attention. That way they will look forward to reading your next email. Then send an offer that will make you some money, which is after all what we are all in business for.
The Subject Line
This is probably the most important few words of the whole email. If you do not get the readers attention here, the whole email will be filled away never to see the light of day again. Think about it, you do it, I do it and with such busy schedules who actually has the time to read every email just to see if there is anything of value in it? Avoid the old classics “Welcome to our Newsletter” or other such headings and instead go for something eye catching.
I have seen (and used) some great ones in the past such as the following.
- I blame Kevin Costner
- Twitter is Dead
- Will your Website Survive a Possible Brexit
When the heading ties in to a top topic of conversation at the time and at the same time ties in with your message then it will certainly catch the attention of the reader.
Images and Styling
There has been a switch in styling over the last year or so from highly designed, multi image emails to more text based. Now whilst this is a fairly sweeping comment it is certainly one that has worked for me. By using good copywriting skills and ensuring there is sufficient content to get your message over to skim readers and those that will read every word you can make text work really well. I always like an image (or two at a push) but never to distracting. Better still a link to a video is great (video works really well and I will write about this in another blog).
By now if you have email content that works, hopefully your reader has opened the email, curiosity getting the better of them! The first paragraph is vital to get right and should be a summary of what the email is about and also maybe link to a story in the news at the time. Get this right and the whole email will be read, get it wrong and you could still loose the reader’s attention.
Another good feature of good copy is adding proof of what you are saying for instance “In a survey by xxxx only 21% of readers make it through to the last sentence of an email” or “88% of our clients use this service from us”.
Also think about a PS at the end. This should be a simple clear repeat of the offer and call to action. Skim readers always look at headings bullets and a PS so do not waste this valuable opportunity.
Call to Action
It is vital to include a strong call to action and to make it crystal clear what you want the reader to do (and why). Also repeat the CTA throughout to email so no matter how far the reader gets there is always one near at hand for them to click on. Far too often I see emails (even good ones) where you get to the end and there is no real reason to do anything more, which is a real waste.
Above all else, you have written email content that works while crafting the email, but always think about this content from your readers point of view. They will constantly be thinking “what’s in it for me?”. Make sure your copy answers this vital question.