It isn’t always easy to catch a reader’s attention. And it isn’t always easy to create a devoted audience who will devour every piece of content you drop into their inbox. Although there must have been cases where some very intelligent email marketers had all the luck and managed to pull this off out of a hat, for the majority the struggle is still real.
Crafting a subject line always feels like a make-it-or-break-it moment. If the subject line isn’t compelling enough, your email won’t be opened most of the time. Talk about pressure, right? That is the first block you have to kick out of your way and it’s just the beginning. Once you get your reader’s attention, you have to find a way to keep it. That’s why it’s essential to present your content in the best way so that it’s deserving of your reader’s time.
If you too are struggling to continually deliver great emails, here are 6 pointers that will help you produce emails that will keep people coming back for more.
1. Craft Content for a Specific Audience
Knowing your subscribers is a huge advantage because you will be able to serve them content that is actually catered to their interests. What you need to do is focus on a specific audience or, if you have to segment your audience, create multiple emails intended to specific groups of people. Keep it relevant. Keep your core audience happy. Go above and beyond to provide them with content that they will enjoy and appreciate.
2. Looking Back – Analyse Data
If you have some history in sending emails you should track two crucial indicators, open rates and click-through rates, and you can use that data to figure out which emails outperform others. This is the foundation for monitoring email performance. Dig in and try to comprehend what your audience wants, find what’s consistent in the emails that are getting opened, their subject lines, topics and hyperlink destinations (articles, blog posts, content, sale page). To sum it up, keep doing what works and stop repeating what doesn’t.
3. Testing 1, 2, 3
There is no progress without testing, and if you test well you can always progress. Find what’s not working, what’s kinda working, and what ticks all your goal-checkboxes. And there’s a lot of testing involved to do this well. Just in the same way you would in website design where you test the effectiveness of the different elements on the page, the CTA buttons, the colours, the placement and hierarchy of the page layout etc, the same goes for your email campaigns. You can and should test different subject lines, various forms, figure out to what sort of design your readers react to best and make a good practice out of it.
4. Don’t Send “Trash” Content
“Trash” means sub-quality content and subjects that your readers aren’t interested in. It’s always better to skip one week in sending a newsletter than to send a filler that has sub quality content. Yes, missing your schedule could disrupt your subscribers who are used to getting a new email from you every Monday morning. But you can always cover for that. Next Monday you can start your email with a funny and sincere telling: “Hey, you missed us last week because we really didn’t have anything interesting to say”. Or you could add weight to your latest email by saying that you were busy preparing some ace content for them to consume. However you handle it, it will be better than trashy content.
5. Email Design and Pretty Emails
So how should you design your emails? Unfortunately, there isn’t a definitive an answer. It heavily depends on what industry you’re in, how you present yourself, what you want to communicate with your subscribers, what tone you use etc. Highly designed emails all the way through to plain text emails have all proven to be extremely effective.
A good practice can be creating a simple design that helps your readers scan the email and decide whether or not they want to spend time reading an aspect of the content. People will tend to open and engage in an email if they are accustomed to finding a part of the email that is valuable to them. But this can also be achieved without having to sacrifice the visual appeal of an email. Give readers value by offering them an opportunity to have a quick glance at what they can expect of your email. Make your emails effortless to read, and people will actually read them.
6. What Do You Want to Read About?
As Magicdust suggests, in addition to testing and analysing the engagement of your emails, asking your audience for feedback is a straightforward way to reveal what kind of content could be included. Before you invest a lot of time in researching and grasping for any remotely good idea, ask your audience what they want to read about. By acknowledging their opinion, you’ll be able to tailor the emails. After all, those emails are intended for readers. Feedback is a mighty tool, that’s a no-brainer. Maximize it to unlock potentials.
While writing the next email (and the next one, and the one after the next one), always put yourself in the shoes and minds of your readers. It takes a lot of work to constantly produce content that is always on the mark, we all know that, but there is absolutely no point in sending emails that no one sees and cares about. Be devoted to your audience and they will care about what you have to say.
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