Email is still a widely used tool in the marketer’s toolbox. It’s relatively low cost and if done well can be a great way to influence, persuade and get your clients to convert either by special offers or downloading content.

In fact, according to Econsultancy “Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ ROI,” which proves that this area of marketing is certainly worth your attention”.

Getting results does not happen by chance, you need to plan and optimise your campaigns to get results. Email offers a great opportunity to have a one on one communication with your audience, so getting it right is key.

So where to start?

To improve email campaigns – start with the goal

What is the objective of the email? Is it to get a client to click through and buy via a special offer, or promotional code? Is it them to get them to download your latest opt-in guide or whitepaper? Is it to increase engagement with your email list? Once you know what the goal is, stick to it – don’t over complicate the email with more than one goal and confuse your reader.

Think about the action that you want the reader to take and this should be reflected in the design and in the copy.

Who are you talking to?

Within your business, you probably have different audiences that you communicate to. They will have different needs, wants and fears – it’s important to speak directly and personally to those people as much as possible about how you can help them or solve a problem with your product and service.

It’s all well and good sending generic mass emails, but if you have the time to segment your list and send content tailored to your different audience’s needs, then you will find that they will respond and engage on higher rates than if you go down the generic route. Taking the research from the DMA – “revenue can increase from segmented data email campaigns by up to 760%”.

Use a great subject line to grab attention

The subject line is the envelope in which your email is hiding. For people to open the envelope you need to get them to click on the email – the subject is what’s going to drive your open rates, so it needs to be carefully thought out.

Be personal – if you’ve segmented your list tailor the subject to your personas and speak to their needs. If you can, include their name in the subject – ‘John, here’s something that we really just had to share with you’. Be clear if you are giving them a discount code or sending them an opportunity to download some interesting content.

With a lot of emails read on mobile phones, this needs to be around 50 characters to enable people to read it – write out your ideal subject and then strip it back to reach this length using the most important words at the start.

Try and avoid SPAM triggers in the subject. You might have the best offer and a really compelling email, but if there is a SPAM trigger within your subject your reader may not even get it in their inbox. This article here gives a good overview of SPAM triggers.

Finally, if you can – A/B test your subjects. If you have the facility with your email provider you should A/B test your subjects to find out which works the best. Without this, you’ll never find out what’s most important to your audiences and you cannot take this knowledge to improve future campaigns.

Use a clear call-to-action

Coming back to your main goal for the email, your call-to-action needs to be clear and obvious what your reader should be doing. This will drive up your click-throughs and engagement rates within your campaigns.

If the email is to claim a special offer the call-to-action, then it should say ‘claim offer’, if it’s to download some content you should make it ‘Download my copy’.

The call-to-action should look like a button to make it stand out from the rest of the text and sell the value of clicking through. Don’t limit this to just one position in the email – it should be at the top, below your headline and repeated at least one more time in the email – once below the main copy of the email, where you sell the value and then maybe one a the very bottom of the email as a PS or final CTA.

“Three-quarters of companies agree that email offers ‘excellent’ to ‘good’ ROI,” which proves that this area of marketing is certainly worth your attention”.

Test the content, format and structure

Another way to improve your email campaigns is to check and see how they are performing, then experiment to change things to try and increase performance. It might be that your clients are not that engaged if you send them an overly visual email – they just need the bare facts.

You might find that the content isn’t resonating as well as you thought with your audience. Change the position of your content as well as the actual content itself – try this with different audiences and personas, but also random amongst your list.

It’s important you only change one thing at a time, or you will not know what has worked or caused the change in interest or response rate.

Talk to us

We apply creative thinking and our industry expertise to tailor emails to drive our clients marketing. If you’re interested in how to improve your response rates or results from your emails then do get in touch with us or simply fill in your details below and one of our team will call you back to discuss your objectives.

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How To Improve Email Marketing Campaigns

Written By Adam Burrage
Managing Partner at Trident