Whoever said email campaigns are on their way out was sadly mistaken. The truth of the matter is you still need emails and your audience still want them. The most obvious issue you may have is that your emails are not delivering the results you expected, simply because you are not delivering the content that your audience really wants. And you most probably have not optimised your email template. Here I will show you how to create an engaging email template that you may wish you’d adopted far sooner.
What do your target audience want to hear about?
Let’s first of all think about the topics your target audience want to hear about. You would be wrong to assume they would all be interested in the same thing. Unless of course you are only offering one product or service, in which case you hope they would be interested in related topics.
Remember people want to feel special, so make the newsletter appear tailored to them.
Here’s a thought; have you considered asking them what they would like to hear about? You could ask them at the stage when they sign up to receive your newsletters (such as a tick box on your website). A tailored newsletter could then be created around their chosen interests.
But it’s difficult to create newsletters for everyone I hear you say. Not when you use software such as newsondemand. This ensures the recipient receives only the content they are interested in, and the sender simply has to send one copy to all; the software will create the rest, changing the newsletter accordingly and delivering 100% targeted content.
It needs to be relevant to you
But before you can ask your audience what they want to hear about, you have to first of all come up with these categories. And once more it needs to complement your brand. I find creating mind maps a very effective way of sparking creative ideas.
Consider the categories which normally feature in your weekly newsletter. This may include:
+Product/ service news
If you already have a variety of these at present, you are already on your way. If not, I hope I have galvanised you into action. Still stuck? Conduct some competitor research; have a look at what your competitors are sending out and decide how you can outdo them. It’s a great way to really get you thinking about what works and what really doesn’t.
Keep it personal
I cannot stress the importance of keeping your emails personal. Ensure you have your emails set up ALWAYS to address the person you are sending your email newsletter to e.g. DEAR JOHN. I know this may seem like simple stuff, but you would not believe what a difference this will make.
What about the language of your emails. Do you have a global presence? Do you only send your email in one language? This can have a drastic effect on engagement levels. You might expect everyone to understand English, but some recipients may be less comfortable reading it. Yes, I hear you say ‘but translating content can be a costly process’. Once again look to newsondemand, as this will remove the hassle by managing the translated content for you, whist being very cost effective.
Also, if you are hoping to grow your brand in a specific new foreign market newsondemand makes perfect sense. Potential customers want to know that you can service their needs, and using the local language can make customers feel more confident when buying products from you. Why not conduct a pilot test, and try translating your newsletters into one other language. See if this makes a difference. Consider how much extra revenue you could drive through your newly personalised emails.
The look of your emails is crucial. You’ve heard the saying ‘A picture paints a thousand words’. Well, it’s true. You don’t need to have reams and reams of text that many recipients will be unlikely even to read. Use imagery to tell your story.
I don’t mean stand alone, boring images that they have probably seen a thousand times before. Be inventive, make it interesting for them and use a background colour which complements your brand. Little things like this can make a world of difference.
Uniqueness is the key to life. Ensure your content is something they haven’t seen before. This all goes back to understanding your audience. Why not follow some industry leaders on social media and have a look at what they write about and where they source their information from. Consume some of their inspiration. Have a think about subject and text titles. I always find question marks to be particularly beneficial. The reader wants to know the answer. Using numbers also helps quantify and enthral readers. Readers want exact figures, it’s a lot more valuable to them. Try it.
So here it is, your perfect template. I am not however for one minute suggesting you should abandon all of your other marketing efforts, as these are equally important, but please give email marketing another try. With these suggestions in mind, I know you will be surprised with the results.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community