Effective Email Marketing: 5 Key Ingredients

Posted at Nov 12, 2018 5:18:58 PM by Katie Weedman | Share

Email marketing is no passing fad. It's digital comfort food that's here to stay. However, even though email has been around since 1971 (thanks to MIT's Ray Tomlinson), there are still several aspects email marketing experts commonly overlook. Here are five essential ingredients for effective email marketing in today's day and age.

Effective Email Marketing | THAT Agency | Email Marketing Experts

A Recipe for Effective Email Marketing

1. A Pinch of YOU VS. WE

People, by nature, are a bit self-absorbed. They're only human, after all. They don't want to hear about you, your product, or your service. They want to hear about their needs being met, their problems being solved, and their lives being made easier. 

Think of the use of "you" in your email marketing messages like the staging of a home for sale. Staging helps potential buyers more easily imagine themselves living in a home. In much the same way, writing in the second-person point of view (i.e., you) helps your target audience envision themselves using your product or service.

2. A Dash of WIIFM

Another thing staging does is showcase a home's benefits. Benefits demonstrate value, and value is what your target audience evaluates when determining if what you're offering is worth their time or money.

It's important to remember that value is NOT demonstrated by a laundry list of features. The key to demonstrating value is to take those features and turn them into benefits by explaining how the features can save time, money, and/or headache. In effect, you need to answer for your target audience the following question: "What's in it for me?"

This strategy (a.k.a. WIIFM) for effective email marketing ensures you clearly demonstrate your value proposition by communicating the benefits of your product or service from the perspective of your target audience.

3. A mix of OBJECTIONS

While the benefits of your product or service are enticing, your target audience could still have some objections. Resolving these objections in the content of your email message can remove important barriers to conversion.

For example, things like shipping charges (for e-commerce) or technical support (for electronics) are potential obstacles you can address up front by explaining how the price of your product reflects the cost of freight or how there is a comprehensive troubleshooting resource available on your website.

No matter how you choose to tackle these objections, either by providing alternative solutions or by dispelling the objections completely, honesty is the best (and only) policy for effective email marketing.

4. A Generous CALL TO ACTION

People need to be told what to do next. While any button text should do so in as few words as possible (e.g., Buy Now, Get Free eBook Today), don't just abruptly slap a button at the end of your email message. Let the narrative naturally drive the reader into taking the next step.

Notice the button text examples I included also contain words like "now" or "today." Don't forget to address the "when" factor. This is a tried-and-true tactic used by email marketing experts to increase conversion by creating a sense of urgency.

5. A Helping of LIST NUANCES

While industry averages for open rates and click rates are good benchmarks, the best benchmarks are those set by your own list. For example, while many email marketing experts see success with shorter subject lines, your target audience might prefer longer subject lines. The only way to know for sure is to test how your list responds to changes in subject line length. You might be surprised to learn your target audience prefers subject lines that are longer in length (as I was when I ran a similar test on a list of engineering professors).

Ultimately, there are many different email marketing best practices out there, but the only practices you should care about are those proven to have a positive effect for your list.

Need help improving the effectiveness of your email marketing efforts? Contact the email marketing experts at THAT Agency today.

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Tags: Digital Marketing

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