In my last blog post, I heralded the benefits of email marketing and challenged you to put that on your 2022 business to-do list. Now it’s time to get practical. Sure, email marketing sounds good, but what are the do’s and don’ts for making it successful? Here are my best tips. I opted to not include real life examples as I don’t want to call anyone out. That said, all of the below are based on things I see in my inbox every week.
1. Do keep your email short and sweet. Even if you have a few sections in your email, keep each one short. Give a teaser and link back to a longer piece of content on your blog or a video on your YouTube channel. Remember, people read a lot of emails on their phones so you want to make yours easily digestible.
2. Do use photos. A picture is worth a thousand words (or more!). Add photos or graphics into your emails – and make sure they are clear. Nothing kills an email like blurry photos. Also, the photo shouldn’t be staged pictures of you every single time. I’m talking to you, millenials. Mix it up!
3. Do use some animation. Adding an animated gif to your email here and there is a fun way to keep it fresh and grab readers’ attention. Don’t go overboard. Been there done that.
4. Do use CTAs. Add a CTA (call to action) to each email. What do you want readers to do? Tell them! Don’t make them work to figure it out. Want them to buy tickets to an event, create a “BUY TICKETS” button. Want them to register for your webinar, add a “REGISTER FOR WEBINAR” button. Want them to hit reply? Ask them.
5. Do focus on readability. It’s easy to get carried away with fancy graphics, funky fonts, and fantastic colors. But simple is better. Blocks of black text on a white background is easy to read; blocks of white text on a black background is not. If you’re not a professional designer, stick to black or dark grey text on a white background. Remember, if people have to work to read your email, they won’t. (Bonus points for a “View in your browser” link.)
6. Do use personalization. Tap into the power of merge tags to add first names to your emails. It’s harder to ignore an email that uses your name. It automatically feels more personal. Note, this is a “do as I say, not as I do moment.” I haven’t implemented this feature in all my emails (yet), but you should!
7. Do stick to your brand colors. Your emails should match your overall brand. You want people to see your emails in their inbox and recognize they are from you. Be consistent.
8. Do just start! If you’re new to email marketing or haven’t done it consistently, just get going. You can spend countless hours agonizing over which email platform to use, the template, the content … The best thing you can do is simply create an email and send it. You can refine it as you go based on feedback and what’s working. And lastly…
Don’t. Be. Boring.
I know it sounds obvious but a lot of email marketing really is boring. Here’s the simple secret to avoid sending a boring email: put a
bird PERSON on it. People love people. Or at least they love to know about people. So personalize it! Why do you think people read celebrity magazines and watch reality TV shows? We’re nosey!
Use this to your advantage. Add something personal or real to your email marketing or newsletter. Let’s say you have a landscape architecture firm and you’re tempted to fill your email with pictures of pretty yardscapes. Instead, why not sprinkle in a little humanity by talking about the people behind the art. What inspired the design? What was challenging? Who in their office is getting in the way of their next promotion? Wait – maybe not that last one.
And don’t forget to add a photo of the person. See? Already your email is much more interesting. Even if it’s not in your nature, try it! I think you’ll be surprised by the positive results.
Now you’re armed with practical tips you need to go forth and create non-boring, readable and personalized emails! If you get stuck, give me a holler and we’ll brainstorm.
Have a great week,