Entries Tagged 'email marketing' ↓

Boost Your Email Success With the Right Words

Despite the onslaught of video, social media marketing and search engine optimisation, you shouldn’t ignore the impact that a good email marketing campaign can have on your business. email marketing

A recent report by Salesforce.com showed that:

  • 44% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email
  • 72% of B2B buyers share useful content via email
  • 82% of consumers open emails from companies
  • 33% of recipients open emails based on the subject line alone
  • 64% open an email because of the subject line

Those last 2 suggest the subject line you use is critical for the success of your campaign. Hardly ground breaking stuff, but how much time do you give to your subject line creation?

The importance of the email subject line

Adestra has just released its annual subject line analysis report that shows usability and clarity is the key to getting good email open and click rates. So forget the cryptic teaser subject lines, people don’t have the time or energy to try and work out what you’re talking about. If you’re having a sale, tell people; if you’re launching a new video, tell them; if you’re announcing a news item, guess what? Tell them.

The report shows that using the word ‘free’ in your subject line will decrease open and click rates, but using ‘free delivery’ had the opposite effect.

So what other keywords work? Well, how about:

  • Sale
  • New
  • Alert
  • News
  • Video
  • Win
  • Daily
  • Weekly

Those that didn’t perform so well were:

  • Only
  • Learn
  • Report
  • Today
  • Webinar
  • Get
  • Register
  • Don’t miss
  • Re:
  • Fw:

Even if you spent hours putting your email’s content together, a hasty subject line could undo all your hard work.

Your subject line is the key to getting your emails read, so it makes sense to spend time over them.

Have a read of Adestra’s report to see what nuggets you can glean that will give your email marketing the shot in the arm it needs.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos

Email Design Mistakes That Can be Avoided

Normally, when writing about email marketing, I’m usually harping on about content. But this post is more interested with design.

email marketing mistakesIf your email design is flawed, it could lead to a flood of unsubscribers and you don’t want that.

Here are the top 3 mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Difficult to read

It’s worth bearing in mind that many people will be reading your email on their smartphone or tablet, so it’s wise to increase your font size – about 14 is ideal.

Talking of fonts, a simple one is best (not a script font) and try to stick with the same one throughout your email. If you do want to add a bit of variety, stick to one for your headlines and a second one for your body text.

The idea of your emails is to spread news about your brand and, to that end, your emails must be recognisable. That means sticking to the same layout and font for consistency.

Colours are also important. When it comes to text, make sure you use either black or dark grey on a white background, as it’s by far the easiest to read. If you want to use brighter colours, keep those for your call to action. Oh, and whatever you do, avoid patterned backgrounds, they’re very off-putting.

2. Confusing images

Images can be great in emails, but only if they are relevant, simple and fun. Make sure the image you use has an obvious link to what you’ve written about. There’s nothing worse than a confused audience.

3. Inconsistency

The key is for your recipients to instantly recognise your email so they open it and read it. If you constantly change style and colours they may not realise that it came from you and unsubscribe.

To that end, it’s essential the voice you use, template and colour scheme remain the same. Plus the other elements of your email, such as contact details, should stay in the same place so they become familiar.

None of this is rocket science, or ground-breakingly new, but nonetheless they are important points. Consistency is essential in any form of marketing if you want people to recognise and engage with your brand.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+

Creating an Effective ‘Sales’ Email

You’re probably wondering why the word ‘sales’ in the title of this blog is in inverted commas.

Well, that’s because a lot of companies that send out emails to their customers and potential customers treat them like sales letters as opposed to emails that should be building trusting relationships.

They seem to have a mental block, believing that every communication they send out must contain the hard sell.

Well, if you do that you could be kissing good-bye to a huge chunk of your audience because they’ll get sick of it and opt-out. And that’s not good.

If you’re sending out regular emails to your list (daily, weekly or monthly) concentrate on the pain your readers are feeling.

After all, if they signed up to your emails they are obviously looking for a solution to a problem.

So rather than hitting them hard with the benefits of your product/service and giving them the hard sell, talk about the pain caused by the problem they want solved and only talk about that.

List all the issues they have, show your empathy with them and then, right at the end, simply add a call to action like:

To see how to overcome this….[insert problem] check out (sales URL)

This approach is:

  • Easy to write
  • Isn’t a hard sell
  • Shows your empathy
  • Builds trust
  • You don’t even have to mention your product

It really is stealth selling at its best.

Why not give it a try and let us know how you get on?

Perhaps you’ve already tried this approach? If so, how did you find the results?

Leave a comment and let’s evaluate this approach with some real life examples.

 About the author:

 Sally Ormond is a copywriter, blogger, cyclist, mum and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. She’s also an author.


Why You Shouldn’t Buy in a Mailing List

This article is mainly aimed at email marketing.

Email marketing is a great tool. You can reach potentially thousands of people within seconds, but it is also one of the toughest marketing tools to get right.

After all, you not only have to think about who you’re sending it to, but also your message, your subject line, when you send it and how you write it.

The ‘who you’re sending it to’ but is the main focus here.

You have 2 options:

  1. Build your own list in-house
  2. Buy in a mailing list

Undeniably, option 2 is by far the quickest, but it is probably the least effective. Here’s why.

 The downside of buying in a mailing list

The first thing you have to remember is that although the list you have bought may be for your industry (or customer base industry), it doesn’t necessarily mean the people on that list are interested in what you’re trying to sell.

The second thing to remember is that they haven’t asked you to make contact with them. As your email is unsolicited there is no guarantee they’ll open it.

Carrying on with the unsolicited theme, there’s a very good chance they’ll view your emails as spam because they haven’t opted in to receive them. You may not think of that as a problem, but if you get tagged as a spammer, your IP address could get blacklisted meaning you could face fines and penalties for violating the CAN-SPAM Act and UK spam laws.

Finally, because the recipients haven’t opted in, you’re mailing isn’t going to be targeted and therefore is unlikely to be effective.

Basically, although it will take time to grow an in-house list, it will benefit your business in the long run because:

  • The recipients want to hear from you
  • You can tailor your email messages to be highly targeted
  • You won’t be seen as a spammer


Author: Sally Ormond: Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd

Is Your Email Marketing Working?

What is an acceptable open rate for your email marketing campaign?

What should your click rate be?

In answer to those questions the answer is ‘it depends’ – mainly on the industry you operate in.

To give you a heads up, below is a table of statistics compiled by MailChimp outlining the average email campaign stats from their customers by industry:­

Average Email Campaign Stats of MailChimp Customers by Industry

Type of Company Open Rate Click Rate Soft Bounce Rate Hard Bounce Rate Abuse Complaint Rate Unsubscribe Rate
Agriculture and Food Services 23.94% 4.85% 0.97% 2.06% 0.10% 0.38%
Arts and Artists 17.53% 3.54% 1.58% 2.54% 0.08% 0.25%
Beauty and Personal Care 14.94% 2.65% 0.71% 1.54% 0.09% 0.28%
Business and Finance 15.47% 2.77% 2.10% 1.57% 0.04% 0.21%
Computers and Electronics 15.51% 2.97% 1.12% 1.71% 0.08% 0.30%
Construction 28.70% 8.01% 4.51% 5.81% 0.11% 0.35%
Consulting 16.32% 3.30% 2.50% 2.39% 0.03% 0.25%
Creative Services/Agency 24.64% 3.08% 1.34% 2.05% 0.06% 0.25%
eCommerce 14.98% 3.36% 0.74% 0.88% 0.08% 0.25%
Education and Training 16.64% 3.41% 1.42% 2.09% 0.06% 0.20%
Entertainment and Events 16.09% 2.98% 0.85% 1.55% 0.08% 0.19%
Government 25.66% 5.37% 0.86% 0.89% 0.04% 0.20%
Health and Fitness 20.96% 5.73% 3.14% 6.30% 0.06% 0.30%
Hobbies 18.45% 4.33% 1.13% 2.08% 0.12% 0.40%
Home and Garden 28.20% 4.38% 2.93% 2.68% 0.02% 0.41%
Insurance 20.91% 3.03% 2.37% 4.15% 0.10% 0.30%
Legal 17.34% 2.49% 0.79% 0.89% 0.02% 0.12%
Marketing and Advertising 18.79% 4.13% 1.39% 2.50% 0.08% 0.23%
Media and Publishing 18.43% 3.39% 0.48% 0.63% 0.03% 0.11%
Medical, Dental, and Healthcare 13.76% 2.59% 2.18% 4.09% 0.06% 0.18%
Music and Musicians 13.95% 2.43% 0.68% 1.07% 0.06% 0.18%
Non-Profit 20.43% 3.54% 1.13% 1.51% 0.05% 0.17%
Other 33.52% 10.90% 0.83% 1.66% 0.09% 0.40%
Photo and Video 28.93% 5.70% 0.99% 1.34% 0.07% 0.26%
Politics 13.72% 2.58% 0.49% 0.78% 0.07% 0.15%
Professional Services 19.77% 3.71% 2.55% 3.57% 0.08% 0.45%
Public Relations 14.81% 1.12% 2.07% 2.28% 0.03% 0.16%
Real Estate 18.48% 3.44% 1.18% 1.67% 0.06% 0.25%
Recruitment and Staffing 15.31% 3.35% 1.37% 1.75% 0.07% 0.31%
Religion 23.04% 3.24% 0.52% 0.68% 0.05% 0.15%
Restaurant 20.07% 2.41% 0.70% 1.11% 0.09% 0.30%
Retail 17.80% 3.54% 0.61% 1.00% 0.08% 0.24%
Social Networks and Online Communities 22.37% 2.85% 6.94% 5.44% 0.11% 0.74%
Software and Web App 15.57% 2.49% 1.88% 3.06% 0.11% 0.39%
Sports 19.54% 4.77% 0.86% 1.53% 0.08% 0.24%
Telecommunications 21.20% 3.22% 1.60% 2.85% 0.10% 0.41%
Travel and Transportation 14.50% 2.71% 0.84% 0.83% 0.05% 0.17%


How do your results compare?

Congratulations if you’re about right (or above average) for your industry. But what if you’re a bit under par? Where are you going wrong?

Common causes for poor email results

There are a number of reasons why your emails aren’t performing as they should, but here are the most common ones:

1. Murky

The reason for sending your email has to be clear, that means your subject line has to tie in with the email’s content.

If you promise one thing just to get them to open the email and then fail to deliver (or deliver something different), you’ll lose their trust and they’ll probably unsubscribe.

So make sure you’re clear about why you’re sending the email, make sure the subject line and content tallies and make sure your message is clear – that means stick to one (or a maximum of 2) topic rather than trying to cover everything in one go.

2. Way too long

This one slots in nicely after number 1. If you try to cover too much your email will be too long and no one will read it.

If you want to bring the readers’ attention to an article, rather than placing the whole thing in your email, write a short teaser and link out to it.

The ideal length for a newsletter/email is about 400 words (600 would be an absolutely maximum).

3. You, you, you

Read your email back to yourself – who is it talking about, you or your customer?

If it is all about your company, how great you are, your products etc., without any mention of the benefits you will bring your customers, your readers won’t read it.

Email marketing is there to help you build relationships with your customers, which means every email should add value to them. It should offer them great information, give them tips, perhaps an offer or two – it should be about them and not you.

4. No call to action

Sending out emails that give great information is fantastic, but if you don’t ask your reader to do something, they’re a complete waste of time.

It could be something as simple as following a link to your website, downloading a top ten tips list, perhaps a report – basically, anything that will add value to them.

5. Typos

We are all human; mistakes happen and typos slip through, but do your utmost to make sure your email goes out error free.

If you do spot something after hitting the send button, send an apology and offer them something for the inconvenience – perhaps a voucher?

If you get it wrong, apologise and they won’t think badly of you.

Writing engaging emails

OK, we’ve looked at why your click and open rate may not be as high as it should, but what can you do to remedy it?

Well, what follows are a few simple tips that help you be more effective with your email marketing:

  • Be yourself – write from the heart, don’t try and be corporate it doesn’t work. Be conversational if you want to boost engagement
  • Be in a good mood – the best emails are those written when you’re in the right mood. Try and write a good one when you’re in a bad mood – it’s impossible
  • Read out loud – by far the best way to check for errors
  • Connection – make sure you write about something that your readers can connect with, if possible tie it in with topical events
  • Email address – make sure the email address you send it from is real, i.e. it has your company name in it – it is far more likely to opened that way

There you go, a few simple tips to make the most of your email marketing. Give them a try and see how you get on.