What Makes an Email Effective? You Might Be Surprised

Posted by on August 16, 2013 in Email Marketing, Marketing [ 0 Comments ]

email marketingEmail’s dead, right? Wrong. Email is alive, kicking and doing better than ever. Businesses that want to be successful have to be able to deliver the right content and offers to their subscribers at the right time. What makes an email truly successful is your ability to engage a user through your copy and imagery. While each business will have different frequencies that yield the greatest results or different offers that are likely to peak a subscriber’s interest, there are three areas of an email that can be refined, no matter your industry or intentions.

Related: 5 Steps to an Awesome Email Campaign

Your Tone

There are often two types of tones businesses take when sending out emails: a sales tone or a customer service tone. While a sales tone may seem the more logical choice when you’re trying to convert a customer, studies have shown that a customer service tone can lead to an increase in inquiry rate. MECLABS, with Active Network, ran an A/B test that analyzed these two types of tones in email copy. When a customer receives an email featuring a sales pitch or tone, they could develop anxiety that leads to an abandoned cart or quick bounce. If your email addresses that anxiety subtly, much as customer service emails often do, you could find that your business experiences greater success. With the case of Active Network, they saw a 349% increase in lead inquiry rate when using a customer service tone instead of a sales tone in their copy.

Related: Get quotes from email marketing companies that can help you optimize campaigns.

Your Structure

Your structure must highlight the value proposition and the CTA that will lead them down your sales or marketing funnels. This brings me to the next element of an effective email. The way your structure your email, from subject line to internal copy, can really make an impact. Focus on delivering what’s actually within the email in your subject line and then making the value proposition easily noticed once they decide to open it. Remember, it is one thing to get someone to open an email. It’s another thing entirely to get them to actually read it. Luckily, if you make the value proposition clear, and noticeable, they will go directly down the direction you want them to whether they read the email in its entirety or not. Focus on delivering value within your email first and then engineer each line to lead the reader, interested, to the next.

Your CTA

For those that are unaware, your CTA is your call to action. It’s a button, graphic or short piece of text that prompts a user to click and continue down a conversion funnel. A call to action at the top of an email might seem like a good idea, but often times your customer will need more information before the click that button or link. One thing your business can do is place a brief highlight on what will happen should they follow your call at the top of the email with a shorter CTA. For those that read further, placing another CTA at the bottom of the email can encourage an action to take place without the subscriber scrolling to the top. Again, order and structure are everything, even when it comes to calls to action.

Related: The 3 Most Important Email Marketing Metrics to Follow

While the ultimate goal may be a conversion, you have to allow your customer to come to their own conclusion. Without doing so, they could become defensive and less interested in whatever you are trying to pitch them. This applies to your email copy tone, subject line, and call to action. Your email structure should also entice the customer to find out more and become a lead, click another link for better customer data collection, or ultimately make another purchase.

(Image: Stuart Miles via freedigitalphotos.net)

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