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Email Marketing Is Not Dead, Part 3: Creating Content

November 10th, 2011 ::
This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series email marketing

Email marketing part 3

Nope, email marketing is not dead; in fact it is still quite relevant, as it is the only way to get in front of your current and prospective clients on a regular basis.

The reason: Your messages on social media platforms can easily get lost in the noise.  Will your target market see your tweet, status update in their Facebook news feed, or latest blog post in whatever eReader program they use to keep their reading organized?  The great thing about an email boils down to this: Your prospects and customers will have to at least glance at the subject line before deciding whether to read or delete it.

In this three-part series on email marketing, we have looked at putting together a strategy (that was part 1) and building and maintaining a list (part 2).  In this final post, we are looking at how to create engaging content that your target market will read and appreciate.  Some of the information in this series is courtesy of the HubSpot eBook 7 Steps to Jump Start Your Email Marketing Strategy.

Here are four ways to create emails that will get opened:

1. Focus on the Subject Line

The only way anyone will open your email is if it has an eye-catching subject line that stands out from everything else in the inbox.  It needs to be a bit of a teaser and include a hint of what is in your email. Clever, cheeky and funny subject lines are always welcome, no matter what your industry.  After all, we all like to laugh.

If you’re in a fun industry – say, event planning – it is easy to come up with fun subject lines.  Let’s choose a rather dry industry – accounting – and see what we can come up with.  You are a CPA and your email contains an article on tax planning.  How about “5 Easy Ways to Boost Your Income” or “5 IRS-Approved Ways to Save on Taxes”?  While they are not funny, they are attention-getting.

Keep your subject line short, include your company name in the subject line, and make sure the same person sends out the email every time so your audience recognizes it as being from you.

2. Write Valuable Content

That’s easy to say – but really, it’s not so hard to do, either.  Your enewsletter can contain short case studies, surveys, industry reports, your take on industry trends, information from webinars, excerpts from white papers, ebooks, guides and blog posts – the list is really endless.

Valuable content can be defined by two characteristics: it has to be 1) useful and 2) interesting for your target market.  Keep your tone friendly and conversational, keep the content short and to the point, and include images to break up text and add visual interest.

3. Link Back to Your Website

Remember to link back to your website whenever possible.  If you reference a product or service, pricing, someone on your team, a blog post, marketing collateral – link to it.  You probably want people to end up on your website anyway, where they can fill out that contact form or buy from your ecommerce site.

4. Include a Strong Call to Action

A call to action should be included in your email, and this goes back to the goals of your email marketing campaign that we discussed in part 1.

What do you want your audience to do – download a white paper, subscribe to your blog, like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter, try out a demo, sign up for a new product’s beta testing,  buy something?

Don’t just tell them what you want them to do, though – stress why it is beneficial for them to do that.

If you missed the previous two posts in this series, you can find part 1 on strategy here and part 2 on building your email list here.

Image courtesy of creative design agency Arrae

Series NavigationThe Science of Email Marketing
The views expressed here are the author's alone and not those of Network Solutions or its partners.

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Posted in Email Marketing, Marketing | 3 Comments »

  • http://www.blurbpoint.com/link-building-services.php Link Building Services

    Great points sharing with all. And when one dealing with the email marketing then content is also the major thing that attract the people to provide response for our email. We all know that content in the major thing when one marketing with the seo but when one using email marketing then also content is the important. Thanks for providing such details.

  • Anonymous

    Great post! 

    Your #1 is so important, but people don’t realize that it should absolute priority #1 for emails.

    And that the point of the subject line is not to tell the user completely what’s in the email, but to act as a teaser / hint of what’s inside. 

    The measure of success for subject line is solely if the recipient OPENS the email or not.  It’s not to explain, it’s to get someone to click and open.

  • http://twitter.com/MailMonitor MailMonitorApp.com

    To add to the point number 1 and 2 about subject line and content:  It’s also essential to consider the terms chosen when choosing a clever (no not) subject line.  The content is evaluated by email email service provider before delivery and often email marketers choose terms that raise red flags and cause the email to not be delivered or sent to the bulk folder.

    The best way to monitor this is to run email marketing campaigns through tests before sending that will check against several spam filters and run delivery tests against real accounts at several email service providers to see what sort of delivery rates there are.  Monitoring open rates alone is highly problematic due to most email programs delivering with images turned off which will is not trackable as an open.

    Seed based monitoring is essential for any email marketer.