Marketing e-mails: what do they look like and what do they say?

6th June 2012 | Posted in Marketing communications

I prefer signing up for email alerts and newsletters to following someone on Twitter. Emails can be saved for quiet times. Tweets are gone in a flash and you might miss something useful.

So as something of an email addict, despite the protestations from the social media crowd, I know how fast they can fill up an inbox. What can you do to make your email the one to read? Right to the  end? And then take action?

Open

The first hurdle is to get your readers to open your email. Enticing offers can often do the trick. If not, how about the intriguing and even the really useful? I’ve just written an email for an IT services company that starts “Let’s get practical. What does the cloud really mean for you?” I chose this because there’s an awful lot of blether drifting around about cloud services at the moment and it’s a highly competitive market. What I wanted to do was appeal to people who need to know how and why for their business.

Start

Once your readers are in, you need to get them hooked and stay with you to the end of your message – where they take the next action. I prefer to cut the waffle and get straight to the point. Focus on real benefits from the title down – without going over the top and blowing your credibility.

Keep it simple and stay on message. If you’ve got reams of content you could use to back up your message, provide links to it on a sidebar. Don’t try to cram it all into one story.

Finish

What do you want your reader to do now? Whatever it is, make the next step really simple. Take your readers with one click to a landing page that provides more information, gives the promised download, provides a registration page for your seminar – whatever it is you’ve been offering your reader from the beginning. And don’t forget to collect registration data if you are building a regular newsletter mailing list.

That’s the words in brief.

Now layout is important too. In fact this blog was prompted by a good piece I found written by AWeber, who know their stuff when it comes to email marketing. This article is all about how to lay out your email to make following your story as easy as possible.

These are really good points to bear in mind when you’re putting content plans together. It really helps the writing process to know how the finished words are going to be laid out, so if your designers are following these guidelines, it’s all good news.

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