We’ve touched on how email marketing can provide a powerful lift when mixed in with your brand’s overall strategy--but what of the email’s inner workings? What makes an email convincingly catch a reader’s attention to take steps towards the appropriate conversion as per your campaign’s goal?
These three directions for creative email blast ideas provide some guidelines to consider when executing an effective campaign:
The data you’ve collected about your customer should be put to good use. For instance, blasting a “happy birthday” email containing a gift to all November-born subscribers is a good way to remind your audience you’ve got them in mind and to send some traffic to your site. Even more personalized would be the same email, only sent to an individual subscriber the day of their birthday. The more personal the emails, the better your chances of high open rates.
This type of email should have a personable and friendly (even funny, if called for) tone starting from the subject line down to its body copy. Addressing the reader by first name is a practice often used and maximizes the chance for opens. This email type is perfect for birthday-themed emails, highly targeted remarketing efforts, prescriptions reminders, personal recommendations, and special sales. The copy should be inviting, as human as possible, actionable, and even informal when called for.
Warby Parker’s “prescription refill reminder” email is the perfect example; the customer’s name is used in the subject line, the upcoming refill expiration date is in the body, and the location of the closest store is given. This friendly reminder might not only get opened and lead to a website or store visit, but ensures the reader’s trust in future emails. It also leaves open the chance that the reader might make an additional purchase.
Take the Direct Approach
This one works perfectly for holiday sales, alerting previous customers of new inventory, or special subscriber discounts. Your copy, beginning with the subject line, should be concise and straight to the point. The intention here is to address a specific occurrence or issue as directly as possible in the least amount of words. The first words your reader sees are critical, so expressing a sense of urgency is key.
A common practice involves placing a discount up front and center in the first three to four words of the email subject. Though the exact copy is dependent on the type of product you sell, using numbers (like “15% off”) with a time limit (like “15% off ‘til midnight”) will provide incentive for a customer to click.
Once the email is opened, it’s your job to make sure the copy delivers on the promise of the subject line. Whether it’s expressing the value of new items, remarketing to a previous customer, or emphasizing the significance of a sale, it’s important you express the benefits of acting now. The subject line should lead right into the preview text, which leads into the body copy explaining in full detail what the offer is.
If you’ve subscribed to retailers like GAP or Banana Republic, you’ve seen the prototype; clear and concise subject lines indicating a special sale for a limited time, for a limited audience (like family & friends only). The body copy goes on to explain benefits of reaping the rewards of the special sale before it’s gone, even urging customers to move before the sale is over and the items are all gone.
Make It Look Good (AND functional)
You’ve piqued your reader’s interest and they’re already subscribers. If you’re a magazine or online publication, your readers are eagerly awaiting your content. With an enticing subject line describing this edition’s stories, it’s all up to the email’s body to close the deal. This is where the eye candy comes into play...
The layout of emails with several pieces of media and numerous links within the graphics should always have a high degree of readability. A well-segmented layout of the contents, easy to follow text in clear language, and color schemes that are simultaneously easy on the eyes and pleasant to look at, are all necessary components. This eye candy should not just have good flow and copy, but incorporate assets and color palettes that are consistent with the brand. While GIFs and video are some of the media often used inside emails now, responsiveness shouldn’t be overlooked. Your links should be clickable, your media should be playable, and your images should be displaying, whether your reader is on mobile, tablet, or desktop.
Look no further than Buzzfeed, whose subject lines are as catchy as their article content and social media posts. Their emails contain the usual Buzzfeed “look” and layout, their usual lighthearted tone, and are chock full of photos and video right in the email. If the images fail to load, their Alt Text acts as an accurate (and usually just as effective) stand-in.
Sure these creative email blast ideas will be effective if put into practice, but where will you go from there? To find out what to do next in your email marketing campaign (and how), subscribe to this series! Fill out the form below to gain access now.
Leave a comment or questions below suggesting other creative email blast ideas or if you have questions about those above. I read every one.