The Building Blocks of Great Email Campaigns

It’s not easy to get excited over email marketing campaigns. They are worse than direct mail campaigns – considered more spammy, more permanent and more easy to get wrong. Although they don’t need to be so cringe worthy. There are some really great email marketing campaign. Sure, they might be drowned out in inboxes with 20,000 other unread messages. But they are incredibly valuable. At best they are personal, interactive and delivered to the customer right at the digital store front.

Please note, these building blocks aren’t listed in order of importance. Rather they’re in the logical order of making an email so that it is easy to follow.

1. Have a Clean Database 

I cannot instruct you on how to get people listed on your database – that is unique to every business. But I would highly recommend starting with a clean database. A clean database is one with removed spam, doppelgangers, suspicious accounts and broken addresses. By removing these you are saving time, more likely to reach customers and possibly avoiding dangerous contacts.

There are a lot of free online database cleaners available online. Unfortunately, these free ones often only cover the basics such as removing doubled up addresses. If you have money to spend, I’d highly recommend investing in a good email database cleaner.

2. Reel Them In With a Catchy Subject line

There isn’t one set answer for what makes a subject line catchy. Because subject lines are, well, subjective. In my opinion, a common mistake is sacrificing quality for showcasing technology. Often I receive emails claiming “JO, complete free online surveys today!” This subject line isn’t catchy – all it’s doing is showcasing that they have technology which customises addresses to include my name. 

A subject line should hint at what’s inside but still leave them wondering. If you have an attention grabbing line which has nothing to do with your content, you will get clicks but you won’t get clickthroughs. Here are some subject lines all from one day:

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Which would you click on? The top email may have an interesting and timely subject line, but it doesn’t seem to relevant to Trademe, an online selling and trading site. Whereas the email from Yola is timely and informative. 

3. Visuals Make or Break Your Email

The email at the top of this post was one of the most exciting ones I had ever received. Although it’s an incredibly simple graphic, a moving image email combined with Christmas excitement made me glad I opened that email. It also scored the business a click through and a good 10 minutes on the site evaluating whether the site matched up to the impressive email.

People are two things these days. Firstly they are time poor. They don’t have the time to scroll through a chunky 300 word email on why your stationary is best. Secondly they are entertainment driven. Being driven by entertainment isn’t new. But the overindulgence in it today is. So cater to this need to be entertained! Make your database your audience and give them a message so entertaining they’ll be itching to go to your site to hear more. 

4. That Said, Written Content Shouldn’t Be Neglected

Although visuals are important, they can only do so much. Visuals can be interpreted in lots of different ways. Written text is more objective. Your written content will always be how you hit your message home. It will deliver what needs to be heard. The visuals are the enticing appetisers; your words are the meaty main course.

These are of course just the basic building blocks. But by stacking these blocks, your email campaign can be great.

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