In one of my earlier post I have shared some effective email marketing tips and some techniques for improving your email open rate. One of the major points I have touched on in both of these topics was the quality of the content. Not only do your emails have to look professional but they need to sound it too, and one of the ways you can achieve this is by ensuring all of your email’s copy is written to the highest standard.
Be very, very clear
One of the worst things you can do when running an email marketing campaign is confuse your reader. This is because they’re obviously interested – or interested enough to attempt to read your content – and you’ve lost them simply because they’re not quite sure what you’re trying to tell them.
This ties into one of the golden rules of marketing and that is to know your purpose. Each email should contain only one purpose, and that has to be very, very clear for your audience, otherwise you risk become convoluted, vague and losing your audience. Don’t try and hide your purpose either – stick it right in front of your customer and politely tell them ‘Click here to buy.’
Don’t stray from your subject line
Once you know what your purpose is and you’ve decided what you’re going to talk about, make sure your subject line reflects this. Your audience will feel tricked and, again, confused if your subject line doesn’t really match up with the content of your email.
This comes down to obviously the topic, but the tone and the language used as well. Your subject line is your hook, but the content is the bait that will keep your audience coming back, and you need to make sure they look like one and the same.
Choose your tone of voice deliberately
If you’ve read our other articles on email marketing, you’ll know how important it is to know and understand your audience. The tone of voice that you use in your email copy needs to not only represent you as a company, but it needs to engage this audience – you need to always keep in mind that you’re writing for them. If you think you might have a wide and varied audience, perhaps you can consider writing different email copies for different subsections of this audience. What appeals to a twenty year old isn’t going to always appeal to a fifty year old.
Your tone also needs to match the subject. If you’re selling funeral plans, you don’t want to use energetic and exciting language. The same applies for any business or product – you need to know how you want to represent and put forward your brand and this should come across in your email copy.
Write for skimming
There’s no denying that a large majority of your audience will open – which is a win within itself – and then skim over the content of your email. There’s no trying to change that, and you’re much better off trying to work with it.
You should write and format your copy to draw these people in, or to at least provide them with the main points of your argument. Some easy ways to do this are by breaking up your sentences and paragraphs, highlighting the main words or points in the copy and being concise with your content.
Engage your reader
This is a no brainer, but if your content isn’t engaging and it doesn’t draw your audience in, they’re going to stop reading and they’re less likely to read future emails too. If you’re new to this field and you’re not quite sure where to start with using engaging language, it might be worth taking a crash course in persuasive language to sharpen up before attempting to write your first copy.
Some simple ways to do this include making your email personalised by including your customer’s name, using powerful and evocative language and by making your subject matter seem entirely urgent. If writing copy isn’t your strongest point, it may be worth hiring someone else to do it for you. It’s the most obvious point, but it’s also the most important.
Millions of emails get sent every day, all trying to convince their reader of something. Chances are your audience are used to being sold to and they’re used to advertising. One of the best ways to stand apart from the crowd in this field is to include proof behind your claims. There’s no use in saying your product the best thing to happen since sliced bread until you can prove sliced bread is inferior some way or another.
The best way to do this is to use statistics, use graphs, use pictures – make it easy for your reader to see, understand and agree with. Using visual evidence rather than written also makes it easier for skimmers to understand your message without having to wade through the facts and figures themselves.
Nothing says unprofessional like incorrect grammar, spelling mistakes or broken English. Not only is your audience going to lose faith in whatever you’re marketing, there’s a high chance they’ll lose faith in your brand as being reputable and respectable. Again, if this isn’t your strongest area, hiring someone to do it for you may go a long way.
Another reason we say to proofread is to help you cut down the excess in your copy. You want it to be short and sweet, and proofreading can help you identify the stuff you really might not need to include.
Consistency is still key
We will point this out time and time again unapologetically. The audience’s perception of your brand is being continually shaped and moulded with every email you send, and my guess is that you want a strong, solid and coherent image to be the result. To achieve this, you need to present your customers with consistency.
This goes includes the email copy, alongside the design, the formatting, the colour scheme, the tone and so on. If you’re not seeing any results and you have to dramatically shake something up, then do what must be done, but insofar as it is possible, provide a clear image to your customer and your customer will have a clear image of you.