10 tips to creating e-mails that convert

Email marketing is known to be one of the most effective digital media channels - but what should you consider when producing your mailings? Here are 10 tips for creating emails that convert.

1. Headlines that capture interest

Say it early and clearly. It takes less than three seconds for your subscribers to decide whether or not they want to open your email. Today's consumers are overwhelmed with information, making them more selective and discerning about which messages they want to spend their time and energy taking in. So make the decision easy for the recipient - right from the subject line.

Write a short, interesting and concise headline that gives a hint of what they will find in the email. Remember to prioritise the order of words, with the most important word coming first. For example, if you want to promote a promotion, this should be the first word in the headline, "Offer exclusively for you". This is so that recipients will immediately get an idea of what the email contains.

Also consider the type of device the recipients open their email in. The available space offered by the apps or devices determines how much content the recipients will get already in the inbox. Therefore, adapt the length of the header according to all options. The preview text allows you to complete and develop your headline, so take advantage of it. Read more about how to optimise your headlines here.

2. Preview text matters

Using preview text in your email marketing campaigns gives subscribers greater clarity on what your email is about and about what it's aiming for. The space gives you the opportunity to motivate and inspire readers to engage with more content (by clicking through to the email).
I think we're all convinced that the faster you can create engagement - the better.

Benefits of preview

  • Inbox exposure. Highlight your offer and increase open rates.
  • Complement your headline. As the headline should be interesting through a few words (maximum 150 characters), you have the opportunity to expand on the content through your preview, which is placed directly after the headline. For example, what is your campaign about, what products are new and what recommendations do you have?
  • CTA. To motivate action, you can tell readers what to do at an early stage. Use action verbs like read, buy and open already in the headline or preview.

3. Optimize for mobile

Let's face it, mobile adaptation matters in all aspects of digital communication. Which is because consumers spend all day on their phones. If you haven't already adapted your layout for mobile emails, this should be at the top of your to-do list. Consumers read the majority of their emails on smartphones, which means your newsletters need to be designed to fit these devices.

Examples, headlines and previews need to be shortened. Any images, videos and CTA buttons should be adapted to smartphone formats. Being mobile-friendly will help you get your message across and improve your open rates, we promise.

4. A/B-testing 

One way to find out what type of headline and preview text will work best for your target audience to click through is to conduct A/B tests. By splitting your list of email addresses into two or three equal parts - with each part having a variation of, for example, subject line, image selection and different order of content in the email, you can get a better insight into what motivates your particular target audience.

Should the campaign of the month be mentioned in the subject line or should it be presented later in the email? Should there be a clear CTA in the subject line along the lines of "Limited time discount code!" or should it be sneaked into the section where you present products? Dare to test yourself and analyse the outcome. A good rule of thumb is to start with one part, and in the next mailing try another. Read more about A/B testing here.

5. Frequency

Depending on your industry and recipients, the frequency of your mailings may vary. Once a month is suitable for some, while others do smaller mailings weekly or even daily. The key is to create a sustainable strategy that can be sustained over time and that does not cause subscribers to unsubscribe.

Are you able to communicate several times a month, but unsure how your target audience will react to frequent mailings? Then you can try your hand at monitoring the response. Review the open rate in the month you send out multiple emails, and compare it to a month where you only sent out one. Do the statistics differ?

The most important thing is that the mails generate added value for the recipients, are well thought out, tailored and timely.

6. Dare to be personal

Many people ask: how can email marketing be one of the most effective communication strategies today? The great advantage of email marketing is that recipients subscribe to newsletters because they are genuinely interested in the content. They want to get to know the brand better, learn about news, personal offers and get inspired.

It's important that you keep the recipient in focus when creating your e-mails, and that you actively try to create a deeper relationship with them. Let them get to know you, and invite them to become part of your world. Language is incredibly important in relationship-building marketing.

Dare to be casual, personal and to address readers with personal pronouns. This will create a sense of community and recipients will feel that they are part of your brand.

7. Storytelling

Every brand needs its own story, and it needs to be a good one. Storytelling is about telling the story of your brand in an engaging and entertaining way. This is an important part of your communication, in order to build long-term relationships. Just as you work on storytelling on your website and social media, you need to get that part into your newsletter as well. Both to create consistent communication, but also to use the format for precisely relationship-building communication.

You can work with storytelling in different ways in your newsletters. It could be as simple as having a box dedicated to sharing information about your particular company and what your service/products can do for customers. You can also have standing headlines, where you share information about specific topics or products, which recipients can follow up on week after week.

Do you have a personal sender today, who writes the intro to each newsletter? Let that person create a dialogue with followers that they look forward to following up on week after week. The most important thing about storytelling is that the focus is on the value you can add for customers, not on how good you are or how well you perform.

8. Compelling call-to-action

No matter how engaging or inspiring your email blast is, there's always a risk that the recipient will engage with your content at the "wrong time". Ideally, you want the reader to remember you and your company at a later time, when they are in need of investing in your products or services. But, in many cases, too many rely on Google and quick answers.

In order not to miss out on potential customers, you need to get the recipient to take action when they view your content. You can do this through clear CTAs (Call to Action). An effective CTA could be offering the recipient a discount code when they visit your website, to attend an upcoming lecture for free or to read more about a topic on your blog page.

9. Pros and cons of images

Images and graphics can inspire, engage and evoke emotion in your email marketing. In fact, we're over six times more likely to remember information if we see images when we receive it.

That said, make sure images don't take up too much space and impact your load time. Images that are too large can make your email difficult to read and, in the worst case, can be marked as spam. Therefore, be sure to adjust the size of the file to match the body text.

How to choose the right images

  • Quality over quantity. Use high-quality images and avoid blurry or pixelated ones.
  • Invest in a photo shoot. Personal photos give a clearer picture of you and your brand. It gives you the opportunity to create credible, consistent and professional communications. Stock photos are all well and good, but most motifs are already worn out by the competition, right?
  • Link. Increase click-through rates by linking in your images too. For example, if you want to motivate readers to click through to a specific product in your newsletter, make it easy for them by linking in your CTA in the text, as well as in the image.
  • Avoid large files. Just like with your web page. if you want to avoid long loading times, be careful with the image format.

10. Check links

It may sound obvious, but, it's so easy for an email to go off to thousands of recipients the second you realize that the product that the entire content is circulating around - is missing a link. This small mistake can result in a huge loss of clicks and therefore sales. This basic element is built in to increase revenue and facilitate the buying journey for readers. So, make sure it will!

Email marketing allows you to reach out to a relevant audience in a genuine way. The platform makes it easy for you to send out personalized messages, tailored to recipients, history and preferences. If you want more information on how email marketing works in practice and how to get started with your account, read our guide here.

 

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