Written by: Milana Arambasic
*Bing* Ugh, email 2,579. Is this what you think when you get another email? Chances are this is what your email recipients feel like as well. In 2015, there were over 205 BILLION emails sent per day by business and consumer email users. According to Radicati, that number is expected to grow by 41 billion in 2019. We were surprised at some of the statistics we found when digging into emails and how far they have come since 1971 (read more stats here and here). Emails and newsletters are a vital communication device in today’s time. So, how do you make others anticipate your next email instead of dread it? The answer is simple. Captivate your clients. We've gathered some of our top tips for setting your emails and newsletters apart from competitors + actually making others look forward to hearing from you.
1). Know your Audience. Whether you are an e-commerce company, a non-profit, or another type of business, you have a target market that likes what you do. When someone initially signed up for your email or newsletter, they signed up for one of two reasons a). they liked what they saw or b). you had something to offer (whether this was educational, a free product, or something funny). Once you know what your audience likes, then you can really give them what they want via email.
2). Focus. As a company, you have a lot of areas to cover. What your next event is, an upcoming sale, or content you just curated. These are all great things to share with others. However, doing this causes an overwhelming amount of information. Focusing on one or two topics that are cohesive in an email is the way to retain customer's attention + subscription. If you are having a workshop, have that be the topic of your email and then have another section that takes the viewer to a blog post, or signup site related to the workshop. Now with the rest of your ideas, you can create other emails or newsletters without running out of content.
3). Add some flair. When we first started sending out emails and newsletters, we were creating templates and inserting pictures into MailChimp. There was nothing wrong with that, but one day we had an “ah-ha” moment. Why don’t we create our own graphic-designed emails by adding a gif, video, or pops of color? We had the tools to do it. And to be honest, these were a lot more fun to create and dazzling. We started designing emails and newsletters to show our customers that we could curate content like this for their businesses to captivate audiences for them. So why not take advantage and stand out from competitors by doing that? Adding your own flair is fun, but it is important to remember to…
4). Stay consistent with your brand. Most businesses have worked hard to create a brand that when customers see a logo or hear a phrase, they automatically link that to them. Let’s use Nike as an example. If you were to receive an email from Nike that had no logo, no color scheme, and no theme, how would you interact with the email? Would you be confused as to who sent it and what they wanted? There are a lot of great resources for trying out different fonts, sizes, and colors but this can cause you to stray from your brand. Your email needs to have consistency and flow. For instance, don’t have three different styles of the font in your email that is hard to read and all over the place. According to Marketing Sherpa, people spend 15-20 seconds viewing an email. If you don’t capture a reader’s attention right away, you most likely just lost a sale or potential future connection.
5). Call to action. Believe it or not, people like being told (more like suggested) what to do. For example, our team sent out a fun, monthly newsletter with our New Year Resolutions. All the sections were linked, but there was not one single click to the website or to our social media feeds. Nada. That is because we did not suggestively tell people to “click here for more of the story.” Now, our February newsletter, on the other hand, beat our category for the industry average click-through because the content gave a peek at what was to come but not the full story. This caused intrigued audience members to click through and either download our desktop calendar, follow along on social media for our Guatemalan excursion, or apply for an internship. There was a call to action and customers followed through.
6). Correct, clickable links. How annoying is it when you see something online, click that item specifically to view and find out that the link takes you to the wrong page, wrong item, or worse, nothing at all?! If your customer has to go and search for something themselves, they are most likely going to leave your site. Again, that potential sale is lost.
7). Edit. Edit. Edit. We understand that mistakes and errors happen, but taking the time and resources beforehand to edit your copy and content is a major key to being proactive. Send yourself a test email, look over the email several times and at different times, and send the test email to multiple people on your team to check for mistakes you may not have caught the first time around.
Now that you have the 101 on emails + newsletters, how do you keep people from unsubscribing? Don’t send too many emails. Chances are your customers do not want to hear from you three times a day saying “buy this, buy this.” Instead, give the audience something different: be informative. Are you a boutique? Maybe one week send out a "New Arrivals" email and the next have an informative email about "Upcoming Trends." This way, your audience is still hearing from you, but they aren’t sick of you telling them to “buy, buy, buy.” What is the opposite of sending too many emails? Not sending enough. Don’t forget to talk to your audience, even if it is once a month, make it a newsletter. Again, people signed up for your emails for a reason, so remember to interact with them.
Were you as surprised as us with some of the email statistics? Curating content that will grasp people’s attention and retain customers can be a challenge, but very rewarding when done right. Speaking of newsletters, sign up for ours below and stay in touch.