Email campaigns can be a website’s best friend or worst enemy. They have the ability to entice recipients or turn them off. So, to help you create newsletter campaigns that won’t make your recipients cringe, I’ve outlined a few guidelines:
1. It may sound obvious, but don’t create an email campaign unless it’s something the recipients actually will care about. I receive many email newsletters. Some are great, some are terrible and some are just plain useless. I continue to receive the latter two under the pretense of doing research for posts like this one, but every time they enter my inbox, I think WHY?! Only create campaigns that visitors care about. What that means will vary by industry and type of recipient, but in general, if something is new, newsworthy or has won an award, it’s worthy of being shared. A new product, a new sale or new findings all fall under this category. Outside of this, you should probably think harder about why you’re actually putting together this campaign. If you’re just sending the campaign out of fear your followers will forget you, you may be frustrating them more than you’re appealing to them.
2. If you have their name, personalize your emails. Example: Hi Natalie, did you hear about our new shoe sale where all of our boots are 200% off?! (Hey, a girl can dream).
3. Don’t overlook a subject line. While some recipients won’t read it, why wouldn’t you want to optimize your subject line for those who do? Keep it short, sweet, and to the point. It should connect back to my #1 suggestion – why the recipient should care. Benefit-oriented copy in the subject line will entice your recipients to open the email. Avoid “wewe” copy.
4. Mold your format to the personas who will receive your email. If you know your recipients are mostly competitive, use benefit-oriented copy in bullet format, followed by a Call To Action (CTA). For methodical types, have narrative copy with links for more information etc. To get started, check out the general format detailed on the right, and try following that.
5. Test! Unsure about who your recipients are and how to apply #4 – test your emails! Testing is a big part of our approach to gaining insight about our clients’ customers. Testing different variations of emails for click through rate or other metrics gets you results quickly and can provide a significant amount of insight about how to craft future emails. Just remember, those recipients of your email campaigns don’t necessarily represent the personas of all visitors coming to your site, so be wary when applying email test findings site-wide.
6. Lastly, make sure recipients can unsubscribe easily. Just in case recipients decide they don’t want to receive your emails anymore, give them that option. There’s no point in frustrating them with repeated, unwanted campaigns, and there’s the added possibility of being marked as spam. If that’s not enough to inspire you to include an unsubscribe option, then perhaps the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM law requiring all commercial email to have a clear, functioning unsubscribe option will do the trick! Check out the CAN-SPAM requirements for your email campaigns now, and save yourself the hassle and expense of any complaints.
… Good luck! And don’t forget to let us know how it goes!