How to Write Effective E-mail Campaigns - dummies

How to Write Effective E-mail Campaigns

By Wendy Piersall, Heather B. Armstrong

Writing effective e-mail marketing campaigns is an art — and a science. Thousands of articles have been written just on writing e-mail subject lines. And on top of that, what you write for an informational newsletter is going to be vastly different from if you’re writing newsletters for selling things.

You have to test a lot of different variables to find out what works best for your subscribers. Here are some factors that can influence how many people open, click on, or buy through your e-mails:

  • Day of the week: Sending your e-mails on a different day of the week can increase how many people will open your message.

  • Time of day: Most e-mail marketing providers will let you pre-schedule e-mails so that you can get the messages ready prior to when you want to send them.

  • Subject line: Your subject line is usually the only indication a reader has to determine whether they want to take the time to read your e-mail or not. Subject lines need to be:

    • Short, so they don’t get cut off in e-mail previewers.

    • Interesting and intriguing, because you want people to want to read your content.

    • Written without words that frequently get flagged as spam, such as free, act now, 50 percent off, buy, ad, discount, earn, and so on. Other typical spam phrases to avoid are home-based, online degrees, lowest insurance rates, lose weight, eliminate debt, and similar.

  • Link wording: A website commits a horrible faux pas, in terms of search engine optimization, if it links with the words Click Here — because that offers no clue, to either the visitors or the search engine, about what you’ve just linked to.

    The exact opposite is true in an e-mail: There you want to do everything possible to encourage people to click your links. Use Click Here as your link text very frequently in e-mails.

  • Image inclusion: E-mail readers want to be able to determine instantly whether they want to visit your site for more information.

Outside of all these factors, the content of your e-mail needs to be written in a different approach than when you write for your blog. You certainly want to maintain your own personality and voice, but when writing for an e-mail, you’ll need to use a lot fewer words than you might be used to.

People read e-mails on the fly, and unless they have an immediate reason to read further, they’ll quickly hit Delete. This means that what you might normally communicate in a paragraph, you need to convey in a sentence.

But remember, the point of an e-mail is not to send out lengthy articles or sales letters. The point is to get people to click and visit your blog or shop. So you need to write just enough for the reader to want to know more.

All e-mail marketing providers have excellent training resources for their customers. You can expect to find a support center, FAQ, and even training videos or articles to help you get the most out of your e-mail marketing efforts. You can really rely on whomever you choose to run your e-mail marketing campaigns to help you out. After all, they have a vested interest in your success.