These 5 tips are guaranteed to make your emails perform better than they did before.
#1: A Poor Headline Is Like a Poor Pickup Line
If you’ve you’ve ever been in a bar late at night, you’ll know what I’m talking about here. And email marketing is a lot like dating.
You wouldn’t ask someone you just met to take a trip to Hawaii next week, right? So why would you ask them to commit to something in an email you have not earned the right to ask?
Headlines should be specific and clear. The goal of a headline, just like a pickup line, is to get the person to say “yes” to continue reading your email, or to go out on a first date. If your headline (or subject line) lacks clarity (like most pickup lines do), you’re going to lose the reader before they’ve even started.
In today’s marketing world, we have become jaded to all the marketing speak and jargon out there. If you want your user to do something, just ask them. Don’t sell them on it. Don’t use clever words to confuse the message.
Keep it simple and effective. It really is that easy.
#2: Write the Email and Landing Page Together
The point of any email is to simply get the user to click. If your email looks like a landing page, then you’re already in trouble. Remember, you just want to give the reader enough information to make them want more. How do they get more? By clicking the link or CTA. So give them just enough information to.
This is why the landing page and email should be written at the same time.
If you’re writing an email to send traffic to an existing landing page, then use information from the landing page in your email. Or change the landing page to suit the email you’re writing.
Email copy and landing page copy shouldn't compete with each other. They must complement each other.
If your email and landing page messages are competing, you’re going to lose your reader. They must be consistent! Use the same words and phrases, similar headlines, etc.
If your email call-to-action was to “View Your Options” but the landing page shows no options, you just lied to your reader. If your email asks the reader to view options, then the landing page better have several options to view! They can’t be buried either. They need to be front and center so when the user clicks the email they see the options they were promised.
#4: Use Non-Abrasive Copy in your Call to Action Buttons
Words and phrases like these are considered abrasive:
“Order Online Today”
“Hurry, Offer Ends Today”
They only serve to perpetuate the gap between your email and the reader. What’s wrong with these type of words in our copy and CTA buttons? Several things, but here are a few:
They tell the reader what to do.
They use hype words that don’t carry much meaning.
They imply a final action, such as Buy, Order, etc.
If the final action cannot actually be completed by clicking the CTA, then don’t put it in your email copy. Can the user really “Buy Now” right from your email? No. They have to visit your landing page, add items to their cart, click the checkout button, enter their billing info, enter their shipping info, and THEN they can complete the order.
What would be a better version of these?
“View Your Options Here”
“Learn More Today”
“Get More Information”
The verbiage in each of these is not abrasive nor are the actions final. Remember, your only goal is to get a click. Once you have that, let your landing page can do the rest of the convincing.
#5: Write Like you Talk
If your copy sounds awkward when you read it out loud, don’t send the email! When reading it back to yourself, read it as though you were talking to your friend or co-worker. In fact, do just that. Grab your nearest co-worker and read them your email out loud.
Don’t ask them to simply proofread it. That only catches spelling errors. Read. It. To. Them. Out. Loud.
It may feel weird at first, but once you’re able to read your email copy out loud to a co-worker you’ll quickly realize any weirdness you’ve unintentionally worked into your email. Then you can change it to sound more conversational and informal.
So what does all of this mean?
If you do all of these things, your email marketing efforts will show improved results. You won’t be seen as pushy, you won’t be schlepping your products. Instead, you’ll sound like one human being talking to another human being. As it should be.
I’m passionate about making things happen for our clients, thus generating real and quantifiable results. As the Technical Marketing Manger, I have the joy to touch nearly every aspect of our clients’ inbound marketing efforts. From social media, to blogging, to PPC to lead nurturing, and email marketing. I love generating new ideas and then watching them come to life. In my free time, I brew my own beer with my dad and brother, play with my kids, go on dates with my wife and occasionally get a little gaming in.