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Some random thoughts about emails for you

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I’ve been jotting down a few tips about marketing emails in recent weeks which might not each be worth an article individually, but might be useful as a bunch. Email is still a massively cost-effective marketing channel, but as time goes on, people want more from the emails they open. I receive hundreds of different marketing emails, but I know exactly which few might be worth opening.

Consistency is essential. Recipients like to know what to expect. You’re probably reading this email because you know it’s going to contain one article, which will take between 30 seconds and 3 minutes to read, and which will have a certain percentage likelihood of having been worth your time. This is certainly not the only format which works, but it is consistent.

Usefulness is more important than ever. The email – especially as expressed through the subject line – needs to suggest that opening it could provide a reasonable degree of benefit in exchange for the time spent reading it. Don’t forget that a very large proportion of emails (even business ones) are read on mobile devices nowadays, and while that doesn’t mean the recipient is rushing down a corridor from one meeting to the next, they might be somewhere where they could (or should) be doing something else.

Mailing lists need to be promoted. Whether it’s a prominent offer on the website or social media campaigns, you need to be creative to go beyond your existing customer base.

Finally, the email needs to be designed for viewing on a range of devices. If you’re using a template which was designed five years ago, your emails almost certainly won’t be legible to a large chunk of the distribution list. Emails which are routinely skipped over don’t do you any good at all. Check out what your emails look like yourself, or use services like Litmus for the full horror show.

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