Writing and Delivering Meaningful Content
By Shannan Hearne, Summit Technologies Marketing Specialist
Email marketing is a powerful tool for businesses to connect with their prospects and customers, but it's important to remember that subscribers receive a lot of emails every day. So, what makes an email stand out from the rest and encourage subscribers to open it, read it, and click the Call to Action? Here are some tried-and-true methods to make your emails more appealing, effective, and trustworthy.
Stay relevant. The first step is to consider your audience and why they are receiving this message. Is it addressing what they’re trying to do or what they want? Focus less on the sale, and think about what the customer actually needs.
Set a content hierarchy. Make sure your subscribers can quickly understand the main message of your email. Order your content so the most important message is visible before any scrolling. From there, ensure every piece of content directs the reader where to go next — and why.
Tell a story. Email can make for a compelling narrative. Think about how you’d like customers to understand your core values. What is your brand’s story? When drafting it, consider narratives that peek behind the scenes, address social activism, or reveal product origins.
Keep it simple. Try to focus each email on one message. When you do have to include multiple viewpoints, think of ways to streamline the presentation. You may need to send an additional message. Bring teams together to collaborate if necessary.
Trim it back and clean it up. After you write and design your email, reread the copy for readability. You’ll often find you can trim it down by up to half and not lose any impact. Customers move from one experience to the next at a rapid pace, so be sure they can see and understand your key message and call to action at a glance. Personally I look at things like adjectives and adverbs and ask myself if they add anything.
Grab their attention. Short and medium-length subject lines have higher open rates than long ones, which ultimately affects conversion rates (the percentage of people who take action on your email). Subject lines are often truncated depending on device or service provider, so limit them to 50 characters or fewer.
Include a preheader. The preheader is the text that follows the subject line in an email preview. It can be as important as the subject line itself. Make it a call to action or use it as a short summary of the email content. Just make sure it supports the subject line. Limit this preheader to about 100 characters.
Save time with AI. Consider adding artificial intelligence (AI) to your marketing toolbox. AI can do the personalizing, segmentation, product recommendation, and even database cleanup for you, at scale. (And much more.) It saves teams time on tedious tasks and lower costs. Einstein Lead Scoring can even help you convert your email readers to customers by scoring the best prospects and notifying the sales team. Notice I’m not recommending having an AI tool like ChatGPT or Jasper or Hemingway Editor actually write your emails. Editing them is okay. And they are pretty good at shortening content, but always, always, ALWAYS go back over it if you do choose to use an AI tool.
Drive results with a strong CTA. Make your call to action in the email specific and relevant. Maybe it’s a limited-time offer, entry to a contest, a prompt to visit your website, or an invitation to an event. Give your customers an irresistible reason to click through and take action. And to do so quickly.
Test. Test. Test again. Finally, don't be afraid to experiment with different approaches to see what resonates with your audience. Test variables in the preheader, body, and specific content blocks. Try out different send days and times. Compare performance of different subject lines. A/B testing shows how subscribers respond to elements like subject lines or content personalization. Try out different journey paths: AI can help support multivariate testing. Pick the winner, but never be afraid to run another test.
Referring to these ten tips will help you create more engaging and effective emails that your readers will be excited to open. By staying relevant, telling a compelling story, keeping things simple, and testing your approach, you'll be able to show off how appealing, effective, and trustworthy your brand is. So start crafting those emails and let me know how well they’re working.
Summit Technologies LLC has extensive experience implementing and customizing marketing automation tools Marketing Cloud and Account Engagement (formerly Pardot). Let us help you get up and running on a great platform with content messaging that moves the needle.