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7 Simple Tips To Make Your Email Marketing Stand Out

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An Email Direct Marketing (EDM) strategy might just be the most underestimated tool in a digital marketer’s box. In a world of social media addicts and website aficionados, email can seem like a forgotten older cousin that nobody ever talks about anymore. Plus, with many people receiving hundreds of emails daily, many companies who do use email marketing could just as easily be shouting into a crowded room, completely unheard.

Here at P4 Group, we recognise the power that a properly-executed email marketing campaign can have for your brand, so we’ve put together seven of our simplest tips to help your emails stand out in a crowded inbox, instead of falling victim to that dreaded ‘Delete’ button.

Give the subject and first line of your email the thought it deserves

Let’s start where your email recipients do – with the subject line. The email inbox is a crowded place, especially if you’re a busy professional. As members of the marketing and PR industry, trust us, we get it! Your audience could be getting upwards of 300 emails a day, and no one has the time to read through every single one – so first impressions really count! The subject and first line of your email is the first thing your customers see, and if you don’t capture them within the first five or six words, it will probably also be the only thing they see. Therefore, these elements need to pack a punch: they need to summarise the entire EDM in a few short words and engage the audience’s attention, all at the same time! If you’re promoting a sale, don’t waste time with a subject like, Dear Loyal Customer, instead tell them there’s 50% Off Big Brands Today Only!  

Be consistent when timing your EDM send outs

Nobody wants to be bombarded with countless unwanted emails, and no company wants to be known for doing just that. Not only will it give your brand a bad reputation, it will also see your audience switching off and unsubscribing. Being consistent when timing your emails is the best way to prevent this.

We recommend starting your email marketing campaigns with these important questions in mind:

– How often do I want to send these emails out, and how often can I physically pull them together and send them out?
– What day or date should I send them out?
– What time of day should I aim to send them out?

If you’re just starting your EDM journey, in order to answer the above questions, you’ll need to do some split testing. Trial a range of different times and note when and where you see the best results. Then, rinse and repeat! Once you create a routine around it, your audience will come to expect content from you, and be far more likely to engage.

The exception: diverting from your usual timing is 100% A-OK if it’s for an important holiday! Feel free to celebrate Valentine’s, Easter, Christmas and New Year’s, and make sure your customers know what your company is offering for the occasion.

Always add a call-to-action

If you’re not including call-to-actions in your email marketing, then you need to start doing so immediately. Your audience isn’t going to buy your on-sale products, purchase tickets for your event or read your all-important blog post if they can’t easily access it through the email. Your email needs to be easy to navigate, with clear links and call-to-action buttons that will tempt your audience into a click. We recommend you send yourself a test email to make sure all of your links work before you send it out to anyone else. A broken link can potentially mean a huge loss of conversions and sales for your company.

Pick a theme and stick to it

Beginning with a sales goal or key theme for your email marketing campaign can make life so much easier for you. Once you have your goal, whether that be to sell new stock, promote a holiday giveaway or increase donations to a cause, everything else – the subject line, copy, images and overall design – will fall into place.

If you’re sending weekly EDMs, it’s usually best to have a goal or theme for a set period of time. Our weekly EDMs for Books and Gifts Direct all work towards a common monthly goal. For example, in March, our marketing focus was our set of 60 artist pencils, and each week we found a new way to talk about them with our customers.

Make your brand immediately recognisable through your email’s design

While the navigation and readability of your email content is hugely important, it is equally important that your emails are consistently branded. An excellent rule to ensure this happens is to imagine your customers can’t see your company’s name on their emails – would they still be able to tell it’s from you just by looking at the design? Your emails, social media platforms and website should all share design elements that make you stand out in a crowd. For our client Blushing Confetti, a sophisticated (and a little sassy) stationery brand, we custom design each email to ensure brand consistency. Their signature fonts and blush tones are recognisable elements of the brand, so replicating this look and feel through emails ensure the message is received warmly by the audience, meaning they’re more likely to engage.

Want to do something different? You can try adding gifs, or small animations, to your emails. Used sparingly, these will draw the eye and add interest to your communication.

Show your customers that you know them

Personalisation can really add something special to an EDM campaign. The email inbox is far more private and more personal than any social media platform or search engine. This can make it trickier to navigate, because you don’t want your brand to feel too invasive, but if you know what you’re doing it can also give your email marketing a positive edge. Making your email marketing more personal, where it’s possible, can help you to blend further into a personal space, and can show that you know your customers.

If you send emails as part of a loyalty program something as simple as a happy birthday message, or a loyalty program ‘anniversary’ message can connect you with your customer on a more personal level. Adding a congratulatory gift, like a customer discount or a free item, makes this personalisation even better! You may also be able to tailor your messages to customers based on their activity on your website. One of Pure360’s top email marketing campaigns of 2017, Mark Warner’s saved search, sent automated emails to their customers summing up their saved searches, tempting them back onto the website.

Go the extra mile with your transaction emails

Transaction emails are automated emails sent to you after you sign up to an email list, or perform an action on a website. They’re designed to assure customers that their orders have been received and their needs are being met, but beyond this, they’re rarely used in a meaningful way to build brand reputation. This is an opportunity missed by many companies to say so much more about their company.

Lindsay Kolowich at HubSpot discovered one of our favourite-ever uses of the transaction email in email marketing. charity: water, an organisation that works to bring clean drinking water to developing countries, makes sure the connection with their audience doesn’t just disappear after a donation. The organisation sends automated emails after a donation is made to them that tells the donor where their money is being used, and how it’s being used. This creates more brand transparency and trust, and encourages its customers to donate further. So, instead of typing up a plain text transaction email and forgetting about it, try thinking about how these emails can be used to enhance your customer experience.

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