There are two things that make an email campaign effective: great copy and excellent visuals. Together, you have a shot at an eye catching design. Although this is everything you need to know about successful email marketing campaigns, there’s more to it.
What is ‘great copy’? What are ‘excellent images’? What’s considered ‘good design’? Turns out, there’s a lot of concepts to wrap around your mind if you want to increase the click rates of your emails. End goal – creating email campaigns that convert with the help of copy and visuals.
If you manage to change a thing or two and try something new with your copy and visuals, you’re a step closer to finding a system that works for you. This of course comes only with experimentation and trying new things. Effective email marketing campaigns take time, sometimes hard work but more importantly – thought and effort.
Part 1: Striving for enticing copy
Let’s talk about subject lines
The subject line is your one shot to make your reader curious enough to read the rest of your email. No one will have a chance to read your clever and carefully crafted copy in the email if they’re not prompted to open your email. You should by now have a persona in mind as to who your ideal client is. What will sound appealing to them? Try placing yourself in the shoes of your clients and really think about the kind of word choices.
A whole book can be written on the art of crafting subject lines. In a nutshell, you have to use actionable language, string together catchy words that will evoke curiosity, and most importantly not be misleading. The reason for this is because many focus too much on the subject line, and the actual copy of the email is sub par, making the subject line pretty much clickbait. This is a cheap trick that should be avoided at all costs. Deliver what you’ve promised, and make sure your subject line is aligned with the email copy.
Your email copy will be all about providing value for your clients, so make sure your email subject line hints at it. Remember to be concise, which is precisely why good subject lines take so much time to craft. In the end, it will be worth it if your click rates reflect a peaque in interest and show better stats. Your subject line is going to be the difference between a click and the trash. If that feels like a lot of pressure, it’s because it is.
Now, as for the actual email
#1: Relevancy and personalization
You can assume that your email list is growing because more people are interested in your business, goods or services. Don’t let those people down! On top of crafting the perfect subject line that makes people want to open your emails, you have to personalize the email when possible and be sure that it’s relevant to your customers.
Personalization can be achieved in indirect ways through frequently addressing your client with words “you” and “your”. This makes people feel like you’re actually talking to them individually, and if your copy is excellent, this kind of personalization will let people know you care about them, not about promoting your business (as seen with excessive use of “we”, “our” etc.).
As for relevancy, it should be clear right off the bat why you’re emailing and what’s in it for the reader. Establish a very clear connection and a solid reason for this email. If it’s an offer, why should your readers be interested and how is this different from your other offers? That’s when you get to the ‘value’ of each email you send.
This rule is also very relevant to your email subscription form and popups. The more personalized the message and the value for your readers (and its timing), the more likely they will subscribe to your list. You can use tools like Poptin to create popups for free.
#2: Highlight benefits, avoid blatant advertising
To address the elephant in the room, let’s just say that no one cares much for blatant advertising. We’re bombarded with it on a daily basis as it is, and getting another promotional email more often than not makes people roll their eyes. It’s frustrating! Again, put yourself in the shoes of your clients. Even if you’re trying to advertise a product, you have to get creative and find a more unusual edge in trying to squeeze in an ad.
You might have a very good idea of what value you’re providing to your reader, but they don’t know it. Your job is to make it very clear from the start. This means logically taking them through a few breezy lines to let them know why you’re emailing, what’s in it for them and what they will get out of this.
#3: The art of being concise
Much can also be said about the ideal length of an email. Even if you have a very simple and straightforward offer, sometimes you can get carried away. All the tips in this article make it seem like there’s a lot to be packed into a single email, which is true, but you also have to remember that you have to be brief.
Telling your readers some elaborate story that’s beautifully crafted may sound like a good idea, but most readers just don’t have that kind of time or attention spans (mind you, attention spans are about 8 seconds today).
Think back to the emails you open from brands. You probably don’t read the emails beginning to end. People tend to scan emails for important points. Yes, because our attention spans are equal to and maybe even less than a goldfish.
The key here is to summarize your idea, however grand, and provide a place where the reader can get more information if you really do have a chunk of information to pack into one email. Make sure the separate paragraphs are separate ideas so that the email is easy to scan.
#4: Watch your language!
Every word you choose has some sort of connotation. Let that sink in. Words can quickly throw off your readers, or do the opposite and take them on a journey (one they want to finish reading). When deciding on your voice and register, think about your brand values. The way you address your clients and followers on social media is exactly the way you should be addressing them in your emails.
Why is this important? Discordant writing is easily detectable. If you are super friendly and seem like the next door neighbor when you address your followers on social media, sending really formal promotional emails just doesn’t make sense. Here too, you must maintain consistency. This makes readers understand your brand better, makes you relatable and shows your brand’s’ personality. And it all starts with your language.
#5: Where’s the CTA?
CTAs are often the whole point of the email. You want your readers to take some action (aside from opening your email). An obvious tip is that your CTA should be very distinguishable and draw the reader’s eye to it right away. Keep in mind that scanning is only natural once the email is open.
You got your readers to open an email – check. Readers read the email – check. Reader clicks CTA – your job is done. That’s the essence of a successful email marketing campaign. If people are generally more responsive to a specific campaign, learn from what worked well and adjust your strategy as needed. The copy on the button itself should be simple and straightforward.
Part 2: Engaging visuals
Why include visuals?
Plain text emails work well, but what works better than that is emails with images, especially if those images can make your readers smile if they’re funny or clever. Images are another way to communicate something faster than written words. Images and the overall design of your email campaigns become crucial.
Once you get a reader to open an email, the first thing their mind will jump to is the image or images you include. Next, they’ll move on to the copy. People are simply more likely to read your email if it’s accompanied by visuals. The great combo of images and text is what can determine if your email converts.
Where to find images
#1: Find images by theme or using free images
There should be some obvious parallel between your email copy and the image or images that you include. Depositphotos hand-selects images according to different themes which you can find in the blog’s featured collection section. One of the reasons why this is a great place to start, is because it’s a collection of trendy images that are more creative in composition and experimental in other aspects.
If you’re using Crello to create your designs, you can use the free photos in the “Photos”, “Free Photos” tab on the left hand side. It’s an easy way to integrate visuals into your design and especially helpful if you want to create images with text and other design elements together. If you’d like to buy other images, you have the option of doing so for just $1 per image.
#2: Representative images
One type of image often used in marketing is representative images. Representative images are literal. If you’re writing about watches, you would use a representative image of a watch. This can work well for some emails, especially if you’re advertising a product, because they immediately let the reader know what they’re in for.
Representative images are great when paired with text on top of the image. If you’re opting for a literal representation, you might as well pair it with the most important point of the email or the CTA.
#3: Conceptual images
If you’re writing about more complex topics, use conceptual images. Conceptual images help readers better understand concepts. These images are more creative and are a great way to communicate ideas.
For example, if you’re writing about the benefits of using a new social media management tool, you could use an image or a fun illustration of someone multitasking, or finding their zen as a result of the tool (see image below). This immediately throws information at your reader (this tool is easy to use and will save time), making them grasp the essence of your message before they even get to reading.
#4: Aspirational images
If your goal is to lure the reader, aspirational images serve to create a demand for your product. This can be in the form of a sophisticated design showcased as part of your product, or simply images that inspire others to want to own a product.
#5: Opting for engaging visuals
Deciding on which visuals to use can sometimes take more time than writing the actual email. The goal here is to provoke an emotional response – make readers quickly understand the vibe of your emails. It’s therefore key to focus on evoking feelings and emotions rather than literal representations.
Above all else, image quality should be a priority. Next, you want to make sure the images in your emails are memorable. Achieving memorability is about applying creativity – cropping, editing in interesting ways or including animations. That’s how you tackle the issue of engagement. When readers see something unexpected, they’re more likely to remember your email.
Much more can be said about the actual design of your email, however, when you’re dealing with multiple campaigns, excelling in these two areas is all you need to see results. These are all the things you can do on your own, without the help of designers. At the end of the day, this approach is all you need to create and execute a successful email marketing campaign.