Rev-Up Your Email Content in Three Steps
**Full disclosure: When we first wrote this article we had three pieces of advice. But since then, well, we just kept refining and finding new things you can try and make your email content really shine. So here are more than three ways to improve the content of your email campaigns!
If you’re fortunate enough to have several creative geniuses on your marketing team, you’ve probably got some great email marketing content.
In small firms, though, the role of “marketing team” is often played by one or two people who are too busy meeting the demands of the job to pen masterpiece emails. But with a few simple tweaks, even the most harried marketer can make email content a bit more lively.
The truth is for as much as marketers love their new, shiny things to play around with, consumers will always love the shiny, old thing: email.
According to MarketingSherpa, 72 percent of consumers chose email when asked, “In which of the following ways, if any, would you prefer companies to communicate with you?”
That’s reason alone to rethink how your email content stacks among your competitors.
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Spell-check and grammar-check can help you avoid embarrassing errors, but no tool exists that can transform mundane copy into something interesting.
Writing good content takes time.
You have to ask for — and listen to — feedback from your peers.
You have to think about your audience, not just your marketing goals.
And then you have to monitor how subscribers respond to your content and be willing to make changes accordingly.
With a few simple tweaks, even the most harried marketer can make email content a bit more lively.
Here we will discuss a few methods that can help email marketers write copy that is engaging and drives the reader to act.
We’ll show you just how we’ve incorporated these strategies into our own email campaigns and how they can inspire a number of new strategies that will work with yours.
Inspire User Generated Content
No matter how much effort you put into giving your company a positive image, it will always be second hand to customer reviews.
Consumers nowadays just depend way more on the claims made by other consumers than the word of the company itself.
It’s almost elementary at this point.
User rating systems and review sections have dominated the major ecommerce market in the past five years.
It doesn’t matter how magical and revolutionary you say your product is if no one is willing to back it up.
So if your company products, services, and brand are so dependent on customer opinions, why not use their positive feedback to your advantage in email marketing campaigns?
Stay on the lookout for customers that are notably active supporters of your brand.
Whenever there is a positive review left on your social media sites, website, or blog, make a note of it and mention it during your email.
You’d be surprised how many creative one-liners you’ll find from your customers once you gain a significant following.
This adds a genuine level of humanity to your messages that won’t be ignored.
If you find an individual that is particularly fond of their experience with your company, ask if you could record their testimonial on video.
Not only could you include the clip in your next email, but you can also study their comments to identify keywords and phrases that you might have never known to associate with your brand.
Formality can ruin content, but sometimes, it’s hard to let go of all those grammatical rules and let the words flow. Consider the following paragraphs:
- Whether you’re entertaining guests for the Thanksgiving holidays or cooking for a family get-together, our pumpkin pie recipe allows you to create a perfect pie, every time.
- Remember that one time you cooked a thing and it was less-than-great and your guests were so polite they ate it anyway? Don’t let that happen this Thanksgiving. Check out our awesome pumpkin pie recipe. It’s basically the best recipe ever.
So, the first paragraph isn’t terrible. But it’s not interesting, and it doesn’t really sell the recipe as being worth checking out.
The second paragraph will appeal to anyone who’s ever botched a recipe or woefully miscalculated cooking time. It also has a breezy, informal tone that seems more personal. The tone is probably too relaxed for a newsletter about quantum physics, but usually, being conversational is an easy way to inject personality into your content.
Humanize your content. People like people, not robotic responses.
One way you could do this is by supplementing your existing email strategy with engaging bonus material.
For example, you could interview an industry authority, author, or a notable celebrity.
Then write an audio transcription or record the interview and share it through email.
If you’re falling flat on ideas, try sharing personal stories with your readers.
Giving recognition to employees, customers, and community experiences with your products and services give your company an added layer of honesty and integrity.
There’s no doubt that customers will always use the facts to rationalize their purchases, but heartwarming stories connect with your audience on an emotional level.
Put the best stuff first
In traditional journalism, editors have a pet peeve called a “buried lede,” which is when reporters put the most important information too far into the story. Here’s an example:
- A blanket of snow covered the cornfields, and light fog obscured the farms in the distance. For many people, it was the first day back to work after a long holiday weekend. And that day got off to a poor start, with a 20-car pileup on the Indiana Toll Road.
The 20-car pileup is the most important information in this paragraph, but readers would have to wade through some descriptive fluff to get to it.
Whatever your version is of breaking news – a huge sale, or an interview with someone amazing –get to the point, then add descriptive detail.
Think about your tone
A conversational tone is almost always the best choice for marketing emails — unless you’re, say, talking to neuroscientists about the latest advances in brain surgery, which would totally justify the use of a more formal tone.
If you’re not sure how to write in a conversational tone, the easiest way to get started is to read your writing aloud.
If you sound like a robot or like an Oxford professor in the year 1860, the tone is too formal.
To achieve a breezy tone:
- Use contractions
- Write short sentences
- Forget most of what you know about “proper” grammar — you’re not writing a term paper, so it’s OK to bend the rules
Finally, always ask someone else to read your work. Pick someone who’s not afraid say, “Hey, this is boring.” Then use that feedback to write something better.
Put your email content strategy together
To capture your reader’s interest your email or newsletter has to be unique. In other words, your content should hold the interest of your audience and be informative as well as relevant. In closing, here is your list of tips to consider while writing email content to bring in results:
Be Clear: You email content must be simple and clear. By adding complex words and sentences you are sure to turn off your audience’s interest because they will not have the patience to sort through your message.
Be Precise: Do not beat around the bush. Convey the point you want to get across quickly, preferably in the first few sentences. Your call to action should be highly visible.
Be Friendly: Do not be bossy or try to direct your readers to do what you think is best for them. Address them as you would address a long time friend and provide information that interests them. Converse with them to make them feel the decision they take is their own.
Include Questions: By including questions in your message, you will create a sense of engagement with your readers, prompting them to act on it – either now or later.
Be Consistent: Your email should always contain the same tone, language, and font in all the messages. Your reader will identify this as a part of your brand.
Be Informative: Your readers subscribe to your emails because they seek solutions to their problems. Therefore, your email has to be informative as well as educational. It should teach them things they do not know or provide them with a new dimension to the things they already know.
Be Creative: Sending the same kind of email may not always give you the response you seek. Keep altering your email content and bring in a sense of uniqueness to pique your reader’s interest. Do something out of the ordinary to attract attention.
Be Reader-Centric: Though your newsletter contains information about your company and its products and services, it should be about how the information can best suit your reader’s needs. It should contain the content they want to read about, announcements and updates affecting them and their business.
At Delivra we keep all of these tips in mind when we help you create email campaigns. Whether it entails creating a winning content for your email or designing the best email to suit your audience needs, we have the answers.
In our Tried & Trusted Guide to Email Marketing ebook, we show you how to make your emails shine.
From subject lines and content to email design and layout, this is your guide to perfecting your email marketing strategy. Grab your free copy here.