From Subject Line to Signature Crafting the Perfect Email

From Subject Line to Signature: Crafting the Perfect Email

Email marketing is highly effective, affordable, and (importantly) reusable. A successful email marketing campaign can be repurposed, so you can get more mileage out of a single piece of written content. For instance, an email to a new subscriber can be repurposed into an autoresponder campaign for all new subscribers in the future. This saves your marketing team time and energy while maximizing sales.

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Crafting the perfect email takes research and practice. Customers are bombarded by hundreds, if not thousands, of emails each week through their various inboxes. It takes something special for an email to stand out, seem personalized, and catch their attention. Not to mention, the worst-performing marketing emails can end up in your customer’s email spam filter.

Whether you need to draft your first email marketing campaign or want your current campaigns to perform better, there are some proven strategies to keep in mind when it comes to crafting the perfect email. Here are some tips to consider when writing your next email campaign.

Think About the Sales Pipeline

Before you write a marketing email to a customer, it is important to really understand that customer’s place in your company’s sales process. The message that would resonate most with customers varies based on their familiarity with your company and purchase history. Essentially, customers want to see different content messages depending on where they are in their journey with your brand.

For instance, new customers want to learn more about the quality of your products, the culture of your company, and how products are manufactured. They don’t know a lot about your company yet, so a hard sell could turn them off if you haven’t built enough trust for them to make a purchase. That said, asking for the sale is still important for new customers—it just probably shouldn’t be your first interaction. Repeat customers, on the other hand, already know about your company and its offerings. A limited-time offer or a thank-you message could be effective for customers who are already more likely to buy.

Clarify Each Email’s Purpose

Just as you must be mindful of where your customers are in the sales process, it is imperative that you define the purpose of your email. It is unlikely that you’ll be able to create a single email that can serve 12 different purposes at once. Here are some potential reasons to send out a marketing email:

  • Advertise a sale
  • Thank customers
  • Educate customers
  • Make an announcement
  • Highlight an employee of the month
  • Launch a new product or service
  • Distribute company news or a press release
  • Disseminate a blog post or white paper

A good email can probably accomplish two of these. Perhaps you want to educate customers about a new product that your company just launched while providing them with a great coupon code. These two purposes can be served by a single email.

However, this isn’t the case for all purposes. You wouldn’t want to thank customers and pressure them to buy in the same email. You also wouldn’t want to highlight a new employee while distributing a free white paper. These purposes can’t co-exist in the same email in a truly effective way.

Focus on the Subject Line

Your subject line is often the most important part of the email. You need something that’s interesting and unique enough that readers will open it. The best-written email in the world won’t get opened and read if it has a bad subject line. In the worst-case scenario, an ineffective subject line will cause your email to be filtered into the spam folder.

Writing the perfect subject line is tricky. Using what’s trendy now (e.g. emojis) probably won’t work well next year, as it will become overused. You also don’t want to try too many tricks, such as using ALL CAPS or writing clickbait (in which the email’s contents don’t match the email’s catchy and intriguing subject line).

To write the best subject line, it’s best to think of something catchy and accurate. It can vary based on industry and company. Brainstorm what would be captivating for your target customer. Are they motivated by saving money? If so, include something about saving money in the subject line for an email about a current sales promotion.

Think Through the Message Body

It’s hard to pick out one type of email message body that’s the most effective, as there are many variations that can work. Generally, you want to provide readers with just the right amount of information. While scanning through their inbox, most people won’t have the time or interest level required to read 1,000 words or more in an email. For most purposes, 150 to 500 words seem to be the most effective.

You also don’t have to include all of a post or message within the email itself. If your email’s purpose is to drive traffic to a blog post, it is perfectly acceptable to include the beginning of the blog post with instructions on how to read more of the blog post on your company’s website. This strategy won’t work for every type of email so you’ll need to gauge your goals against the email’s content.

Email Content Example GIF
Email Content Example

Your email’s content should match the subject line. It should also be structured in an aesthetically pleasing manner that should include:

•Photographs 

•Graphic outlines 

•Social media buttons where applicable

Include the Right Call to Action

Every email should include a call to action. This is what you want readers to do after they read through the email. This could mean buying a product, clicking a link, or signing up for something. Be clear in your ask so customers know what the best next steps are.

Some examples of calls to action for email campaigns include:

  • Print out a coupon
  • Get a discount on abandoned cart items
  • Buy a popular item before it sells out
  • Read more of a blog post
  • Download a mobile app to your smartphone
  • Learn more about a new product on our website
  • Watch a video
  • Click on a hyperlink

You can also read this list of 75 calls to action that can be effective in your next email marketing campaign.

Use the Email Signature to Your Advantage

Too many people use their email signature as a static thing that only displays their name and contact information. This is a wasted opportunity to communicate additional information to customers and vendors. You can utilize your email signature to provide more information about an upcoming event, to encourage recipients to buy a product or sign up for your company’s email list, or to include just a little bit more sales information. The content doesn’t even have to stay the same. You can customize it based on what email you’re sending to whom.

Nail the Tone

The tone used throughout the email, from its subject line to body, should be on point for your brand. If your brand uses a light, fun, and conversational tone on social media and on your website, this same tone should be in the majority of your email marketing campaigns. Ideally, your customers should be able to recognize that the email comes from your company without seeing your company’s name on it.

Personalize

Generic templated messages sent to the masses definitely won’t resonate with readers. These could even get deleted before being read. You can personalize an email with fields such as {FirstName} in your email marketing platform, where your subscriber’s name is inserted into the email where you want it.

However, be cautious about how you personalize each email. Just using the recipient’s name isn’t enough. Many marketers send generic emails using just an email recipient’s name. Try to find other ways to personalize your email campaigns, such as asking them about their past purchases or recommending a product. This will help to build a personalized relationship with them and increase the ROI of campaigns.

Measure

To know if your email is truly perfect, you need to find a way to measure its success. You can use this information to learn which emails are effective and what techniques worked best for use in future campaigns. This requires you to establish goals or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These may include the number of clicks or opens as reported by your email marketing platform, the number of sales via a tracked link, or the number of event signups.

When you first start to measure the success of your email marketing campaigns, it’s easy to become discouraged. If you’ve never really seen your emails’ conversion rates, it can be disheartening to see how many people didn’t read the email or choose to buy. Everyone goes through this! Use these experiences as a starting point. With each subsequent campaign, aim to do just a little better.

A well-crafted email can be an asset for your sales and marketing team, keeping customers and leads engaged with your company’s sales process. Plus, there are many other ways to use emails to advance your company’s goals. Happy sending!

Melanie G.

Melanie G. is a freelance writer and editor living in Tampa, Florida. She's freelanced full-time since she left her writing job at Nielsen in 2012.

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