With the growth of internet and mobile devices, businesses can now operate anywhere in the world, and customers can be reached at any time. This presents new opportunities for global businesses, but also new challenges. How can a company effectively communicate with a global audience? How can a business ensure that it is complying with the local customs and environments where it is operating? More importantly, how can a business use e-mail marketing to grow its business online?
E-Mail Marketing – Basics
E-mail marketing is the act of sending emails to customers, prospects, and community to grow your business. E-mails function as digital postcards, and just like real postcards, they can only get more effective with time.
The concept behind e-mail marketing is simple – get someone’s attention and make them interested in what you have to offer, and you’ve effectively opened yourself up to a possible customer, subscriber, or social media following.
The effectiveness of e-mails depends on many factors, but mostly on two things – 1. How you write your e-mail 2. How you design your e-mail list.
The Hook – Short And Sweet
The hook is essentially the first sentence of your e-mail. If you want the reader to actually continue reading your e-mail, you’ll need to use a concise, engaging hook. Just like a great opening line, a great hook will make your reader interested in what you have to say, and help them to understand your message quickly.
Here’s an example of a great hook – Find out what readers want and need in a single sentence. It’s a short, sweet sentence that hooks the reader and makes them curious about what’s next.
In the hook example above, the reader knows exactly what they’re getting into – they’re going to discover what readers want and need in terms of content from your blog or online store. With one simple sentence, you’ve established the fact that you understand your reader’s needs and wants, and have a clear message for them.
An introduction is essentially what you say in the first few paragraphs of your e-mail, before you get into the meat of your content.
In these first few paragraphs, you want to re-establish your credibility as a speaker on the topic, and create a great first impression. To do this, use an authoritative tone and engage with the reader using compelling examples and case studies. You can also include a few funny anecdotes if you think they’ll add some spice to your email.
Get To The Point
Now that you’ve established your credibility as a thought leader in your industry, it’s time to get to the point, and tell the reader what they’re going to get from your e-mail. Do this quickly and efficiently, and try to keep things concise.
Too many paragraphs and tangents will make the reader skip your e-mail. Your email’s structure – from the hook to the conclusion – should be concise and to the point. If you want to get really fancy, you can also use subheads and bold text to further condense your email, and make it even more effective.
Here’s an example of a really effective e-mail from JetBlue – They keep things light-hearted but still informative – and you can tell how quickly they got to the point. It’s only two short paragraphs that quickly establish JetBlue as an expert on the subject, and a company that you can trust. For more information about JetBlue, they’ve used a few persuasive verbs (established, recognized, and trusted) and included several case studies, as well as a few light-hearted asides. This makes the email easier to read and more compelling – it draws the reader in quickly.
The body is your email’s presentation tier. You’re going to use the bulk of your e-mail’s text to present your case and deliver your message. Think of the body of your e-mail like the meat of your blog post – it’ll help you to organize your thoughts and ensure that you don’t leave anyone in the dark.
It’s important to remember that while you have an obligation to present every point you make in a clear and concise manner, you don’t have to hit the reader over the head with too much information. If you think that your email’s body is too long, you can always split it into two separate e-mails – one with the short version, and one with the rest. The best practice is to keep it short and sweet, and use subheads and a few call-to-action (CTA) buttons to grab the reader’s attention.
Your conclusion is what you say at the end of your e-mail. It’s a great place to leave your reader with a clear call to action (CTA), and a way to close the loop on your e-mail.
You can also use this part of your email to remind your reader of the benefits of your product or service, or include your pricing information. For example, if you’re selling t-shirts, you might say, “Check out our website for our latest styles and patterns, or visit us on Facebook or Twitter to stay up-to-date on all our new product releases.”
Keep your conclusion short and sweet, and use a few key words that will help your reader to locate your CTA easily.
Here’s an example of a great conclusion – Download our brochure now. The above sentence is short and sweet, and includes a few key words (download, brochure, now). If your reader knows exactly what they’re getting into, it’ll be much easier for them to remember your CTA and take action.
Try to keep your emails short and sweet, and include a few key points in each one. Your emails will be more effective and catch the attention of your reader if you adhere to this simple formula – get someone’s attention quickly with a concise, engaging hook, followed by a brief case study, and then a call to action (CTA)