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8 practical tips on how to improve your email marketing (not only) before the holidays

Email marketing

8 practical tips on how to improve your email marketing (not only) before the holidays

Email marketing still belongs into the icons of online marketing. It is exact, fast and effective. Well, it can be like this if it’s done well. If you’re looking for inspiration on how to improve your emails or email marketing, I am going to introduce a few how-to tips and recommendations in this article.

  • Jan Spáčil
  • Author

  • Jan Spáčil

When someone gets your email, they will ask themselves a few questions. Is your email answering them correctly?

When you are preparing a bulk email, try to look at it through the eyes of people you are sending it to. Imagine a person. Someone you will send your email to and who will find your email on their phone or computer. When they get your email, they will ask themselves a few questions. If your email answers these questions correctly, there’s a chance they will read your email and do whatever it is you sent the email for. So, what are these questions?

 

1. Who is emailing me?

This question is connected to the sender of the email. You most likely do this too. When you get an email from someone you know, there is a big chance you will open the email and read it instead of when it is sent by someone from address info@clevercompany.com.

People first look at who is emailing them and not what it is they are trying to say. That’s why you should always use a concrete name as the sender, so the recipient knows who it is.

Have a look at the results of our survey in which we asked 311 respondents about what they look at first when getting an email. 42% of them said that they look at the name of the sender first and then they decide if they are going to open the email and read it. After that, 34% said that they look at the heading and subject of the email first.

Výsledky průzkumu

 

If you want your customers to get emails directly from the salespeople they are communicating with, try the ‘‘Automatic sender option‘‘ in Quanda. This setting that you can find in the ‘‘Sending‘‘ section, replaces the sender’s address and their signature automatically according to who the owner of the contact is.

Automatická volby odesílatele v Quandě

 

By this you can reach higher potential of customers opening your email, clicking through them and get better overall results. More information on "How to create the owner of a contact" can also be found in our video guide.

 

2. What are they writing to me about?

This question can be answered through the subject, heading and preview of your email if the recipient has it enabled. The preview of an email is a part of the email message that will appear on the screen by hovering over the email in the received emails list.

Náhled e-mailu

 

There are many articles written about the correct way to write the subject and heading of an email. It is quite important to remind ourselves about these recommendations though. If you haven’t had the chance to read these articles or you want to remind yourself of their contents, please read  "How to write the subject of an email. A detailed guide you will not want your competition to read." and "9 tips on how to create the right email title."

 

3. Is this meant for me?

You have only a few seconds to persuade the recipient to read your email. You have to catch their attention and convince them that they should be interested in your email. How can we achieve this?

I. Don´t forget to choose your recipients correctly.

The content of your email must be relevant to the expectations of the recipients. It is obvious that if you send a business proposal to someone who cannot use it, the email won’t work. Everything starts with the selection of recipients. It is not enough to choose recipients by suitability of the contents or the offer only. It is important to also consider the factor of the activity or passivity of your recipients. What does that mean?

You can definitely find contacts in your list that are interested in your emails, open them and click through them. You can also find contacts that never open your emails, no matter what you send. Maybe your emails end up in the bulk email folder or their settings evaluate your emails as spam and block their delivery. You can also be using an old address that the recipients no longer use and they do not check this inbox anymore. There are many reasons why this can happen.

By sending these emails to inactive recipients, you’re not only sending emails that aren’t read but the email inbox provider takes the unopened email as a signal that the recipient ‘‘isn’t interested‘‘ in your emails. By the degree of interest or disinterest in your emails, the provider can form a certain picture about you throughout time. They will start to ‘‘mark‘‘ you so they know how to cope with further emails from you.

If you have a good mark, your emails will generally get into the primary folders and there won’t be any problems with delivering your emails. However, if your mark is bad, your emails will end up in bulk email folders or worse, in the spam folder. And that is regardless to what and to whom you are sending the email to.

And that is where the catch is. Bad marks equal bad reputation. As a sender of bulk emails, you won’t be able to deliver the emails into primary folders and if your reputation is terrible, the emails can be blocked completely.

Imagine you are the email inbox provider, maybe you are in charge of Gmail. What mark would you give yourself if your emails are opened by only 20% of your recipients? What mark would you give yourself if you are still sending emails to recipients that never open them? After a while you would tell yourself that this sender is only sending bulk emails without looking at their results and it isn’t likely you would give this sender a good mark.

On the other hand, how would you mark a sender whose emails get open in 40% or more cases? Someone who doesn’t send emails repeatedly to recipients who never open them? Your rating would be definitely higher than in the first scenario. Is that right? And that is the difference between emails that end up in primary folders and emails that either end up in spam folders or aren’t delivered at all.

Your good reputation can help you deliver emails into primary folders.

 

To make your job easier and help you reach the desired information, we expanded the ‘‘Detailed contacts filter‘‘ on the page ‘‘Recipients‘‘ in the email campaign. In this filter you can find a new section called ‘‘Based on mailed campaigns‘‘. Soon, this ‘‘Detailed contacts filter‘‘ will also appear on the page ‘‘Contacts‘‘.

I often use terms like ‘‘contact‘‘ or ‘‘recipient‘‘. To make myself clear, I use the term ‘‘contact‘‘ to talk about a contact saved in Contacts. It is usually a name, surname, an email or other information. ‘‘Recipient‘‘ is a contact that was inserted into an email campaign and there was an email sent to them.

Podrobný filtr kontaktů

 

This filter can help you organize recipients and contacts based on mailed campaigns and the activity of the recipients in these campaigns. This expansion can help you find active and inactive contacts quickly and lets you work with them accordingly.

 

II. Reach the highest identification of recipients with the contents of your email.

When the recipient gets our email and opens it, they have to know immediately that the email is meant for them and concerns them. How can you achieve this? The fastest way is through the introductory picture and a headline, in this order – first a picture, then the text. People are more likely to look at a picture before reading a text.

 

The introductory picture of an email

How to choose the right picture? Choose something that tells the recipients that the email is meant for them. The picture should capture the reality of the recipient. A situation they can find themselves in. The filed they work in. The environment they know, a product they use often and so on. If the recipient doesn’t know your products or doesn’t use them, it could be a mistake to use a concrete product as the introductory picture. The recipient doesn’t have to know what it is. In this case, try to avoid using such pictures.

If the recipient sees a picture that doesn’t speak to them instead of one that they relate to, you can lose their interest.

This example email will be sent to recipients that work in agriculture.

E-mail Gumex

 

The main headline

The headline should, just like a picture, catch the recipient’s attention and convince them to read the email. The headline fulfils two functions. First is to catch the recipient’s attention and second is to persuade the recipient to stay and read the whole email. The recipient should get that the emails concern them right from the headline. The headline should contain something that is well known to them. It can be a description of a familiar problem that you have the solution for. You have to connect the headline to the recipient’s reality. To situations that they live through, to what is happening in their environment, to situations that they usually face or situations they want to solve.

If you are not sure about what to write - ask. Surveys and questionnaires are perfect for this. Via these you can gain information that you can later use in a way we talked about. If you are not sure, the best option is to ask your customers directly. Ask them what their most frequent problems are that your products or services could deal with. What did they gain by using your services and products. What problems would they have to solve if they didn’t have your products or services at disposal. Find out why they bought from you and so on. All this can help you formulate headlines that will catch the readers’ attention.

Nadpis v e-mailu

 

III. Use personalized addressing and text parts.

Personalized addressing is a standard nowadays. You can try to address the recipient by their first name. It could be an interesting change that could draw attention. Up for consideration is also the personalization of certain text parts of the email, for example the information about a service that the recipient used or a product they bought, or the reason why is the recipient getting this email. When you place this information into your email you can lower the amount of recipients that would otherwise close the email and not read it through.

An example of a personalized text in the footer of an email sent from Quanda.

Patička e-mailu z Quandy

 

Suitably chosen personalized text can help you accommodate the contents of an email to any recipient and by that reach higher relevancy of the message you’re sending out. You can also save text information into users‘ fields automatically and then use it for personalization of text parts of your email. All via automatizations that you can find in Contacts.

You can also personalize the subject of your email. For example, like this:

Personalizace předmětu

 

You can also personalize the addressing and parts of the text. For example, like this:

Personalizace textu

 

4. Why should I read this?

The combination of a well-chosen picture followed by a correctly formulated headline decides if the recipient will stay or go away. Whatever is written in the headline together with the subject and the email name of the email sets up expectations and highly influences if the recipient will read the contents of the email and click and continue further on.

Obrázek a titulek e-mailu

 

Thanks to the headline you can present the main reason why the recipient should be occupied with your email. In this headline, they should find something valuable, interesting or convenient, something that is worth reading about and something they wouldn’t mind devoting their time and attention to. This headline should start up their desire to know more.

The purpose of a picture and a headline is to draw attention and evoke the desire to read the whole email.

 

If you manage to do this, the rest of the email can be used for expressing why you are sending this email. You can attach a simple description of a product or a service, a picture, highlight interesting things or attach a reference.

The contents of the email serve one purpose. To make the recipient click on the link in the email and by this go to the linked page.

 

5. I am interested. What should I do?

Now it’s time for the key part of your email. The call to action. The place that forwards the recipient to an order, reservation, a document download and so on. Basically, to whatever the email is about.

The call to action has to be simple, easily understandable, bold and it should be practically inevitable, meaning there should be a motivation for the recipient to click on it. A discount, bonus, benefit, primacy, advantage… whatever is worthwhile, something that the recipient will gain by clicking on and finishing your request.

The call to action is usually presented in an email by a text link, a button or a picture you can click on. If you choose a text link, try to avoid a simple ‘‘here‘‘. Instead of writing: ‘‘More about the product HERE‘‘, where ‘‘HERE‘‘ is the shortest word, it is better to create the link from a whole sentence and formulate the link more like this: ‘‘Find out more about the product‘‘. This kind of text link will be easier to see and will draw more attention and so your chances of getting clicked on are bigger.

If you choose to use a button, use a contrast and vibrant colour, so that the button is easy to see. Make it big enough and leave some space around it so it stands out.

E-mail Gumex

 

If you get the recipient to click the link, you still have some work to do. Now the linked page that you forwarded the recipient to has to do its job too.

 

How to improve landing page so it sells?

If you get to this point and the recipient has clicked the link or the button, it is a great achievement but still not a ‘‘product‘‘.

The result (product) of every mailing is the achievement of the target you set up before sending the email.

 

The recipient can only reach the target by getting to the linked page. This page is generally called the ‘‘landing page‘‘. It is a common page on your web. The name landing came from the action of clicking the link in the email and then ‘‘landing‘‘ on the linked page. Even here, the recipient of your email will ask themselves a few questions. Even here, you have to keep these questions in mind while creating the page contents. What questions are they?

 

6. Am I in the right place?

When the recipient of your emails enters the linked page, they should know immediately that they are in the right place. They shouldn’t doubt themselves for one minute and even consider that they did something wrong.

To achieve this, you have to match the email to the landing page. Ideally, try to use the same pictures, same colours for buttons, same or very similar font, matching colours of the font and so on.

The more similar the email and the landing page will be the less will your recipient be confused.

Your email and the landing page should mirror each other.

 

7. Why should I stay?

Just like you have to convince the recipient to open the email, read it and click on the link, you also have to convince them to stay on the landing page. How to achieve this?

  • The page must be clear and simple.
  • The main headline or title has to contain your special business proposal.
  • The page should contain the description of the product or the service and be more focused on the benefits and assets than on functions and technical details.
  • The page should also contain references, the number of customers who already bought the product or the service and anything else that can improve the credibility of your offer.

 

8. I want this. What should I do?

If the introduction of your landing page has convinced the recipient to stay, the last goal is to make them evoke their desire and want. If you achieve that, there is a one last step – another call to action.

You can do this via a request form with a button, an order form or a registration form with a button, a button for purchase etc. If there are no calls to action on the page, everything you have done so far has been useless. You have to simplify the process for the recipient as much as you can. Don’t bother them with useless menu items, extensive menus, different offers, banners etc.

Let them finish the task they are there for.

 

Don’t overdo it with the calls to action though, one or two calls are enough.

 

... in conclusion

If you successfully guided your recipient through all the steps, congratulations. If your recipient got lost in one of the steps, have a look at it and edit it so the recipient can automatically get to the next step. If you are not sure about using and implementing all this, give us a call or send us an email and we will gladly help you with anything.

 

If you liked the article, leave us a comment. We love comments!

We wish you good luck
Jan Spáčil

 

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