email marketing ingredients

A large part of my job is to keep across the latest trends in email marketing, which means I read a lot of blogs.

And it never ceases to amaze me how many people write about open and click rates as the be all and end all of email marketing.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s very important to have high open and click through rates. But the aim of the game for email marketing should always be to get conversions, and lots of them.

For example if you’re an online retailer the reason you send emails is to increase revenue. So the number one thing you should want your email to do is to drive purchases.

Or maybe you’re a business coach and you need your emails to boost registrations for your training courses.

Whatever your desired end result is, it can seem like a big task to get conversions, which is why I want to share with you four essential ingredients to create emails that convert.

1. Have a clear objective for your email

It’s really important that you know exactly why you are sending an email, who you are sending it to and what you want them to do once they’ve read it.

Like the examples above, make sure you have a clear understanding about what you want to achieve with your email.

Once you have an objective clearly defined it will make the next step, creating engaging content, much easier. And it will also mean you can measure how your email performs.

2. Create valuable content that your customers want to receive

We know that unless you’re 100% committed to sending email content that is interesting and valuable to your subscribers, you’ll struggle to keep their attention.

So what’s the best way to keep your readers engaged? Make your emails:

  • Relevant – customise the content in your emails for different segments within your customer base. You can easily do this using conditional content
  • Personal – recognise your customers are real people with preferences and write to them as individuals rather than as your ‘email list’
  • Benefit focused – offer something of value in your emails whether its an educational resource, special promotion or useful tips

It’s also really important to use your reports to gain insights into what your readers find valuable by monitoring the performance of campaigns, paying close attention to click-through rates.

3. Use compelling design to entice your readers to act

When it comes to email design one of the most important elements is brand consistency as this builds trust with your customers. If your emails drive your customers to your website then their experience needs to be consistent.

Additionally when designing emails it’s a good idea to keep these best practice tips in mind:

  • Have an even ratio of images to text
  • Keep your emails easy to scan by using sub headings, bold text (when appropriate) and bullet points to break up content
  • Use alt text to encourage readers to turn on your images as many of them will have their images blocked by default in their inbox

It’s also important to test your email before you hit send. This is the only way to ensure your emails will display exactly as you expect on any email client.

4. Include a clear call to action

Tell your customers exactly what you want them to do! Your call to action should relate back to your objective and needs to be simple and obvious.

If you want your call to action to cater for all readers include both text links and image links. And remember to include ample padding to make sure it is easy for your reader to click or touch (depending on what device they use) the call to action.

I’d love to know – what’s your top tip for creating emails that convert? Share your ideas in the comments section below.