Did you know that good email marketing writing will increase your sign up rates, readership and overall give you a better return on investment?

People love to read stuff that interests them and they find useful, therefore will keep reading. Freelance copywriter, Leigh Cooke Southampton, says that “regular readers of your emails start to get to know your company, building trust and brand awareness”. Being in the forefront of customer minds, means you are likely to be top choice or recommendation when your service is needed!

As a content writer, there is huge array of considerations when developing business email marketing. Outsourcing email marketing to the hands of a professional copywriter can save you time and money, while ensuring your emails retain top copywriting skills.

Here are a few email marketing tips for freelance writers, content marketing departments and SMEs.

What you’ll discover about email marketing

Email research tips

Email marketing data list tips

Email technical tips

Email target market tips

Email writing tips

Email marketing and research

Before you get started developing your email marketing, a little research is needed! Take a look at a range of email marketing techniques, from companies in the same industry as you to emails you personally enjoy. Leigh Cooke Southampton recommends looking at how the process works from initial sign up stage through to receiving emails from companies. How easy is it? How regular are the emails? What are they offering you? Does the email make you want to keep reading, receive more or unsubscribe. Jotting down the pro’s and con’s of email marketing will help you define your email marketing strategy.

Email marketing permissions

Before sending out marketing emails to anyone – it is essential that you are emailing to people who have given permission. No one likes spam. Ever! Whether a customer has ordered a product online or completed a comment card at an event – ensure when capturing their details, they have ‘opted-in’ to receive emails from you. Your emails are more likely to be read by people who want to receive them.

As a copywriter, getting email permission can be easy, whether offline or online. Offer them something instant to the user – special promotions, practical advice or news. It is also important to allow for them to unsubscribe or ‘opt-out’ of the emails.

Choose, grow and develop your email marketing data list

Building and growing a targeted email database can be tough at the beginning. You should have a list of existing customer’s emails to market to. Expand this by asking them to recommend or send to a friend. Opening new marketing channels, using a data company can provide email address. Leigh Cooke Southampton says it is important to work closely with the data provider and be specific in your data needs.

Clean and segmented email marketing database

Regular data cleansing of your email marketing list means removing customers who have opted out of emails from you. By having a quality email marketing database then allows you to target your messages. If your database is large enough – segmenting the email market will further focus your message and offer greater email marketing success. Segmentation may be by location, profession, age, new or repeat customers.

Formatting your email

Here are a few email marketing tips to ensure they get to your target’s inbox!

Rich text (HTML) and plain text emails

Some email clients will allow for rich text emails or HTML emails – this is where you can use different fonts, images, hyperlinks and colour in your email. Plain text emails, is where the email is at its most basic form – just words! Plain text may be more prevalent on mobile devices – where people may read emails on the way to work. Whether it is rich text or plain text – the content writer should offer compelling copy to keep the reader interested. Another option for plain text emails – is to also offer a landing page for HTML readers to use. Leigh Cooke Southampton says it is important not to assume the reader will copy and paste the link to another website page, therefore the copy should attract their attention in the first instance.

Email marketing links

Using links in rich text emails allows readers to be directed to the product or service you are discussing. Professional copywriter follows a simple rule of thumb – one link per paragraph. We all know that too many links looks cluttered, however, not enough email links reduce click through rates.

Email layout

The email client your customers use may not be the same as yours. Therefore – do not assume the way it looks on your screen, is how it will look on others. Some email CRM systems allows you to view popular email client layouts. Choose fonts and sizes that are consistent throughout – such as Tahoma, Calibre or Times New Roman.

Consistency and company branding

Keep your emails consistent – use the same formatting, layout and colours. Readers like continuity and familiarity when reading emails. Keeping the colours and fonts of the brand help readers make that connection with the email, website and company.

What’s your email spam score?

Avoid spam words – ‘free’, ‘save’, ‘£’, ‘discount’ etc

Avoid spam colours – reds and yellows

Avoid spam tables and images – too many will be classed as spam

Personalise your email

Email marketing personalisation is great for conversion rates. Where possible, address the reader with their first or last name in email marketing. Readers will not feel like a number with their name in the email, and are therefore more likely to keep reading and act.

One message in the email campaign

Stick to one message per email. Too many messages will discourage any reading; therefore the email will end up in the ‘deleted’ folder! Keep the key message in the subject line and first few lines of the email – so the readers just skimming the email will get the message. Leigh Cooke Southampton suggests this is a bit more flexible for company newsletters – a maximum of 3 messages.

Strong call to action

Email marketing needs a strong call to action. Try and place the call to action at the top, middle and bottom of the email copy. Call to actions may include email, completing a form, downloading a white paper, calling the sales team or just visiting your website for more information. Choose one call to action and make it visible.

Proof read your email marketing campaigns

It is essential to proof read your email marketing copy. Whether it’s yourself, your boss or a colleague in another department – a fresh pair of eyes should be able to:

Instantly know what is on offer – one message

Easily scan and read the email – good formatting

Find any spelling or grammatical errors – 100% perfect

Know what is expected of them – call to action And finally – review, review, review!

When sending emails – it is important to regularly review your email statistics, from open rates, click through rates and conversion rates. Finding what is working and what is not working will help you develop a more targeted email marketing campaign, therefore increasing conversion rates.

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