To Open or Not to Open: That is the Question

In our Summer 2019 issue, we started the conversation about content marketing, and what it can do for your business. Regina-based copywriter Patti Haus is here to advise on how you can use content marketing effectively to drive your business forward. First up, email marketing.

You’ve heard it—email marketing is one of the least expensive and most effective ways to market your products and services to your prospective customers. It’s cheaper than paid advertising and gets way better reach than organic social media marketing.

But you’ve also heard (or experienced) that it’s hard to stand out in a sea of newsletters, sales emails, and transactional emails. It can be hard to become the kind of marketing content your subscribers want to open.

In fact, the average person gets over a hundred emails every day, most of which sit unopened in their Gmail promotions folder, waiting until the day they get deleted or forgotten.

And the reason they get so many emails is because email marketing is a valuable way to increase engagement and sales among your subscribers—if you are doing it right.

It all comes down to this: sending out content that your subscribers want or need. So, here are some of my favourite ways to get better results from your email marketing campaigns:

You have to create a subscriber list and send them content

This sounds like it should be self-explanatory but in order to see results from email marketing, you must create and implement an email marketing strategy. Creating a way to capture emails is the first step, writing regular emails is the second.

Understand what matters to your subscribers

Knowing what matters to your ideal customers allows you to write emails that are tailored to their specific problems. Do this by learning about your prospective customers challenges, how they are using your products, and what benefits they get from your products.

Start with a great subject line

Subject lines are one of the most important pieces of your email—write a great one and you will significantly increase your open rates. Write an overly salesy one and your open rate plummets. Start with writing a subject line you’d use when writing an email to a friend rather than one that shouts, “sales email coming up.”

Personalize your content

Tailoring your content is an email strategy that can pay huge dividends. Start with adding a name tag in your copy body and end with <something missing here>.

Have a single Call to Action (CTA)

A clear, single CTA will help you get better results from email marketing. More CTAs will not increase conversions—it will decrease them. Instead, use email to share how your product will solve problems for your reader.

Lose the warm up copy

Emails that start with “I hope you are doing well” or something similar are a dead giveaway a sales email is enroute. Instead, assume your readers are busy and that they have a million other things to do and get right to the point. Jump right into a paragraph that shows you understand what your customers are struggling with and why your product is the solution. This has the added benefit of capturing the reader’s attention and giving them a reason to keep reading.

Make your emails interesting

Nobody wants to read things that are boring. Especially you aren’t reading it because you have to. So, make it interesting. Use WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) to ruthlessly delete anything in your emails your customers don’t care about. My favourite email hack is to count how many times I put “I” in the body of the email—unless it’s going to help you get your point across to the reader, rewrite the email in a way that’s more customer-centric to get better results.

Email marketing isn’t going anywhere

Email marketing is a great way to engage your subscribers and increase sales. Combined with a solid knowledge of your target customers, email can deliver the kind of results that’ll help you achieve your business goals.