As an email marketer, I find it interesting most companies don’t know how to target their general subscribers. Depending on your particular line of business, your definition of general subscribers will be different, but targeting them should definitely be the same. Please refer to my step-by-step Content Strategy image. You should definitely start with Purpose, but if you choose to begin your journey anywhere else, it won’t really matter because it all comes full circle in the end.Purpose – A lot of marketers mess up on this first step. They’re already 10 steps ahead planning layouts and time of send but they never sat down to discuss the purpose of the email. If your emails are constantly seeing low open and click-through rates, it’s because your marketing strategy is all over the place. Before you design an email, you should first determine its purpose. It makes email marketing so much easier when everything is streamlined.
Subject Line – There are 2 reasons people don’t open your email:
1. They don’t want to.
2. Your subject line is terrible.
You can choose to keep your subject line short-and-simple to tease your subscribers or you can use 70+ characters to tell them everything at once — the jury is still out on the impact of short vs long subject lines. Regardless of your approach, Subject Line is step #2 because it needs to be relevant to your purpose. Unfortunately, if your emails gave away free tickets/gift cards whatever, you’d still never see a 100% open rate, but since your subject line should be a preview of your email’s content, it’s important to make sure you’re using the right language to get the highest level of engagement possible.
Content – Content is EVERYTHING to a successful email marketing campaign. Too many times you’ve opened an email –based off an amazing subject line– and was confused because the content didn’t match the subject. That’s false advertising, and it could land your emails in the SPAM folder. You never want to lie OR confuse your subscribers. You’ve earned their trust, and email marketing should be about flourishing those already established relationships. In order to accomplish that goal, you must write effective email copy. Check out Email Writing Tips for tips on writing effective email copy.
Call to Action – Lastly, we have the CTA, the final piece to the puzzle that brings everything together. Depending on how you laid out your Purpose, your CTA could LITERALLY be your email purpose! For example, if the purpose of your email is to increase visits to your website, then it would make sense for your CTA to be Visit Our Website. You’ve won them over with your subject line. You kept them intrigued with your short, yet impactful content! And now it’s time for the home run. Yes, clicking on the call to action doesn’t mean the subscriber is going to “Sign Up Now”, “Buy Today”, or whatever, but it does mean you’ve generated some interest, which is the first step because you can always do a remarketing campaign. When subscribers click on the CTA, I take it as a good sign that you built a successful email marketing campaign, and you should be proud of that.