5 things you should know about email marketing

Post contributed by Justin Osborne

It’s true that social media has increasingly become the go-to method of communication for customers who want a quick response from their favorite brands. But, don’t think that means email no longer matters. In fact, email is still a vital marketing strategy for building and strengthening relationships with your audience.

Related: How to write a newsletter in less than an hour

Doing this right requires a savvy, specialized approach to email writing. Unlike social media where the communication is informal, an email is more like a traditional letter where professionalism is an expected ingredient. To help you send the right message, here are 5 things you should always practice in your email marketing.

1. Reach out with a purpose

When composing an email, think about what you want to achieve — and from there, decide what information you should include in your message. Going in with vague ideas will most likely lead to confusion and miscommunication, so make sure your emails are always driven by purpose rather than the calendar. Or, put another way: it’s okay to send fewer emails if it means the emails you do send are more impactful.

Each email you send should serve a singular, clear purpose. Asking your audience to do too many things at once will result in them doing nothing at all — an unfortunate side effect of the choice paradox. With one strong call-to-action, you have a much higher chance of persuading your audience to take the next step.

2. Put yourself in their shoes

Step back and take a look at the email you’ve composed. Would you appreciate this email if it arrived in your inbox? Does it offer something informative, entertaining or valuable? If not, you still have work to do.

Here’s an idea: present a problem to the reader and solve it in the email. If you’ve done your homework, you should know your target audience’s desires and pain points. Speaking directly to their experience will be far more compelling than simply advertising your latest sale or blog post.

3. Use a structure that’s easy to follow

Structuring your emails not only makes them look more professional, it also makes them easier to read. You don’t want to send big blocks of text — this will only discourage your audience from reading the email. By using a structured template, you can use colors and images to break up the text, organize your paragraphs, and offer visual appeal. You can also make links stand out by using buttons or brightly colored text.

Don’t forget that your emails are an opportunity to showcase your brand’s personality. When you use the same template over time, you build brand consistency that boosts awareness and recognition. And as we know from our research, that consistency can pay off in a big way down the line.

4. Be specific and concise

As a person living in the modern world, you already know this: we’re all bombarded with emails from coworkers, family members, and companies sending us marketing messages. In the ongoing quest towards Inbox Zero, most people won’t spend a lot of time reading your email. To make it easier for them to appreciate your message, make it specific and concise. Choose your words purposefully, and cut out anything that slows down the reader or muddies your message.

If someone can open your email, read it, and understand its purpose within 60 seconds, that’s great. 30 seconds? Even better.

5. Proofread and test your emails

So many people forget (or choose not) to do this, leaving mistakes in their content which make them seem unprofessional. Definitely not a good look for anyone, this can be prevented with a simple process called… proofreading. Simply reading your work goes a long way toward catching any grammar mistakes you have made, which will save you a load of embarrassment. No one wants to discover that they misspelled a word in an email to their entire customer base.

How about another pair of eyes? If you want someone to see it fresh, you can ask someone else to do it. You could even hire an online freelancer to get help from a highly qualified person. Sure, it costs money, but it might be worth the peace of mind to know your emails are top-notch.

Finally, send yourself a test version of your email. See how it looks in different browsers and on different devices, including desktop and mobile. A formatting error which is unnoticeable in Chrome might be egregious on iOS, so it’s better to cover your bases before you hit send.

Ready to wow your audience with beautifully designed newsletters? Lucidpress will help you send the right message.

About Justin Osborne

Justin Osborne is a teacher from Leicester, UK. When not teaching his little students and rooting for Leicester FC, he loves to share his thoughts & opinions about education, writing & blogging with other people on different blogs & forums. Follow Justin on Facebook and Twitter.

Originally published at www.lucidpress.com.

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