The Art of Email Marketing

February 26, 2015

Every morning, I wake up with a cup of coffee and a diverse array of emails. There’s about four different kinds of emails I see:

  1. “Junk mail,” a.k.a. promotions from companies I have never shared my personal information with.
  2. Opt-in email newsletters with headlines like “FREE STARBUCKS DRINK!” which I open instantly because I am human and love free things.
  3. Community or university newsletters, which achieve an open but rarely ever get read unless something piques my interest.
  4. The most important – highly personal e-mails which usually include a photo from dad, a note from mom, a story from grandma, and quite possibly a warning from a professor that if I have not finished my readings before class, I will not ever succeed in life.

At Jelly, this past week it was my job to put together a follow up email that would be sent to a client’s mailing list. Jelly likes to use the program MailChimp, an email-developing software that allows you to design and personalize html emails with as much (or as little) coding as you would like! The list management is amazing, to say the least.

The unique part about email marketing is that it is a blend of clear programmed functionality, beautiful clickable design, and powerful, clear writing. When these are all done effectively and with a human reader in mind, an email will almost always end up in an inbox and never in a spam folder. How does one make it into the big-league of successful email writing? Here are a few of my favourite tips from the team at Jelly.

  • Tip #1 – Use an effective email identity: Whether coming from a business or personal email account, it is important that the recipient recognizes from whom the email is coming and that they remember that they want to hear from them.
  • Tip #2 – Win people over with your subject line: This is a key factor for whether or not people open your email today, tomorrow or ever. It is important to pique the interest of your recipient. You can tell them what they have to gain by opening your email OR grab their attention by asking a question that they would want to know the answer to. Let the reader know what’s in it for them. Curiosity alone could get your email opened!
  • Tip #3 – Sell your story in preview text: For most email clients, the first few words of your email are featured as snippet text. Snippet text will appear directly under the subject line and when combined with a solid subject line, it should provide a high level overview of what your correspondence is about.
  • Tip #4 – Use the K.I.S.S. principle: You know the old adage. Keep it short and simple. Use short paragraphs so the reader can easily skim, and then decide if more detail for a more in-depth read is in order.
  • Tip #5 – Give your recipient something to click: Whether it is a link embedded into the text or a button that says “Click Here to Make Everything Okay,” people will want to know the easiest way to take action – what step to take next – so offer clear direction.
  • Tip #6 – Be authentic: Few readers actually understand corporate babble so write like you are talking individually to the reader. Speak in a language that is understandable and relatable.
  • Tip #7 – Follow up: Interactions with a mailing list make a world of difference. Use reports to provide insight into what readers find interesting. Set up surveys to make sure content is still on target as the newsletter develops.

So, those are a few of the things I learned last week. Stay tuned to keep up with what’s going on in the Jelly office!