As originally published on Forbes.com.
Creating an email campaign that converts starts long before messaging, layout and design. Much like with any marketing, there are key steps to crafting an email that won’t get automatically deleted, or worse, cause someone to click the “unsubscribe” button.
These six steps can help you in creating an email campaign that converts.
- Segment Your Customer List
Creating separate customer lists can help you reach the right people with messaging that will resonate with them. From segmenting by demographics to taking into consideration their past purchases, creating an email campaign that converts starts with knowing your audience and helps to inform your messaging.
It can even help save a customer. Creating lists based on cart abandonment or even of past customers who haven’t purchased in a while is a great way to reach them with a particular message to help draw them back. Segmentation also helps create a sense of personalization, which we will discuss a little further down in this article.
- Define Your Goal
Once your email lists are segmented, consider goals for each email. What is it that you want to accomplish with your email campaign? Are you trying to create product awareness? Drive traffic to your website? Gain leads or sales? Have the recipients download a white paper?
Just as with your email list segmentation, defining your goals will help in crafting your overall messaging for the email campaign.
- Create An Eye-Stopping Headline
Once segmentation and goals are determined, the next step to creating an email campaign that converts starts at the very beginning of the actual email: the subject line.
The subject line can be a make-or-break decision on whether or not your recipient opens or deletes the email. The subject line is your chance to convince the recipient that they need to read your email and that it’s worth their time to open it. Keep it short, interesting, and when possible, personalize it. This leads us to the next step…
- Personalize The Email
Adding the recipient’s name into the subject line is a great way to get their attention, but personalization goes deeper. This could mean using the email segmentation to create a subject line that talks about that consumer’s action (or inaction) or maybe it’s pulling the products or services into the body of the email that the customer viewed on your website but never purchased.
For example, if you have a segmented customer list for returning customers who added a new pair of yoga pants into their cart but then abandoned that cart, your email subject line may read: “Emma, Still Interested in Those New Yoga Pants?” The body of the email might showcase photos of those yoga pants with enticing copy and a clearly located button or link to the product page. You can even use Emma’s name again within the body copy of the email.
This drilled-down personalization helps connect your brand directly to the consumer, instead of a generic email that may or may not apply to your consumer base.
- Utilize A Call To Action
Once the customer has opened the email, it’s up to you to tell them what you want them to do next. Include a call to action that guides the consumer to take a next step. Maybe it’s simply directing the consumer to purchase those yoga pants. Or consider an incentive — for example, “Buy Now and Receive 15% Off.”
Ask your reader to do something more than just read the email by creating a call to action that offers them the chance to click through to a landing page, website or product page where their interaction with your brand will continue.
- Keep The Email Branded
Consider the tone, voice and style used to represent your brand throughout all mediums. From your website to social media, that brand voice should be consistent, and this includes your email marketing as well. The email should sound natural and not forced. Whether your brand voice leans toward edgy and laid back or reserved and conservative, keep that tone throughout your email campaign. This helps maintain consistency throughout the customer journey when the consumer moves from the email to your website to look at products or decides to follow your business on social media platforms.
It’s been said that it takes an average of eight touchpoints before making a sale. Utilizing emails as part of your overall marketing efforts is one of the more effective touch points as it offers your brand the chance to personalize a message to the customer that you often cannot do in other channels. After implementing these six steps, track analytics such as open rates, click-through rates and conversions to determine your email campaign success rates. And, as with any campaign, adjust where needed.