Bloggers: The 12 Critical Elements of Effective Marketing Emails

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Effective Marketing EmailsToday we are going to look at the anatomy of Effective Marketing Emails.  There are elements that every email should contain and strangely enough many Internet Marketers do not seem to know what they are.  I suspect that some will disagree with me and that is okay.  This is my list and it is based on my research, my experience and common sense.

To start with there are four things that are crystal clear when you look at effective marketing emails.

  1. Who is the email from?
  2. What is the email about?
  3. Why should the reader care?
  4. What should they do about it?

With that in mind, here is my list of 12 Critical Elements that Effective Marketing Emails Should have.

  1. Who is the Email From?  – a real person – YOU
  2. Clear Subject Line
  3. Obvious Branding Elements like your Logo
  4. Personalization  – Signature Block with picture from a real person.
  5. Pre-header area  Why is the offer important to the reader
  6. CLEAR Call to Action
  7. Benefits of the offer – More Pre-sell
  8. Social Media Share Buttons and Follow Buttons
  9. A Product Image
  10. Additional Offers – links to other related things
  11. Make it Work with Mobile Devices
  12. Unsubscribe button and Your Address

Preface   This list is based on sending HTML emails.   The wisdom a few years ago was that many people could not or did not read HTML emails.   That trend has long since died and yet many marketers have read those outdated suggestions and are still following them.   Desktops, Laptops and Mobile devices have become massively multi-media.  Storage and Internet speeds are many times faster and people expect to see images, bold text and other techniques that turn your emails into effective marketing emails.  They will be more explicit and easier to read.   If you Google “Text Vs HTML Emails” you will find widely differing opinions.   You will also find that there are several levels.  1) Pure text, 2) HTML but only using the HTML for links and perhaps a little bolding and 3) Full HTML with images, colors and text enhancing.   My take is that the more recent the article the more likely they are to favor full HTML for effective marketing emails.  Issues with incompatibility, size, bandwidth, viruses and what people expect have changed dramatically over the last few years.  AWeber published a report indicating that over 73.9% of the newsletters sent out via AWeber were now in HTML format.

Point 1: Effective Marketing Emails Tell You Exactly Who is the Email From

Take a look at your email list.   While the subject line is without a doubt the most important line in a blog post, many agree that the subject line is NOT the most important thing in an email.   The most important element in getting readers to open an email (at least in most effective marketing emails) is the person the email is coming from.  Look at the top names in the industry.  When they send you an email there is no doubt about who it is from.  For example  Ann Sieg, Ray Higdon, Diane Hochman, Russell Brunson, Tim Sales, Jason Fladlein, Tim Erway, Mike Dillard, Daegan Smith,  Mark Hoverson, David Wood, Jonathon Budd, Andrew Murray, Ty Tribble, and Ori Bengal.  Others send emails from Tom, Walt, Blog, Support, Admin, and  jim@gmail.com.   You are working to brand YOU and to create a loyal following who want to hear what you have to say since they KNOW that you are providing information that is valuable to them.  The only way to do that is to  make sure that your readers know that an email is from YOU.  I know there is a temptation to be friendly and intimate (hence the Toms and Andrews), but most of us know several Toms, Johns, Bills and Andrews so we don’t take a look at those emails and say “Oh I KNOW I want to open that one!”  We tend to say “Tom who?”

Point 2:  Effective Marketing Emails have a Very Clear Subject Line

Even though “who the email is from” is most important, subject lines are still VERY important, especially while you are working to build the “know, like and trust” relationship with your subscribers.  They may not know who you are yet and you need a subject line to grab them by the eyeballs.  Since email subject lines are so important, there is a ton of stuff written on the topic.  One thing you need to remember is this:  The Rules Change!  You really need to take the time to test and see what works for your audience.   For example, I’ve read in several places that using subject lines with all caps is poor technique.   AWeber’s recent article on Trends That Work  indicates that this advice is dated.  Their numbers show that subject lines in ALL CAPS and subjects lines with keyboard symbols (like the ♥) are doing very well.   Here are a few tips:

  • Subject lines are getting shorter.  Mobile devices with limited screen space tend to require that the guts of your subject line be within the first 25 characters.
  • Brackets and parenthesis seem to work well [New] or (sale) or (Today Only)
  • People like numbers.  7 Great Tips and 10 Things You Need to Know about … work well.
  • People like ellipsis.  Tell them something and then …

One of the authors at AWeber liked to use cute and catchy subject lines.  Things like alliteration or pithy quotes.   When she ran a split test experiment she discovered that these subject lines didn’t work nearly as well as subject lines that told the user exactly what is in the email.  Article on Cute Headlines.

It is well worth remembering a quote from Maria Veloso in her book “Web Copy That Sells.”   She asked “How do people read web sites?”.  Based on many tests she could conclusively answer “They Don’t………. They Scan!”.   I KNOW that this is true for me.  I go through my email list with about half my attention,  Expecting me to unravel a pun or notice the point of a cute saying is foolish.  I’m just not paying that much attention.  I’ll bet the same is true for you!

Small Rant:  I know there must be research somewhere that says that the technique I’m going to mention works, because I see it virtually every day.  The technique is use a subject line like “$2,000 in unclaimed commissions for .” There is no faster way to get me to unsubscribe without reading the body of your text than to send me an email with a subject line like that.  I click on them and there is ALWAYS an ad.  One glance and I know that the marketer is someone who is not straight up and I start scrolling to the bottom to find the unsubscribe link.

Point 3:  Effective Marketing Emails have Obvious Branding Elements

As I noted when I started this list, people are used to and expect to receive HTML messages.  They may not have images turned on so you must be careful NOT to put your main point in an image.   On the other hand when they do have images turned on, you have the opportunity to show them the same header you use for your blog and/or your Facebook Fan page.  You can also put your picture down with the signature block.  This is all part of branding yourself.  You want people to say “Oh I know her!”  or “I see him everywhere I go.”   Use your standard images and your tag line.  Every time someone sees your brand it bumps your credibility a little in their mind.  Geico has spent $3 for every man, woman and child in the US in order to get us to remember their brand.  Even if we use another company if someone asks you “What car insurance do most people use?” you might answer Geico since that is the brand that you see the most.   My point is: “Don’t miss the chance to put yourself and your brand in front of your subscribers.”

Point 4: Effective Marketing Emails use Personalization

With modern autoresponders it is very easy to start an email with “Hello John,” instead of “Hello,” or you can say “I’ve got a special deal for you Bill.”   I know there have been times when I KNOW that an email is a bulk mail broadcast and I still stop and think.  “Did this marketer really send me a personal message?”   I know several top tier marketers and on occasion I do get personal emails, so every time they personalize their message, part of me thinks “They are talking to ME personally!”   This is a very good thing for marketers.   The ability to personalize is getting more and more sophisticated so we see things like “Only two slots left in Orlando” where the marketer has used an IP address to determine where you are and send what appears to be a personal message that targets your home town  (Russell Brunson anyone.)

Point 5: Offer Context – Pre-header area  Why is the offer important to the reader?

Personally I call this the “Pre-sell area.”   You are leading up to a Call to Action and you really need to tell people why they should click on the Call to Action link.   I receive emails every day that say “I’ve got a great gift for you  Click Here” or “I’ve got four fantastic bonuses for you” and then they show four links that say Bonus 1, Bonus 2, Bonus 3 and Bonus 4.   These marketers are depending upon the sales page to do the selling and forgetting that you have to get your subscriber to that page before it can do it’s magic.  As the “Email Insider” pointed out in their article on Game Changers in Email  The ‘jump’ between the email and landing page is a bigger leap. Unpredictable load times on mobile networks make it more likely that we’ll lose subscribers after they click, before our landing page loads.  This means that we must convey such compelling messages that subscribers will flag our emails and return to them later. “    Not only does this happen “after the click”, but it also means that mobile users are less likely to click at all.   If they aren’t already pre-sold, they don’t risk the unknown amount time that it is going to take to load a long sales page or a video on their mobile device.   You have to pre-sell them BEFORE they get to the sales page.

NOTE:  Many email clients now show the first line or two of your email.  This line should be congruent with and expand on the Subject line.  Marketers who are using the top line to say “You can unsubscribe at any time” are showing that line in the list of unopened emails in every email they send.  This certainly is a waste of an opportunity to encourage the reader to open your email.

Point 6: Effective Marketing Emails have a Clear Call to Action (often repeated 2 or 3 times)

Remember how I started this article?  One of the key elements to an email after the reader knows what you have and how it will benefit them is a very clear and compelling answer to “What do they do about it?”   I can’t think of a bigger mistake you can make than forgetting to put a clear Call To Action after you have convinced you reader that you have THE solution to the problem that is driving the reader nuts.   Your Call to Action must go beyond “Click Here” and tell the reader explicitly “Click here NOW to Buy”  or “Sign up TODAY by clicking on the red button”   Tell them what to do.  Remember you only have half of their attention and if they need to stop and figure something out they will probably click “Next Message” instead of continuing with you.

Point 7: Benefits of the offer – More Pre-sell

Your reader has gone past your Call to Action and didn’t press the button.   This is your chance to take another shot at explaining the value of your offer.  There are lots of articles that talk about the difference between Features and Benefits and I’m not going to go into that in great depth here.  I will remind you of Dick Martin’s famous quote “People don’t want to buy a quarter-inch drill, they want a quarter-inch hole.”   We tend to talk about the features of our particular drill (variable speed, light weight, easy to change bits, reversible, hammer setting, etc.) and totally forget that people don’t care.  They want holes – quickly and easily.   Tell them how valuable your drill is for making holes, quickly and easily.

Point 8: Social Media Share Buttons and Follow Me Buttons

You would REALLY like for your email to “go viral.”  This means that people post a copy on their Facebook page or their Google Plus page or they tweet about it so that thousands of people who are not on your list end up seeing your material.    There are two things that really help make this possible  1) as Guy Kiyosaki put it “Write good Sh#t” and 2) make your material easy to share.   Modern autoresponders make it easy for you to put SHARE buttons right in your email.  IMHO you should do it.

Another option is make it easy for people to follow you on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.   You can make it easy for your readers to do this by including Follow Me buttons in your email.

Point 9: A Product Image

We talked about putting a logo image and perhaps your profile image in your email.  If there is a particular image that really emphasizes your message, you should put that in your email as well.  If you are offering an eBook the cover image is an obvious here.  Note:  You should never put your main selling point in an image.   People do look at your email with images turned off.  Even if you put text in the ALT tag (and you should always do this), it isn’t the same.

Point 10:  Additional Offers

You have them interested and maybe you just barely missed the mark.  You probably have other arrows in your quiver – point your reader to one or more.  You might hit a bulls eye.    The P.S. section is the second most read section in any email.  Use this to your advantage!

Point 11:  Make You Email Work on Mobile Devices

There are several things you can do to make email work better on mobile devices.   For example several marketers have suggested that you should use Buttons in your Call To Action since they are much easier to click on when your subscriber is on a small mobile device.   AWeber has a nice article on Text Links Vs Button Links   Their conclusion was that text links works better.  If you look closely you can see that the testing they did was done in 2008. I checked with them and they have run this test again recently.  The results still favor the text link.

Point 12: Unsubscribe link and Your Name and Address

These will be added automatically by any reputable autoresponder company.  By law you are a spammer if these are not included.   (Note: many people advice getting a post office box instead of giving out your real address.  I agree, but haven’t done it yet.  I’m hoping that doesn’t bite me. )

Okay – that is enough for today.  I haven’t talked much about “what to say,” but I believe that you need to be seriously looking at having the elements above in every marketing email you send out in order to make them more effective marketing emails.  I have written a book on AWeber that is coming out very soon.  It talks about how you can create an empty email that has all of these elements and save it as a template.   Every time you start a new email, you just start with the template and the logo, personalization, Social Media Links, Signature block with image etc. are already there.

Here is my current template.  I start each email with this.  All I have to do is add the body text.

Hales-Template_50

 There you have it: 12 Critical Elements the Effective Marketing Emails should all contain

Next time we will look at crafting the messages in your emails.

Then we will look at creating an email campaign.

Until next time, you have a Great Day!

Dr Hale

↓ ↓ If this post gave you some ideas – Go ahead & comment below.  ↓ ↓

Hale Pringle

Hale Pringle Ed. D.

 

Hale Pringle – Hale Yes!

Skype hale.pringle

Email: HaleYes@HalePringle.com

 

P.S. If you are working to move your business online and it all seems overwhelming, I can help!  Take a look at http://HalePringle.com, or sign up for the free coaching call. You can email me or give me a Skype call. I’ll give you the benefit of my years of experience and many thousands of dollars in training and searching the rabbit hole called Internet Marketing and Network Marketing. I can help you with Lead Generation, the feeling of overwhelm, blogging, and even career change. Add that to the finest mentoring on the Internet (Ann Sieg’s Team and Inner Circle) and you have a Winner!

About Hale Pringle

Dr. Hale is an Internet Entrepreneur and Network
Marketing expert. His greatest pleasure is
helping people and he does just that, drawing
upon the immense resources that he has gathered
over the years in his unquenchable thirst for
knowledge.

Dr. Hale lives in beautiful, sunny Florida with
his wife, two dogs and a cat. His four children
are grown and are scattered around the state.

An eternal optimist you will hear him say
regularly: “Is this a Great Day?” The answer is
always, “Hale Yes!”

If you need help with your online marketing or a
network marketing opportunity Dr. Hale is the go
to man. “Hale Yes!”

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