In my last post, I asked the question – has email marketing had its day?

Whatever your thoughts on that particular quandary, if you do support email marketing, it’s important you get it right. 

You only have to take a quick glance at your inbox every morning to see everyone is doing it. The trick is, therefore, to do it better than everyone else to make sure your voice is heard and not just consigned to the trash.

Creating the perfect email

OK, ‘perfect’ might be stretching it a bit, but if yours isn’t eye-catching and memorable, sending it will be a waste of time.

Your first choice is whether to send a text email or HTML. The second option gives you more scope for creating something eye-catching, but they are becoming run of the mill. The first option can appear more personal but can look boring. 

There is no wrong or right answer, it just depends on what you’re communicating and to whom.

What should your email look like?

I now want to take a look at the makeup of your email. What follows are six areas that, if done well, will help your email hit the mark.

  1. Be friendly

Write your email as though you were writing a letter. Start off by saying hello to your recipient (preferably personalised) to add a personal touch. The ending should also be friendly and respectful and contain a call to action

  1. Break it into chunks

No one likes to see a solid wall of text. Using headings and subheadings lets your reader see, at a glance, what information the email holds.

  1. Don’t make them wait to the end

If you have an offer don’t leave it until the end. By dotting links to the offer throughout your email, you are giving your reader the chance to click through to it as soon as they have made their buying decision. 

  1. Short and sweet

Keep your email short. If you have a lot to share, just give them a taster of what you want them to know and then ask them to click for more information. That link can then take them through to your website or blog where the full article is shown.

  1. Benefits and features

As in your website copy and sales letters, make sure you add in your features and benefits. You don’t have to list everything, just the most important ones in relation to what you are writing about.

  1. Don’t forget the opt-out

Always, always, always include your opt-out link in all your email communications.

The other important thing to remember is that emails aren’t always for selling. Sometimes using them to share information with your customers can strengthen relationships because they will then realise you’re not just going to make contact when you want something from them. Giving away free hints and tips you’ll help build trust and credibility and strengthen your relationship.

Sally Ormond – freelance copywriter, email supremo, gym addict, and yoga poser.