How many times have you read an email sales pitch, got really excited about what was being offered…then stopped, because you didn’t know what to do next?
Or the message offered was so fabulous, you wanted to share it with people who might also be interested in hearing it…but it didn’t have social media buttons for sharing?
Or an email had a weird photo that had nothing to do with the email at all…and made the company look clueless?
This second-to-last part of successful email marketing elements takes closer look at all those elements to make sure your messages don’t confuse or annoy your customers. Again, these suggestions are based from the HubSpot ebook “The Anatomy of a 5 Star Email,” which you can download here for your personal reference.
Spell out your CTA
Once upon a time in direct marketing, a call-to-action (CTA) was one of the most important paragraphs in a sales letter. People then called a number or filled out an order form and dropped it in the mail.
Today with email marketing, you still have the end paragraphs taking your prospect by the hand and telling them what to do. The difference now is immediacy rules, with a simple bright button going right to your landing page and offer, whether that’s a ebook, ecourse or webinar.
CTA’s have become so important that 41% of companies surveyed by Marketing Sherpa believing optimizing this deceptively tiny element is “extremely valuable.”
No only do you have to think about what your CTA looks like, making it stand out from the rest of your email, but you also have to consider where it’s placed. Always try to aim for above the fold, or the top third of your email. You might worry that it looks pushy to your prospects, but having this placement has been proven to increase response rates.
Also, take a look at the button itself. Just saying “Click here” won’t cut it anymore. Tell your prospect exactly what to do, tie it to the desired action, and give some urgency to it.
So here’s an example of what you’d want to have on a CTA button for getting more information for a travel company:
“Plan your dream vacation today!”
Or, “Start your adventure here.”
Include meaningful photos
According to HubSpot and other internet marketing sources, posts and emails pictures get a higher response and engagement rates than those with only words. In your email marketing, you’ll want to display photos or videos related to your content.
That means if you’re writing about kayaking tours on Vancouver Island, show images of kayaking in that area.
Alternatively, you can include visuals of orcas, sea otters or other area wildlife, or camping on the shores of a local cove. Don’t show a picture of Vancouver when your tour doesn’t even go there.
Whenever possible, use professional quality pictures for your main email advertising. The exception to this would be when you want to showcase a happy client’s photos or videos as part of an email marketing campaign. These types of visuals can have a significant impact on your response rates.
Consider including a non-automatic playing video clip in your email. These visual snippets can encourage your readers to get even more engaged in your message than photos.
Whenever you send an email, always make sure you have share buttons at the beginning and end of the letter. This is the natural integration point for both your email and social media marketing, and it can easily bring in more customers to grow your mailing.
In addition to having the social share buttons, you can also include social follow buttons in the mail. This allows readers to be directly informed of your social media content whenever it’s updated and interact with you if they wish.
If you’ve created great content in your emails and social postings, they’ll definitely want to hear more from your company and engage with your communications.
Next up…the conclusion of my series, which will look at secondary calls-to-action, privacy policies and unsubscribing (something you can hopefully minimize).
How has your company’s used social sharing, CTA’s and visual content to enhance your email marketing? Share your thoughts by commenting below!