Today, email marketing rarely stands on its own. Companies that integrate direct mail, social media, and landing pages do better in adding and targeting ideal customers. Email campaigns marketed with usable well-packaged content update, educate and entertain their subscribers. It is cost effective and easily measured. Some times best practices are missed and the effort flounders. A good subject line, quality content writing, seamless content access, value and a call to action are always important. Here are a few good and bad examples of email marketing from my inbox.
Make it Seamless
Subject Line: A Taste of the Tropics, Asian Sauces: Adapting Authenticity, more!
This company announces they’ve created a Content Library on Ethnic Cuisines that contains free archived content to help answer my most-pressing questions. Fantastic. Content for Biz Inc provides food service writing for clients so this is well targeted. But when I click on the Content Library link, I have to register or login to see the content. If I’m getting this via email, don’t they already have my information? I stop here. They have failed to help me quickly access information.
Subject: On The Fly: Who’s In and Who’s Out in Chef Shuffles for the week
This weekly newsletter updates subscribers on chef, restaurant & food news with brief descriptions and links to online articles. With one click I find the information I’m interested in. Mission accomplished.
Subject: [Tips] A perilous journey, fraught with danger…
This is the first email I received from a 7-day email mini course I found on the Promotional Product Solutions website. The course offers tips for buying green promotional products. The weekly emails are easily digested taking about 2 minutes to read. They answer every question I have and those I don’t know enough about to ask. The writing style is entertaining and concise. Additional subject lines from this well-packaged email campaign read:
[Tips] A secret technique to personalize your search
[Tips] Have you ever come in over budget?
[Tips] The biggest hurdle
[Tips] Landmine Removal
I receive a direct mail piece from them weeks later that is easily recognizable.
Subject: July Ezine
I open this email only because it is from someone I know and like. The content engages me with a story that includes vivid memories of the owner’s first retreat. She announces a new division of her business, but is not clear about what that division is. After reading more paragraphs I learn she is offering customized personal retreats. Okay. Who doesn’t need a retreat? But no other details are given. Her call to action is this: “If you’re curious to learn more, contact me.” A call to action needs to answer at least what, why and when. Her content fails to offer enough detail to make an inquiry.
I open another email where someone with a huge following writes a post about how fantastic a company’s newsletter is, but when I go to the company’s website there is no newsletter sign up box on the Home page. This is a missed opportunity.
Packaging your email campaign with good visual and information design opens opportunities across platforms. Don’t forget to make the content seamless, educational, entertaining and engaging. Your efforts will be rewarded with increased loyal subscribers who trust you and your brand.