The holidays are just around the corner, so now is the time to step up your social media and email marketing game plan! In today’s episode, I am going to break down a formula and some key factors to help you master the email marketing game. My Kelly Noble Mirabella, this is the Business as Unusual Show and today’s episode is brought to you by Social Media Marketing World 2018. SMMW is THE place to learn about all the latest in social media and digital marketing from the brightest and best minds and influencers. I am thrilled to be attending this amazing conference again in February 2018 and hope to see you there too! By the way, they just announced a new creator’s ticket for only like $200 so it is now affordable for anyone wanting to go! Learn more at stellar247.media/smmw18. Okay on to today’s show! Let’s dig in! (Want to learn more about how SMMW changed my career path for the better? Click here to listen to the episode where I tell my story.
Having a clearly branded and consistent content plan to implement on your social platforms is a fantastic way to increase brand awareness, boost referrals and drive revenue. But I understand it can be hard to come up with unique fresh content for all the digital assets you may manage especially when you are doing email marketing. But out of all your digital marketing, email is still one of the most important pieces of the strategy. In fact, email marketing generates 3x the conversions than social media alone and for every $1 you spend the average ROI is $44. But for some reason businesses and marketers struggle with email marketing. I believe it is because they are over thinking the content. Trying to do too much in one email. And let’s be real, your subscribers do NOT want you to content stuff your emails. They will not read them no matter how much you pack in there. The more you put in your emails, the less likely people will take action. When it comes to email marketing the KISS method is the way to go.
So with the strategies and tools, you learn about in today episode you will be able to create email messages that are concise, valuable and insight action.
Formula for the perfect email
Let’s start with a 4 step formula for creating email content:
- Begin with a question – more specifically the question your audience is asking
- Create a visual for the topic – Is it a photo, infographic, video etc?
- Answer the question in writing. Write a paragraph to answer the question and bring value.
- Insert a call to action. A call to action does not always have to be a sales pitch. It can be a simple as “like, share, comment” or even “what kind of questions do you have” But you should always strive to have a call to action.
Having some kind of visual element is important when creating content. 90% of information processed by the brain is visual but in order to have a true impact on your audience remember that less is more – don’t try to overcomplicate your visuals. Keep it simple and concise.
When it comes to visuals the gold standard these days are videos. People love a good video (read good) so investing in creating videos to answer questions, entertain or promote is always a good investment. Use video on your blog, Facebook, Instagram and really anywhere you post content. Video also works very well for email marketing. Consumers are 50% more likely to read emails that include videos. But when it comes to social content videos shorter is often better. So unless you are doing a full out training, producing a web series, or you are a vlogger try to keep those videos under 90 seconds.
When you do go forward and create graphics and visuals for your social media strategy there are a few design concepts you should keep in mind.
According to Buffer “90% of an assessment for trying out a product is made by color alone.” While split testing your sales buttons and ad images are always best here are a couple of things about color that might help you choose what shade works best for your goals:
Red is a power color. It grabs people’s attention! It creates urgency and can keep people interested. However, too much red can be overkill so make sure you don’t go overboard.
Orange is also an attention-getting color. While not as serious as red, orange is perceived as more fun and modern.
If it trusts you need the color for you is blue. If you have ever wondered why law firms and insurance companies have blue websites this is why. Blue makes people feel they can trust a brand. It is a solid color but best when mixed with complementary colors. Too much blue can be a little stale.
Green is a wonderful color for calming customers, making them feel at ease. It is a color that denotes health, vitality, and environment. It is also the color of money so when used correctly it can give the consumer thoughts of wealth.
Check out my show notes/blog for more an awesome video by Buffer on the Science of Color if you want to dig into this a bit more.
The font you chose in your email marketing is important too! My first piece of advice is not to try to go overboard. Keep the font selection to no more than 2 font styles and remember that not all computers and devices will be able to see those “fancy” fonts so it is typically best to keep it pretty simple here. The key is to make it EASY for people to scan your emails. This is also why the font in your body should not be smaller than 14pt and around 22 pts for headlines. Also, do not use more than 3 font colors. Remember KISS.
Since 82% of people pay more attention to an email that includes a graphic or image it is important to at least include a header in your email. Headers can be created in tools like Canva, PicMonkey or any design tools you prefer. Many have the email template already in place but the actual size is 600 px by 200 px. As for the kind of visuals you can use in your email try experimenting with a regular image, infographics, video or even gifs. I rarely see companies utilizing GIFS (which don’t have to be those silly memes by the way) but when I do it makes a BIG impact. Just remember that many emails will not open with graphics showing so you want to make sure your email is not all image and you want to be sure you are putting in your alt tags so people can immediately see what they are missing.
Mobile is a Must
In today’s mobile-first environment it is so important to make sure your emails (and all your online assets for that matter) are mobile friendly. According to a report by Litmus 90% of all email is read on mobile devices. Furthermore, Mobile Marketing Engine states that 70% of people delete an email that does not render correctly on mobile. To make your emails mobile friendly make sure your email service provider (ESP) offers mobile templates. Also, choose a single column template and whenever possible keep your text limit under 20 lines of text.
Get your emails opened
So now that you have created your perfect email you will want to make sure people actually open it, am I right? When someone gets an email they will consider 3 things when deciding if they will open said email.
- Do I know the sender (Who sent it)
- Is now a good time or is this annoying (When did it send and how often)
- Is it of interest (Subject line)
Let’s break these three things down.
Do I know you
Make sure when you are setting up your emails that you choose the right “From” name. Stay away from generic email addresses like Info@ or Sales@. Instead, use a name someone would be more likely to recognize. For example, my email is Kelly@stellar247.com. The return email can be someone more generic if you don’t want to be flooded with emails but your outgoing should be more recognizable. You also have the option to chose a name to be recognized by. Sometimes this will be your company name, and sometimes this will be a person’s actual name. For me, it is both. Kelly Mirabella | Stellar Media Marketing. In deciding you have to figure out how people recognize your brand most. I am more of a personal brand these days so my name is probably the strongest choice. Be sure to be consistent with your from email and name when sending these emails out.
Timing is everything
How often should you be sending out your emails? Well, that is entirely up to you but the most common are one per month. If you plan on doing more (say weekly) you will want to make sure you are clear about that before someone subscribes. What about when you should send it. Okay, you are not going to like my answer but honestly, you need to split test this to find out. My recommendation is to pick two days and split test. See which day gets the best open rates and click-through rates. All that being said, the folks over at coschedule.com compiled the results of several studies on the matter and found Tuesday to be the number one best day to send. Read more on their findings here. But honestly, don’t get lazy here. Do the work. I have actually found that for some clients Saturday was the best day to send. You just never know until you test.
Your subject line is the single most important piece of this equation. A good subject line will have between 4-7 words and is easily digestible. Other helpful tweaks to your subject lines include
- the use of emojis (56% of brands using emoji in their email subject lines had a higher unique open rate, according to a report by Experian)
- Use the recipient’s name or use You or Your.
- Ask a question
- Have some kind of exclusive or VIP appeal
- Get to the point about a super valuable topic you are addressing in your email.
So there you have it. With what you have learned today you should be well on your way to creating quality email marketing campaigns that get read. If there was one key point I would want you to walk away with today it is to Keep It Simple. The number one mistake I see marketers make is putting WAY too much content in their emails. Remember the more you stuff in the less likely people will read. Don’t train your subscribers to not want to read your emails.
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As always I want to thank you for tuning in and have a stellar day!
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