All I wanted was to log onto the restaurant WiFi. Now I’m getting mail every other day, and I’ve gotta be honest, it’s just not working with my schedule. It’s a love-hate relationship we have with most brands. They give us something for free, and then they bombard us with marketing emails and spam until we’re blue in the face.
The trick is: Don’t be that brand. Sure, have a mailing list. Actually, it’s quite important. Just don’t spam people with mail that’s not relevant to them. Make a promise to yourself right now – I shall not harass my customers. You’ll be making the world a better place.
Let’s get down to the nitty gritty of writing emails your audience will love, and actually look forward to reading.
Understanding Your Target Audience
Is it Cheryl from accounting with 2 kids and no time on her hands? Maybe it’s Dayna with the french manicure and a nose job? Or is it Dexter with the goatee from the smoothie bar?
The point is, you need to speak the language of your intended reader. Not only does your audience want information that’s tailored to their wants and needs, you know, the things they find interesting. But they also want to read emails that are written in the tone and style, and using the terminology, that they relate to.
So, create a detailed profile that summarises your target audience. Then, write your email as if you’re speaking directly to them. Because nobody wants to open an email that’s addressed to a list. They want to feel like they’re special, like somebody took the time to write the mail JUST FOR THEM.
Relevance Is Key
Email content that is practical, useful and relevant is always more likely to be read. So, split your mailing list into a few groups. Or, let people sign up to receive certain kinds of emails, so that you don’t accidentally spam everyone with the same information.
Your audience learns to trust you. If they open your mail and it’s consistently relevant to them, they’ll keep opening it and giving it a read. Likewise, if one day they start to notice that the content is becoming less relevant to them, you’ll start to lose that trust. Creating generic content is creating content that’s not relevant to anyone, so don’t do it!
DO NOT try and trick people into opening your mail. No, “You’ve Won a Million Dollars” is not a good subject line. Unless of course, it’s true.
It may be tempting to make the subject line catchy or funny (it’s okay to do this every so often), but for the most part just make it clear. It’s a heads-up for the reader, letting them know what they’re in for when they open your mail.
Keep It Short, Keep It Simple
All people have too little time. So when it really comes down to it, you don’t want to be adding pressure to anyone’s already busy day with a lengthy email. Of course, if you have a lot to say then go for it, but don’t ramble unnecessarily.
Your email can be as short as a one sentence intro and a call-to-action. Trust me, nobody would complain about that. Make sure you’re saying what needs to be said and then ducking out of there.
When it comes to content, try to stick with one idea. If your intention is to create excitement about an upcoming promotion, then it’s best not to distract them with too much other information. Rather, tell them about the promotion and let them dwell on that thought.
Mix It Up A Little
Don’t go in guns blazing with the same type of content every time you send out a mail. Boredom is an ever growing epidemic, so don’t be a part of the problem. Your mailing list is a gift, treat it as such.
Instead of writing up a list of promotional items, maybe try a graphic mail. So, rather than listing stats about your business growth, send them a life changing infographic. (Okay fine, maybe not life changing, but at least interesting. You feel me?)
Their’s nothing more distracting than an email written by someone who doesn’t know there grammar rules – you see what I mean?
Make sure you proofread your work. Even better than that, if you can get a second pair of eyes on the job, DO IT! When we write, often our brains read what is supposed to be there instead of what is actually there. Getting someone else to check your work is always a good idea.
Don’t Always Be Promotional
I love a good deal as much as the next gal. But when I receive mail, I don’t want to be bombarded with adverts and promotions EVERY SINGLE TIME. It gets old, and annoying.
Rather, throw in some informative mails. This should be info that’s interesting to your audience. Get out of the predictable pattern of promotional mails, and you might just spark an interest that creates more engagement.
While tech may be on the rise, people still long for human experience. So, when your emails are written as if they’re from a person instead of a company, people are more likely to respond. Use humour, questions and conversational tones that suggest you’re not a robot.
Then, end off your email in a way that encourages a response or a CTA (Call-To-Action). Interactive emails are a lot more fun, and the ones that require a response are usually a lot more effective. Come up with some genius ways to encourage responses. Ask your audience to rate something (people love sharing an opinion), or hold a poll.
I’m not asking you to become obsessed over the numbers, maths isn’t everyone’s thing. But keeping track of your analytics can help you identify the kind of content you should be creating more of (or less of).
Take a look at the mails that were opened the most – what was the subject line? Hold on a moment, is there a pattern?!
Which emails did people spend more time reading? Again, is there a pattern? These analytics provide useful information on how to customize your content according to what your audience genuinely wants. I’m not saying be a people pleaser. Actually, I am definitely saying that.
When it comes to writing emails your audience will love, not many people have the one-size-fits-all answer. But I hope this blog has given you a few things to think about.