Email marketing is one of your most powerful marketing tools. It’s a surefire way to reach your audience and – when done right – offers real value to your subscribers. Newsletters are also one of the most cost-effective ways to communicate with your audience, whilst giving shoppers a quick and easy way to get onto your site and start shopping.
While there’s a lot to love about newsletters and email marketing in general, it needs to adhere to some guidelines in order to lead to tangible results.
BEST-PRACTICE STARTER TIPS
KNOW WHO YOU’RE SPEAKING TO
First things first: Your email audience
Your email database should consist of people who already know (and hopefully love!) your brand. Keep this in mind when designing your newsletters. Every email you send doesn’t need to push a hard sell – sometimes a brand-building narrative goes a long way in fostering brand loyalty and long term growth.
We’re firm believers in the power of segmenting your database according to their interests and shopping behaviour. This allows you to market to each type of customer with information that they’ll find useful, and that is more likely to lead to successful conversions.
While it’s tempting to go all-out and gather as many email signups as possible, it’s important to keep your subscribers’ interest levels in your brand and buying potential in mind when assessing the health of your database. You want as many eyes as possible, but only if those eyes are likely to become customers!
KEEP IT ACCESSIBLE AND RESPONSIVE
In today’s world, it’s really no surprise that your email newsletter needs to be fully responsive and accessible. The majority of your audience is reading your emails on their phones, so design with smaller screens (and vertical scrolls) in mind.
Similarly, most of your audience is using mobile data to download content. Be cognizant of data usage and the implications of large files on load speeds. The last thing you want is for a customer to have no idea what you’re trying to show them, because your entire email was contained in one massive image file.
It’s recommended to break up your email into smaller images or lines, allowing them to load independently. Another good idea is to add alt-text to all images you use in your email newsletter. This is the text that displays when an image doesn't load, and allows you to convey your key message even if your customer isn’t able to completely download your newsletter. It’s also a great way to increase deliverability and keep your emails clear of any spam filters!
UNDERSTAND YOUR OPTIONS
Depending on your needs, budget, and technical know-how, there are dozens of options when it comes to choosing an email platform for your marketing.
As with any marketing effort, having trackable results is crucial, so choosing a platform that gives you easy access to your data and how you’re performing is the first step. It’s also a good idea to consider the user interface of your chosen platform. How easy is it to build and edit campaigns? Most email systems have drag and drop editor features that offer an intuitive building interface and results in faster design turnaround times
Mailchimp remains one of the most popular email platforms, and it’s easy to see why. Easy-to-use features and competitive pricing makes this a good choice for brands just starting out. It’s also easily integrated into most other softwares, meaning you’re unlikely to run into major compatibility problems down the line.
On the higher end of the price scale, and offering a full suite of email tools, is Klaviyo. This platform gives you robust email automation tools, and is suited to larger brands with extensive email plans.
Another option is Remarkety, an email automation solution tailored to ecommerce. They’re constantly adding new features, and offer marketers a comprehensive suite of tools to take the daily hassle out of managing a large database.
LET YOUR VISUALS DO THE TALKING
Your newsletter design needs to draw attention and lead to action. There are a couple of tried and tested layout styles that perform well across industries and audiences, and have become firm favourites in our email toolkit.
Inverted Pyramid Model
These newsletter layouts are effective in drawing attention in and getting your reader to take the next step. The key here is to have a really catchy header, clear reason for continuing to scroll, and a clear call to action.
Zig Zag Layout
This design layout breaks your newsletter into easily-digestible chunks. It’s best used when you have a lot of information to share, and helps readers to stay engaged and interested.
Single Column Newsletters
A single column newsletter works well with content that’s self-explanatory and visually strong. These emails display well on all screens and make it easy to highlight the key message in your newsletter without too many distractions.
Reference adopted by Thule
TAKING YOUR EMAIL MARKETING TO THE NEXT LEVEL
Running a successful email marketing plan takes time, patience, and a passion for storytelling. Getting to know your audience and understanding what they want to see more of – and what they respond to – is essential if you’re going to make the most of this powerful marketing channel. At the end of the day, your owned database and loyal customers are your best audience and offer your biggest opportunity for growth. Don’t let this chance slip through your fingers!
Consult our expert email marketing team today and discover how we can take your email marketing to new heights. Contact us here
Written by Monique du Toit, Head of Email & Content