Daniel Dennis

By Daniel Dennis, Marketing Data Specialist

I recently received an email from author Guy Kawasaki, advertising his new book. It was one of the simplest emails I’ve received in a while – and one of the most effective. I read the email; I followed the link; I bought the book.

I consider that email an exemplar of best practice in terms of engineering an email so that it reaches a recipient’s inbox (rather than the junk folder or Promotions tab) – and crafting content that prompts a response to the relevant call to action. Here are my top tips for creating effective email marketing content:

  •  Keep it simple. Stick to one image – and stick to the point. Plan content strategically and build in time to let your email ‘rest’ for a day between writing and sending, so that you can go back to it with fresh eyes and ruthlessly scythe away any ‘filler’ until you’re left with ‘all killer’ content.
  • Less is more when it comes to links. Include a maximum of two, and ensure these direct the reader to relevant, useful sources. More than two links will only increase your chances of landing in the Promotions tab!
  • Subject lines matter. Research shows that the average office worker receives more than 120 emails every day, and by now we’ve all become experts at sorting the wheat from the chaff – usually based on subject line alone. Keep yours short (50 characters or fewer) – and then incorporate a combination of humour, personalisation, key statistics and scarcity tactics as appropriate.
  • Make it personal. Your email may be going out to thousands of people, but each of those will be reading it as an individual – so it’s vital to connect on a personal level. A useful technique here is to distil each segment of your audience down to ‘one person’ – then write as if to that person alone.
  • Find your audience. This is critical. If there’s a disconnect between your email and the audience it reaches, then all the fine-tuning of copy and layout will have been for nothing. Begin the process with rich, robust, fully-audited data, then segment lists tactically – and nurture your audience through the email journey, for optimum engagement and results.

Of all these, the last point is the trickiest to master – not least because it is the one least within your control. You can follow best practice in terms of content and design – but how can you guarantee your message will reach the right audience? Simple: use our specialists to audit your existing data and source new, precision-targeted prospects – so that every email reaches a relevant recipient.

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