Email Marketing Tips: Why Short is Sweet

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Jay Dillon

Director of Strategy and Creative at Inbound Experts
Jay is a digital marketer and producer whose creative and technical skills have developed digital brand strategies and sales campaigns using a range of complex internet applications from stand-alone websites through to Facebook API integrations.
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Recently someone share with me this very interesting graph from Which basically demonstrates that when it comes to email subject lines, less is more. In my experience this theory should be applied to your entire email newsletter.

I am still a big fan of email marketing. I am privy to a lot of email campaigns through our email broadcast system InboundMail and I can tell you that email marketing has been a consistent performer when it comes to providing high-value content that positions a brand top-of-mind with past and future customers.

But for me the key to using email marketing is to ensure the content of the email is kept, to what I term, a ‘coffee cup’ read. That is, you should structure your email so that for the user, it is something they can quickly scan through whilst they are having their morning coffee. When this format is combined with content that is highly relevant and valuable to your readers you will find that large portion of your email subscribers open your emails each time but you may find out some actually look forward to receiving it.


How to keep your articles to a ‘Coffee Cup’ read

  • Don’t paste long articles into the email. Your email should only contain the headline and short paragraph summarizing the full article which is hosted on your website.
  • Keep the amount of articles to between 4-6. I know you have lots to say, but learn to keep only the best, sacrifice the average ones and stockpile others for future mail-outs
  • Learn to write great headlines with the aim of enticing the reader to view more.
  • Hire a great designer to make your email template. Make sure the design is uncluttered, with generous font sizes and plenty of white space.
  • Take time to select engaging images to go with each article. A picture really does tell a thousand words.
  • Be very clear who your target audience is for your email newsletters. Consider their interests, needs and frustrations and develop your articles based around this. If you have more than one type of customer with different needs, consider segmenting these into two lists and send two different versions of the email.
  • Always analyse which headlines people are clicking on so that you can modify your content over-time and improve open rates.

I don’t believe the importance of email marketing will diminish anytime soon despite the constant arrival of new and supposedly greater forms of communication like social media and mobile marketing. But despite, or even because, of these additional forms of communication it’s more important than ever that marketers realize their audience is over-burdened with marketing messages and are extremely time poor. This fact should be one of the main considerations in planning an email marketing strategy. Your audience is indeed looking for value, but make it quick.



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