Email marketing is evolving. All marketers are on their toes to make their subscribers read their messages. Whenever individuals open up their email inboxes, they are greeted by dozens of automated emails and sales pitches. They read the ones that make more sense to their interests and personality.
Some email campaigns are so good that they do not think twice to share and recommend them further. In the world of integrated marketing communications, how can one create email campaigns that are both engaging and eye-catching?
Here are some essential checkpoints for creating effective email campaigns:
a) Employ a robust email builder
If you want the most out of email marketing, go for a comprehensive email marketing software. Most marketers leverage email service providers to send their email campaigns. These tools make work easy and interesting.
With a robust email marketing tool, you can easily segment your email lists, personalize your copy, design without having HTML skills, send bulk email blasts, optimize your email campaigns for better deliverability, and track your campaign’s success.
Many email service providers are available in the market. But, before going for one, make sure to carry out in-depth research in terms of ease of use and affordability.
b) Choose your target audience
Choosing the right audience depends on your segmentation process. Slicing your email base into specific target clusters is an essential step for the success of your email campaigns.
Segmenting your email base is not a definitive process because it depends on your business needs. If you are using any email marketing tool, you can easily form your target lists based on age, location, gender, occupation, or more.
Choosing the right audience is necessary because they are the ones for whom you will be crafting the messages. Therefore, creating your buyer’s persona is what you should initially aim for.
c) Personalize your subject line and email copy
Adding personalization elements into your email campaigns will bring you two steps closer to your target audience. This is the juncture where most of your segmentation process comes into force.
Adding your subscriber’s name is not the only way to personalize your email copy. You need to make them feel valued and special from it. If you add too many branding elements and less of the resonating content, your subscribers will eventually lose all interest. The need is to make them believe that they are important to you.
So avoid using ‘we’ and start using ‘you’. In order to stay away from spammer radar, you should not use spammy words like ‘free’, ‘win $XXX’, ‘this is not spam’, and several other phrases that are easily available if you do a google search. Ultimately, keep your copy and crisp and concise without using the shouty all-caps.
d) Using email automation only where necessary
Employing email automation is a good practice to save time and effort. It comes in handy if you do not want to lose out on any opportunity to interact with your audience. Many marketers use email automation tools to automate welcome emails, confirmation emails, onboarding emails, cart-abandonment emails, thank you emails, feedback emails, and more.
But you must avoid overusing this feature in your email campaigns. This is because most automated emails are written in a generic tone. Over time these become irrelevant for many recipients who are with you for a long time. Sooner or later they will figure out that your emails are not sent by a human. Secondly, automated emails get caught up in the spam filters, and the chances of your emails not landing in your receiver’s inbox increase manifold.
In short, email automation can become counterproductive if not handled in the right way.
e) Checking on the email metrics
We learn from our mistakes and that is why understanding and analyzing the shortcomings of our email marketing strategy is important. There are a lot of touchpoints that can easily be missed out while sending an email campaign.
For instance, you didn’t optimize the send time of your emails, your content did not perform well, most of your emails landed in the spam folder or more.
Tracking and analyzing each email campaign can provide you with detailed insights. You can use that understanding and incorporate related changes in your next email campaign.
Now, we can move on to the main part. The theory is essential for understanding but practical examples put life into the theory. So let’s incorporate some examples to gain insights into writing an engaging email for your campaign.
Welcome Email Series
Most welcome emails are automated. And it makes sense because marketers can by no means send welcome emails to each new subscriber.
But welcoming subscribers to your list does not suffice by sending a greeting message. You need to start providing value to them starting from here.
Most welcome emails contain a freebie like an ebook, a discount, free trial of your product, promo code or coupon, and more. Here are some best examples to write an engaging welcome email.
This is a generic welcome email for all the individuals who subscribe to BuzzFeed Daily. The email has a short welcome message and states clearly when one should expect their emails (which excludes Saturday and Sunday).
BuzzFeed has a range of email subscription options and that is why the final call-to-action entails the same.
Although Maropost’s email doesn’t mention the subscriber’s name, the tone of the email is quite warm. The CTA is also well-crafted by inciting a curiousness that their resource library is packed with valuable content.
This is another example of sending a welcome email by Refinery29. You can craft your welcome message and provide some resources to your subscribers to consume. In this particular case, the scheduled date of delivery has passed, therefore, they have provided a few resources until the next email hits the inbox.
This is a welcome email by Product Hunt. It has no image, gifs, or separate CTA buttons. The email is purely text-based with several clickable links that look very decent and clean. Using bold fonts and a lot of images is not the only way to make your emails attractive. At times, simple messages work wonders.
This is a welcome email from Digg where they clearly specified and informed when the subscriber should expect an email from them. Along with the welcome message, they have provided a curated list of their top-performing stories so that the user gets an idea about the type of content they will be receiving.
ToDoist has been doing wonders in terms of sending welcome and onboarding emails to its subscribers. Here are some takeaways:
They simply won’t let their subscribers go empty-handed. Therefore, they have added a comprehensive guide to get one started with. Plus, they have added more value to this email by specifying that they are always ready to help us. Here are some more welcome emails from ToDoist:
Here, they have sent emails indicating that one has to start making to-do lists via Todoist and have added a new blog post in each of the emails.
There is a difference in sending content as a freebie and crafting it exclusively. There are three ways of doing it.
- First, you may send a list of curated resources from around the world.
- Second, you can send a few but detailed resources if you want your content to be consumed.
- Third, you can send resources that are written, designed, or produced in-house.
This is quite an informative email that can work very well to nurture leads. In this email by Canva, they have listed out the ways through which one can download their designs. And if anyone is wondering, Canva provides downloads in all of the mentioned formats. Isn’t this a great way to make their subscribers aware of the design formats as well as their features?
In this email by GrowthHackers, they have not only put the content-offer in their subject line but also have displayed it at the top of their email.
Many emails use such a subject line to click-bait the users and when the subscriber opens the email, the actual content lies at the bottom. In this excellent example, we can see that there is no beating around the bush and the content that was promised in the subject line is delivered first thing in the email copy.
As mentioned earlier, there are several different ways through which you can send out the content or resources. In this example by Inc., they have provided a snippet for their content. It seems that they actually want the subscriber to go through it.
Moreover, this is a purely text-based email with no images or gifs. But, it should be noted that each resource is different. In this case, if they had just put a headline and a CTA to read their story, not many people would have engaged with it.
This is the area where marketers have to walk on thin ice. Pitching your product or writing an exclusive promotional email is an art. Marketers do not just put their product with a price tag in their emails. They subtly write a promotional email by striking a balance between providing value and selling the benefits. There are three ways to send promotional emails.
- First, you can mention discounts or coupons in your emails and create an urgency to avail of the offer.
- Second, you can straight away mention the price of your product by stating the benefits that users can derive.
- Third, you don’t have to mention any price but promote your product by giving an option to your subscribers to take a free trial or upgrade to the paid version.
Let us see the examples of all of the above.
In this email by Quark Software, they have created a sense of urgency and leveraged the discount factor to craft their email. If we scrutinize the elements of the email then they have stated the price, created a sense of urgency, and have also stated the benefit of 1 year.
In this example by todoist, they have clearly mentioned the price in their subject line. When we open the email they have mentioned the benefits that the subscriber will get. They have mentioned a few of the benefits in their email and provided a clickable link ‘much more’. With this, they are indicating that there is a list of endless benefits that cannot be incorporated into this tiny email. In the end, they have subtly mentioned the CTA to get todoist premium with a price tag.
This is another example from Canva. In this email, they have not mentioned the price tag but have listed out the benefits of their upgraded version along with the option to take the free trial. A lot of products provide free trials to their subscribers and the right way to use it in email marketing is to sell the benefits and not the product.
Email newsletters have become so prevalent in today’s scenario that our inboxes are full of them. But there are several of them that subscribers religiously follow. This is because of the content that they provide according to the interests and preferences of the users.
Email newsletters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them may have elements of imagery, others might be purely text-based. They may even depend on the time factor. For instance, daily, weekly. or monthly digest. Time for some examples.
Everyone follows Medium, right? Medium sends top-performing content in their daily digest. They divide their newsletter into several categories like the highlights of the day and the topics that you are interested in.
When someone subscribes to their newsletters, Medium asks them the topics they are interested in beforehand. In this way, they provide valuable and well-tailored content to their subscribers. You may do the same. Include certain questions that make the most sense to your business in your pop-up or embedded form when a certain visitor arrives on your website. This would make your segmentation process a breeze.
This is another example of a monthly newsletter from GlobalGiving. The newsletter was crafted in a long format. There are ten such stories listed in their newsletter. And the choice of long format is evident as it is a monthly newsletter. As it is a month’s wrap up, they have resorted to minimal content to explain each section. An image, a headline, short bio, and a CTA.
This is one example of weekly newsletters. Reedsy sends in a long format newsletter that is purely text-based. These types of newsletters only work for some businesses. For instance, if you are an online retailer, this would not work out well for you. But this type of format exists and businesses use it to send personalized content to their subscribers.
They usually include clickable links that the user can view as mentioned in the example below:
Some newsletters go to certain heights in terms of creativity. In this another example by Canva, they have put together a lot of content. From an interesting subject line to a clever CTA, this is an example of a well-tailored email newsletter.
These are the times when you get maximum sales from your email marketing campaigns. In these emails, you have to create urgency as the festive seasons and discounts do not last long.
You can leverage the holiday or festive seasons to start an engaging email campaign. For instance, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, New Year, Back to School Season, and more. Below mentioned are some amazing examples from Black Friday and Cyber Monday email campaigns.
Seasonal sales emails usually contain a straightaway pitch with heavy discounts. Marketers do not beat around the bush and mention the sales pitch straight away in the subject line and email copy. The same has been incorporated by Envato.
In this another example by Canva, they have cleverly explained a subtle difference between Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They have not only pitched their sales offer but also have included important information to nurture their leads.
Subscribers can hardly say no to such heavy discounts. With such a subject line the user would definitely want to see what they are in for. In this example by Quark Software, they have used a huge discount to keep the customers coming in.
A simple yet decent Black Friday Email campaign by Grammarly. Numbers play a great role in grabbing the attention of your subscribers. Therefore, Grammarly highlighted the same in their email design. These types of templates are easily available if you are employing email marketing software.
A simple text-based email without any images or gifs by InVideo. They have clubbed their black friday and cyber monday sales pitch in one email. They provided a personalized coupon so that the discount can be availed during the final checkout.
1) Event Invitation/Registration
Chances are, you receive email invitations or confirmation through emails. Email marketing is an excellent way to generate maximum registrations and further promote your event.
During the current scenario where the pandemic has hit the whole world, businesses are getting more inclined towards conducting virtual or online events ranging from short webinars to a full-blown virtual event. And as a result, emails are the most trustworthy communication channel to promote your event campaign. Here’s how you can craft an engaging email copy:
In this webinar invitation by HubSpot, they have sent a personalized reminder that the event is quite near and the seats are almost full. As the speakers for the event are from HubSpot itself, therefore, they have emphasized on ‘ABM campaigns’ which is the topic for the webinar event.
In this example, GrowthHackers have sent an invitation to sign up for a virtual conference. They have made this event more lucrative by using the names of popular brands in their subject line. You can use the same technique in your email campaigns to achieve maximum engagement and registrations.
2) Cart Abandonment
Cart abandonment email campaigns are a must-have in your email marketing strategy. These emails are generally automated but are necessary to prompt the user to make the purchase. Here are some interesting and engaging email copies to craft your cart abandonment email campaigns:
The shopping site Street Style Store has crafted a personalized and engaging email copy to grab the subscriber’s attention. It doesn’t seem that the email is generated automatically but sent by an actual person. You can definitely pick up some pointers from this copy.
Amazon sends two types of cart abandonment emails. One is a generic one where they remind their subscribers about the products in their cart and some put in some resonating offers. The second one is more specific where they put in the details of the product. Watch the example below.
3) Thank you emails
Thank you email campaigns are created to establish a personalized relationship with your subscribers. These email campaigns are evident of the fact that you were not only here for selling the product but are here to connect with the users as well.
Thank you emails can be of several types. Two prominent ones are after purchase email and thank you emails for the customers who have been availing your services for the long term. Let’s take some examples.
This is an amazing example of after purchase thank you email by PowerAdSpy. They have expressed their gratitude to the customer as well as are ready to provide any help if needed.
This thank you email campaign is a story-based email where Uber is thanking us on behalf of the drivers’ community. These types of emails are a great way to retain your customers and increase your brand value.
4) Customer Review
These email campaigns are a great way to engage and interact with your customers. In these types of emails, there are no promotional offers or extra content. They are purely designed to get the customer’s feedback.
Many times businesses add a feedback option at the end of the emails but they tend to be ignored. That is why some businesses start an exclusive campaign to get the customer’s review. Here are two examples.
JumpStory is interested in knowing the preference of its customers so that they can provide a personalized experience. There is no other purpose in sending the email as is evident from the email copy.
Zoom is calling their customers to write a review for them. Again, there is no other content included in the email copy. They are just interested in knowing what the customer thinks of them.
5) Internal Policy Updates
These email campaigns are usually sent through bulk email blasts and are crafted carefully, as policy updates might be a sensitive matter especially if they involve user’s data. As these emails are serious in nature, they are written in a text-based format.
Although the main purpose of these emails is to inform the user, engagement is also necessary to make the users aware of the changes or updates. Here is one example from Airbnb.
Writing an engaging email copy for any of your campaigns can be a smooth journey if you have done the research and tested the waters in the market. Make sure you remember each touchpoint mentioned above. Feel free to drop your thoughts in the comment section. Until next time.