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One hundred sixty-nine. That’s how many emails were waiting in my inbox after Thanksgiving Day – after only 18 hours from the last time I cleared them out. A vast majority of them offered up a barrage of Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals…and they also ended up as trash.  

Does this sound familiar to you? Many others experience this same email overload every day, which may lead you to believe that email marketing is overused and a thing of the past. However, SalesForce’s “2014 Mobile Behavior report,” showed that 91% of consumers check their email at least once per day on their smartphone, making it the most used functionality.  Additionally, emails converts three times better than Facebook and Twitter, according to McKinsey’s iConsumer survey. Needless to say, email certainly isn’t dead but needs to be smartened up a bit.

So why do some emails get opened and what sends them on a one-way ticket to the trash? We’re breaking down the anatomy of a successful email and how you can easily use this platform to bring the most value to your customers’ inboxes.

“Emails converts three times better than Facebook and Twitter.”
– McKinsey’s iConsumer survey

Create Customized Lists

Not every email is created equal. Your customers are not one-size-fits-all and have different reasons for doing business with you. Sending out one blanket email to all of your customers on a continuous basis won’t earn you a lot of opens (but they will take many trips to the trash). To effectively target your customers and give more value to what your email offers, create segmented lists and custom emails based on past purchases, geographic locations, demographics, and more. This ensures you’re delivering the right message to the right person.

Just One Goal

Any piece of marketing collateral that a business distributes should have just one goal. Are you wanting to sell more of a specific item? Direct customers to a specific webpage for more information? Sign up for an event? Email marketing best practices are no different. Your email should contain only one call-to-action (also called a CTA) or the action you want them to take. If you include more than one CTA, you will distract or confuse the recipient and they will most likely not do the main thing you want them to do. Keep it simple.

Subject Line Matters

The subject line is the most important piece of copy that your email contains and can make or break whether your email will be opened or trashed. The copy you write in the subject line should be clear, catchy and to the point. According to data from Return Path, 65 characters is the optimal length for email subject lines. In addition, email body copy should also be concise and limited in length. A person’s attention span is only 8 seconds (shorter than that of a goldfish) so you should get your point across quickly.

Use Eye-Catching Visuals

Images and other visuals add life to an email and can further encourage your subscriber to continue reading the message. Showcase a few of the products you’re wanting to sell to that specific segment of customers or highlight your friendly office staff. But keep the rule of thumb “less is more” in mind, as to not overwhelm your reader.

So the next time you’re sending out an email campaign, keep this handy rules of thumb in mind to continue building engagement with your customers (and stay out of the inbox swamp)! If you’re looking to fine-tune your email marketing strategy, our team of expert messaging maestros and mavens will work with you to turn your emails from trash to business treasure. Contact us to get the conversation started!