Conquer Email Marketing Now: A How-To for Beginners

May 30, 2015 John Rigo

Imagine walking into a room and upon entering, 50 people turn to you and begin screaming your name. Who would you look at? The creepy guy in the back in the trench coat? The one holding a 50% off sign? Wait, is that your mom?

Welcome to the world of the email inbox, where your message sits and waits amongst all the other emails people receive on a daily basis. Everyone is vying for the attention of the reader the second they open their inbox.

As a business owner or manager trying to market your services, how can you make your message stand out from the crowd? In this article, we’ll explore how to create compelling email subject lines, design, and copy that will help your emails get noticed.

It All Starts with the Subject Line

Subject lines are often your only chance to grab the reader’s attention and get them to open your message. The most successful subject lines are usually simple and to the point. Easier said than done! Try to keep these tips in mind when crafting your subject lines:

Avoid trying too hard to get your message to stand out with cutesy or cheesy phrases. Instead, keep the subject line descriptive and less than 45 characters in length. Set the expectation for what the content of the email is about. Misleading subject lines will often lead to low conversion rates, or even worse, high unsubscribe rates. Personalize when possible by using the person’s name or business as part of the subject line.

Get Inspired: Take a look at your own inbox to browse for good subject lines that grab your attention.

The Right Design and Content

Getting someone to open your email is only half the battle. Now that you have their attention, how are you going to get them to take the next step? As boring as it may sound, there are some very traditional design and copy concepts that work well. Be sure to follow these best practices:

1. Less is more. Don’t expect people to open your email and read all of the wonderful copy you wrote. Readers tend to scan emails for things that interest them, so make sure the content is digestible and only hits on the key points you want to convey.

2. Make your message compelling to the user. People have numerous options for just about any service today, so why would they choose your business over your competitors? The answer to that is easy: value. Your message needs to clearly explain the value you’re providing, whether through an offer or a specific service or product.

3. Have only 1 clear call-to-action and keep it above the fold (in the portion of the screen a reader can see without scrolling down). Identify the action you want people to take and make it easy for them to take that action by providing a link or phone number.

4. Once you have a draft of your email ready, go back through it to identify and remove any element that isn’t essential to your message. Fewer distractions means clearer communication, which usually translates into more conversions.

Looking to master your email marketing efforts? Check out our guide for a more in-depth look into email marketing for your small business. 

About the Author

John Rigo

John Rigo is a content marketer with Booker. His areas of expertise are writing and market research. John brings a unique perspective to the blogosphere with his extensive background in publishing. He also has a love for small and local businesses – how they work, how they grow, and why they succeed.

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