A good subject line is like a good tweet: it earns a click to read further. We tweet links that amuse, outrage or inspire us. We write our tweets to get others to click. And sometimes we’re more effective than others.
But the truth of the matter is that very often, email marketing is pushed to the bottom of your never ending “to do” lists. There are so many pressing tasks at hand and sending email is so quick that you usually put it off until later, right?
Fortunately, these last minute tips for messages that should’ve gone out yesterday will get you out of the office by 5:00 and cozied up in front of the TV in no time.
Your 20-Minute Manual
Choose a Template
Not sure how you want your email to look? Picking a template can save a lot of time and aggravation. Depending on which one you choose, the columns will dictate the content and give your email focus.
Once you pick a template that suits your needs, simply pop your logo and important company information in and you’ll have a unique, customized template that you can use again and again – just by clicking copy.
- Copy the image URL from your website.
- While editing your HTML message, place your cursor wherever you want the logo to appear.
- Click the yellow “Insert/Edit an Image” icon that appears in the HTML editor.
- Paste the image URL in the “URL” field, then click the “Insert” button:
Get Link Happy
According to Dr. Flint McGlaughlin of Marketing Experiments, your email has one job: it invites your subscribers to a mental conversation.
That conversation should take place back on your website, whether it be making a sale, sharing a blog post, offering a discount or taking reservations.
When you’re in a rush and hurrying to send your newsletter it’s easy to skip the extra steps. Be sure to make the invitation to conversation very clear with a few well-placed links to your contact page, store hours, menu, FAQ or other frequently sought pages.
Remember though, these secondary links shouldn’t distract from the main point or the call-to-action of the email.
Review Discarded Content
If you don’t already, get in the habit of saving the work that doesn’t make it into your messages. When you’re short on time and in a pinch, it’s the kindling for an incendiary newsletter.
If you find that you ramble on and always cut portions of text out of your pieces after writing them, keep the content that ends up on the cutting room floor and devote your newsletter focus to your brilliant insight that was previously too lengthy to publish.
You could even keep a folder with snippets of abandoned blog posts or newsletter articles handy when you’re working on your emails – so long as the content is valuable, your newsletter will build itself.
Spend Time on Your Subject Line
If your subject line doesn’t compel readers to open the email, the rest of your content goes unseen. Make sure it clearly presents the email’s value while staying consistent with your past subject lines.
In fact, you can use existing messages to guide you. Keep track of patterns in open rates to see which subject lines earned the most opens, then mimic the format with your new one.
Treat it like a game of Mad Libs and fill in the blanks:
If “Free Shipping – All Handbags, One Week Only!” was your message with the most opens, take out the specifics and replace them with this week’s deal.
“Free Shipping – Spring Essentials, Wednesday Only!” is new and different from the last, but the format worked for you before and should work again, according to the stats.
Procrastination in Moderation
It’s nerve wracking, but waiting until the last minute to send messages can actually work out in your favor…when you don’t make a habit of it!
Great campaigns do take time to plan and implement.
Sometimes we have to wonder what causes a subscriber to delete our messages instead of reading them. Maybe they don’t connect with the reader’s interests. Or, maybe they’ve gone with a competitor and just haven’t unsubscribed yet.
There are several reasons we can guess at, but few are more troublesome than the idea of the subscriber simply not recognizing the sender or the fact that they’d requested information in the first place.
It’s frustrating, and it seems to happen all to commonly. Fortunately, it’s easily preventable. Let’s take at easy-to-implement ways to ensure your subscribers remember you and their subscription to your campaigns.
I brought up the topic of split testing a while back. However, I
didn’t have a sample split test to refer you to at the time.
So, I went back and found an example. Let’s take a look at a split
test, what was varied, and what we might infer from our results.
Consistency is something that we all lean on, from the time we wake up to the time we go to sleep. When my alarm clock goes off, I hit the snooze button and it consistently reminds me to get up exactly 10 minutes later. I turn the left-hand knob on my shower, and hot water comes out of the faucet.
If my alarm doesn’t go off again after I hit the snooze button or if my faucet won’t give me hot water, it throws me off. It doesn’t necessarily ruin my day, of course, but it does remind me how reliant we are on routine and how disruptions in that routine aren’t usually welcome.
And just what does this have to do with your newsletter?