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Structuring Marketing Emails Like a Pro

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In the face of Facebook, Twitter, blogging, websites, and other online marketing tools, a lot of businesses ignore email. One large reason for this is because advertising companies abused free postage over the years and people became less inclined to sign up for newsletters and mailing lists. Structuring marketing emails that generate leads, however, is a great way to bring in website visitors and more business.asianchickensaladtitle2

Before diving into email basics, it is important to know what people absolutely despise about emails…

  • Length: Emails that are too long are seldom read. Online analytics report back to marketers how many people open them, though having your email opened is only half the battle.
  • Images: Everyone has had to click the “download images now” link in emails. Images are useful for branding purposes and intriguing target audiences. However, when so many people are using email on their smartphones they seldom download images and would rather skim through the text. Keep images to a minimum and make sure they work in the scope of the content.
  • Anonymity: Massive email send-offs seldom have any sort of customization. Email users know the tricks, too, like when they see a “Dear, John Doe” at the top of the email. They know the email isn’t tailored to them; however, marketers can and should send out different versions of the same marketing email to keep certain readers interested (more on this later).
  • Amount: People also hate when they get multiple emails from the same address within a short period of time. This often leads to a “report as spam,” and it is best avoided. Only send out emails when the time is right.

In order to learn more about structuring marketing emails, here is an outline of the different elements included in an email:

-From/Address: This configurable setting makes up the “from” line.

-Subject: The subject line is the first phrase people read and often the reason they open an email.

-Pre-header: Also known as a “snippet,” this is the intro into a marketing email. It is like an extension of a subject line.

-Header: This is where businesses should add logos, colors, and other info.

-Navigation: Large emails (often newsletters) have short navigation bars.

-Body: This is the meat of the email, otherwise known as the copy.

-Offer: Once a marketing email introduces a topic or idea, the “offer” is when an email instructs or attracts action.

-Hero Shot: Often called the “hero shot,” these images are spread throughout an email and help attract readers.

-Call to Action: This is by far the most important element of structuring marketing emails. This is the hard sales pitch that says “buy now” or “click to learn more.”

-Footer: The footer should include an unsubscribe link, a disclaimer, and links to social media pages.

Writing the Perfect Marketing Email

Now that you understand the elements of a marketing email, it’s time to take a look at what makes an email work. For starters, marketers need to decide what it is they want to portray in a small newsletter or email. Is it a product update? A massive holiday sale? A new service they are offering?

The best part about emails is that they are brief and consistent. A sales-based email, for instance, could be sent out a week before the event, and subsequent emails can go out during the actual sale. This reminds readers to visit websites, etc.

As mentioned above, the anonymity element is a tough one to counter. The best way marketers can do email is to create one over-arching message and write several versions for different target audiences. With analytics, companies can see which email accounts open their emails, click on links, or delete them on the spot. This allows marketers to tailor emails to groups with different levels of interest.

Emails should also be short, concise, and end in a call to action. Readers should be able to skim them and quickly read bullet points. The goal is to instruct them about an idea; the next step is to lasso them into clicking a link or buying a product. When it comes to structuring marketing emails, this is where the call to action comes in hand.

Photo by: Vinny La Barbera 

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This article was written by Zsolt Bicskey

Zsolt’s professional background includes work with many companies throughout his native country, donning the mantles of CEO, HR and IT professional, and more.Currently his major focus is on: corporate social media marketing, lead generation, local search optimization, video marketing and mobile marketing.