With the arrival of Spring, there are many special occasions and Bank Holidays coming up for us to look forward to. At this time of year, it’s not uncommon for our inboxes to get filled with an increased number of seasonal emails - eager to flog the latest spring fashion, holiday offers and more. On average, people receive over 88 emails a week from brands they are subscribed to, meaning capturing attention over these busy periods can prove even more difficult. So, here are some key tips for creating stand out email campaigns, to make sure you’re not just another archive and delete:
Sending an email at the right time can make a significant difference to the open and clickthrough rate. Research suggests that the optimal days of the week are a Tuesday and Thursday, but that can vary from brand to brand. It’s therefore recommended that you A/B test and analyse past performance data to find the perfect send time for your particular audience. For seasonal periods and Bank Holidays in particular, sending out emails is generally less advisable unless there’s a clear purpose or incentive for the audience (for example, a discount or promotion) as over holidays there’s a general reduction of internet activity when people are busy with family and friends.
33% of email recipients decide whether or not to open an email based on the subject line alone, so a good subject line is critical to ensuring your email makes the right first impression. The key to getting attention over these busy periods is keeping the subject lines short and catchy: no more than 50 characters in length. It also needs to be extremely clear what the customer will get when they open the email, whether this is a discount, an educational how-to guide or a request for them to complete an action. Always try to use personalisation where data is available, as this will not only attract attention, but also help build a rapport with the customer. According to the Science of Email Marketing, emails that included the first name of the recipient in their subject line had higher click through rates than emails that did not.
Many people nowadays look to email content for the ideal gifts and getaway deals. However, typically an adult’s attention span is around 8 seconds, so it’s important to get the content right quickly. Using short paragraphs to create spaces and pauses within the body of the email will help retain attention, so ensure the content is concise and add a call to action for the customer to find out more information on your website. Include visuals, whether that’s a static image, animated GIF or video, as these will help the reader connect with the message you’re sending.
Here’s a great example of an Easter campaign created by Not On the High Street. It starts with a short header, followed by some clear, concise copy. The image is very well designed and captures attention quickly.
Sainsbury’s also recently sent out an email for its new campaign ‘Live Well for Less’. This contained a witty GIF which immediately grabs the attention and really helps capture the fun and lively personality of the campaign. Including a GIF doesn’t just inject some fun into your emails, but Experian recently reported that 72% of email marketers who have animated GIFs have recorded higher transaction-to-click-through rates, compared to bulk emails to the same customers.
Calls to action work best when they’re focused on a special promotion or sale. They should be simple, click-worthy and have an effective design. It is recommended to use around 2-5 words as space is limited. The copy needs to be action-oriented, ideally creating a sense of urgency, encouraging the customers to take the required action quickly. Using a contrasting colour to that of the background and an appropriate size will also make it easy for the customer to notice what they need to click on.
If there’s enough data available, adding personalisation to an email can help make the content relevant to an individual customer. Whether this data is about location, interests or purchase history, all of this can be used to trigger content and engage the customer. Try to be subtle with the personalisation though, as including several instances may give the impression that you hold too much information about a customer and it could come across as being too intrusive.
Recent analysis shows that 75% of Gmail users access their account on mobile devices. With these statistics in mind, it’s become absolutely critical that emails are optimised for mobile. Particularly over the bank holidays, customers will be travelling and therefore on their mobile, and even whilst at home they’ll be using multiple devices to read emails. Therefore, ensure the email renders on different mobile devices and test thoroughly in all email clients before pressing send.
So, what are you waiting for, don’t miss out! Make sure you plan ahead and start your email campaigns early. Give your customer a reason to purchase over your competitors.
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