Email Marketing 101: How to Optimise my Email Content for Conversion

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Creating Emails that make conversions

When you are creating an email to send either as a standalone newsletter or as part of an automation series, conversion should always be at the top of your mind. That does not mean to say that creating an email with a big “Buy Now” button is that way to go, far from it. Email marketing is just like any other facet of marketing; you need to work with the mindset of the consumer to encourage the sale. Depending on your product or service and the style of your brand, the way you nurture the customer to the conversion point in your sales cycle will look different for every business. Allowing for these differences, there are still some critical elements of email marketing content that you should consider when designing your email and writing your marketing copy. By considering the following six elements, you are setting your email on the path to greater success and more conversions. 

Define your message

There is no point sending an email just for the sake of casting the email marketing net. Have a purpose when you send an email. Is this email a general newsletter that provides a market update on your area? Are you having a sale and want to communicate the offers available? Is this a VIP email list that you want to invite to an event at your store? Have a purpose clear in your mind for each email that you send.

Keep the key message at the top of the email

One of the biggest mistakes that email marketers make is to bury the main point of the email at the bottom of the email with a CTA. In the past, when email was a fairly standard platform, and it was easy to predict how every reader would view the email, this was a typical technique. Now, we have so many ways of viewing our emails; on multiple phone platforms, PC’s, laptops, tablets, desktops, macs. We also have different mail clients that we use to view our emails, and every combination of email client and device will display your marketing email slightly differently. What this means when you are designing your email is that you need to place the key message in the very top of the email as you can not guarantee where the email client will cut the email. 

Putting the technicality to one side, you must treat your email contacts with respect; by making it easy to see the key message of the email and act accordingly, you are respecting their time and using good email etiquette. Marketing psychology only works if your contacts stay on your email list; don’t give them a reason to hit the unsubscribe button.

Use graphics and video wisely

I love both designing and receiving marketing emails with engaging graphics, gifs or video content. Visual content grabs your attention, appeals to the empathetic part of the brain, is processed faster and creates more engagement than text-based copy. All emails should include visuals that tie in with your brand and assist with defining your message. 

On the technical side, it is vital to make sure that all graphics, photos or videos are optimised for your email. Some email marketing platforms do this automatically, but in most cases, you will need to ensure this yourself. Images should be sized appropriately; both in physical dimensions and in file size, 650px wide (and 96ppi, high resolution for Photoshop users) saved as a jpg is perfect for ensuring the image will be visible almost all readers. If your email marketing software requires that you host your images and videos externally, make sure that you are hosting on the fastest platform available to ensure no load lag. Another point to remember is that all visual content in an email should click through to your website. There is nothing worse than seeing a heatmap of your emails with failed clicks from your imagery. 

Be reasonable about Calls to Action (CTA’s)

As a marketer or business owner, you know and believe in the benefits of your product and are probably very passionate about it, and that is wonderful. But it is important to remember that the people reading your email are probably not as excited as you are – yet! If a contact has subscribed to your email marketing list, then they are a part of your marketing funnel however they may be at different points on the sales cycle. Asking for the sale using words such as “Buy Now” or “Book an Appointment Now” may be appropriate for a tyre company that has identified that your tyres are due to be replaced. If you are a business consultant, the call to action from your email may be to read an article about the industry you work in on your website; this would be an example of a reasonable CTA.

Send clicks to your website

Sending clicks from your marketing email to your website may sound like the very basics, but it is often the first thing that, as a consultant, I notice is not done consistently in email marketing. The higher your click through rate, the more likely you are to convert. Added to this, when a contact clicks through to your website, your email marketing platform should be able to tag the contact. Contacts that click through from your emails to your website are highly engaged, and their user behaviour may warrant including them in additional automations. These contacts can then be remarketed to as appropriate to your brand and sales cycle.

Keep the email short

As I mention in point #2, there are a multitude of ways that your contacts will view their emails, and it is impossible to be able to test across all combinations. One thing that is consistent across all of the major email clients is that marketing emails are cut off at some point, with a link to view the email in the browser. As a marketer and observer of human behaviour, you should already know that the chances of the reader clicking on the view in browser option is extremely low. By keeping your email design short and ensuring that you place the most important content at the top of the email, you are giving your email the best chance of conversion success.

By following the above tips, your emails are more likely to be opened, read and acted upon by your contacts; either moving them along your sales cycle or leading to a direct conversion. Remember that it is crucial to take into consideration the individual factors that may pertain to your industry or location so that you can get the tone and content precisely right for your audience.

In 2020 we have seen a dramatic increase in open rates, click through rates and email marketing list sign ups. If your current email marketing solution is not providing you with results, it may be time to look at other options. At Email Expert we have information on email marketing software, vendors and deliverability solutions for all your email needs. 

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