We all get them -- email newsletters. Whether you love the discounts they contain, or hate that they pile up like junk in your inbox, it’s safe to say that you’ve seen your fair share. Most people don’t give a second thought to how these emails are created, but as you start to draft your own email newsletters, you’ll find that there’s more to them than meets the eye. To help you launch your own awesome email marketing campaign, today we’re sharing some advice on how to craft marketing emails that convert.
Before you start writing anything, be it code or marketing content, the first step is to figure out what you want to say. Ask yourself, “What message do I want to convey to my customers?” Some examples include:
- Shop our sale!
- Check out today’s deals
- Here are the new products for this season or holiday
- New product launches
- We’ll be at this appearance / event next
- We have new partnerships
- The latest industry news
Regardless of the message, it’s important to know what you’re trying to say before you do anything else. Once you know what you want to say, you can draft the email content. Be sure to use a voice that resonates with your buyer’s persona, but keep it short so you don't lose your customer’s interest. The exact length of your content will be determined by your email design, but more on that later.
Call to action (CTA)
After you know what you want to tell your customer, figure out what you want the customer to do next. For example, if you’re announcing your next event, do you want customers to buy tickets, RSVP or simply share the news?
Clearly identifying what you want your customers to do will make it easier for you to guide them there. Once you do so, you ‘ll need to identify the landing page that will allow customers to complete that action. Continuing with our previous example, if you want customers to RSVP for your event, provide the link where they can do so.
Finally, create a CTA button that drives users to the link. The CTA should contain enticing text that encourages the reader to click. Verbs are a great start; check out this article for some examples.
Email subject lines
Once you’ve put together the message and know what you want your customers to do, it’s time to work on getting customers to open your email. The subject line is the most important line of text you’ll write for each email, and it is also the shortest. The goal of the subject line is to entice readers to open the email while accurately describing what’s inside.
Keep track of the subject lines you use and review them over time to ensure you’re optimizing your subject lines for conversions.
As we mentioned earlier, each email newsletter should have a great design. Create a basic template that you’ll use time and time again. The design should include your logo in the header and a footer at the bottom that has your contact info, social media buttons and most importantly, a link to unsubscribe from your emails. While you're designing your template, remember that it should reflect not just this email’s message but your overall brand. This includes deciding on a color palette, and the types of headers and fonts you’ll use consistently.
The body of your email should contain the elements we’ve worked on already: the content and call to action button. It should also feature gorgeous product photos that appeal to the customer and make your email more clickable. You can choose to have just one message or supplement a main feature with other articles. If you choose to have more than 1 segment, make sure you highlight each with bold headlines.
For some examples from PrestaShop merchants, check out this article to see our favorite newsletters from in 2014.
Another key factor to consider are your mobile customers. Be sure your content can be scaled down to a smartphone’s screen size. Most of today’s email marketing tools have this functionality already built into the software. For a complete list of industry solutions available for your region please refer to our partner pages.
Use images that are sized properly to cut down on loading time. Also, be sure to give the images a descriptive name, just in case they don’t appear onscreen; otherwise your customers might wonder what 2356450x.jpg refers to...
For more ideas, check out what your competitors or suppliers have used in their emails. Haven’t subscribed to emails yet? Milled has a great collection of emails which you can filter by brand and category. To jump right in and get started here’s a recap of the steps:
- Decide on the message
- Draft the content
- Figure out your customer’s next steps
- Create a call to action
- Write a catchy subject line
- Select an email marketing tool
- Design a great-looking newsletter
Already have an email marketing campaign in place? Let us know which step is the most challenging for you. Don’t have an email marketing base yet? Check out guest blogger Steve Chou’s article on “How to gather more emails for your online store.”