E-mail continues to be a popular and effective channel for connecting with engineers and other technical professionals. However, your customers and prospects have e-mail inboxes loaded with clutter. So how do you create marketing e-mails that get noticed and entice your audience to convert?

You follow one golden rule: Be relevant. Simple, yes—but here’s the catch. You need to be relevant in every aspect of the e-mail, from the subject line to the headline, from layout to copy, from offer to landing page.

Apply the golden rule of relevancy to all of your e-mail components and the whole will be greater than the sum of its parts, leading to higher conversion rates. Here’s how.

From line and subject line. This is what your audience sees first in their inbox, and it’s your first opportunity to be relevant.  Your e-mail must be from a person’s name or a company that your customers and prospects recognize. Or at least from an organization related to their line of work. Otherwise, there’s no relevancy, and your e-mail will likely be unopened and discarded.

Subject lines are worthy of a long discussion, but the bottom line is to give a compelling hint to what the e-mail is about.  Subject lines should be benefit oriented and convey a sense of urgency so that recipients open your e-mail immediately rather than save it for later or pass it by completely.

Headline and copy. Be short, sweet, and laser-focused on the singular goal of what you want the recipient to do, such as download a white paper, register for a Webinar, watch a video or other call to action and why they should do it. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes and ask: What’s in it for me? Make your copy about them, not about you. Benefits, benefits, benefits—that’s what makes your copy relevant.

Avoid mixing multiple messages in the copy. Sure, there’s lots of great stuff you want your audience to know, but a marketing e-mail with the goal of conversion isn’t the place for an information dump. It’ll act as more of a distraction and may keep your audience from taking your desired action.

Layout and graphics. Even layout lends itself to relevancy. Busy professionals are scanners, not readers, so use layout elements that make it easy to scan the e-mail content. Bold headlines. An image. Bullet points. Short paragraphs. Highly visible calls to action in both text and button formats. It’s also effective to show recipients what you are offering: use a cover image from a white paper or technical article, a still image from a video, or an image from the event you’re asking them to register for.

Call to action. “Action” is the key word here: Download, read, view, register, get. See a pattern? These are all action verbs. That’s just the start. The relevancy comes in with the rest of the call. It can be longer when it’s text: “Learn five ways to boost battery power.” Or: “Watch how to install an oscillating pump.” On a button: “Download now.” Or: “Register now.” Use both text and graphics for the call-to-action—they lead to the same place.

Conversion. If you’re offering a download, a conversion may take place when your recipient clicks through to your offer. You could also direct your audience to a landing page where relevancy continues to apply. Tie the landing page to the e-mail in terms of message and graphics, so people know they’ve come to the right place. If you’re using a registration form for a Webinar or download, keep it simple and easy, asking only for the minimum information you need to begin a dialog with customers and prospects.

Relevancy. That’s what successful e-mail marketing is all about. Apply the golden rule of relevancy to every component of your e-mail campaign, and you’ll experience higher conversion rates.

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