8 Quick Tips for Writing the Perfect Email Offer

Email remains near the top of effective marketing strategies in the industrial sector, but you won’t get positive results if you simply dash off a marketing email as you might any other email correspondence. Your marketing emails must be compelling, clear and concise. If you master these three C’s of writing, you can get an A in email copywriting. Open up your notebooks or favorite note-taking app. Time for your lesson:

1. Start with your subject line

When writing emails, we often save the subject line for last and dash off a few words that seem enticing enough for a recipient to open the email. However, along with the “From” line, which should include your company or brand name and/or a person’s name that your audience will recognize, the subject line contains the most important few words you will write. They are also the hardest words to write. Craft a short subject line with one purpose in mind: getting your recipient to open and read your email. You can do this by being relevant, benefit-oriented and instilling a sense of urgency or uniqueness.

2. Write clearly and concisely

A marketing email should be about one thing and one thing only: the offer you are making. Whether it’s to download a white paper, register for a webinar, watch a video, get a complimentary needs assessment or something else valuable to your audience, get directly to the point using as few words as possible to entice your recipient to click on your offer. You should focus on the single most important message. Delete any extraneous, unrelated copy.

3. Include a call to action, include it again

This advice may seem to run counter to the command for clear and concise writing, but your email is all about your call to action. Put your offer near the top, and again in your closing. Make the call to action so compelling your recipient would be foolish not to accept it. Write the call to action in linked text and also create a linked graphic (such as a button or other image). “Learn more” is not a call to action.

4. Focus on benefits, not features

Think of it this way: It’s not bells and whistles that customers care about; it’s the lovely sound the bells and whistles make. That’s the difference between features and benefits. Convince your audience they will benefit from accepting your offer: they will learn how to save time, they will discover a better way of doing something, or they will solve a pressing problem. Make the benefits clear (and concise). Put them in bold text or a bulleted list for easy reading.

5. Answer this one question

If you’re having trouble getting to the heart of the message you need to convey, make sure your email answers this one question that every recipient has: “Why is this important to me?” If your copy clearly delivers a compelling answer to that question, you will see your click and conversion rates go up.

6. Write different versions

If you are marketing to more than one audience, don’t send them all the exact same content. Since the call to action is the same, different versions you write for each audience might be very similar, but a few copy changes can mean the difference between success and failure. Identifying your audience by title or the type of work they do, re-wording or re-ordering the list of benefits, or changing the headline to focus on each audience’s number one motivator are all good ways to optimize the different versions.

7. Proofread

Many a promising email ends up failing when your audience discovers a typo or writing error. Those kinds of mistakes tend to undermine your entire effort, because it’s like saying you’re not careful or don’t care, a message that your audience can connect to your company, brand or products. It’s not enough to use spell check; you must also look for punctuation problems, awkward grammar, and misused words. Have someone else proofread the email. It’s very difficult to catch your own errors because you’re so close to the work.

8. Test, test and test again

Following these steps to perfection will mean nothing if your link directs to the wrong landing page or is broken. While you’re on your landing page, complete the process by filling out the form or downloading the content being offered. Does it work the way it should? Is the form data (if you’re using a form) being captured correctly in your back-end systems? Also, how does your email look in Outlook and the other popular email clients your audience uses? Does your audience read your emails on mobile devices? If so, how does it look on a smart phones and tablets? Take the time to test, make adjustments and test again until you have it right.

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What tips for writing effective emails would you pass along to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

E-Mail Marketing

The Golden Rule of Creating E-mails that Convert

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.

E-Mail Marketing