Email blasts, also known as eblasts, are a type of targeted email marketing sent by your company to a list of subscribers. Eblasts typically discuss promotional offers, news-worthy events or trends within your company or industry. Email marketing and eblasts can be viewed as an extension of direct marketing, in an electronic format. Both direct mailers and email blasts deliver a message to a targeted audience and use a similar format to capture recipient’s interest.
Your email marketing campaign should be carefully optimized to maximize your return. Over 50% of emails are never read, so crafting a compelling subject line is extremely important in getting your target to open then email. However; the subject line is only one piece of a larger puzzle. All elements of your email blast, including the design, content and call-to-action must work together to drive your customers to take action and interact with your company.
Below we’ve compiled tips for optimizing all the elements of your email blasts including the subject line, design, content and call-to-action.
Writing a Compelling Subject Line For Your Eblast
The subject line determines if your subscribers will open the email blast or dismiss it. Short, concise subjects tend to be more successful. Try to capture your target’s attention by mentioning an offer or sparking their curiosity. Think of your subject line like you would a headline. It should be creative and compelling.
According to a report by Adestra, subject lines with less than 10 characters tend to be ignored, so try to stick to subject lines that are 3-7 words long. Subject lines that include a deadline increase the urgency and improve open rates. For example: 20% off on furniture is a good subject line, but a better line would be: 20% off on furniture: Today only!
Tips For Designing Email Blasts
Pick a Theme
Successful eblasts should focus on one theme. Decide on a theme and stick with it throughout the piece. The content and design should both reflect the theme you choose. A well-executed layout should capture the attention of your target but not distract from your message. Layouts that are simple and easy to navigate will allow your content to shine.
Include Links and Social Icons.
Outgoing links that lead to related pages on your website allow you to provide your customers with additional information about your company and your products without adding bulk or clutter to your email. If you have an offer page or a special landing page that expands on the offer in your email, they should also be linked. Also, don’t forget to place your business’s social media icons and other contact information in your eblast to promote social sharing and increase your reach.
Images add a visual element that can spark interest from your readers. It’s important to choose images that will complement your content and not distract from your message. However, avoid designing the entire email as one image. Many browsers will not support this format, particularly mobile browsers. Up to 70% of emails are opened on mobile devices, so making your eblasts mobile friendly is an important consideration.
Make it Easy to Read
Fonts are the messengers in your email. They pass on your content, so it’s important to choose ones that are easy to read. Avoid using highly decorative fonts, and stick with ones that are clear and legible. Also try avoid using multiple fonts, which can be distracting. Remember to break up your content into easy to read chunks. Bullet points and subheads are a great way to break down content into a simple format that can be scanned easily.
Writing Content That Captures Attention
The body content of your email is where you get into the meat of your offer, or expand on the topic promoted in your subject line. Here are a few tips to ensure your content is interesting and will impress your target:
- Deliver on your subject line. The first few lines should immediately relate back to the topic promoted in your subject line.
- Place important information at the beginning. Email readers will scan your email blast quickly to see if the content interests them. Place important information first to capture their attention.
- Keep the content short and precise. Your audience wants to understand what you’re offering them in as little time as possible. Make it easy for them to understand your message instantly.
- Separate info into small chunks. No one wants to muddle through lengthy paragraphs of text. Not only do they seem intimidating but they can also be hard to read, especially on mobile devices.
- Make use of headings, sub-heads and lists. Break down content with bullets, subheads, and bold text to indicate areas of importance. Email blasts should be easy to scan at a glance.
- Focus on the theme or topic at hand. If your subject line is “20% off Summer Furniture,” your content should reflect that topic. Discuss the promotion, and share content related to summer furniture.
- Lead your target in one direction. Though it might seem like you’re appealing to as many customers as possible by offering a variety of topics and links, it can come across as disjointed or confusing. Be consistent. Where possible lead your customers to one related page on your site.
- Guide your audience to your call-to-action. Give your customers a task, and clearly indicate what you want them to do. Do you want them to go to your site? Call you? Share your content on social media? Say so with a clear call-to-action that stands out on your design.
- Place your CTA on the top and bottom of your email. Customers seek out contact info and links in these places, so it’s best to cover your bases. The easier it is to find the information, the higher your click-through rates will be.
Optimizing Your Eblast For Mobile Devices
Everyone has a smartphone in hand these days. As of 2013, there are whopping 200 million active smartphones in North America. Since 2010, the number of smartphone owners using their phones to access the Internet has grown 45%. That number continues to grow exponentially. Mobile phones have become an important factor to consider when creating an email marketing campaign, as up to 70% of emails are first read on mobile devices. Below are a few tips that will help you optimize your eblasts for mobile devices:
- Use bigger fonts when optimizing email content for mobile devices. iPhones automatically magnify small fonts to a size minimum of 13 pixels. For Android devices 16-18 scale pixels are considered standard. It is generally recommended that you use text that is a minimum of 14 pixels for body copy and 22 pixels for headings.
- Do not use heavy pictures, gifs and flash elements. These elements may take too long to load on mobile devices, causing customers to click out or become frustrated with your email.
- Call-to-action buttons should be large and easily visible. Furthermore, they should be easy to tap on a mobile screen.
- Avoid a wide format for your eblast. Though iPhones resize content to fit the display, not all phones have this feature. Additionally, resizing can cause your content to become small or distorted. It’s better to opt for a narrow stream of content to avoid inconveniencing customers and ensure your content looks the way you intended.
- Ensure that your website is mobile optimized. Mobile-friendly email blasts lose their effectiveness if the website that they are linked to isn’t equally compatible with mobile devices. If you need to build a mobile site for your business, Print Three’s web experts can help. We develop mobile friendly websites that help you connect with your customers on the go.
How to Capture an Audience For Your Email Blasts
Selecting a target for email marketing is similar to the way you choose your target for direct mail marketing. It should not simply be a random list of people, but rather a list of individuals who are selected based on their interest in your business and the products or services you offer. Don’t be afraid to ask customers for their email on your website, or at other points of sale. People who have visited your website or bought your products likely have a vested interest in your company. You might be surprised by how many people opt to keep in contact when you ask!
With Canada’s new anti-spam law (CASL) now in effect, it’s important to receive consent for anyone who you plan to email. You can do this by placing an unchecked checkbox on any email collection forms on your website. By checking off the box, your subscribers are permitting you to keep in contact.
Share helpful and informative content with your subscribers and watch your email list grow!
Need help developing professional email marketing? Web experts at Print Three will help you create email marketing campaigns that promote your brand and grow your business. As print and web marketing experts, we can help you maintain consistency throughout your digital and print marketing. Find a Print Three store near you to get started building a professional marketing campaign for your business.