How to create great email campaigns

by | Wed 22 Jul, 20

Looking to get your next (or first) email campaign off to a good start? Here is a run down of the elements you need to consider, in order to produce the results you need for your email marketing success.

Nailing the subject line down to a tee

Now you simply have to get this one right, and you can’t rush into getting the results you might be hoping for. A subject line is the first thing your reader sees before they even open your email, so it needs to draw some attention. Every email gets around 10-20 words of preview for the subject line, so make every word count. You want to avoid filler words, spam words and excessive use of CAPS.
We recommend you experiment with your subject lines, to see which style suits your audience best. Try out some A/B tests, so for example, if you have a subject line that reads “Are you ready for summer?”, think of different things to add in order to increase your click-through rate. 
You could add an emoji – Are you ready for summer? smiling face with sunglasses
Alternatively, you could test personalised emails against non-personalised ones, so try Are you ready for summer, Doug? 
or the other way around: 
Doug, are you ready for summer?
Email subject line examples

Should your subject line be long or short?

Statistics say that subject lines with 61-70 characters are read the most frequently, with 65 characters proving the most impacting. A lot of subject lines nowadays are a little shorter, so it is always worth testing longer vs shorter email subject lines. Who knows, you might find your own ideal character length!

Placing the same value on your preheader text

Just like your subject line, preheader text is a chance to somewhat add emphasis onto the purpose of the email. You can explain your product promotion, tell your reader why you have contacted them, or use a carrot dangle sentence, this way a portion of your preheader text is hidden, luring the reader to open up your email.
Email campaign over email newsletters
Keep your preheader text fairly short, 40-80 characters will do just fine, but keep it relevant to the subject line, and avoid giving away too much. The bulk of your email is what gives the most away, and even then, you will always want your readers to be clicking through to somewhere else like a website, store or blog.

Humanizing your content as every subscriber is different

People who use email are always looking out for suspicious emails that might be spam, malicious or pushy, that’s why you need to keep your email campaigns humanized. The last thing your reader wants to assume is that you’ve batch and blasted them, this is not engaging, and it certainly doesn’t make them feel valued as a subscriber to your emails.
Think of your campaigns as a way to provide a 1-on-1 conversation to each and every subscriber, as opposed to a speech to them all. This way, you will be sending every person in your emailing list content that is relevant towards them, making them more inclined to open the email. If it isn’t relevant, it provides no value to them by opening it.
A good example is found with online retailers – If you recently bought something online, like a certain dress, or perhaps a console game, the online retailer can tailor their emails to each recent buyer. Sending dress combinations or trending dresses is great for clothing retailers. Similar style games are better for online gaming stores. 
Personalising your subscriber in email marketing
If your subscribers haven’t bought from you, think about their age, gender and location. More men like sports than women, and more women enjoy buying cosmetics than men (Might sound a little stereotypical, but it’s true!). If you have products or services you know tailor better to a man than a woman, or a millennial better than a middle aged subscriber, use those instead of blasting out the same recommendations to all of your subscribers. Make it relevant, make it relatable, and most importantly, keep it personal to them.
Focus on each person like you would your best friend or girlfriend – It is all about them and their interests, not yours as the sender. Their needs, their activity, their hobbies and their opinions – By keeping this level of focus towards every reader, you’ll see noticeably higher levels of engagement, especially for those emails designed to trigger the reader to click through to a product link.

Use a reading formula – The inverted pyramid trick

Once you have a reader open your email, you want your content to direct them to your CTA (Call to action). An inverted pyramid layout is great for creating a clear route to your call to action button or link. Start out with the introduction header, then the main message,  follow this up with an image or two, then finally close off the email with a short sign-off message which is placed just above your CTA.
You can imagine yourself reading from left to right as the email slowly narrows down until you reach the bottom, and the button is there. More often than not, if you reach the bottom point, you’ll end up clicking this button.
Inverted pyramid trick in email marketing
Some other smart choices for email content layouts include the one column approach, these are great if you want an email that can quickly work for both desktop and mobile readers. They are designed to scale images to fit the email client, and utilise text shapes that are simplified to avoid overwhelming the reader.
Another cool approach is the zig-zag format, this also helps the reader to move left to right, then right to left, so they read each part of the email in a specific sequence. This method ensures the important CTAs and links are targeted, and imagery is lined up in that diagonal format that you might have expected.
Give your CTAs plenty of breathing room too, this way they’ll be much easier to spot, or rather, much harder to ignore for the average reader.

Imagery, videos and GIFS – It’s 2020!

Having just text in your email campaign isn’t going to work for someone who signed up on the promise of exciting emails and exclusive must-read content. You want to utilise images, videos and GIFS to add a personal or professional touch to the look of the email.
GIFs in email marketing
Include examples of your products looking flashy, maybe use a funky background to set the mood – The choices are endless so it is always worth considering things like your brand colour, the range of products you sell, the average age of your audience, and whether you think your readers are expecting a down to earth email seemingly like a conversation, or an ultra formal set of announcements every week. 
GIFS are like video-based images, they can bring in that modernised tone your reader might enjoy. We use them a lot more now than we used to, so taking advantage of growing trends in your email media can prove great for getting your subscribers to really engage and take action on your emails and the CTAs you include.

Check for mistakes, and preview your emails (for goodness sake!)

No matter how informal you want your emails to be, you still need to keep your grammar and coding in check. The last thing we want is to see an email than doesn’t fit onto the email client’s viewing page, or content that doesn’t read like a native speaker could have written it.
Not only does your email need to fit and work, you have to consider other elements that should work. If you are using images in your content, make sure it still reads well without them, or else those readers with HTML blockers are going to have a very negative experience.
Homer Simpsons checking for mistakes in emails
Ensure your links work, an impressive email needs to have links that direct the reader to the correct place. Test the email out first by sending it to yourself or a colleague, this way you’ll know the links direct you to the correct URL.

Include a sensible footer – It’s professional

Once the bulk of your targeted content is ready, ensure you always have an email footer that adds peace of mind to your subscribers. Include things like contact options, the business address, as well as the option to opt-out of receiving your emails. Make sure you remind them why they are receiving the emails too, so they don’t take one look at the company and think, why are XYZ contacting me?”.
Including a footer in your email marketing


Email campaigns can seem hard to master, but with the proper consideration for each element of your content, you’ll be able to improve the experience for your readers in less time than you’d think!
Need a little more help? Check out this visual guide of ours:

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