A thank-you email explaining the benefits of the purchase can help you keep your brand front-and-center in that customer’s mind.
Perhaps a prospective customer abandoned his or her shopping cart before taking the next step and purchasing a product. Consider sending a discount code to entice that person back.
MailChimp recently measured 11,000 segmented campaigns against non-segmented campaigns from the same customers. It found that the segmented campaigns outperformed their non-segmented counterparts across every metric.
So what are some ways to segment your customer lists?
Basic demographics like age, sex, and location are a great place to start. They’re not always enough, but they’ll help you get started.
You’re likely going to speak differently to a retired veteran than you would to a teenager or recent college grad. Also, men and women may respond differently to the language you use in email marketing.
Of course, this type of personal information may not be available. It’s also not the most effective way to segment audiences.
Descriptive: Illustrate your product or service with words.
Expository: Teach your audience how to do something.
Persuasive: Convince readers to take action.
Each type will have a different tone and goal.
Let’s say your goal is to persuade customers to complete a post-purchase survey about their experience.
There needs to be a clear CTA, preferably graphic, that entices users to click. That should be the focus of a short email that concisely explains the benefit of taking the survey.
Here’s an example of a persuasive email from Wayfair.
On the other hand, an expository email provides all the facts necessary for a customer to understand a topic.
These are typically newsletters, but not always.
In the case of this GrubHub email, the goal is an order confirmation displaying all the relevant information about your order.
Descriptive emails are typically announcements for new products. They allow you to generate buzz (and hopefully a few sales). Here’s a descriptive menu from Cook Smarts.
Plus, descriptive emails give you a chance to show your passion for your products. Here’s a descriptive menu from Cook Smarts.
And finally, we have the narrative email, which allows you to tell your brand story. Here, Poncho turns an ordinary weather report into a narrative infographic.
Right now we’re going to try an exercise. Think of all the different types of emails you may send to your customers based on their behaviors and other events.
New product releases, leadership changes, sales and promotions, thank-you emails for customers’ order, emails that tell customers you’re sorry to see them go, responses to abandoned carts, and holiday celebrations immediately come to mind.
The next step is to decide the goal for each of these behaviors. What do you want the customer to do?
You typically want a click-through to your website. You can also use a CTA to ask for a purchase or to deliver relevant content.
Creating these templates in advance keeps customers feeling personally connected to your business while you save time and resources.
5 Steps to Write the Perfect Email
Now you know why you should be emailing your customers. You’re also familiar with the different types of emails you might send.
What we need to do is nail down a replicable process for writing them.
Of course, you must start with a list of subscribers. Collect email addresses from your fans and followers so you’re communicating with as many people as possible.
Once you have a list, you can write emails that respond to the behavioral triggers I talked about above.
You have to nail that first impression if you want your copy to get read.
The email marketing specialists at Constant Contact have seen thousands of effective emails. The company offers a few tips for subject lines (along with great examples of winning formulas).
It’s important to keep the subject short and snappy. Many email programs cut off long subject lines, which means your subscribers won’t see the whole thing. Above, there’s an example with just a simple acronym from Bisque Imports.
Everyone knows what TGIF means, so it works. However, you can also use other types of language to get your emails read.
A teaser or announcement can provide a great way to entice people to click through and read. People love a mystery or an opportunity, so they’re more likely to check out the email’s body if the subject line arouses their interest.
Check out this example from FluentCity announcing the winners of a recent contest.
Whatever you do, avoid spammy language like “Buy Now.”
You don’t need to be overly promotional. Focus on being informative and entertaining.
In fact, entertaining and/or funny subject lines are a great way to increase the chances of an email being opened.
Check out this gem of a subject line from The Basketry.
Nice pun, right?
Once you have the right subject, it’s time to move on to the content of the email body.
2. Keep Emails For Customers Short and Friendly.
The worst mistake you can make with an email is trying to cram too much information into an email. The document ends up being too long.
Sure, people need to know relevant information, but you can spread out the information over several emails.
Alternatively, you can link to pages on your website so the reader can seek out more details if he or she wants.
Whatever the case, don’t waste your subscribers’ time. That’s the fastest way to the “unsubscribe” button.
A simple teaser with a link to your website is all that’s needed.
Check out this simple example from Postmates, which invites customers to click through for a limited-time offer of lattes on demand.
The company doesn’t waste any time getting to the point. There’s a brief, three-word greeting, and then the company immediately jumps into the point of the offer.
After we get a description of the offer, we’re immediately given a CTA button to click through and take advantage of the offer.
This short, sweet, and to-the-point approach is how every email should be treated. We only spend 15-20 seconds reading an email, so it shouldn’t resemble a novel.
There’s a lot of information to fit in such a small space, though, so how do we decide what to cut and what to keep?
Let’s explore that.
3. Write Better Emails by Adding Relevant Information and Calls to Action.
Journalists are required to find out the who, what, when, where, why, and how of a story before publishing. That’s a standard we’re going to set for our emails.
Each email we send needs to answer these vital questions.
Say we have a weekend sale coming up.
The sale is the what, our store location is the where, our business is the who, the holiday is when, special pricing is why, and showing up is how it’s done.
Without this information, your recipients will be lost.
It’s also vital to have a CTA or buy it now buttons. Otherwise, how can your customers take action?
These buttons offer great ways to entice clicks, but before using these advanced techniques, make sure your customers can view them on mobile devices.