10 Hacks to Create Better Emails
09 Jan 2017
How to create better emails: in 10 steps
This blog post aims to help you improve your time management skills to create better emails. Drafting a professional email doesn’t have to be time consuming. Continue reading to learn how you can improve your efficiency when it comes to email writing.
1. Create a content calendar
While content creation sounds challenging or at least time-consuming, it will save you a lot of effort down the line and will help you create better emails. Below you will find some pointers that will get you going:
Identify your audience
Who is your audience?
What does your audience enjoy?
How often should you email them?
Answering these questions will help you identify appropriate topics & sending frequency.
What pieces performed best last year?
Once you’ve learnt what your readers enjoyed, you can re-purpose your content. Convert a well performing post into a listicle, infographics, podcast… The more data you analyze, the easier it will become to plan your content calendar & create content pieces.
Track your content
It’s crucial to review content performance on a regular basis. That will give you an idea of what resonates best with your audience base. Do they prefer seasonal content to regular posts? Do they prefer videos over blog posts? Content tracking will help you revisit your content calendar.
2. Set expectations on the subscribe page
You’ve probably have had figured out your content calendar by now. Therefore, it is crucial to communicate it with your audience on your subscribe landing page.
Set their expectations about the content itself and the sending frequency. If you email your contacts too often, some people are bound to get annoyed and unsubscribe or stop reading your newsletters. Give them an option to choose a sending frequency. Save time creating reactivation campaigns by being transparent with your email marketing strategy.
3. Balance your newsletter content
Your subscribers are probably bombarded with promotional emails all the time. Why should your content stand out?
Balance the email content to make it 90% educational and 10% promotional. While it might sound counterintuitive to some marketers, this is the way to go. Once your readers see you as a leader in your field, you won’t need to sell anything. You will merely suggest solutions to their problems.
Educate readers about the products they’re interested in. Entertain them with different content forms. Content diversification will help you create better emails. Here are some ideas to get you going:
- How-to content
- Resource lists
- Data based articles
- Image based articles
- Video based articles
- Expert Roundups
- Long-form content (perfect for a weekend)
4. Save time with these features
Sometimes email writing involves a great deal of copying, pasting and formatting. If you think you could use your time better, these are two features that will save you from these arduous tasks:
- 1 click content transfer
Is there a content piece you’d like to import from your website/blog and have it perfectly formatted in your newsletter? This could be arranged… in one click! Import desired content piece with one click by specifying the post ID or entity ID. Then, you can copy the title, author, date and any other information piece that you find useful. Learn more about 1 click content transfer.
- 1 click product transfer
This feature works just like the above function but it’s all things product. That means that you can transfer whatever product information into the newsletter (be it price or product image). Create better emails with 1 click product transfer.
5. Set a timer
Have you ever experienced a writer’s block?
If you’re familiar with the feeling, brace yourself with a… timer. Set it for a desired amount of time and write your email without any stopping or editing. Having a short deadline should rid you of perfectionism and give you necessary determination to write the email quickly. The goal is to complete a first draft within this time frame and keep you motivated.
Once you have a first draft ready, give yourself a pat on the back and start reviewing it. Now you can turn the perfection mode on and get rid of spelling mistakes, grammar errors, run-on sentences etc.
If you still think that content production is a struggle, I’d encourage you to read more. The more you read, the easier the writing part becomes. This will allow you to cover more angles, get inspiration and gather supporting data.
6. Content review
Congratulations, you’ve completed your first email draft within the desired timeframe. That means one thing: the time has come to edit it.
Here are some pointers that will help you to bring clarity to your content and help you create better emails in the end:
- Spelling and grammar. Start easily reviewing things that can be very easily taken care of. Install an app that will highlight all the spelling mistakes for you.
- Clear call-to-action. How many CTAs do you have? Don’t overwhelm people with too many buttons. It’s recommendable to insert one meaningful call to action. If you’d like to up your influence game, read more about CTA best practices.
- Correct links. It would be a shame to get your reader excited… and have them click on an empty link. Therefore, you should always test your newsletter. Email testing will show you such mistakes.
- Added value. What’s in it for your readers? If every single emails proves to be worthwhile, you don’t need to fear low open rates.
7. To be or not to be (consistent)?
Once you’ve discovered the best send times.
Unfortunately, there’s no way of telling what is the optimal time to send emails. Sure, there are numerous studies that suggest different times and days, but there’s no one size fits all solution. It all depends on the type of marketing you’re doing, your business type and your audience. Therefore, you should run several tests. However, once you know what the optimal time is, you should stick to it at all costs.
8. Create user-friendly emails
Your emails should be:
- optimized for mobile
With too many promotional email in our inboxes, people have perfect their skimming habits. Therefore, you should adapt your emails to suit the needs of email skimmers. Convey your ideas in neatly organized column, break the text down with images/gifs/videos. Use whitespace for a great reading experience.
Then, make sure you use responsive design. It will make sure your campaigns display perfectly on every single device.
9. Test your newsletter
Email testing doesn’t have to take a lot of time yet it will allow you to create better emails. In fact, it’s a breeze if you use Newsletter2Go. Our software, for example, allows you to see what your newsletter will look like on different devices.
Here are the five most common mistakes you should check your campaign against:
- It doesn’t display well on some devices
- Images don’t display
- Broken/empty links
- Typing/spelling mistakes
- Spammy email lands in the spam folder.
10. Automate email campaigns
If you want to significantly cut down the time on email creation, go for email automation. Once you’ve created a few email types and specify when they need to get sent (i.e. when your contact has a birthday anniversary), you will do yourself a great favor. They will be send without your involvement and will strengthen customer relationships at the same time.