Often, your email newsletter isn’t the entire message, but designed to drive customers to a landing page. There, they read the full product pitch, view videos or product demos, and fill out a form to sign up for more info or make a purchase. In this type of marketing plan, your email is the elevator pitch, the landing page is the full sales pitch, and the short webform on the landing page closes the sale.
Follow these tips to convey your message while keeping your email newsletter short and easy for readers to find the most important points.
Important Points Go First
- In the subject header, front-load the most important words. Your subject should always be brief, shorter than 80-120 characters, including spaces. In the event your recipient has narrowed the inbox window, don’t put important words like “Sale starts tomorrow” at the end.
- To beat the preview pane, put enticing copy at the top left. Don’t use a large banner graphic, or preview pane users will only see a graphic and no information.
- Put your most enticing information and call to action above the fold. Don’t make readers scroll for this important information. The first four or five lines of 12 pt. text should contain the most important information.
Make Information Easy to Find
- Your reader will scan your email in as little as ten seconds, so write in short chunks of about 100 words. Use short sentences, which convey urgency.
- DON’T use excessive exclamation points. This comes off unprofessional and the sign of a scam artist.
- Make important points stand out with bold, italics, bright colored text, and subject headers. Don’t overuse these elements, or they’ll cause decorative exhaustion, which looks unprofessional and desperate. Coco Chanel said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and remove one accessory.” It’s better to draw attention to the most important points and use your decorative elements minimally and consistently. Use one color for headers and one for paragraphs, not six indiscriminately.
- Don’t hide important information in images. They may not load, and that information will be lost.
- Most importantly: Get to the point. How would you pitch your product if you had thirty-seconds to convince the perfect investor to invest $100,000 in your company? Your email is stronger if it says the strongest points and leaves out the weakest.
Call to Action
- In every chunk of text, include a call to action: “Click here to find out more,” “Visit our website to see a product demo.”
- It’s okay to say this several times.
- Convey a sense of urgency, realistically. The sale is for this week only, donations are needed by a certain date. If there is no reason to click the link now, many readers won’t bother.
- Use buttons, but don’t rely on them, because the graphics may not load.
Make Taking Action Easy
- Hyperlink all graphics.
- Briefly tell readers why action is a good idea, in one sentence. If you’re asking for a donation to a cause, describe the problem, what needs to be done, and how they can help.
- All offers should be opt-in with an easy opt-out procedure. Say so in the email so customers know that clicking the links in the email won’t invite spam or viruses.
- Include a human in the return address so customers can easily contact you by hitting “Reply” if they have questions.