Email campaigns can, will and should look and sound vastly different between companies, for different purposes and for different audiences. So how do you know what makes a good email? Here are 10 tips on how to create great email campaigns.

1. Write a compelling subject line

If you stumble here, people won’t open the email. Unfortunately, it’s a fail, immediately.

Make a great first impression with an intriguing, irresistible or interesting subject line because your newsletter will be in amongst many bulging inboxes. Also, don’t forget to make use of the pre-header too – this will complement the subject line.

2. Use personalisation and imagery

It’s all about being relevant. If you’re constantly sending generic newsletters with one-size-fits-all messages, you might get a bite here or there if your subscribers’ needs happen to line up exactly with what you sent.But, if you’re sending your customers targeted campaigns centred on their interests, and addressed directly to them, you’re going to see a much higher engagement rate. Your customer wants to feel that they’re more than just an email address on a spreadsheet, so get personal!easyJet is an excellent example of personalisation and imagery:

3. Your audience wants some helpful information

Okay, this seems glaringly obvious. But valuable content keeps your reader’s eyes on the email – create targeted and value-driven content.

Here’s a fact about your Audience: You have 51 seconds of attention from people typically scanning your email newsletter.
So remember, it’s got to be easy, broken up with content blocks, snapshots, images/video, and bullet points; otherwise, you’ll lose people’s attention. Keep it brief but not too brief. Examples to include: infographics, blog posts, tips, upcoming events, competitions, webinars, videos…etc


4. An Appropriate Call-to-Action

Above all, exceptional marketing emails must contain a meaningful call-to-action (CTA). After all, if brands are taking up subscribers’ time — and inbox space –, every message must have a point to it. Your subscribers get loads of emails every day – why should they care about yours? Give them something to do with what you’ve sent.

5. Include an offer

People need a reason to remain loyal and subscribed. Providing valuable content is great, but remember your audience will be thinking “what’s in it for me?” Discounts, trials, downloads, early-bird offers etc. These are all great offers you should use in your email newsletter.

6. Be consistent

Communication and trust are fostered with reliability. Sticking to a schedule, so subscribers know what to expect is paramount. If you are an irregular sender and only communicate once every couple of months, your subscribers are going to forget about you. Not only will this mean your marketing is less effective, but it also means you might get flagged as spam. Put aside time to communicate regularly and be reliable, and it gives a better impression.

7. Link to your website

A link? That’s obvious. But always ensure there are opportunities for subscribers to reach your site with ease – buttons, bold text, visible links etc. Drive traffic to your website, after all, you want people to become familiar with your company’s products and services.

8. Your reputation matters

Brands need to be trusted before subscribers will even sign up. But, once they’re on the list, don’t think you can forget about them. Queries after an email campaign must be responded to with haste. After all, you started the conversation with the customer, so you need to be quick to respond. The inbox that receives the replies must be monitored – never send an email from a no-reply email address.

9. Brand consistency

Your design should remain consistent across channels, as email marketing is one of several channels that work in harmony together with others. But this extends to how the brand communicates as well. Said something on Twitter that contradicted your last email campaign? You dun goofed. Keep your tone, your message and your brand consistent, otherwise you risk one channel becoming more popular than others and subscribers leaving your email list in droves.

10. Rules and Laws

Email marketing has rules – and we are a stickler for rules. If we didn’t have them, our sending reputation would tank and without our sending reputation, we don’t exist as a company. The GDPR, POPIA, ECTA and CAN-SPAM act all cover various aspects of email marketing (with some overlap) and we are compliant with all of them. This includes: only emailing opt-in lists, including the opt-out in every campaign, adding company details to the footer and so on.

Here is a downloadable checklist to help ensure you create great emails every time.