Building email blasts may feel complicated at first. It’s okay, it will get easier. However, no matter how much experience you have it will always take a lot of time. Manually building and sending a promotional email takes work.
To make things easier, I recommend sticking with the same 1-2 templates at first. It will be relatively straightforward to make one or two templates look professional. This is a lot easier than using a brand new template every single week.
Sending a campaign is as easy as pressing a button. Sending a campaign that works requires attention to the anatomy of an email blast.
Well constructed emails will make all the difference in your effectiveness as an email marketer.
Anatomy of an email blast
Your email blast consists of a from email, subject line, preview text, headline, body, CTA and footer. Use each of these components to your advantage. You need to catch your customer’s attention and encourage them to take action.
Here’s what customers see before they open your eblast:
This is the email address that the customer sees as the sender. Make sure this is an email that is related to your business. Don’t use MaryBeth312@yahoo.com. This email is going to confuse customers. It may also land your email in the spam folder. Use firstname.lastname@example.org or MaryBeth@myretailstorename.com.
This is the first line that customers see before they open your email blast. The subject line should be descriptive and catchy. You can use lines like, “Save 10%,” or “We’re doing a giveaway”. But, you should never use subject lines like, “read me,” or “open me.”
This component is often the most ignored section of an email blast. It is the text that consumers see in their inbox just after the subject line. This text should describe the content of the email blast. Your customer can see between 35-90 characters of text before they open the email. The quality of this text can impact your open rates. It’s your chance to entice customers to check out the content inside the email blast.
Here’s what customers see after they open your email blast:
Your headline is the title of your email blast. What is your email all about? Are you highlighting a specific brand? Discussing an upcoming event? Make your headline clear and descriptive.
The body of your email is where you offer your promotions and information. Email blasts contain links, images, icons and text. A graphic designer can help with the professionalism and branding.
Every email should have at least one call to action. Perhaps, you will have several. Ensure that your customers know what step they need to take after opening your email. This could mean using a discount code. It could mean reading your latest blog. Or it could mean registering for your event. Make sure that you offer a clear, concise message so your customer knows what to do next.
Once you’ve constructed your email you’re ready to send it to your customers. Email marketing isn’t rocket science. There’s also no one size fits all solution. Use this outline as a loose outline for understanding the type of content that should be in your email. The exact content will vary depending on what works best for you and your customers.
Send a Test
Make sure to send a test to yourself. Most ESPs will allow you to send a test or preview email to yourself before sending out your campaign.
I recommend sending the email to yourself at a few different email addresses. Open the email using different email clients and different devices. For example, I have 3 email addresses. One is yahoo, one is gmail and one is a work email through Rackspace. I send a test email to all three email addresses. Then I check each on a laptop and on my smartphone.
There are hundreds of combinations of email clients, browsers and devices. You can’t check them all. But, it doesn’t hurt to do a little testing before you send your email blast to a few thousand people!
Most ESPs will have information about what email clients they support. Popular ESPs will be compatible with the major, up-to-date, versions of email clients.
Look at your test email for accuracy. Check the links to make sure they all work. Click on them and make sure they go where you expect them to. Read the text in your email blast to make sure it is accurate and there are no misspellings. Better yet, have someone else proofread it.
After you’ve taken these steps. Your last check is complete.
Now you’re ready. Hit send. Let the fun begin!