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How to Make Your Marketing Emails More Effective Avoid the dreaded delete button. Here are creative strategies for engaging subscribers with your brand.

By FlexTal Edited by Jason Fell

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Nipitphon Na Chiangmai | EyeEm | Getty Images

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How many promotional emails do you read every day? If you're like most people, it's probably only a few if any, plucked out from the 50 you receive just within the early morning hours. This is the reality many brands face with email marketing: the challenge of standing out among the many emails their subscribers are inundated with daily. As a brand owner or marketer, the challenge of creating engaging emails that consistently perform well may seem impossible.

However, it can be achieved with a few techniques and thinking more like a subscriber. As a sbscriber to your brand's emails, what would entice you to open that promotional email? It may be a combination of things: an excellent subject line, a coupon, or the content within the email. When crafting a marketing email, it's vital to continuously keep the perspective of your subscribers.

To guide you in this email adventure, we've developed a list of some of the best tips for writing effective emails that your subscribers will not only read but will be excited to receive.

Avoid over-sending.

Although your subscribers love your brand, they don't want to hear from you every single hour of every day. Overusing email as a communication channel is a common error that many companies make when it comes to email marketing. However, this can be avoided simply by determining the best time of day and day of the week to send emails by monitoring your subscriber's response, and sticking to that timeframe.

Overall, mornings are typically the best times to send emails since most people are on their screens as they begin their day. But remember that every audience is different, and may respond better to different times of the day. Test various timeframes and as you narrow it down, make note of the times that seem most active so that you have a few to choose from in the future.

Related: How to Boost Deliverability and Win at Email Marketing

Create a captivating subject line.

Picture this: you're at the breakfast table, starting your daily WFH routine, and you receive an email. Which subject line is going to pique your interest? "Check out our monthly sale", or "Exclusive offer JUST for you: read this before you pay full price for a new summer wardrobe". Odds are you'd click on the second one, simply because it demands more attention than the former.

What you put in the email subject line counts—it could be the difference between the inbox and the trash bin. To write a captivating subject line, consider the subject of the email and your audience. Is your audience younger? Use relevant lingo or pop culture references that they might be more apt to pay attention to. When you put yourself in the shoes of your subscribers, your emails will surely draw more engagement.

Related: 19 Subject Line Formulas for Different Types of Link-Building Emails

Focus on creative content.

We live in a time where everyone can be considered a "creator." Whether it's Tik Tok dances or Instagram influencing, creative content is consistently posted across platforms every day. So why not add it to your emails? Chances are, many of your subscribers are also social media users who see this type of content every day and enjoy interacting with it. To increase engagement for your emails, try adding relevant, creative content within your email strategy.

Depending on your industry, creative email content could be a makeup tutorial, quick styling tips from an expert, or a how-to DIY home project. Give subscribers relevant information and watch engagement rise.

Related: 4 Questions You Should Ask Before Investing in Influencer Marketing

Have a consistent design.

I love colors, stickers, and wild fonts as much as the next person, but consistency is key when it comes to email marketing. Keeping a consistent and clean design helps subscribers understand the flow of your emails and anticipate where the information they're looking for is most likely to be located.

This isn't to say you shouldn't utilize these elements in your emails: a fun design is always a great way to capture a subscriber's attention and can help to make your brand more recognizable. Aim to create templates that are eye-catching yet simple enough for subscribers to follow along with.

Related: Don't Underestimate the Power of a Good Newsletter to Drive Business

Keep it short.

Let's return to the breakfast table scenario. You're at the table eating waffles when you receive a marketing email. But once you open it you realize it's not your usual branded email—it's so long it might as well be a novel. Instead of reading it you quickly delete the message. You don't have time for a novel. Get to the point!

Your subscribers feel the same way. Emails are meant to be short, so keep it that way. Ideally, you'll want to keep emails to fewer than 200 words. Although this may not sound like much, it should be just enough for your subscribers to digest before they dig into their waffles.

Related: Can Email Marketing Boost Startup Companies?

Include a CTA button.

The good ole' call to action, better known as the CTA, is a key element to every email marketing strategy, simply because of its convenience. It's vital to add CTAs to your emails as they're much easier for subscribers to follow, rather than links that can possibly malfunction or be mistaken as just more text.

An embedded CTA button makes it as easy as one click and, *poof*, your subscriber has arrived at the desired landing page. When adding a button to your emails, make sure it's visible and not hidden at the bottom. Otherwise, you may risk a subscriber scrolling only halfway through the email and your button is never to be seen again. Since many people tend to read left to right, place your CTA to the right of content for clear visibility and more clicks.

Related: 4 Marketing Strategies That Can Increase the Effectiveness of Your Email Opt-in Forms

Show your appreciation.

Everyone wants to feel that a brand truly appreciates its customers. A perfect place to express appreciation is through your emails that go directly to your most loyal costumers: subscribers. Fielding marketing emails in their inbox all day is not a fun activity, so it's an honor to be one fo the selected few that they (hopefully) read.

To keep your subscribers coming back for more, show that you're appreciative by thanking them in your email for taking the time to read. It also helps to use an approachable tone in your content. Subscribers will feel more comfortable reaching out when they have an issue, and confident that their questions or concerns will be valued.

Related: Why Gratitude Is Your Key To Customer Growth and Retention

Offer discounts.

Ready for some groundbreaking news? People love free things. OK, sure, this is already common knowledge, but it's something that brands tend to forget all too often. Consider what likely made your subscribers sign up for your emails in the first place? The answer probably is for free stuff such as discounts, coupons, or other offers.

By including valuable offers in emails regularly, subscribers will be more likely to read them intentionally rather than scrolling through. Craft offers that seem like a special benefit of subscribing to your email list; this can make subscribers feel as if they belong to an exclusive group and draw more to sign up for your list as well.

Related: How to Launch Your First Email Marketing Campaign and Get the Results You Want

Include an interactive aspect.

Customers always have an opinion, so why not engage them by adding an interactive aspect such as surveys, quizzes, or a virtual suggestion box? As mentioned earlier, customers love to feel that they, and their opinions, are valued by a brand.

Let your subscribers speak their minds through interactive activities and have a voice in the type of content your brand creates. This can not only increase the views of your marketing emails but provide your brand with priceless customer feedback to guide in creating content that continues to perform well.

Related: How to Take Advantage of Interactive Marketing Right Now

Monitor for activity.

The most important technique to use when it comes to email is listening. When trying a new approach, watch to see how it performs to determine which tactics inspire the most interaction from your subscribers. Continue to use the strongest strategies as long as they prove to increase engagement, and don't be afraid to try new things- they may be just the thing your subscribers want to see.

Related: 5 Ways to Build Killer Relationships With Customers

Overcoming the "unread" status in a subscriber's inbox is more challenging than most would think, but not impossible if you take the time to make your email content more engaging. An effective email will not only get the reader to open it, but connect with the content that it provides. Now go ahead and write that first fantastic email—your subscribers will thank you.


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