Guest Post: The Elements of Great Email Marketing, by Captain Planet
Here at PostUp, we like to bring in outside voices to get a global perspective on email marketing. That’s why a guest post from the world’s most earth-conscious, classically-coiffed superhero was a no-brainer. Letting Captain Planet blog for us allowed us to hang out with a hero, provided us with expert insight, and it was the only way we could get him to stop making “planet” puns out loud. Seriously, our “planning” meeting was insufferable.
Something about email’s been bothering me, and I don’t mean those global warming chain letters my aunt keeps sending me. It’s all this talk lately about the carbon footprint of our email habits. Don’t get me wrong, I love long lists of forwarded jokes as much as the next 90s cartoon character (where do you think we get our material?), but I can’t help but think we’re sending too much wasteful email.
Think about it. If you’re blindly blasting bad email campaigns, your email marketing efforts are just going to waste; talk about junk mail! Marketeers, it’s time to get back to the basic elements of email. By your email marketing powers combined, you can get back to sending the quality email that users read and reread!
Earth: Don’t send that email without a rock-solid purpose! Before you fill that killer template or fire up that mind-blowing GIF, ask yourself why you’re sending this email. No reader should ever receive an email from you that’s not anchored by a rock-solid purpose. Is there a meaningful action to be taken from your email? Are you providing good information? Is the email doing the reader a service? Make sure there’s a clear reason for sending that email, even if it’s just to entertain them with some earth-shaking planet puns!*
Having trouble consistently coming up with email ideas? Don’t be afraid to freshen up an old piece of content! Reduce your effort, reuse what works, and recycle it into a polished, purposeful gem of an email. Some things never go out of style. Like my hair, for instance. Now that you’ve got the dirt on purposeful email, let’s move on to how your email looks!
Water: Send crystal-clear email that looks good on any device or client. Readers say the most important part of the email experience is how well the email displays on their device. Like water, a good email moves to fill the space it occupies. You can achieve this with fluid or responsive email design, or if you have concerns about implementing these techniques, consider adopting a mobile-first approach to design. After all, 54% of all emails are now opened on mobile, and you don’t want to rain on their parade with a buggy email!
Still, how an email looks isn’t just about how it’s coded. An expertly-crafted email will still miss the mark if it’s not accessible to all readers. Don’t pollute your audience’s inboxes with disorganized designs or murky text. Send email that looks great and reads great no matter what, and you’re sure to make a splash!
Fire: Light a fire under your reader! Purpose gives your email a focus, good design sets the stage, now all you need is the finishing touches that move your audience to act. Whether a compelling call to action, gripping copy, or just a hot subject line (personally I like that little fire emoji), this is what makes receiving your newsletter the best part of your reader’s week. This is what lights up their inbox, what warms their hearts, and (when it finally hits their inbox) what gets their phone burning a hole in their pocket. In a good way.
When it comes down to it, you’re trying to get your reader to engage, to click through, or to act. What separates a good email from a great email is building it towards making that happen. Create an email that converts, and nobody else will be able to hold a candle to it. Okay, all these fire puns have me burnt out. Let’s get a move on!
Wind: Deliverability is the wind beneath your email’s wings! Now you’ve got great emails, but all that energy is for naught if they don’t make it to your reader. Breathe life into a struggling email program by taking note of your inbox placement rate. If your placement rate blows, it may help to evaluate which of your emails are resonating with readers, whether your emails are optimized for conversions, and if you’re still in adherence with deliverability best practices.
As always, you can’t forget about list hygiene. If it’s been a little while since a reader’s opened your emails, don’t be afraid to scrub them from your list. Sending fewer emails keeps your list clean, their inbox clean, and the earth…well, maybe a little bit cleaner! Clean of email fatigue, at least. Email deliverability is an essential part of any program, but with PostUp’s dedicated resources, getting to the inbox is a breeze!
Heart: Email like a person! That email may live inside technology made from rocks, dinosaur goo, and electricity, but what sets it apart is the person who wrote it. You! You have a heart, and so does the person reading it, so email like it! If your email sounds less like a person and more like the rocks displaying it, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy.
While you’re evaluating your content, you don’t want to forget about your sending strategy either! In the eyes of your readers, sending email too frequently can undo all the hard work you’ve put into your winning campaign. As required by network television regulations, here’s the educational message I have to include at the end of the show: the inbox is a personal space. It’s where you build relationships with your audience, but you can also break them just as easily by not respecting that space. Have a heart!
The power is yours! Ultimately, the goal is to write an email that you would want to receive, and when used to their fullest power, the elements of email combine to make this happen. In a time where the inbox is more polluted than ever, it’s important for all of us to do what we can to be part of the solution! After all, I can’t do it all myself! Even I could use some help. I’ve got my hands full trying to figure out how to dispose of all my old batteries.
Until next time, Planeteers!
*Editor’s note: Actually, maybe don’t do this.
Editor, PostUp PlayBook