Setting up a successful email marketing campaign often requires taking on a big picture outlook and gauging the situation from a variety of angles. However, this doesn’t mean that looking over the little things isn’t also part of the process. In fact, failing to keep the smaller moving pieces in line during your next inbox initiative is an easy way to watch conversions slip through the cracks and into the waiting arms of the competition. To ensure you’re never on the losing end of this affair, and you always have a leg up on these competitors, here’s five easy tricks for keeping your email microcontent in shape.
Squaring up the Subject Line
In her look at the proper use of microcontent, Kivi Leroux Miller of the Nonprofit Marketing Guide resource page notes that everything starts with the subject line. The biggest mistake brands make with this first piece of frontline content comes in the form of having only one or two options to test with during the campaign. If you really want to wow customers with the first thing they see, don’t be afraid to unload a multitude of options in order to find what resonates most with customers. It might take a little extra time testing these offerings, but once the results start rolling in, you’ll be glad you went above and beyond the bare minimum with your subject lines.
Sender Name Clarity
Additionally, Miller recommends cleaning up the next piece of microcontent on the frontline of the inbox experience – the sender name – before worrying about what happens behind the email fold. While there’s no one right way to approach your sender name, the big key here is to embody and engender trust among your readers. Whether this means adopting a persona on behalf of your brand like the United States Health Department’s “Get Covered America Team” or “Nona,” or simply using your corporate name for the sake of continuity, building an easily recognized sender name goes a long way toward maximizing your microcontent.
Making the Most out of Preheaders
The final portion of Miller’s frontline microcontent offerings – preheaders – stand as an oft untapped source of powerful engagement. Essentially, many of the brands aiming for a connection in the inbox let bland and unremarkable stock selections waste this tiny bit of pre-fold copy that holds a ton of potential. Instead of watching this opportunity fall by the wayside, spend some time testing and optimizing the preheader blurb. Sure, it’s often just one sentence, but in the ultra-competitive environment of the inbox, this seemingly inconsequential portion of the process could mean the difference between luring in a new reader to your content, or having this message join the rest of the unopened offerings that couldn’t quite get it done.
The Power of Social Sidebars
Once you’ve secured an open, there’s still plenty of opportunities for powerful microcontent to shine. According to Lauren Hall-Stigerts of the Marketing Gal blog, one of the best tools of this trade comes in the form of email sidebars – specifically via Gmail and the Google+ social network.
As Hall-Stigerts points out in her look at the power of the sidebar on the Gmail platform, this marketing tool incorporates recently shared photos from Google+ in the content. While this might not seem like much at first glance, the truth of the matter is that having these posts integrated into the sidebar offers a unique opportunity for additional branded content in your email marketing operations. Sure, it might take some creative timing and forethought to line everything up, but leveraging an underutilized promotional tool like the sidebar stands as yet another way to manage microcontent in ways that the competition just can’t comprehend.
P.S. – One Last Thing
Finally, nothing embodies the mindset of maximizing microcontent quite like sneaking one last shot in with a strong post script. As Sid Smith explains in his post for Marketing Profs, powerful post scripts come in many shapes and forms. From restating the key benefits of your promotional offer to providing additional informational and guarantees, the options are limitless. If you’re aiming for a time sensitive engagement, you can even create a powerful sense of urgency via a well composed post script.
The big point here is that this final piece of microcontent is a blank canvas. It’s up to your brand to find what fits best. With this mindset guiding your way, as well as everything else we’ve covered concerning the proper management of microcontent, there’s nothing standing in the way of your brand and its ability to maximize every piece of the marketing puzzle – even the seemingly inconsequential – as it works toward a great email campaign.