Our society can’t get enough of putting a ranking or a value on everything. Whether it’s comparing the best NHL prospects too early or finding the best spot to eat lunch with your friends, the idea of having a clear “best” option seems to be universal across every facet of life. When it comes to email marketing, our industry is no different. Every brand wants to have the best marketed messages in place before connecting with contact list members. But is there really one right way to do everything with your emails? To find out, let’s spend some time breaking down some of the major pieces of the greater email marketing process to answer once and for all what goes into “the best” content hitting the inbox across the web.
Perfect Email Text Content
First on the list, the content found within your messages, is arguably the most important part of any email marketing campaign. However, with each series of messages developed for your audience, it’s impossible to lay out a universal plan for success that fits every brand perfectly. Instead, the best content comes from tailoring the viewing experience to what resonates most with your readers.
As Courtney Eckerle of Marketing Sherpa explains, relevant content is the key to making a mark on this front. By spending some time learning about the desires, concerns, and needs of these readers, your brand can then generate impactful and engaging content that both addresses these issues and helps promote your deals and offers in ways that go beyond standard pleas for business.
The Right Send Time
Much like the particulars surrounding the content of the message, timing is also a subjective part of the process that depends entirely on what works for your targeted audience. In his look at the importance of timing, David Moth of Econsultancy reports that finding the optimal times to send out these emails doesn’t come from some guide online, but rather via thorough testing.
By exploring different send times that span both day and night, your brand can pinpoint the exact moment that garners the most views, providing a serious competitive advantage over other organizations that don’t bother with testing this parameter. Considering that Moth goes on to note that only 49 percent of businesses undertake this process, that’s quite a bit of ground you can gain on others in your industry.
Superlative Subject Line Length
While most of the rest of the work that goes into embodying the best practices found in email marketing doesn’t come with a clear cut answer for all brands, optimal subject line length actually goes in the other direction. According to a study highlighted in Ayaz Nanji’s post on Marketing Professors, the most effective length for subject lines falls in the six to ten word range. With the average open rate standing at 21 percent, this length blew past both longer and shorter offerings in terms of performance and reliability.
Oddly enough, Nanji explains that more than half of all brands utilizing email marketing outreach incorporate subject lines that end up being between 11 and 15 words long. If your messages currently sit in this range, it’s time to get tough with the edits and trim down this word count to a more manageable, and effective, total.
Developing an Unstoppable Call-to-Action
The final piece up for discussion, the call-to-action (CTA), returns to the predominately subjective trend found within the world of email marketing. In a review of examples of individually great CTAs, Chris Hexton of Marketing Land points out that it’s easier to trim away what doesn’t work for your brand when compared to focusing on a universal “one size fits all” answer to the this challenge.
To start the process, ask the question of whether or not your CTA promotes a need for urgency and action on the viewer’s end of the promotion. Readers respond well to direct propositions that explain why they should make a visit to your site, so don’t be afraid to point out exactly why dropping everything else and clicking the redirect button is the best thing your audience can do with their time. In fact, Hexton goes on to explain that repeating your CTA throughout the message might not be right for every brand, but it’s an effective tactic in many circumstances. Again, testing goes a long way to uncovering what’s right for the readers that matter most to your organization.
Even though the cookie cutter option doesn’t always exist for each part of the message, there’s definitely enough evidence to point you in the right direction for success now that you understand the true nature of what goes into the best email marketing practices. With this realization on your side, as well as a few quick and effective tips, you should have everything you need to maximize the impact of your limited time on screen in the inbox.