For effective email marketing, you want to create simplicity in email marketing. Why? To help your customers burn less mental energy.
There is a focus needed when you read anything, and depending on the way that piece is written, the more focus you may need. Take, for example, a textbook on a very complex subject, like engineering. It takes a lot of mental energy to read and take in the information provided because it is a complex subject.
You don’t want your readers to use that same amount of mental energy to focus on your email content. First, they could lose focus quickly and stop reading, and second, because, depending on the time they read your emails, they may already be mentally exhausted. The aim is to provide something light and easy to read to make it more enjoyable for them.
6 Keys to Simplicity in Email Marketing
Alex Ilhan of Email on Acid shares this list of six things to make an email simple and easy to read.
1. Have one goal and one goal only.
Sometimes when we write an email, we don’t have a goal in mind. When that happens, the email may contain too many ideas and no structure. These sorts of emails are mentally taxing on the reader because it takes effort to concentrate and understand the actual message.
That is why it is valuable to set out a specific goal for an email sequence. Plan your marketing strategy based on a month or quarter and decide on the purposes for that time. Then decide on the goal or goals for your emails during that period. Having clear goals will make writing the emails easier because you have a plan to work toward.
It also means you can check as you are writing your emails to ensure you are on focus – are you writing to meet your goal? Ilhan explains that you have 8.25 seconds to capture your readers’ attention. Being clear on what you want your reader to do after reading your email will help structure it to capture the readers’ attention and move them toward your goal, quickly and easily.
2. Keep it short.
You might not have realized that keeping an email short means it is more likely to be read. Why? The reader doesn’t have to overthink. Having read many emails yourself, you will understand that the longer the email, the more mental energy it takes. Shorter emails allow your reader to engage quickly and take in the information you are providing.
Fifty to 125 words aren’t many. That is the equivalent of two and a half paragraphs, and while this is the perfect amount, you don’t need to be counting every word and worrying if you go over that count. What message can you deliver in two and a half paragraphs?
3. Add value.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve talked about the focus of your marketing needing to be about your customer, the person wanting your services. It is, therefore, always essential to be thinking, “How can I add value for the reader of this email?”
What information can you provide, or advice can you give that will make some small part of your customer’s job or life easier? The more value you add, the more likely the person will continue to open your emails.
4. Write in plain language.
The more you understand your audience, the easier it is to write in plain language that they will connect with. Use the language your audience knows. When you write your email, think about what knowledge and information the person reading it needs. In checking this, if you realize they would need the knowledge they don’t have, then consider stepping back and writing the email from that different, less knowledgeable perspective.
You might be surprised to realize that you probably write about a topic from the place of the knowledge holder, and this comes so naturally to you, you don’t even know it. While that’s wonderful, it might not mean that your email is written in the plain language desired by someone who doesn’t understand the topic as well as you do. So keep your writing simple.
5. Make your content engaging.
You may be wondering how you can keep an email short and engaging. The trick here is to remember what your goal is. If you want your reader to be interested in a specific topic with the aim of them picking up a book and reading a particular chapter, then include a choice quote. Or if you want the reader to take a specific quiz, pose the problem the quiz will solve in an interesting way.
What is the simplest and easiest way to get your reader to understand the information you have provided? How can you make what they are reading fun so it is easy to read? Think about what would have you engage and take action if you were reading an email.
6. Write directly to your customer.
While we spoke about the importance of segmenting your audience in the welcome sequence, it is important to “speak to the individual, and not the crowd,” as Ilhan says. By writing directly to the person, think of it as if you are having a one-on-one conversation. Most times, in such a conversation, you will be direct and to the point. That is what you are trying to aim for in your email copy.
Not only will that help make it easier for the reader to read, but it could also mean they are more likely to continue reading rather than skimming. If your content is not engaging, doesn’t add value, and is too wordy, the reader will scan it and close out without engaging in your call to action.
To simplify email marketing, be clear on your email marketing goals. Write short, direct, and to-the-point emails that ask the reader to take a specific action. Keep the language simple and easy to read and not too lengthy. The more you do this, the easier it is for your audience to connect with you and not be mentally taxed. And, remember, your goal for the email is to get them to click on your call to action.