Whether you’re a traditional marketer who wants to go digital or a new business owner trying to spread the word about your products and services, learning to craft custom emails is an invaluable skill. When a targeted email lands in an inbox, the recipient is 80% more likely to engage and convert. The takeaway? Spending the extra time addressing the audience’s needs and pain points in email format pays off dividends.
What Is Targeted Email?
A targeted email has been customized to meet the specific interests and needs of an audience. It can be a cold one-off email, which is most frequently used by sales when pitching prospects, or an ongoing email campaign to existing customers, such as a monthly newsletter or product update alert.
How to Customize an Email to Get Results
Identify Your Audience
By taking the time to identify and understand your audience, you will be able to create personalized emails that speak directly to their needs and interests. The best way to identify an audience is to analyze your existing customer data. Keep an eye out for demographics, behavior, and purchase history to better understand their needs and interests.
But what if you are a brand-new business and don’t have any existing customer data? Not to worry! You can develop buyer personas instead. Buyer personas are fictional representations of your ideal customers based on your research. The more specific you can get with the demographics, pain points, and goals of your buyer personas, the easier it will be to develop custom email campaigns that get results.
Segment Your Email List
Segmenting your list is the process of breaking it down into smaller groups based on specific characteristics, such as demographics, behavior, interests, lead score, engagement, and stage in the sales funnel. Based on your list segments, you’ll create compelling email content for each, ensuring that your messaging is effective and engaging.
Customize Content for Each Audience Segment
Now that you understand the needs, interests, and pain points of your audience, it’s time to create tailored content for each segment. Before you begin writing your email, consider the story you want to tell to make your message more relatable and memorable. As you craft your content, keep it short and simple for maximum effectiveness. Use headlines to break up large text blocks and maintain a hierarchical structure.
Use Relevant Language and Examples
When customizing email content for a specific audience segment, focus on using terminology and information that is relevant. In addition to demonstrating that your brand is “part of” their industry, the use of relevant anecdotes and case studies will help recipients quickly relate and encourage them to keep reading or click on the call to action.
While you do want to “speak their language,” avoid using jargon or technical terms. Instead, focus on matching the tone and style preferences of your audience, so you are approachable.
Address Pain Points and Challenges
One way to quickly capture a reader’s attention is to acknowledge pain points or problems they might be encountering. Referencing said pain point in the email subject line or preheader is a tried-and-true way to get them to open, and engage with, your email. Just be sure that your subject and preheader messages line up with the story you have created in the body of the email.
When addressing pain points in the body of the email, there are plenty of ways to communicate your solution effectively. Using visuals, such as images, videos, and infographics, can make your email more engaging and easy to understand. Always take into account the structural limitations of modern devices and privacy protections put in place by email service providers. For example, your email may have incredible graphics, but if the reader has third-party images blocked, it’s worthless.
Highlight the Benefits of Your Product or Service
After reminding your reader about their pain points, now is the time to weave in how your product or service can solve their problem. A few types of content that work well are case studies, client testimonials, positive reviews on social media, success stories, and product demonstration videos. A little bit of empathy can go a long way to reassure the reader that you understand the challenges they face and are there to help when they need it.
Personalization in emails is a proven way to increase open and click-through rates while also making the recipient feel valued and understood. Fields such as the recipient’s first name, location, purchase history, browsing behavior, or any other information you have to can make the email feel more personal. Personalization can be done in the subject line, preheader, greeting, body of the email, and call to action. You can also use dynamic content that changes based on specific parameters.
A word to the wise: don’t get too personal and make your recipient feel like their privacy has been invaded. Remarketing ads that follow a user around the web, reminding them that they looked at a product on an e-commerce site, must be carefully crafted, so they don’t cross the line from relevant to creepy. A good rule of thumb for personalization: if the user didn’t explicitly give the information to you, don’t use it for personalizing your emails.
Use a Clear Subject Line
You don’t have to be an expert copywriter to create a clear and compelling subject line for an email. Focus on keeping it short and concise, ideally under 50 characters (spaces included), so recipients receiving it on their mobile devices can see the entire subject line. If your email service provider allows for a preheader, be sure yours is 30 to 80 characters.
The use of action words and clearly articulating what a user can expect to see inside the email are both important when writing subject lines. This is also an area where you can use personalization to stand out in the inbox. Avoid spam trigger words and exclamation marks lest your email ends up in the dreaded spam folder. Be careful with emojis, especially if your email is to a much younger or older demographic, as they have different connotations.
Always Include a Call to Action
A clear and compelling call to action can increase the click-through rate of an email and make the recipient more likely to take the desired action. To write a clear call to action for an email, be specific and use action-oriented language. Make it clear what you want the recipient to do, such as “Buy Now,” “Learn More,” “Sign Up,” or “Contact Us.”
Including design elements is another way to make a call to action stand out. Contrasting colors, CSS buttons, and different font weights and families are all ways to draw your reader’s eye to the call to action. Additionally, the call to action should receive prime placement, ideally at the top and bottom of the email. For extra credit, try A/B testing different versions of your call to action and see which one performs better.
Custom emails provide great ROI, but they are also a time-heavy marketing tactic. Not only do you need to research your audience, segment your lists, and then craft compelling content for each email segment, but you also have to be familiar with your email service provider’s technical specifications. If you want to leverage the benefits of custom emails, but don’t have the resources in-house, contact the email marketing pros at AgencyHub and get a quote today!