Email Marketing: 5 Painless Tips for Writing Outstanding Emails

    Written by: Renee Long /
    Aug 25, 2016 8:30:00 AM

    email_marketing_blog1.png It’s the start of your workday. Your coffee or herbal tea is steaming next to you. You’re clear-eyed, motivated, and ready to take on the day! You open your email and… 

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    The dreaded email overload. It can plug up your workday flow, overwhelm you into leaving your desk, and prevent you from getting real work done.

    We’ve all experienced this phenomenon. So if you’re thinking about using email marketing for your holistic health business (or any business, really), remember: send email that stands out in the inbox deluge.

    As you’re getting ready to use email marketing for your business, keep these simple guidelines in mind:

    5 Simple Tips for Great Email Marketing

    1. Write clearly and effectively.

    Get right to the point. Your email is competing with thousands of other messages for your lead’s attention. It should have one, simple goal: download this eBook, discover a new natural product, read this blog post, etc. State your objective immediately using active copy.

    What do we mean by active? Use words that firmly lead your reader to an action. More on this in tip #4!

    2. Use an effective subject line.

    Your subject line is your pickup line. It better be good or your email is getting archived, or even worse, marked as spam. 

    A few stats to keep in mind: according to Convince & Convert, 43% of email recipients click the spam button based on the email “from” name or email address, and 35% of email recipients open email solely based on subject line. That’s the importance of first impressions.

    Every email list is different depending on the industry, so experiment with your subject line! A few tips to start with:

    • Keep it short – fewer than 50 characters
    • Experiment with personalization
    • Research buzzwords
    • Pique interest – ask a question or spark curiosity
    • Use a real sender name and email – e.g., Suzie Smith suzie@achs.edu, not ACHS info@achs.edu 

    Take a look at some of ACHS’s successful subject lines:

    “Renee, just a quick hello to check in!”

    • 52% open rate to 610 people
    • This email was sent to students and customers. The friendly tone gives them a sense of calm. They’re taken care of.

    “Healthy holidays, Dominic!”

    • 33% open rate to 18,000 people
    • This was our holiday message, and it really resonated with folks. It’s simple, true, and human.

    3. Keep it personal and professional.

    Your email marketing service will come with built-in personalization functions called “tokens.” Like I mentioned in #2, personalizing emails will amp up your email game. Here’s another data bomb: According to CMO.com, personalized emails bring six times higher transaction rates, but 70% of brands don’t use them. 

    A good place to start is your contact’s first name. If you don’t have their name in your list, you can use a default word like “friend.” Check out this email I received after downloading a free eBook from HubSpot. I’ve highlighted the personalizations.

    hubspot email

    The email is friendly, short, and clearly meant for me. This forms a sense of trust. I’ll definitely be downloading more eBooks.

    4. Create a dynamic call-to-action, and place it above the fold.

    Every email should have a specific goal. Before drafting, ask yourself: what do I want the reader to do? If there are too many options for action, your reader could get overwhelmed and click out. 

    Once you’ve determined your goal, create a clear call-to-action (CTA). Depending on the email, this can be a simple hyperlink with actionable text: e.g., >>Download our eBook on saving your herbal harvest.

    Or, you can design an inviting button like the one in the example below. Keep the text short and actionable. Use words like Watch, Download, Join, Get, Start, Register, or Experience. Steer clear of words like Click, Buy, or other generic marketing jargon. These words are everywhere, so you’re less likely to stand out to your reader.

    Lastly, keep your CTA above the fold. This means your reader shouldn't need to scroll to see it. It should catch the eye when the email is opened.

    5. Add value.

    A lead has trusted you with her email address. That means she expects you to add value to her life. Since you’re a holistic health professional, your lead is most likely passionate about wellness. She’s a real person who wants to live well. This means that your email needs to deliver on that value. Just imagine her thinking: What’s in it for me?

    Over at HubSpot, they suggest emphasizing benefits over features. Benefits add value to lives. Features emphasize product and seller-perspective. 

    Here’s an example:

    Slack is an inter-office messaging app for businesses. You can instant message co-workers, set up chat channels for specific projects, send files, and more. It’s great! We love Slack at ACHS.

    • Feature: Slack has a user-friendly search where you can find all archived conversations. 
    • Benefit: Keep all inter-department communication in one place, which saves you more time to connect with your customers.

    See the difference? A feature tells you what the product can do, but a benefit demonstrates the added value.

    The Anatomy of a Successful Email – Let’s Review!

    Below is a screen shot of an email from themuse.com, a website focused on providing exceptional career advice. I love this website, and I think they’re excellent content creators. As a young professional, I follow their blog and I’m always excited when their emails hit my inbox. Why? Because they consistently add value to my life.  

    Check out the latest email from The Muse. What do you notice?

    Email from the Muse

    1. The subject line and headline get straight to the point. I love topics on wellness, and I’m a hardworking professional. This catches my attention immediately.
    1. The writing is clear and friendly, even cute. For example, the parenthetical sentence, “Unless your company has an in-office gym or catered meals every day—if that’s you, you’re a lucky duck,” is chatty while still professional. I feel like a human wrote this and not some email marketing autobot. (Whoa, now there’s a concept for the next Transformers movie: the adventures of a Mackie, the laptop Autobot conquering the world through mind controlling email marketing. Michael Bay, I’ll be waiting for your call.)
    1. While this email doesn’t use personalization tokens, I feel like it’s still meant for me. The image is a millennial-aged woman, like me. I work a nine-to-five job, which keeps me on the go. I care about my health. Each part of the email is tailored to adding value to my life. You can bet I’m going to click.
    1. I know what this email wants me to do: read the article. The blue button stands out and entices me to learn the rest of the secrets. And yes, I do see the typo in “HERE’S ARE OUR SECRETS.” While it’s always best to proofread, proofread, proofread… your readers know you’re human. The occasional typo is not going to detract from a well-designed email. So if you make a typo, don’t beat your head against the keyboard. (Trust me; I've been there!) Just make sure you correct it the next time. 

    Are you thinking about using email marketing for your holistic health business? Share your story in the comments!

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    This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent disease. This article has not been reviewed by the FDA. Always consult with your primary care physician or naturopathic doctor before making any significant changes to your health and wellness routine. 

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a Communications Specialist for American College of Healthcare Sciences, the Institution that publishes this blog. However, all opinions are my own. This blog may contain affiliate links. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”   

    Authored by Renee Long

    Renee is a creative writer and the content development manager for ACHS. She holds an MFA from Florida Atlantic University. She loves finding new ways to communicate and tell stories, and she enjoys writing about holistic methods that can bring others wholeness and total healing. Her perfect day would include her loved-ones around a campfire on the beach, a warm mug of tea, and her journal.

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