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June 19, 2018

How to get people to actually engage with your marketing emails

By Chris Vendilli 2 Minute Read

Millions of companies are using some sort of marketing automation software to nurture their leads or current customer base. Nike always seems to know when I might need a new pair of kicks. The Red Sox always know when I haven’t been to a game in a while. Both brands use that information to send me periodic emails just to let me know they’re there. Sometimes I read them, sometimes I don’t. It mostly depends on how good their subject line is.

Start with your subject line

How many General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)-related emails did you get? Probably 100, right? How many did you read? Maybe the first one or one with a funny or catchy subject line, right? Here’s an example of a boring subject line:

We are updating our Privacy Policy

Here’s one that made me laugh:

GDPR’nt you glad you’re getting another one of these emails? Ugh!

Long story short, subject lines can go a long way toward whether or not someone clicks on your email. The content inside is valuable. Don’t turn people away with a boring subject line.

Don’t SPAM

If people opt in to receive marketing emails, you can send them any email you want. However, if someone is in your database, but hasn’t opted in to receiving emails, then you should leave them off your marketing emails. People get a lot of emails these days.

If you’re lucky they will just unsubscribe. But if you annoy them, they may just mark your email as spam. All the people who want to see your emails may end up missing out because you’re showing up in the spam folder rather than the main inbox.

One great way to build lists is by putting forms on your website. This captures contact information and helps you nurture leads through email marketing. You won’t be able to do this effectively if your emails are blacklisted.

Keep it short and to the point

People’s attention spans are awfully short these days. Nobody has time to read a lengthy email without being distracted by a new text message, a facebook notification, or without seeing a squirrel run by.

Short and to-the-point is the way to go when it comes to any content - not just email – if you have something to say then just say it. No need to add any fluff.

Make sure to add a call to action!

Calls to action are awesome ways to engage the person consuming your content. For example, every blog post we publish has some sort of call to action within the post. The call to action should be relevant and something someone would find valuable enough to submit some contact details for.

If you’re sending an email about summer plumbing tips, it might be helpful to include a call to action that sends the reader to a form to fill out in exchange for a longer form checklist or even an eBook-related to the blog post. The more educational your content is, the more your reader is going to engage. The more opportunities they have to engage the better you will be able to qualify them as leads. All of this is crucial to any inbound marketing strategy.

Send yourself a preview first!

It’s easy to click and send an email. Type up what you have on your mind. Maybe add in a call to action and hit “send.” Not so fast, my friend. Send yourself a preview first. How many times have you sent an email only to realize there was a glaring typo, you forgot to attach what you said was attached, or, even worse, you forgot all about the subject line.

Sending yourself a preview allows you to see your email as if you were the recipient. Once you get the preview email, give it a thorough inspection for typos and missing information. One great trick is to read it aloud to yourself. It sounds crazy, but it works. All in all, you want the email going out to be well constructed and easy for the recipient to read. Missing information or typos just hurts your brand.

Chris Vendilli
About the Author
Chris is the founder and CEO of Vendilli Digital Group. In his free time, you’ll find him camping, fishing, or playing beer league ice hockey with a bunch of guys who refuse to admit they’re already over the hill.

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