The Comprehensive Guide to Email Marketing – Part 2: The Creative Message

[Find more education pieces like this under Email Marketing.]

Reading time: 12 minutes.

Email Marketing
Architect Marketing Solutions has summarized approximately 250 pages of e-books, pdf articles and blog posts from the authoritative companies* in the email marketing industry to provide a comprehensive yet manageable guide to help you understand the value of and the tactics to complete an email marketing campaign.

This Architect Marketing Solutions guide to email marketing is brought to you in five parts, on 21 topics. Unless you have a membership with these companies, as we do, and unless you have the time to read 250 pages, AMS is bringing this extensive report to you, as with all of the others, free.

The five parts are:

  • Part 3: Marketing Plan
    • Marketing
    • Target audience segmentation
    • Strategy and Goals
    • Video
    • How to grow your email list

Creative Writing

Creative WritringDefinition: Creative writing means your Brand Voice (how you say it) and your Brand Story (what you say), are directed at illustrating how you can solve your customers’ problem, not telling how great your product or service is.

Listed below are four different approaches to tell your Brand Story:

Approach #1: F-A-B (Feature – Advantages – Benefits)

You present your key features but in a way that focuses on why a person would find your product/service beneficial.

Feature: briefly explain the elements of your product/service.
Advantages: Highlight why these features are unique and how they can make a difference in your customers’ business.
Benefits: Illustrate the value of your product and how it directly and distinctly reduces their problems or pain.

It could be something like: (insert your feature) will help you (insert advantage) so that you can (insert benefit).

Approach #2: P – A – S: (Problem – Agitator – Solution)

Problem: state the specific problem they will recognize immediately
Agitator: Agitate the problem by talking about why it reduces X, or increases the probability of Y. Be specific.
Solution: Solve your customer’s issue by presenting your product or service as the solution.

The most meaningful letter in this approach is the A. Agitate their memory and negative emotions due to the problem and then evoke emotion that your solution eliminates that agitation.

State the problem (got pet hair all over your carpet?), then agitate the emotions (pet hair means cleaning the furniture, the floors, your clothes!) and then provide the solution (your magical pet Shampoo that stops hair loss) you are a groomer that cuts that hair. Then conclude with a: Keep your house and yourself clean!

Approach #3: A-I-D-A (Attention – Interest – Desire – Action)

Attention: No matter how much you love your pet, there is one thing that drives you crazy, right?
Interest: Pet hair is a never-ending battle and one you probably are losing, right?
Desire: Some pet owners have found a way to overcome that, and their lives are now less stressful.
Action: Click here to learn more!

You can use this approach in one email, OR, conduct a drip campaign spreading your brand story over five emails:

Email 1: Introduce the reader’s biggest pain (learned from your blog or website responses, or from industry research).
Email 2: Agitate the problem as illustrated above.
Email 3: Agitate it some more and promise the answer is coming tomorrow (create that interest).
Email 4: Offer the solution: your product/service.
Email 5: If the reader doesn’t convert through a call, download or purchase, then offer a lead magnet of some meaningful value.

Approach #4: P-P-S (Problem – Pain – Solution)

This approach is all about the pain, not the problem. The problem is pet hair. The pain is from cleaning it up or your clothes covered in pet hair embarrass you when in public. Pain is the reason for the action, not the problem.

Problem: lots of pet hair.
Pain: their emotional reaction from frustration, anger, embarrassment, some form of angst, which is emotion led.
Solution: your solution talks to their PAIN, not the problem.

Example: I know that when I am in public, there is no greater frustration for me then to have pet hair on my new suit. And what I found was X, that eliminated the hair, which eliminated my frustration.

Best Subject Lines

Subject linesDefinition: a subject line is the group of words under the to/from that tells the reader the central focus of the body copy, and the reason that they will open your email.

According to a 2018 study by Online Marketing Summit, 35% of email recipients admit to opening the email based on the subject line alone.

There are Seven Subject Line Rules:

  1. Advanced personalization. Variations of ‘hello’ are fine, but take it a step further with segmentation. Send highly targeted emails to a finely tuned tribe about their interests.
  2. Be direct. Don’t be funny or cute. Say it. To the point.
  3. FOMO (fear of missing out): this has proven to drive higher open rates and engagement. Create a sense of urgency, scarcity and exclusivity. Sale ends Saturday! 2 Days Left!
  4. Curiosity: “Are you missing these three benefits in your building design?” Make them open your email to learn the answer.
  5. Test character length: If your customers are always on the run and on their mobile phones make sure your subject line is short (35 characters or less) to capture the time-starved reader.
  6. Avoid spam triggers: eliminate such red flag triggers with specific words, phrases and symbols in your subject line, as: punctuation like !!!!!, TYPING IN ALL CAPS, symbols like $$$, or words like ‘cheap’, ‘satisfaction guaranteed’.
  7. Emojis: they can add a punch (36% improved open rate) or they can force leaving immediately (20% automatic bounce out), so know your audience and their likes/dislikes.

So what subject line tactics should I try?: 10 option tests to discover what works best for you (constantly looking for and testing your approach helps you to determine your voice and your story).

  1. Test extreme lengths: up to 50 characters that allows you to tell a short story.
  2. Test CTAs (Call to action): if you are having a hard time catching attention, focus on driving action. “Yes, in only 6 months – not 9 like normal. Find out how!”
  3. Test a question approach: When all other emails are declarative sentences, ask a question: “Are you interested in building that addition in only 6 months?”
  4. Test industry terminology: Aweber conducted research in 2018 that showed you can boost your click rate by 34% when you use industry jargon that illustrates you know the business.
  5. Test creative personalization: “Special news for Wheaton developers!” When this works for you, start to send personalized emails to each village developers.
  6. Test different tone approaches: Alternate a transactional email with a personalized email so that your story for that email is not just a rehash of a previous one.
  7. Test pronouns  you, our, we): Using ‘you’ is common, but if your message is “We can be a valuable partner, and our team can work for you” illustrates your mission is their mission.
  8. Test numbers showing its importance. 10 ways to….., A new seventh way to create …… Numbers in subject lines increases open rates by 38%.

Lead Magnets

Lead magnetDefinition: lead magnets are called sign up incentives, freemiums or content upgrades with one objective: earn their email address by providing value.

A. There are three essential questions to ask when choosing the topic for your lead magnet:

  1. What topics do your ideal customers or clients want to know about?
  2. What topics would be easiest for you to create a lead magnet about?
  3. What content format would be the best way to deliver that information?

B. How do I find what topics to present?

  1. By asking them with online surveys
  2. See how they respond to topics on social media
  3. Visit forums and LinkedIn groups where your customers gather.

C. The best lead magnets deliver value.

“Follow the value”. That’s what makes for a high-conversion lead magnet. What can you show, teach or give that they consider to be a great value when it’s free.

D. Be specific.

The #1 place to be specific is in the headline. Craft one that is very specific and emotionally compelling to your tribe’s needs.

E. Optimize your opt-in button copy.

You need what’s called an anchor phrase. Instead of ‘subscribe’, you want an action-oriented phrase that illustrates value: “To learn more about X, click…and then show an icon. Google rewards anchor phrases and actually reduces your value when your button just says “subscribe” or “click here”.

F. Different types of lead magnets.

  1. A video course that can be accessed all at once.
  2. A video course delivered via an autoresponder, for a given time period, only to sign ups.
  3. An infographic so useful they will want to tape it to their desktop.
  4. A calendar noting key association or industry dates to remember.
  5. A checklist for how to do something everyone in your customer audience needs, that is difficult or time-consuming for them to do it.
  6. A how-to e-book that contains cheat sheets, flow charts or process charts that is an excellent reference.
  7. Have a quiz or poll on your site. Only give people access to the answers or the results with their email address.

How to build a sign-up form

sign-up formDefinition: your sign up form is the first and most important approach to gaining new email subscribers Its purpose is to elicit interest in your topic or magnet, and their reward for giving you their email address is your value offer.

Seven approaches to your signup form

  1. Visually represent your incentive. Show the reward with a graphic, and make it key to the signup form.
  2. Present an unfavorable alternative for NOT signing up, or opting out. “Only those who click and provide your address will receive this X”.
  3. Display a percentage tracker: Show visitors how close they are to completing the sign up process (50% completed). Your visitor can visualize for each step, they see the 100% completion and then they receive their ‘reward’.
  4. Let subscribers choose their preference. “Read the e-book now, or, download it for your convenience later”.
  5. Create color contrast by using your Brand colors that highlight the key information or ‘free’. Your brand name is now associated with a free value.
  6. Write conversational copy. Conversational marketing always drives the highest response rate if the words are in their language, how they would say it, what triggers their comfort.
  7. Use social proof: Testimonials, recommendations, industry awards always are third-party endorsements, and if others see your value, they have a higher probability to see your value.

Architect Marketing Solutions can be your partner to help you better understand and use email marketing to improve your business. Give us a call at 331-303-0959, or email us at info@architectmarketingsolution.com to learn how we can make you more successful.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Together We Achieve Success.