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It’s time to get back to the basics of email design with simple content principles.
Campaign Monitor customers are taking major strides in their marketing. And a lot of it’s due to the use of email. From welcome campaigns to automated journeys and robust content newsletters, brands large and small are growing their lists, engaging their audiences, and driving more revenue with email. This post takes a look at a few of these customers, examining what they’re doing with email to make such a big splash. Feel free to jump onto their websites and subscribe to their list so you can see the magic happen for yourself. But until then, enjoy the synopsis. Resy uses email to drive reservation authority If you’ve eaten out somewhere other than a fast food restaurant in the last year, you’ve probably seen a Resy logo somewhere in your travels. Resy is an extremely fast-growing tech company that works with restaurants to provide online reservations for your favorite spots. But that’s not all they do. First, let’s take a look at what happens when you use Resy to book a reservation. Above is a transactional email from Resy that confirms a created reservation. Transactional emails are perfect for this scenario: they get triggered by an extremely specific action (e.g. a reservation), and send automatically with details generated from that action. This email works perfectly to not only confirm that a reservation was received, but to also provide next steps, connecting concepts like important details and information to the character of a reservation company. Now that you’ve had the chance to opt in to their marketing emails, you may receive an email like this: This email serves as an incredible newsletter. Yes—a newsletter. Many of you may be firmly pegging this email as a sales-focused message, but this has all the signs of being a very versatile newsletter. The first reason this email acts more like a newsletter is due to its detail-centric layout. Focus is placed on the description of the restaurant, giving you ample information to decide whether or not to give it a shot. Second, there are restaurants on this list that aren’t reservable via Resy. The reason behind this supposed waste-of-space? This tactic impresses thought leadership into the reader’s mind. Now that the reader knows Resy isn’t solely honed in on booking reservations, they may receive Resy’s recommendations with more authority and lack of bias. This will in turn remind the reader to use Resy in the future to find new restaurants, as Resy has identified themselves as the authority on this subject. Rolling Stone Australia creates readership and revenue with email Touting a major readership, Rolling Stone continues to drive traffic to their articles and posts using email. And there are a few tactics they employ to make sure their content is solid, and their revenue opportunities are maximized. Sending a weekly newsletter, Rolling Stone uses strong imagery, a simple layout, and attractive headlines to draw people deeper into each article. This layout is simple enough to make it easily digestible, while still holding lots of information. The accessibility of the email’s template also makes it easy to insert sponsorships and ads. Fitting with the bulk of their content, Rolling Stone inserts ads for musical events, new releases, and other pop-culture materials that still provide an engaging experience for their readers. Because these ads are on-topic, the content still holds its ideal of curation and creates a seamless experience between partner and original content. SXSW uses segmentation to inspire event registrations Each year, thousands of musicians, filmmakers, and creatives of all backgrounds descend on Austin, Texas, to celebrate and share creativity. Naturally, SXSW is expected to send incredibly engaging emails to captivate such an artistic community. And they nail lit. Here’s a registration invitation they sent out to their entire list. With tracks for both music and film, there are plenty of opportunities for segmentationhere. Speaking of segmentation, SXSW sends personalized content to their registrants of the film festival in this email. By sending personalized content, they: show their knowledge of their audience help their customers have a better experience drive more sales for add-on packages From their 2015 festival, SXSW sent this email to give very clear opportunities for ticket purchasing. It’s focused on content, linking to new films and musical acts that will be showcased at the festival. But by organizing the content very clearly with different photos and color blocks, they make their calls to action very clear, so you know exactly where to go to take the next step. Wrap up These companies are driving tons of engagement and new levels of revenue with the power of email. If you’ve looked through these examples, you’ll see that none of these emails are outrageously complicated. By keeping email design straightforward and uncluttered, it’s easier to guide your subscriber toward the action you want them to take. Take some of these design and messaging ideas for yourself and grow your brand today!
There’s no doubt about it—email is an incredibly effective way to extend your marketing reach and encourage subscribers to take action. In fact, it seems that 77% of consumers want to be marketed via email. The next runner-up is direct mail with just nine percent of the market. That means your email marketing needs to be on-target and finely honed—but how can you stand above the rest? Read on and enjoy the examples you can use to amplify your email marketing results. 6 best autoresponder email template examples 1. The personal touch email In a paper entitled, The Power of Personalization, thought leader Forrester Consulting determined that personal marketing is more effective. “Personalization is more important today than ever before. The proliferation of devices and channels, such as mobile and social, has fundamentally changed the way that customers interact with companies and brands. This has led to what Forrester calls the mobile mind shift: the expectation that you can get exactly what you want in your immediate context and at your immediate moment of need.” In general, their analysis showed that: Marketers that want to increase engagement must use personalized marketing to be effective. The more pain points you have for your customers, the more challenges you’ll have personalizing your marketing. Many firms don’t use customer interaction to discover how to best personalize their campaigns. While you may—or may not—be on top of all those tasks, the first one is the most important. If you’re not already using personalized email marketing, it’s time to start. Here’s an example of a brand that’s got it down to a science, Sephora. This email is bright, bold, and personal, the perfect way to entice their customers back into the store. While this email is only using the customer’s name that can be enough to move someone to purchase. You can combine that with showing them similar products to the ones they’ve purchased in the past for further personalization. Add the special savings and it’s a formula that just can’t lose. 2. The confirmation email More people than ever are ordering online. Numbers from Statista show that figures are going to skyrocket in the next few years—topping out at over 230 million people in 2020. That’s a lot of customers and—if you’re a smart email marketer—that’s a lot of emails, too. Nothing says you care more than an email letting your customer know that their order went through and is being shipped. It’s instant relief and instant gratification all rolled up into one smartly-done email. And no one does this better than online shopping giant Amazon. Here’s a look at one of their autoresponder confirmation emails, sent within 30 seconds of the order. Notice what else they have built into their autoresponder series? A shipping confirmation. Another great idea for your email idea box. Here’s what theirs looks like: Notice how simple and uncluttered this email is. Just the facts, but ones that will help your customers feel like you have their backs. 3. The welcome email One of the most important emails in a series, your welcome email helps customers feel appreciated, showcases your brand, and prompts them to take the next steps in getting to know—and love—what you’re offering. Look how art and craft supply giant Michaels wows new customers with their welcome email. Notice the “crafty” way they nail their brand image with graphics and layout that makes the whole email look like a big project. They not only express gratitude for their new customer, but they add a coupon as an enticement. Once you know that their emails might hold this kind of value, you’ll be sure to open every single one. 4. The support email The right support email can take that frown and turn it upside down for your frustrated or unhappy customers. There are varying kinds of support emails, depending on where you and your customer are in the situation resolution pipeline. These can range from: We’re working on it. We’re still working on it. We’ve resolved the issue. Did we do a good job? Here’s how you can fix the problem yourself. For the purposes of this post, let’s focus on the most common, the “We’re working on it” email. This email is critical because it lets your customer know that you’ve received their query and that you’re taking it seriously. To make them even happier with your service, personalize this email. Here’s an example from Jet.com. It’s clear, concise, and most importantly, personalized. Note that you’re also letting them know you appreciate their loyalty. 5. The “follow us” email In 2017, 80% of the U.S. population had at least one social media profile. With over 4 billion people online across the globe, that adds up to a lot of social media users. And guess what? Nearly 75% of social media users made an online purchase last year. Know how many people who didn’t use social media made online purchases? Forty-six percent. That means social media users make fantastic customers. One great way to get more of them engaged in your social media campaign is to invite them with an email. Quiz Clothing gets customers involved with emails like this: This goes both ways as well. Invite email subscribers to follow your brand across social media channels for exclusive offers and discounts, and give your social media followers a special offer when they subscribe to your email. While New Look does it a bit differently, they still make it super easy for customers to Pin, Tweet and post their little hearts out. How you choose to set up your social media email will depend on your brand’s style and customer base, but either of these is a great place to start. 6. The review email Reviews make the marketing world go ‘round. In fact, online product reviews can increase sales by 75%, which makes reviews worth fighting for. When you have the right autoresponder email template, though, you don’t have to exert a lot of effort to get your customers to give feedback. In fact, keeping it simple for customers to understand, and respond, is the best option. Look how cleanly this auto center handled their request for feedback. If you like, you can offer a voucher code for discounts, but be aware that some consumers see that as a way to “buy” their review. Notice the personalization in all the examples? That’s no coincidence. Customers tend to act more often when you use their names. Wrap up There’s no need to be overwhelmed by the thought of creating autoresponder email templates when there are so many good examples out there. We’ve provided example templates for some of the most common—and basic— autoresponder emails for you to use in your own marketing campaign. Change them to suit your brand’s message, what you’re offering, or the vibe you’re projecting and watch how easy it is to automatically engage with your customers to keep the conversation—and profits—going.
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Thanks so much to everyone who joined us yesterday for our webinar, “3 ways to dramatically improve your email results.” During the webinar, Nora Snoddy (Director of Communications here at Campaign Monitor) shared a ton of tips and tricks for getting more out of your email marketing program. Here’s a quick recap of what she covered—or, if you’d like to go ahead and check out the recording of the webinar, you can find that here! Email is a big deal (when done right). Email marketing has been around for a long time, but it’s still incredibly effective. According to our 2018 Industry Report, 59% of marketers said email generates more ROI for their organization than any other digital channel. But here’s the kicker: Even though it has the potential to be such a high performer, plenty of people are still getting so-so results from their email marketing. The problem is that because email marketing has such a lower barrier to entry (it’s inexpensive, easy to send, easy to build in most email platforms, etc.), marketers often put their programs on autopilot and neglect to optimize their email strategy over time. In fact, according to that same report I just mentioned… • 39% of marketers say they never personalize their emails. • 63% of marketers say less than half of their emails are segmented. • 51% of marketers haven’t started automating their emails. Email has the ability to generate an unmatched ROI for your brand, but to get there, you have to focus on the right things. But what are they? 1. Personalize the inbox experience. To help illustrate the importance of email personalization, Nora shared a quick story. Most days, she stops for coffee on her way to work. There are two shops close to Campaign Monitor’s Nashville office: Pinewood and Little Mosko’s. When she goes to Pinewood, the experience is perfectly fine—she orders her coffee, gets her coffee, and goes on her way. But when she goes to Little Mosko’s, the baristas there actually know her. They greet her by name, ask about her life, and offer her a piece of fresh banana bread they know she’ll like. Where do you think she goes more often for her morning java fix? The fact of the matter is, the brand that creates the better, more personal, more human experience will always win—and that’s especially true when it comes to inspiring customer loyalty and conversion. According to Infosys, 86% of consumers say personalization plays a role in their purchase decisions. Personalization works because you’re putting the focus of your message right where it should be: on the subscriber, not on your brand. Here’s an example of email personalization in action from our friend Jay Baer. These two emails are essentially asking for the same thing: an NPS score. The first email was one he got after a hotel stay at the MGM Grand. There’s a first name in there, but otherwise, it’s pretty impersonal. The second was one his wife got after ordering from a local food truck. It contains the same basic ask, but it feels much more personal. They include her first name, a photo of the chef, and even the specific items she ordered. And while Jay didn’t respond to the email from MGM, Allison did respond to the food truck. Segment whenever possible. All marketers tell themselves the same lie: If my emails aren’t doing well, it’s because my audience is too busy. Sure—no one is out there begging for more email, but I’m willing to bet there are a few brands you almost always pay attention to. That’s because they serve up content, offers, and invitations that are actually relevant to you. Relevancy creates time and attention, and segmentation is how you get there. Here are a few easy ways to start segmenting: • How they signed up • Location • Purchase history • Birthdays and anniversaries • Response results • Most engaged • Least engaged But what if you don’t have the data you need to effectively segment? Just ask! Most people are willing to part with personal information if it means getting offers tailored to their interests. Scale your efforts with automation. Automation is the most effective way to scale your email marketing efforts, but not many marketers are actually using it in their email programs. If you aren’t sure where to start with email automation, these three types of emails will help you lay a really solid foundation: 1. A welcome email or series. Welcome emails are incredibly important, so if you aren’t already sending one, it’s time. Your subscribers expect to receive them, it’s one of the most-opened emails you’ll ever send, it helps boost long-term brand loyalty—the list goes on! A pro tip: In your welcome email, be sure to reference exactly how your subscriber ended up on your list. Continuing that connection from signup to the inbox helps create context and sets your brand up for a better, longer-lasting relationship with subscribers. 2. Date-based emails. Along with a welcome after signup, it’s important to automate messages based on key dates like birthdays and anniversaries. Remember: Creating relevance is all about remembering what’s important to your subscriber, not just your brand. Plus, these emails really perform. According to ClickZ, birthday emails can lift conversion rates 60% over non-birthday email messages with the same offer. 3. Behavior-based emails. Let’s talk about behavior-based automation. You can automate emails based on behavior outside the inbox (like browsing a certain section of your website) or behavior inside the inbox, like clicking a link to a particular type of content. These emails help you cater the offers and content you send to individual subscribers because you already know they’ll be interested. Watch the full webinar. Hungry for more actionable email tips and tricks? You can watch the recording here!
How do you ensure you’re sending out your newsletters, promotional emails, and more at the right times? It takes a little planning, forethought, and set-up, but starting with an effective email marketing calendar can simplify a major piece of the puzzle. Once you plan and visualize when to send out your newsletters, kick off your email campaigns, and schedule your marketing follow-up emails throughout the year, it’s easier to stick to your guns and follow through. That means the goals you set for yourself at the start of the year (or sales cycle) will be more achievable and doable than ever. If you’re not sure where to start or how to schedule your email campaigns, check out these 5 email calendar templates. You’ll master the art of the email marketing calendar in no time. When to schedule time-based email campaigns and marketing follow-up emails According to MarketingSherpa, 72% of people prefer to get promotional messages through email versus any other platform. Your subscribers expect these emails and prefer them delivered via their inboxes, so it’s wise to jump on the bandwagon. Of course, the power of promotional email campaigns is doubled when you tie them into marketing gold mines like holidays, national observances, and special days of the year. Think National Coffee Day, the Superbowl, Valentine’s Day, the first day of Spring, or National Cleanup Week (Not sure when each holiday falls? Search Engine Journal has the entire year broken down by holiday via this marketing calendar.) Here’s an example of a spring email offer from Birchbox: Before you start planning and scheduling email campaigns, go through your calendar and mark any holidays or special events that tie into your business, especially annual sales and promotions. You can take this a step further and use events that are personalized for each individual subscriber. These can include things like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and anniversaries of when they subscribed. These email marketing campaigns can be created to automatically get sent from Campaign Monitor using data you already know about your customer. This information could be stored in your Salesforce CRM, Shopify eCommerce or another tool that integrates with Campaign Monitor. Your promotional email campaigns can be one-offs, but, more than likely, you’ll send a series of emails and reminders to tempt your subscribers. Follow these calendar templates to schedule a winning promotional campaign. Calendar template #1: Email campaign for one-day events 2 weeks before sale/promotion/event – Announcement email 1 week before sale/promotion/event – Marketing follow-up email/reminder 1 day before sale/promotion/event – Final follow-up email and last chance reminder Calendar template #2: Email campaign for ongoing events/promotions 2 weeks before the ongoing event – Announcement email 1 week before the ongoing event – Marketing follow-up email/reminder 1 day before the ongoing event – Reminder During the event – Reminder 1 day before the event ends – Final follow-up email/last chance reminder When to schedule informative, useful email newsletters As opposed to promotional email campaigns, informative newsletters are usually entirely non-promotional. Instead, they seek to provide your subscribers with useful, helpful, or pertinent information. You can schedule these to send around holidays if the topic is relevant (for example, you can send cleaning and organizing tips around National Cleanup Week). However, these types of emails are also great for filling in gaps in communication between you and your audience. It keeps you in constant contact, builds trust, and provides value. This informational email newsletter from Resy, an app for booking tables at restaurants, is a great example. In it, the company highlights hot dining spots around NYC: These newsletters can also be personalized based on each subscriber’s behavior in previous email campaigns. As a subscriber clicks on specific content topic links you can use that behavioral information to personalize future newsletters with more of that type of content. To create your own newsletter-worthy email content, look at the content you create on your main channels as a jumping-off point. Tie in your helpful emails and use your newsletter as a linking opportunity. Calendar template #3: Informational email newsletters Look for gaps in your email marketing calendar between promotions, sales, and events – Send one-off emails with helpful tips, how-tos, or recommendations (can tie into web content) Weekly, during optimal send-times – Send out a weekly newsletter with updates, links to recently published content, and helpful tidbits (provide an opt-out option if weekly is too often for some subscribers) When to schedule event announcements and promotions Have a big event coming up that needs some promotion? Is a big change coming to your company that you need to communicate with your loyal subscribers? Sending out an event announcement is a great way to keep your audience up-to-date with all the goings-on. Big events are especially important to advertise via email. For instance, if you want to invite locals to an in-store gathering, a big party, a concert, or a benefit, they’re more likely to respond to a personal email invitation. That’s because emails drive conversions better than any other marketing method, including social media. Additionally, email has an average organic reach of 79%, which means over three-fourths of your recipients will receive and read the emails you send. This example from SXSW showcases how the yearly conference uses email to help get people to register: This email from Hudson Ranch and Vineyards, meanwhile, is a great example of how to make an email invitation to an event seem exclusive: Calendar template #4: Event invitations and promotions with marketing follow-up emails 4-6 months before the event – Save the date announcement: Let subscribers know what the event is, plus where, when, how, and why it’s happening 3 months before the event – Official announcement/invitation: Depending on the type of event, formally or casually invite your subscribers, detailing time, place, and other important information 1 month before the event – Begin weekly marketing follow-up emails/reminders: If your audience needs to save their spot or register, remind them and provide a call-to-action button in these emails 1 week before the event – Last chance reminder (“Spots are filling up quickly”, “Time is running out to register”, etc.) Calendar template #5: Announcements This template depends on what type of announcement you’re making. For example, if you’re going to announce a huge customer appreciation event, you can really build it up. On the other hand, if you’re making big changes to your business model/website/some other factor that will affect the customer experience, you need to avoid dropping hints and be as transparent as possible. This template is for the former scenario when you can really have fun with it. 2 months before the big announcement – Build up anticipation for the actual announcement, but don’t give it away yet (“A surprise is coming…”, “We’re getting ready for something big”, etc.) 1 month before the announcement – Follow-up email reiterating the initial message Weekly, up until the announcement – Reminder emails with curiosity-inducing hints Wrap up Email marketing campaigns are nothing without a plan to implement them. If you don’t take the time to schedule your emails and optimize send-times, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to grab more interest, opens, and click-throughs. Even more than that, your goals for the quarter or the year may slide by the wayside without a solid email marketing calendar to stick to. This calendar guides your marketing and helps you send the most impactful messages imaginable. Use the templates above to schedule your emails for the biggest impact, then let ‘em loose. You’ll make a much bigger splash with your subscribers and customers.
Emails can provide your company with some of its highest marketing ROIs.Still, if your business is like most, you won’t receive the response you want after just one message. Instead, you’ll probably need to send at least one more before you get a positive result. That’s why you need to understand how to write an effective marketing follow-up email. Otherwise, the high-ROI you are expecting may never show up. Fortunately, there are 5 simple tips you can follow to quickly master this essential form of content. Any one of these will give you better results, but use them all from now on, and you’ll notice your email marketing campaigns really taking off. 1. Never send a marketing follow-up email too quickly. Kara Corridan has probably received more marketing emails than most. She was the health director of Parents magazine and is currently the executive editor of Scholastic. Here’s what she had to say about marketing emails that come too quickly: “Certain people that send me something on a Friday and then follow up Monday—it’s ludicrous. Even if we were interested, we couldn’t turn things around that frequently. You can try again in a month. Give us a chance to process.” That’s not to say you need to wait an entire month to send your follow-up. Every industry has its own standard. However, this is also why it’s important to figure out what makes the most sense in yours. Before deciding on the frequency of your follow up emails, first think about how you would feel receiving a follow up after you read the first marketing email from someone. How would you feel if the follow-up email hit your inbox a day or two later? Would you appreciate that or would you feel spammed? There’s a natural tendency to want to get in front of prospect often so many marketers will send emails too frequent in a sequence. Instead, make your send frequency at least 4–5 days apart. Give the recipient time to process the first email and decide whether it’s worth taking action before they receive another email. This takes time, but rest assured, there is no industry where following up every other day will get you the desired response. 2. Start with a reminder about your last email. Don’t start from scratch with a marketing follow-up email. Your prospects probably receive dozens of similar emails every week – if not more. After all, in 2017, 269 billion emails were sent every single day. So, there’s a good chance your recipient may not immediately recognize what yours is about. If that happens, don’t expect them to read it. Therefore, reference the last email you sent in the first line after your greeting. Don’t summarize it, though. On average, our attention spans are only about eight seconds, so never waste time with the openings of your email. Just reference the last one. If the reader needs a reminder, they can jump back into their inbox and find the last message. All you need is a sentence or two to reference the last one and then begin explaining why this next email is so important. 3. Get to the point. You’re not just checking in. Whatever you do, don’t begin your marketing follow-up email by “just checking in.” The benefit of those three words is that it makes it clear you’re not trying to pressure them into anything. The drawback is that you’re delaying why the email matters: its main objective. There are only four real reasons to write a marketing follow-up email: You need information You’d like to request a call, meeting, or some other kind of action You just want to catch-up You wanted to say thank you for one of the above or another opportunity Whichever it is, get to it right after you reference the last email. Don’t get lost in small talk. Remember, your recipient probably has a short attention span, and they may also be short on time—so start explaining why you deserve some of it. 4. Use action verbs. In a moment, we’ll cover how to end your emails, but before that tip will be helpful, you have to understand what must be included in the actual content. While you still want to keep your marketing follow-up email short, it absolutely must add value. You can’t simply send an email where all you do is ask for something. Instead, be sure you’re benefiting the recipient somehow, too. This is especially important in B2B, where data shows that 74% of buyers opt to work with salespeople who first added value. That is a massive difference. If your company utilizes account-based marketing, you’ll need to take the time to figure out what kind of value you can hope to provide the individual prospect. On the other hand, if your marketing follow-up email is going out to your entire list, be sure to segment it. Then, based on buyer personas, come up with a valuable piece of advice or other content that will show recipients that you’re focused on them — not just your company’s needs. Content upgrades can be great for this purpose. You can offer your recipients: eBooks Reports Case Studies Invites to a Webinar e-Courses Any of these options are above-and-beyond the normal follow-up email. However, because they come in the form of a link or attachment, they won’t add so much bulk to your copy that recipients immediately decide to move on. 5. End your marketing follow-up email with a specific call-to-action. Ideally, this marketing follow-up email will be the last one you need to send. To increase your chances of getting the response you want, be sure to include a specific call-to-action at the end. “Hope to hear from you” and “Let me know what you think” aren’t very good CTAs, despite how common they’ve become. Instead, consider one of the 75 CTAs we recommend. Here are some great examples: “Start your free trial” “Let us know how we did” “Reserve your seat” All of these give your recipient something specific to do. If you use action words throughout your copy, you’ll also set up your CTA with a better chance of success. Give your reader a CTA to be excited about If there’s one real secret to writing an incredible marketing follow-up email, it’s to always craft messages your audience will look forward to. Never send one out unless you know you’re offering them something they want—not just something you want them to do. That way, your recipients will actually be excited to open your email, read it through, and follow your CTA’s instructions. After that, you won’t need to send nearly as many follow-up messages, but those you do send out will have much higher rates of success.
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