This is a guest post from Kayleigh Alexandra at Micro Startups.
Even with the dizzying amount of digital marketing channels available, email is still a powerful marketing tool for B2C brands.
It’s cheap, scalable, and it can help you develop strong relationships with customers that last.
Naturally, you have a variety of goals you’re trying to achieve with email marketing, but how do you get your emails to generate those all-important clicks?
Here are six features you need to meet in your B2C email sends.
Tighten up your copy.
As a marketer, you know that your customers receive countless marketing emails every day. A long, rambling email about your new product makeover is the last thing they’ll want to read on their commute to work.
Instead, keep it concise. Cut any unnecessary copy and get to the point. But that doesn’t mean you need to strip your entire email back to its bare bones: On the contrary, you’ll just need to deliver your message in a way that’s engaging without being excessive.
The success of this lies in asking yourself: Who are you talking to? Who is your customer? This is crucial in B2C marketing. Your relationships with your customers should be human and personal.
If you want your B2C emails to resonate with your audience, you need to understand the way they speak as individuals. What slang do they use? What cultural references? Understand this, and you understand how to communicate with your recipients.
Take this example from Pink Parcel, a subscription box company that sends out feminine hygiene, beauty, skincare, and lifestyle products.
Source: Really Good Emails
Pink Parcel is targeted at women, predominantly younger women, and the copy used in this email reflects that. Phrases like “hey girl” and “join the squad” echo vocabulary used by young women, conjuring up community imagery that speaks to their sense of sisterhood and solidarity.
It’s concise (no fluff or rambling here), but resonant. Consequently, it perfectly taps into Pink Parcel’s target audience and offers a strong example of what you should emulate.
Good design goes a long way.
If a customer steps into an extremely untidy store, then they’re probably not likely to make a purchase, and the same applies to your subscribers. A poorly designed email can repel readers, losing interest and traffic for your brand.
Most email automation tools come with easy-to-use designers that let you create clean, professional-looking emails at the click of a button. They often come with preset templates too, so you can fire off a slick campaign quickly and easily.
As a general rule, less is more. Sleek, minimalist design offers a clean and easily understandable email that encourages your recipients to engage and, ultimately, click through.
Source: Really Good Emails
This example from furniture brand Article is the perfect display of clean email UX. A single, attractive, featured image at the top of the email, followed by minimal, centered copy, simple, bold CTAs, and only a few images—not to mention plenty of negative space.
An uncluttered design encourages recipients to stay on your email. Remember, less is more. Emails should pique your recipients’ curiosity, after which you can provide them with more information afterward.
Segmentation means clicks.
While your copy, CTA, content, and the rest are all important features of a marketing email, if they’re not targeted to the right audience, then they still need work—and that’s where segmentation comes in.
Segmented email lists are crucial for increasing click-throughs by appealing to customers based on individual character traits. There are a number of factors that you can take into account when you’re creating your email campaigns:
- Interests (e.g., magazines, online publications, activities, etc.)
- Past interactions and behaviour with your business
A tailored campaign is always more successful than one that casts a wide, indiscriminate net. And, by segmenting your recipient lists, you can personalize your emails too. Including even simple personal details (such as a first name) in the subject line can help increase your click-throughs by an average of 26%.
Here’s an example of a personalized email from Netflix, one that many of us have likely received at some point:
Source Really Good Emails
This email goes beyond simply using names to personalize; it directly addresses the recipient’s interests. Netflix suggests other titles related to Stranger Things that the viewer might enjoy, grouped by the unique sub-genres that the streaming platform is known for.
In short, give your target audience what they want, what interests and matters to them. This gives your emails value and compels click-throughs into the bargain.
Craft bold, eye-catching CTAs.
If it’s click-throughs you want from your email marketing, then you’ll absolutely need a strong call to action. This is basically you telling your customer what you want from them, whether it’s visiting a product landing page or entry to a competition or giveaway.
A strong CTA is bold and eye-catching—it stands out in a B2C email. The reader should be naturally drawn to it, so aim for vibrant, contrasting colors.
It should also be placed in a logical position. For example, putting it at the top of the email above all the information that would encourage them to click in the first place is not a wise move.
Check out this stellar example from digital product design platform Invision, promoting its DesignBetter service:
Image Really Good Emails
From a purely design-centered perspective, these CTA buttons are bold and visible, using contrasting colors to make them stand out. They’re also on brand for DesignBetter—a nice touch.
But, beyond this, they also give a clear command to the recipient. The bottom CTA (“elevate your design”) is of particular note; it combines a benefit with a command, further compelling recipients to click through.
Consider where your email sits in your online infrastructure.
Your email marketing doesn’t sit in a bubble. It’s a conduit through which your customers reach your website, online store, product pages, signup pages, and so on.
Of course, your post-email elements aren’t strictly features of a B2C email, but encouraging click-throughs is as much about past interactions with your brand as it is about email elements.
Successful interactions build good relations between your brand and your audience. They foster positive habits that encourage them to click through on later emails, especially if they’re part of a drip campaign.
Consequently, your landing page and surrounding elements on your website should be designed to keep visitors informed and on site.
Building a landing page that matches the tone, style, and value of your emails will increase the value of your click-throughs by delivering value and keeping visitors on the page. If you promise a discount code in your email, for instance, you should deliver a discount code on your landing page. This should all be matched in the same branded style as your emails to build trust and keep visitors on site.
Similarly, your customers are going to have questions, especially if they’re new prospects. You want your leads to stay informed and in your funnel, and creating your own knowledge base that’s wide and comprehensive is a good idea. Here, you can resolve any queries on site to keep your audience engaged and in your sales funnel.
When you create your B2C email, remember that it’s part of a wider structure. Let your on-site elements inform your email creation and you’ll enjoy greater click-through success as a result.
Video is your holy grail.
It probably hasn’t escaped your attention that video is valuable right now, and the data is there to support it: Including videos in your email can increase click-throughs by up to 300%, a staggering figure. With statistics like that, it’s clear that video is a vital feature for click-throughs.
And the great thing about it is that it can fulfill a range of purposes. Testimonials, brand storytelling, interviews—all these and more can help to engage your audience with your B2C email marketing message.
The key to creating a good video is to keep it brief, no more than two minutes. And remember to mention in your subject line that there’s a video inside. This can increase open rates by 19%, and boost click-through rates by a staggering 65%.
That doesn’t mean you need to fill every single email with dozens and dozens of videos to see results. Less is more, so use them considerately (especially as part of a drip campaign—think about what stage of your sales funnel works best with a slick video).
Creating an email marketing strategy that sees high conversions is easily attainable if you put the work in. Time spent amending and adjusting your B2C email marketing isn’t wasted time. If it gets click-throughs, it’s worth the investment.
Remember to continually test and tweak your campaigns to get the most out of them, and check your metrics regularly to see how they’re performing. A successful email campaign isn’t created overnight; give it time, effort, and implement the tips above, and you’ll enjoy more click-throughs as a result.
Kayleigh Alexandra is a writer for Micro Startups, your online destination for everything startup. She’s passionate about hard-working solopreneurs and SMEs making waves in the business world. Visit the blog for your latest dose of startup and charity insights from top experts around the globe @getmicrostarted.