The Science Behind Building Emails that Resonate

Mar 16, 2017

Email marketing is a great way to actively reach customers, but the creation of relevant content has become a complex science. Today’s marketers need to produce high-quality email marketing campaigns that truly resonate with customers to drive engagement. In a world of vast amounts of digital content, this requires strategic thinking and analytics to scale and achieve success. It’s no longer good enough to blast your list with newsletters. Your strategy has to evolve.

Whether you use email to send newsletters, promotions, or transactional communications, you need to make sure you’re earning your subscribers’ trust and loyalty. If you can send a message that resonates to 10,000 people, you are better off than sending to 100,000 recipients with content that doesn’t make a connection. To succeed, you need technology and segmentation tools to connect with your audience and show that you’re giving them your full attention.

Listen and Learn

A data-driven and personalized campaign can be a powerful tool for communicating and building relationships with clients and prospects. This starts with listening to your customers. There are various social listening and monitoring tools available to help you understand customer pain points and preferences (GlimpzIt, Brandwatch, and Clarabridge, to name a few). One of the tools we have developed is the Content Resonance System (CRS). Using CRS, organizations can gain data-driven insight into how a particular audience or segment talks about any specific subject area.

When companies listen, and then analyze, their unstructured data (pictures, videos, and text), they can build personalized offerings that will resonate with their customers. Smart personalization shows that you understand your subscribers and are giving them valuable information. Additionally, cutting-edge analytics help determine the perfect balance between what brands need to say and what their customers want to hear.

Be Visual

Images in email are an important part of its impact. Marketers should craft content that includes interesting visual design, video, infographics, and other images that engage the readers. Having appealing visuals allows brands to communicate with consumers in a manner that makes it easy for readers to relate to your story. Images stimulate the viewers’ brains, elicit emotional connections, enhance efficiency, and affect the user experience and response. But poor design can be a subtle affliction that many organizations don’t notice or realize until it’s too late. If used incorrectly or too often, images also increase load times on mobile, distort the message, or send an email straight to the junk folder.

Benefits of Marketing Automation

Taking advantage of marketing automation tools to run your email marketing campaigns can make our lives as marketers much easier. It helps turn visitors into loyal buyers. You can nurture your leads throughout the entire buying process and deliver highly-targeted, personalized messages that address their barriers to purchase. You also save your company time and resources by eliminating time spent on unqualified leads, so your marketing and sales teams can focus on more complicated projects. It also brings valuable insights to your team about what your customers need and want. Businesses that master this process have seen higher revenues, while cutting marketing overhead costs.

Build a Relationship

All businesses now know that a vital part of delivering their total customer experience is how they set up and manage their marketing platforms, the customer programs they operate, and the creative campaigns they deliver. To make a true connection, brands need to also be authentic, inspire trust, strike an emotional cord, and communicate a genuine desire to consistently meet customer needs. By integrating unstructured data (linguistic and visual) into insight architectures and workflows, businesses can gain a 360-degree view of audience. With this information, you can show your prospects you understand their challenges and are producing useful solutions. 

Embrace the Mobile Era—and Win

Providing the best user experience, whether your customers are on desktop or mobile, is important. Getting someone to click on your email is only half the story. You then want the person to make a purchase, read a blog, enter a competition, or take another action. To do that you need to ensure they are not only landing on a page that’s optimized, but the email itself needs to be, too. This provides a properly formatted layout for viewing on various devices. Today, 56% of emails are opened on a mobile device and this number will only continue to grow. Subscribers not only read their email on the go, but they also delete, share, engage, and buy from their phones. Businesses need to adopt a mobile-first mentality—or risk losing opens, clicks, and conversions.

Calls to Action

After your subscribers open and read your email, the next challenge is to get them to convert.

You don’t want to ask too much of your readers. Offer something valuable at low or no cost. Whether it’s a free guide, a printable PDF, or a useful tool can be a great way to create added value. The position of email CTAs and giving them a visually appealing design can significantly affect click-through rates. You’ll also need to provide easy calls to action for customers to stay engaged, improve retention, and convert more prospects. If you can’t write a compelling call to action, your email campaign is likely to underperform. Keep in mind that your goal is to drive click-through performance and revenue-generating actions.

Test. Learn. Repeat.

As with everything we call science, it’s about experimenting and testing. Looking forward requires you to look back. That is, you should take the time to review your past email campaigns—which ones brought results and which ones failed? By tracking, measuring, and optimizing your email marketing campaigns’ performance, you can learn which ones will provide the best return and where you need to improve. Email marketing can be a moving target. Measuring with the proper tools and paying attention to the key email metrics can provide valuable insights that you can apply learning to for each new campaign.

Ultimately, the more marketers focus on evolving their email campaign strategies with technology, the greater chance they have of building stronger more relevant content that resonates with their readers.  Email marketing can be your most effective marketing channel, but it’s up to you to adapt to maximize its full potential.