Email. It’s a word that carries plenty of sleazy connotations.
When I used to work in a corporate job with fashion brands, part of my job was to put together the annoying emails screaming about sales, new season releases and click frenzy sales. It wasn’t great, and it took the fun out of fashion and shopping for me for a few years (I’m still not fully recovered, to be honest!). It was constant marketing blab, preaching the same fickle messages that revolved around making money, money, money with little regard for much else.
On the other side of this, using email can be the best and most direct way to talk to your customers - sharing things you’ve learned or done, or telling them about services or products you think could add value to their life.
Email newsletters are a hot topic right now, and we’ve just started sending out our own after it being on the ‘someday’ list for about a year or so. [Are you on the list? If not, sign up now].
Email communication and building your email list is an important part of a powerful marketing plan that is worth dedicating some time to and setting up properly, to make sure you’re having the right impression on your readers and giving them something of genuine value.
You can learn something from every situation - here are a few things I learned from making those horrid retail emails :
Build a foundation.
Write down your objectives - what do you want to achieve by sending this email? i.e. more visitors to your website / purchase a new product / share your message. You can think about this for each individual email, or have it as an overarching guide for all emails.
Consider your audience - who are you targeting your writing towards? What kind of language should you use? Relaxed / formal / a few swear words here and there / jokes? What are they interested in and what are their motivations?
Talk genuinely about the product, how it relates to and benefits the customer.
Too many times the messaging is about some time-sensitive deal, trendy must-have or seasonal novelty. Consider how your product or service can add value to your customers’ life for the long term. Don’t try to be a quick fix or temporarily solution.
Send email less often but make it more substantial.
Rather than sending an email every time something happens, send one less often and include a variety of things to read. Keep it interesting!
- A roundup of blog posts.
- Links to your latest work or products.
- Share your latest Spotify playlist.
Aim to be engaging and friendly, and most importantly - relatable.
How do you like to be spoken to? Keep your headlines and writing friendly. You don’t need to be uber-professional or robotic - be you!
Treat your emails as if you’re writing to just one person - be calm, light, and useful. And if your readers like what they’ve received they’re more likely to share it.
Encourage them to interact.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions and encourage readers to respond directly. I doubt you’re sending your email to hundreds of thousands of people, so a few responses in your inbox won’t be too stressful. It also helps your reader think of you as an expert they can trust. Plus, you can use their responses and questions as topics for future content.
Keep it short + sweet.
Say what you need to say, then get out.
Show your readers that you’re professional and can stick to a plan. Yes, it’s hard but consistency is key to good branding. Schedule your emails for a similar time each week or month, and have them looking kinda the same.
Break it up.
Use images and space to break up text into digestible chunks and make it an enjoyable experience for your reader.
Templates make life easier.
Don’t be afraid to create a text template of the content you’re going to include. A template means your readers know what to expect each time you pop into their inbox (and it saves you time on thinking of what to include). Draw it out in your notebook or just write it down! Ours is something along the lines of this:
- Main message.
- Links / Findings / Resources.
- Recent Blog Post.
- Featured Project.
- Social Media Links.