Many business owners, marketing executives, and design teams today are focusing the efforts of their marketing strategy on one area in particular, leaving other marketing methods to fall by the wayside. The most frequently pursued marketing strategy over the past few years has been mobile marketing; using responsive design, targeted advertisements, and geo-tagging typically come into play in the mobile marketing arena.
While you should remain focused on areas that have a heightened importance due to consumer demand, such as mobile advertising, you should still invest in several other marketing strategies so you can capitalize on every avenue available. One marketing strategy that has been gathering dust lately is the use of an email marketing strategy.
While inboxes do get besieged with what many people consider to be junk mail or spam, a large segment of the online population consists of individuals who still actively use email. Perhaps the biggest problem with email marketing, however, is that those who create and implement an email marketing strategy still don't understand how to do so effectively.
The key attributes of a success email marketing campaign are:
Relevant (What want or need will you be fulfilling?)
Original (Deliver solutions they haven't seen or heard yet.)
Useful/Valuable (How will you meet their needs?)
Subject line that is attention-getting
Targeted message to those who want, need, or will use your products/services
The acronym, R.O.U.S.T., is intentional. To succeed with an email marketing strategy, you have to roust your audience out of the self-induced slumber they fall into when they view their inbox. In the same way that blog readers scan content to find bits and pieces that appeal to them, email readers do the same when scanning the contents of their inbox. This means that your subject line is perhaps the most critical component of your email message, because it is often the only chance you get at attracting the attention of your intended audience.
Creating Attention-Getting Subject Lines
Subject lines are the bane of many a marketer's existence, because creating successful subject lines is occasionally likened to slaying a dragon or winning the lottery. How often are you going to do either one? Approaching the task with a defeated attitude will leave you with mediocre subject lines, so tackle the challenge by looking forward to it as a victory already achieved. You will have one sentence's worth of words to convey to someone why they need to read your email, so pack as much into those few words as possible.
There are three pillars of a highly effective subject line:
Length: Your subject line should be as short as possible, especially considering your limited amount of space to begin with.
Tone: The tone of your subject line should be relevant to your audience. Do they appreciate wit? Are certain words more suitable than others? How you say something is sometimes just as important, if not more so, than what you are saying.
Audience: You have to know who your message is directed to before you can craft a message that will be meaningful to them.
Once you've hooked someone's attention with your subject line, you have won the battle but you haven't yet won the war. Getting an individual to complete the process of becoming a qualified lead or moving deeper into your sales funnel requires content that keeps them on the hook.
Creating Stellar Content
Regardless of how powerful your subject lines are, if you don't deliver content that engages the reader and motivates them to move along the path you've chosen for them, you have already lost them as a potential lead or customer. The quality of your content is essential to the success of your email marketing strategy, and quality isn't limited to spelling and grammar. Outstanding content is also informative, relevant to what your audience is seeking, original, and valuable. While those qualities also exist in your subject line, your content gives you the opportunity to expand on that subject and be specific about what you will do, how you will do it, and why your audience needs to have it.
When all the components of your email marketing content, from the subject line to the call-to-action in the body of your email message, keep your audience moving along in the direction you wish them to go and reaching a conclusion that achieves your goals, you have truly succeeded at creating a successful email marketing strategy. To learn more about how to do email marketing campaigns, check out our white paper, "What is Content Marketing? And Why Is It So Important?"