Posted 16th April 2015 | By Nick Evans, Chairman

The art of good marketing email design and content is all to do with subtlety, teasing and persuasive writing. Get those things right and your emails will sing. Get them wrong and you will simply be pushing out yet more email to clog up the airways. So how do you get it right? Here are a few tips to ensure that your emails sing and don't croak.

1. It's not about the story. Your email doesn't tell the story. It's not the place to put your thesis on the market variance in milk futures. All of that - the whole story - goes on your website in a dedicated blog or news section where it will fit in well, build relevance in your content and help your findability on search engines, assuming you have used plenty of good keywords - see later. The thing that goes in the newsletter is the teaser. It comprises an intriguing headline that makes the reader want to read on, a subtle and persuasive intro to your masterwork that gets the juices flowing and a final, hit-'em-between-the-eyes call to action that makes them go click.

2. It's about the keywords. Remember that your email has a life after it is sent. It gets published to your website - this is called the "posted" or web version (it's the one you click through to if you can't read the mail properly). Therefore it forms part of your website and becomes a focus for search engines. Make the keywords work for you, both in the email and in the landing page.

3. It's about permission. Don't send your beautifully crafted missives to addresses that some bloke sold you for twenty quid. They'll bounce, complain and generally make your email service provider not like you very much at all. Build a readership organically, by permission, by recruiting subscribers from your website and social media, collecting email addresses from customers and visitors as well as business cards at meetings and events. Take this seriously - a permission-based list is gold dust!

4. It's about getting it right. Your email should not contain errors, such as "Mobliegeddon" - the authors were trying to use "Mobilegeddon" to describe the Google search algorithm update that will supposedly shake the online world. Unfortunately, they got it wrong in the subject line! Spelling and grammar errors, broken links and poor images all make it look as if you don't care. Invest in quality in your email content.

There's no single route to perfection and you'll need to define your own standards for your own communications. However, one thing is certain - it's worth getting it right.

Nick Evans from ExtraMile

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