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Fifty-nine percent of business-to-business marketers report that email marketing is by far their most effective digital marketing channel. Picture: SUPPLIED/DSM Source: SHUTTERSTOCK
Fifty-nine percent of business-to-business marketers report that email marketing is by far their most effective digital marketing channel. Picture: SUPPLIED/DSM Source: SHUTTERSTOCK

Email marketing is more than just a buzzword; it really works. According to figures released by Wordstream at the end of 2018, 59% of business-to-business marketers report that email marketing is by far their most effective digital marketing channel in their marketing arsenal.

People who receive a link via email are three times more likely to share it on social media, which makes the potential of email marketing, to go viral, immense.

About 8% of retailers see digital marketing as their most significant channel for customer retention.

But the downside is that emails that are part of marketing campaigns can be swiftly deleted without being read, unless they are relevant to the receiver. This means that the email needs to appeal to the reader within 30 seconds of them having opened the message. If this does not happen, chances are high that the message will be deleted.

You need to make sure that your copy is worded in a way that appeals to the recipients. This means that your copywriting formulas need to be on point.

The subject line is the most important part of the email

Lisa Schneider, MD of the Digital School of Marketing, says: “If you’re anything like me, you get hundreds of emails every single day. For me to read an email from a name that I don’t easily recognise, the subject line of the email needs to catch my attention immediately. If not, I move onto the next one.”

But how does one make sure that a subject line has that magnetic factor that will stop the busy executive in her tracks and make her read your email?

Before you even think about how to write your email subject line, if it’s not relevant, it won’t matter if you have written the best headline in the world. They will not read it as they won’t be interested. So, make sure that you segment your contact list and send the correct targeted emails to the right people.

There are many thoughts about how to write the best subject line and many copywriters have published their swipe files on the internet. (A swipe file is a copywriter's collection of headlines or email subject lines that have proved successful in the past.) By all means, look at these for inspiration but do not choose one simply for the sake of choosing it, as some may be inappropriate for your target audience.

As a rule of thumb, keep your email subject lines simple and descriptive. If you have a flash of inspiration and can come up with a clever play on words, by all means do so. However, if you cannot think of anything quirky, keep it simple and you will attract the right audience for your content. They will be drawn in if they are interested in the subject you are writing about.

As a rule of thumb, keep your email subject lines simple and descriptive. Picture: SUPPLIED/DSM Source: SHUTTERSTOCK
As a rule of thumb, keep your email subject lines simple and descriptive. Picture: SUPPLIED/DSM Source: SHUTTERSTOCK

The second-most important part of your email

Apart from the subject line, the introductory paragraph is the most important part of your email. If you are successful in drawing in readers with your subject line, they will scan the first paragraph to see if the email is of interest to them. With some email clients, this is made even easier for the reader with the preview text, which is the bit of copy that appears after the subject line in a person’s email list. It should summarise the body of the email, but many companies do not make use of it.

The introductory paragraph should summarise the benefits that readers will take away from reading your email. It should be short, sharp and punchy so that readers can decide – in a matter of seconds – if they want to continue reading.

The body of the email is the most crucial

Do not think that just because you have succeeded in getting someone to read past the first paragraph of your email that you can relax. The opposite is true. Now that your reader has committed to reading the entire message, you need to deliver on the promise that you made in the first paragraph.

The body has to be well written and contain the information that the person is looking for in an easy-to-understand format. You must impress readers so much so that the next time an email from you lands in their inbox, it's the first thing they read.

Email marketing is a relevant and tried-and-trusted digital marketing method.

To find out more about email marketing, a fundamental component of marketing, consider an accredited digital marketing course from the Digital School of Marketing.

For more information, visit the Digital School of Marketing website, call 0861 428 710 or email info@digitalschoolofmarketing.co.za. Join the conversations on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

This article was paid for by the Digital School of Marketing.