Email Marketing: new clients, no algorithm

email marketing

Email marketing is how I built my business. It is my biggest money maker because I make it my clients’ biggest money maker. I think the reason it’s been so successful for me is because I have a list of Dos and Don’ts for great email marketing results. Today I’m sharing the “dos.”

For effective email marketing in 2024 you need to:

  • Craft a kickass subject line
  • Make it short and sweet
  • Make it clickable

When people say email marketing is “dead,” I just laugh and agree to disagree. As long as there’s still email, email marketing remains a great way to bring in leads. There are a few tips to keep in mind, including one I learned from this 40 pound zucchini.

email marketing
Ah, the glamour of television…

Do: Craft a Kickass Subject Line

Your subject line is what makes people open your emails. Working adults get an average of 121 emails a day. The subject line is what makes them choose which ones to open.

When I was in television, we had to tape what’s called a “tease,” kind of a trailer for your day’s story. The TV news formula for a good tease is “a fact and a promise.” For example,

“Police investigating food bank theft. Coming up on CTV News at Six, I’ll tell you what unlikely item was stolen.”

I wish I was joking, but this is an actual example from a story I did on a missing giant zucchini. I’d blocked the story out (squashed it, you might say.) but Vanessa found the video online a few weeks ago and I immediately remembered. It was certainly, um, memorable.

Veggie Tales

Surprisingly enough, vegetables don’t make good TV even when they’re stolen. It was my job to make this gourd heist relevant by using my fact (some jerk stole from the food bank) and my promise (the thing they stole was interesting and you’ll want to hear this). I used the zucchini to drive interest in the story. And in this article, come to think of it.

My method is in both news and email marketing is to work backwards. I first figure out what is the most impactful element of the story (my fact) and what is the most surprising element (my promise).

In a marketing email, you have just 60 characters for your subject line, so there is rarely room for a fact AND a promise. You have to envision what your audience would find most impactful and SO interesting they just have to click, and then fit these elements in. In nine words or less. If I was sending an email about the zucchini bandits, I might use something like “Someone stole WHAT from the Foodbank?”

Do: Make it Short and Sweet

Most of the emails I send out are less than 300 words. If someone isn’t interested in what you have to say today, they will likely still be willing to give your next email a chance if you don’t waste their time.

Some experts recommend as few as 50 words. I say if you can get your message across in 50 words go for it, but service-based small businesses (SBSBs) usually need a few more sentences because we aren’t just announcing a new product lineup or sale.

This isn’t an absolute. I read long-form emails and I like them. I’ve also sent longer emails on behalf of clients and still got Create That’s hallmark open rate of 15% or more above industry standard.

My rule, though, is to try to cap it at 300.

Do: Make It Clickable

Open rate is one metric for measuring how well your emails are resonating with your audience. Click through rate is another. The more people who click on your email to get more information, the better engaged your audience. This means you’re on the right track with getting their attention.

A high click-through rate also means you’re driving traffic to your website. The more traffic to your site, the high your site will rank with Google search.

Following these three tips is a great start for improving your email marketing. Next week, we’ll cover the “don’ts.”

picture of author bridget brown