Email is a personal, two-way relationship
The great thing about email is that it’s personal, one-to-one communication that fosters two-way relationships. People want a dialogue that makes them laugh, think, feel and act. By giving you their email address, a subscriber is letting you into their personal life. They want to hear from you and get to know your brand. But if you abuse this by ‘blasting’ to your subscribers with generalised, sales-focused messages, you betray their trust. Focus on fostering long-term relationships with your subscribers by creating email campaigns that are engaging, timely, informative, and tailored to the interests of the individual.
Design for a human experience
Just like in any healthy relationship, you need to get to know the other person and talk to them like a human being. When it comes to email, this means considering the context of a subscriber’s end-to-end journey with your brand, including the sign-up process, warm-up sequences, campaigns, the unsubscribe process and everything in between. Your design should balance your user’s needs and your business goals to deliver an experience that is unique, engaging and mutually beneficial.
Gathering information about your subscribers is crucial to creating engaging, personalised emails. Think creatively about how you can weave data collection into the user experience at relevant moments. Be clear on why you’re collecting the information, and be sure to offer your users something in return. But beware the stalker effect! Always consider how your use of data will be interpreted by your audience. Personalisation should be used to make your emails intuitive, not invasive.
Make the most of automation
While automated emails might seem impersonal, they don’t have to be. By using a personal tone and minimalist design, automated emails can become a hugely valuable part of your email marketing strategy. Automation can tie in with various stages of the customer experience, from education and nurture right through to cart abandonment and cross-selling. Ensure your automation messaging is simple and timely, with clear value for your subscribers.
Embrace the leaky bucket
No matter how engaged your subscribers are, not everyone will be ready to take action right away. In its simplest form, the ‘leaky bucket’ approach funnels users through the sales process allowing them to drop out through the ‘holes’ if they aren’t interested in the offer. What you’re left with at the end of the process is highly engaged users who are ready to take action. Understanding this process and designing with the ‘leaky bucket’ in mind will ensure your email campaigns convert the right customers, without damaging the relationships you have with the rest.