Effective email marketing content: 11 point checklist

Clicks, views, and campaign deliverability all depend on engaging campaign content. Slapdash material will be penalized by spam filters and overlooked by your subscribers. Turn valuable contact lists into traffic and engagement by following these principles. Before sending your next campaign, check whether it meets all these criteria.

Set a friendly “From” email address and name

Email campaigns are an opportunity to communicate and engage with your fans. Use a friendly address, preferably the real name of the sender, and a proper label for subscribers to see. For example: jane@charlottes-chocolates.com Jane Smith. phpList automatically handles responses that you don’t want to receive (such as bounce messages), so you can safely use your regular email address without fear of an avalanche of unwanted replies.

Avoid using an address starting ‘noreply@…’. A ‘noreply’ as a name communicates to your audience that you are not interested in listening to or talking to them. You shouldn’t discourage them from replying to your email. Make yourself available to your followers. Encourage them to talk to you.

Use a crisp message subject

Your campaign’s subject line is the first thing that your subscriber reads. Subject lines should be straightforward and honest. While “clickbait” subjects can earn more clicks, using them too often can harm the trust that your subscribers have in you.

You don’t want to constantly let down your readers by promising something incredible in the subject line, while the actual content is more tame. Tease your readers’ curiosity. Give them a reason to open your email, but actually deliver what you promised. Don’t make your subject lines overly aggressive.

Provide an interesting message preview

When you test your campaign before sending it, check how the message preview appears in your mail client. This preview text is sometimes based on the first few words of your email (depending on the client). Working on these message previews can dramatically increase the potential for your email to be opened. It’s worth noting that if your email is an image, a message preview will sometimes not appear.

Message previews complement the subject line. They provide subscribers with one more reason to open your email. Don’t overlook the power of a message preview. A well-written message preview will allow your emails to stand out from those sent by your competitors.

Keep your text concise

Overly-long emails take longer to read and will have a harder time maintaining the reader’s interest. Long emails are hard to engage with and may not get you the results you want. In addition, longer emails take more time to compose. Don’t waste effort on an email that isn’t guaranteed to give you effective results, when instead you could spend time on other aspects of your business – or prepare the follow-up campaign to keep your subscribers engaged.

Write with attitude and personality

Your campaign content shouldn’t read like a tax statement. It should be vibrant and have its own personality. It’s important to stand out from other emails in your subscribers’ inboxes. One way you can achieve this is by giving your email its own unique voice. This should reflect what your brand or business is all about. Whether you’re selling products or services, make sure that your voice and personality are shining through.

Focus on the customer not on the product

Your message should speak to the customer. You should make an attempt to communicate and reach out to your followers. Don’t focus too much on your product or services. Serve your customers by catering to their needs. Connect with them and convince them that you can provide a solution to their problems. Don’t just treat your customers as a source of revenue. Make your emails more approachable and relatable, and put your customers at the center.

Include a Call to Action

Including a call to action (CTA) in your email is essential when trying to sell your products or increase traffic to your website, as you need to encourage the reader to take action. Make your CTA clear and use a strong action word, such as click, buy or compare, to prompt readers to click through to your website. Use buttons and other graphics that will stand out against your email’s background, rather than a simple text-based CTA.

Use Images

Images help break up blocks of text and make your email look more attractive. Images can also be used as links to your website, landing pages or other content. Reduce the size of your images as much as possible to speed up loading times and reduce data use for the recipient. Choose images that fit with the topic and tone of your message. In addition, use ‘alt’ text for users who choose to block images in their emails.

Don’t use a single giant image

Some people send campaigns using a single large image for content, with no separate text (the kind you can copy paste). This can be a problem for several reasons:

  • The image wont adapt its layout or scale properly on smaller screens
  • They’re hard to personalize with names and other attributes
  • They can look like giant advertisements and turn off the reader
  • Typically they can include only a single link, which doesn’t cater to different tastes

Instead of composing your campaign as a single image, opt for traditional, well-formatted content with a mixture of text and images.

Optimize for Plain Text Recipients

Some of your subscribers may have disabled HTML content, choosing to read only plain text in their emails. Unless you have taken the time to create a plain text version of your message, many of your recipients will receive unreadable emails. Links, image files and alt text can all cause major issues for emails that don’t support HTML content. Creating a text-friendly version of your emails for recipients ensures that your messages are being received by as many readers as possible.

Add Sharing Buttons

Adding sharing buttons for popular social media platforms, such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest, is a great way to increase your audience and get your message out to social media users. In particular, recipients will often share email messages with their Twitter followers, as it provides a quick and simple way to keep their social media accounts active.