December 17, 2013

Email Marketing 101

Posted by 2Checkout Category IconMarketing

Refinery 29, a website dedicated to all things pop culture, is my arch nemesis when it comes to work productivity. I am a 30-year-old woman who works in tech, but give me a juicy email about Jennifer Lawrence’s new hair cut or Amanda Bynes’ latest meltdown and I am no longer thinking about our development team’s latest project, but what lipstick Gwyenth Paltrow is wearing and if I can afford it. Although, this is a total bummer for my to-do list, it is a win for Refinery 29. I am on their site every day. But what’s the secret sauce that makes me such glutton for their communiques? What are the base components of creating a successful email? Let’s start with basics. Though email marketing isn’t rocket science, if you don’t cover the bare essentials, you’ll sacrifice your brand and have visitors clicking more on your unsubscribe link than your site.

The Subject

There are a million different articles pertaining to this topic. How do you capture your audience with a line of text? I like emails that leave you wanting more info. For example, a title could read “Grand Opening - the Software Forum” or it could say “Your Favorite Sari Shop is Opening Around the Corner”. The first is to the point, but the second gives me a reason to open the email. Entice without giving away the whole story.

The Purpose

This might be obvious, but think about it. If you always offer 50% off on your website, is that announcement email worthy? Many deal-of-the-day websites are running into this problem. 50% off is great, but I don’t need to be reminded every day. Hello spam box. Give your customers anewreasons to visit your site., a website that tracks spending habits, is exemplary at this. In one week, I’ll receive emails about personal banking activity, newlywed financing, and suggestions for a new credit card that allows me to earn rewards when I travel.


It needs to load, and it needs to load fast. A 10-year-old study stated that the average person decides if they want to listen to a radio station in under 5 seconds. When it comes to the internet, cut that time in half. Well + Good, a lifestyle/fitness branding site, does a fantastic job of marrying pictures and information. Each call to action is complemented with an appealing picture. Last but not least, leave some white space. The human eye needs it to read without getting a migraine.


Let’s pretend you’ve created the perfect email. The subject got the reader’s attentio the purpose was clear and intriguing, and the design is visually appealing, but what now? Clearly your reader wants to recommend your emails to a friend. Always include a referral link. Also, are you having a sale at a later date, a seminar, or a future book signing? My favorite email feature is the “add this event to your calendar”. It is the easiest way to keep engaging the savvy consumer.Visual continuity is also key. Echoing the look of your website in your email templates reassures the consumer. They get used to your format, and before you know it, they’re clicking right onto your landing page. And if they are anything like me, they are secretly cursing themselves that they got sucked in agai while you are boisterously cheering on the other end.