With so much spam and malicious email content flying into our inboxes every day, those that offer a genuine benefit and make one feel special stand a far better chance of being engaged with.

The reason is simple. No matter how sophisticated spam becomes, it’s still spam. It asks for our credit card details, suggests we’ve parked illegally and regularly gets it horribly wrong when it comes to basic grammar and email layout. Even if it gets that stuff right, it does the worst possible job at making the recipient feel wanted.

This is great news for email marketers. It means we get to be creative and have our efforts noticed by the people that matter – our subscribers.

This week, an email dropped into my inbox that stood out beyond every other message that surrounded it. Granted, it came from a brand with which I’m familiar, but the way in which they had constructed the email was impressive enough to inspire this blog post.

So, let’s break it down and try and get to the bottom of why they made me feel so special.

The subject line

I’m a big fan of simple subject lines, and this email has absolutely nailed that particular element.

Here it is:

Three words, the obligatory ‘…’, and they’ve interested me, immediately. I want to know more, and I have a sneaking suspicion that they’re referring to something that is going to be uniquely for me. They’ve even somehow managed to make me feel as though I’ve been waiting for it for quite some time. Smart.

The header

Again, simplicity works best when it comes to the header of an email, and Graze have simply adorned theirs with their logo (great – I instantly know who it is), three links to their product lines (in case I want to check out what else they have in store for me) and… hang on, what’s this? A free gift? For me? Excellent!

There’s nothing else to take my mind off the subject of the email and the offer on the table couldn’t be clearer.

The main image

According to eye-tracking studies, when people look at digital content, they pay particularly close attention to images that carry information. If the images are relevant, people will actually spend more time viewing them than any accompanying text.

Whoever created the main image for this email was clearly aware of this, because it’s a visual masterclass in delivering everything the recipient needs to know about the subject of the email. The image is eye-catching, simple, attractive and contains just enough information to make me feel special and guide me towards the call-to-action (CTA).

Body text and CTA

If the image above wasn’t enough, the rest of the email relies on two sentences that again point the reader to the CTA. ‘Free gift’ is formatted in bold and there’s judicious use of ‘you’ and ‘your’ to again confirm that this email is aimed at me and me only.

Below the green CTA button lies something you don’t see often in email marketing – instructions for what I’ll need to do when I reach the resulting webpage. Again, it’s supported by a lovely design and requires very little effort on my part to digest:

The rest of the email

As you’d expect, there are a few terms and conditions that need stating for the offer in question, but they’re right where they should be – out of sight of the ‘above the fold’ content and just above the footer.

The all-important social media sharing buttons follow, along with another reminder about who the email sender is, thanks to simple branding and inclusion of their logo.

Wrapping up

If there’s one takeaway from today’s example of email marketing prowess, it’s the word ‘simple’. Always keep your marketing messages as simple as possible and speak directly to the recipient. Make them feel like the only person in the room; they’re worth it, after all.

About 

Mark is one of mailingmanager's email experts. His contributions to this blog openly share the tricks, tips and best practices he's learned while running multiple e-marketing campaigns.

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