With the growing importance of email marketing, more and more businesses are leveraging the power of sending targeted promotional emails to their list.
And why not? When done right, a properly crafted promotional email can help you effectively broadcast your offer to your list of prospects/customers without coming off as a spammer. It’s the smart way to market your offerings on a regular basis.
Keep in mind that every single business that has successfully leveraged digital marketing has at some point used a promotional email to spread the word about their products/services — including big brands like Starbucks and Uber.
So why should you stay behind? After all, email marketing has the highest ROI when compared to other digital marketing channels.
If your business has used email marketing in the past or is planning to in the future, understand that the whole idea behind it is to ethically promote your offering and boost sales numbers in the long run, without offending your list.
Even if you use email marketing to build a relationship with your prospects/customers, it should ultimately lead to a promotion of some kind, or else it’s no use. And that’s where promotional email comes in.
Here are a few stats that prove the importance of using a promotional email in your marketing:
- 44% of email recipients have purchased at least once based on a promotional email.
- 81% of small businesses still rely on email as their main customer acquisition channel.
- 61% of consumers prefer promotional email to other business communications.
What Exactly is Promotional Email Marketing?
Promotional email marketing is very self-explanatory. It’s about reaching out to your prospects or existing list of customers via email with the sole intention of getting more sales/conversions.
Most of the time, a promotional email is sent manually as a broadcast. Other times it is added to a sequence of auto-responder email messages that go out on their own. Regardless of how you choose to send a promotional email, it will always need to have a clear and strong call-to-action that you want your recipients to act upon.
An email marketing campaign may be made up of multiple promotional email messages that can have one or multiple business goals.
Sometimes a promotional email may be about getting free downloads for an eBook that sets the pace for future promotions. And then there are cases where you send out a promotional email offer discounts/deals to get direct sales.
Regardless of the product/service your business is selling and the niche you are in, your promotional email needs to get people to take real action without wasting time. Because that’s the only way you’ll be able to get results from your email marketing.
This is why you find that all the elements of a promotional email (design, copy, etc) work in sync with each other to help move the reader towards the most wanted action.
Which could be a…
- Free download
- Webinar registration
- Product trial sign up
- Purchase or sale
- Response to a survey
The idea is to “sell” your readers on an action that will invariably contribute to the overall growth of your business. That’s how you ultimately take your business to the next level with simple yet effective email marketing.
What Promotional Email Marketing is Not
It’s important to keep in mind that creating and sending a promotional email is not just about blatantly blasting discount coupons to your email list. In order to actually see results with your promotional email, you need to do it the right way. Or else your email marketing efforts can actually backfire.
When it comes to writing a promotional email that gets real-world results, it’s crucial that you set some boundaries and respect your subscribers by making it all about them. The last thing you want is your subscribers to dislike your “it’s-all-about-me” approach, tag you as a spammer and say goodbye to your list.
Having a self-centered approach is a strict no-no if you want your promotional emails to work. Your prospects and customers on your email list are real people with real problems. Only talking about your brand or product instead of talking about topics that can help them solve these problems or add to their knowledge shows that you are least concerned about them.
Self-promotion just for the sake of self-promotion is not at all good for the health of your email list. The last thing you want to do is come across as an obnoxious email marketer. No, you want to be someone who stands by meaningful, value-oriented email exchanges spiced up with some targeted promotion.
The fact of the matter is, people will love your product recommendations and will welcome any kind of promotion as long as you are not selling to them all the time. Respect their time and aim at giving value to really make a strong impression.
All of this means that you need to limit the number of promotional email messages you send out to your list. Because your aim is to engage your customers and retain them. So overwhelming or bombarding their inbox is not at all a good thing.
Whether you choose to promote once a week, or twice a month, you need to keep it balanced to avoid coming off as someone who’s only interested in spamming.
Having a real, reasonable email delivery schedule where you help keep your brand in the forefront while adding to the overall experience. The idea is to send out fewer promotional emails, but ensure they are of high quality.
Why Sending Promotional Emails Makes True Business Sense
There are businesses that regularly see amazing results with promotional email marketing. And then there is a business that has never even tried it. The important thing is, sending out the right kind of promotional emails can make a huge difference to your business’s bottom line.
Let’s look into why promotional email marketing works so well:
- The first obvious reason as to why promotional emails work is because they are not heavy on your wallet. Email marketing is much cheaper than, say, pay per click marketing or banner advertising.
- You can actually tailor and target your promotional email messages in the best possible way. This means you can personalize your emails according to the various details on hand such as their name, interests, location, etc. And with the availability of various email software tools available, segmenting and targeting your promotional emails is not only easy but also effective.
- The right kind of promotional email messages helps you engage with your prospects/customers and build a stronger relationship with them. According to a study done by eConsultancy, 74% of email marketers say that targeted email personalization boosts customer engagement.
- With over 50% emails opened on mobile devices, emails can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. This clearly shows the far-reaching power of email marketing and the importance of sending out regular, high quality promotional emails.
- Unlike other marketing methods, you are not limited with email marketing and have ample amount of flexibility. Which means you can get creative with your promotional email message and make them an integral part of how your brand experience and how customers perceive your brand.
Writing Effective Promotional Emails that Get Results
While it’s great to design promotional emails that look good, it’s also important that they’re well-written. Or else the design part won’t get you the kind of results you’re looking for. Without great copy that is relevant and high quality, your subscribers won’t find the value and will eventually start sending your emails to trash.
So how do you go about writing effective promotional email content? What do you do to ensure each of your promotional emails is well-crafted and according to the tastes of your customers?
Let’s find out…
#1: Create a Strong Subject Line
Let’s face it, your promotional email won’t even make a dent if it doesn’t get noticed and opened. This is why focusing on creating a strong email subject line is critical to your email marketing campaign’s success. According to studies, 47% of email recipients tend to open their emails based on the subject line. And that’s a number you cannot ignore, especially for promotional emails.
If your subject line isn’t carefully planned and written, your open rate will eventually suffer. Which will in turn affect the overall conversion rate of your email marketing campaign. When you spend time writing your subject line, your promotional emails get more exposure and end up performing much better.
While there is a lot that goes into crafting the perfect subject line, there are a few basics that you need to keep in mind, such as:
- Focus More on Clarity
There are times when it’s important to be clever to stand out from the crowd. But when it comes to the subject line, you need to focus more on clarity than cleverness.
People generally want to know what lies on the other side of the email before they open it. They want to be sure if your email is worth their time. According to a study done by Aweber, clearly written subject lines receive a whopping 541% more clicks than ones that are cleverly written.
- Aim for the Right Length
The length of your subject line can have an impact on your open rate. Which means you should keep your subject lines limited to an optimal length — neither too long, nor too short. In fact, CRP experts at Invesp found that email subject lines in the 6 to 10 word bracket tend to have an open rate as high as 21%. The optimal subject line length that works for you might be different than other brands. But it’s safe to say that keeping it short should be a priority. Also, shorter subject lines are great for mobile devices where the screen can fit only a few words.
- Personalize by First Name
There’s no doubt that it’s becoming harder by the day to stand out in a crowded inbox. The average number of emails a person receives is much higher than what it was ten years ago. This is why email open rates are suffering a great deal.
However, you can get more of your recipients to open your emails with the help of precise personalization such as using their first name in the subject line.
When you personalize your email messages for each individual recipient, you’re able to address them on a higher level. Adding the recipient’s first name to your email subject line may not seem like much, but it makes a big difference.
You not only make them notice you, but also create an instant sense of rapport that’s often hard to create. For example, an SEO company may email their list with a subject line like, “Mary, avoid these SEO mistakes to rank higher” and achieve a higher open rate.
When it comes to helping your promotional email get a better response, personalization goes a long way. According to research conducted by Campaign Monitor, “Emails with personalized subject lines are 26% more likely to be opened.”
- Focus More on Clarity
Just the way people won’t read an article if the headline isn’t interesting or relevant to them, they won’t open emails that have a poor subject line. Your promotional email wins half the battle if you get the subject line right.
#2: Leverage the Power of Storytelling
Quality promotional email marketing is all about connecting to your prospects/customers and building great relationships so that they take action on your offers. And storytelling helps you do just that.
While people do respond to facts and figures, they respond much better to stories. Because they help you create a real, human connection with your audience and show them that you care about their needs.
What happens when your promotional email marketing isn’t in sync with a strong story? People start seeing themselves as nothing more than a “number” on your growth chart. By not telling a story that your audience resonates with, you risk being seen as a brand that is not genuine or authentic.
While it is true that you are trying to promote a product or a service, you don’t want to appear as a salesman, but a great storyteller. And you do that by creating promotional email copy that does more than give away information related to your offer. You focus on conveying feelings and touching emotions that let you create long-lasting relationships with your prospects/customers.
It’s a known fact how storytelling enables marketers to create strong emotional connections with their target audience. But it doesn’t end there but goes beyond.
Storytelling also helps you produce promotional email content that your prospects/customers remember for a long time. Content that adds real meaning to their lives. When done right, stories create a lasting impression that would simply not be possible otherwise. And ultimately help you increase your sales numbers.
When it comes to using storytelling to power your promotional emails, the sky’s the limit. Because with a little creativity, you can use a relevant story in more than one way to make your emails more real and approachable.
While other marketing trends may come and go, storytelling stays relevant at all times. By making use of stories, your promotional emails will be seen in a positive light and will help get a far better response.
#3: Avoid Being Overly Salesy
When you’re running an email campaign, it’s not always about getting immediate returns. Most of the time the big returns come in the long run. Your aim should be to create a real connection with your leads, nurture them well so that building a trustful relationship becomes easier. A relationship that you can turn into sales with each promotional email you send.
People like to buy, but they don’t like to be sold. So why be overly salesly and spoil your chance to actually grow a loyal customer base? Any approach that “pushes” the sale will not give results for long. You’ll have people leaving your list left, right and center.
The fact of the matter is, you can and should sell via email without resorting to sleazy sales tactics. Using a promotional email to get the word out about your product/service is fine. What’s not fine is taking an obnoxious approach. It’ll only hurt your business and response rate.
Be considerate about what your audience’s needs are and how their wants are being shaped. Because when you are thoughtful about them, people will be happy to return back and continue to give you more business.
#4: Design an Effective CTA
You may be the impactful storyteller out there who knows how to impress, but what’s the use if your promotional email copy doesn’t help you convert? Every single promotional email you create has to have a call to action in the right place. Without a proper CTA, your promotional email is just another email.
Studies done by SmartInsights and Mailchimp show that chance of someone opening and reading your email is one-in-five, regardless of the industry you are operating in. This obviously means that the number of clicks on links in your emails will be even lower.
It’s been found that the average CTR in email marketing is 4% or less. But you can achieve a CTR as a high as 20% if you lead your readers towards a conversion.
Getting your subscribers to open your emails is only one part of the equation. The other part is to make them take action right away. Without a compelling call-to-action, it’ll be impossible to do so.
Keep in mind that a CTA is much more than the bright, colored button that you place in your email copy as you sign off. The button or the link to your offer won’t help without the right instructions that push your readers to act upon it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind when designing the CTA for your promotional email:
- It’s extremely important that your CTA is purpose-driven. Or else you won’t be able to reach your email marketing goals. So before you even start designing your CTA, try and define the core purpose behind it. Get clarity on the “what” part before and then move on to the “how”.
– What specific action do you want your readers to take after they go through your email?
– What’s the unique selling point of your offer?
– Why should people be interested in your product/service?
– How exactly do you intend to push them towards taking the action?
Just the way it’s crucial for you to have clarity in your marketing, you also need to give clarity to your audience so that they know what to expect from your offer.
- Your CTA copy is the backbone of your promotional email. If somebody is going to take action – or avoid taking it – it is because your copy either succeeded to convince or failed. This is why you need to create a strong value proposition for each of your emails.
You need to give your readers a reason to click-through your link. If your CTA isn’t triggering the right emotions in your readers, it’s simply not working.
- Don’t make the mistake of adding too many CTAs to your promotional email. Why? Because you want to convince your reader to take action, not confuse them. And you don’t want them ending up on different offers.
Feel free to add more than one link/button, given that they all share the same, core purpose or goal. That way, the CTA buttons/links go with the flow of the copy and increase the chances of getting a higher CTR.
#5: Always Favor Benefits Over Features
It’s wrong to assume that your email recipient will simply “get it” without you having to explain it. The thing is, they won’t know unless you tell.
No matter how valuable your offer is, it won’t make any difference until and unless you explain the benefits of your products. Even if you are mentioning a feature, it should always follow with the benefit. Because after all, people invest money into the results that they can get by using a product/service.
When a promotional email talks about a feature without explaining what’s in it for me, it fails to make an impression. The fact that your product does XYZ is great, but how does that help my goals? Will it help me save money? Save time? Do more? The benefit is almost always much more tangible than the feature.
The next time you are writing a promotional email, know that only talking about your product and touting your own horn won’t take you far. The last thing you want to do is shove your offer down your customer’s or prospect’s throat.
Instead, what you want to do is…
- Identify what all makes your offer worthy for your target audience and in what ways.
- Elaborate your findings in your email and explain them clearly.
Your email copy needs to effectively translate the core benefits of taking up your offer in order to get people to act on it. People buy more for emotional reasons, and benefits tend to appeal to emotions, not features.
You need to determine what image would you like for your business. Come up with a strong concept and be consistent with it in all your marketing efforts. This is not just in the email campaigns that you send, but in your brand as a whole. And remember that not all strategies that work with other brands will also work out for you. You need to test it out.
So if you haven’t already tried to promote your business through email, now is your time to shine. And if you have tried, but without success, now you have a few more tips to make your emails more relatable to your prospects or customers.
If you want to take a shot at promotional email on your own, we think you’re ready. But if you’d rather let our professional team handle it, we’d be happy to help. And frankly, we’re up for the challenge!
Contact us today and tell us more about what you’d like to see out of your email marketing campaign.