Your Guide To Making Emails that Make Money

Are you making emails that make money? You can be! Email marketing is a very low-hanging-fruit marketing tactic for increasing your bottom line. When done right, it can be the biggest driver in sales for your business or service at the lowest cost. In fact, "For every $1 spent, email marketing generates $38 in ROI." -Campaign Monitor

Motivation? Check. That being said, ROI-delivering emails don't make themselves. They take time. I often see most people whip up a quick newsletter, send it out once a month and then complain about low click through rates and high unsubscribe rates. Well, that's because you're not doing it right. 

It's like making a good meal- sure you can make something edible in 10 minutes, but if you want it to be memorable, you're going to have to put in some effort. And with 205 billion emails sent every day, you're going to have to work, work, work, work, work, work to stand out from the competition.

Here's your step-by-step guide to making emails that make money:

  1. Use segmented lists. Before you even think about sending emails that sell, you need to understand your buyer personas and have your lists broken down to a targeted level. Who signed up for newsletters? Who has purchased from you before? Who has purchased from you in the last 30 days? The ideas for segmenting are endless, but remember, the more targeted the better.
  2. A clear, attention-grabbing subject line. Make sure your subject line is short, clear, explicit, honest and actionable. Additionally, think about who this email is going to. What do they care about? What do they think about? Why do they need your product or service?
    Bonus tip: when possible, create a sense of urgency: "For a limited time only," "3-day only sale," etc.
  3. Make use of the copy after the subject line. That grey copy that shows up after the subject line in your inbox? Yeah, make use of it. Keep your subject line as short as possible and then use this additional text to follow up and add more value.
  4. Use company branding that is clean, and simple. Your logo is usually enough. Tag lines and such just distract from your email objective.
  5. Personalized content. You may hear personalized content and think, "Hi *|First Name|*," but that's not what I mean. First of all, if any of you are trying to capture as many email addresses as possible (which you should be) chances are you don't have a ton of first name's in your data base. Probably just email addresses. Personalized content has to do with who you're sending your email to. Is everyone based in San Francisco? Did everyone on your list purchase from you within the last 30 days? Whenever you can add this type of context, do so. 
  6. Explicitly call out the value. What is the value of this email and why does this particular audience care? Make it clear in as few words as possible. 
  7. Include one central call-to-action. Have one clear, central CTA in the form of a button in your email- this should coincide with the objective of your email be it to visit your website, get sales, or learn more about your company.
  8. Images. Because, a picture's worth a thousand words, duh. No but really, we understand pictures faster than words and we get enough wordy emails from our coworkers every day. Make sure the image is relevant to the email. 
  9. Social links. Make sure people can find you on social media if they want to. People are used to looking for social links at the bottom or the top right corner of emails.
  10. Additional CTAs/links. Didn't sell 'em with your primary CTA? Add some additional links to other articles, products, etc. for a last ditch effort to grab your reader.
  11. Unsubscribe link. If people want to unsubscribe from your email- let them! It makes for a healthier emailing list and helps you make better emails moving forward. Don't make it hidden and a pain-in-the a** to unsubscribe, that's just annoying.
  12. Follow up! Okay so you've done all of these steps and sent out your email, now what? Now you track, analyze and improve. You're going to want to pay attention to open rate, click-through-rate and conversion rate. Open rate low? Make better subject lines. CTR low? Make a more compelling and clear email. Maybe start with tweaking your CTA. Conversion rate low? If you're getting the click-throughs but no one is finalizing a purchase, it may be time to tweak your website.

Here's an email that exhibits most of the points outlined above:

Email example.

Email example.

There you have it, your ultimate guide to making emails that make money! Remember, no one does what you do, no one knows your audience like you do, like most things in life, follow your intuition!