Sometimes your email marketing begins to feel stale. Boring. Routine. The same old same old.
We’ve all been there, sending out content on autopilot, feeling like our emails are getting lost in the sea of other email, newsletters and sales offers. Maybe you’ve noticed your open rates plateauing, or your engagement rates and sharing starting to decline. Do you need to completely overhaul your entire email marketing strategy? Maybe create a new brand design? Or maybe completely switch careers!
Whew, before you start to go down that path, let’s pause. It happens to the best of email marketers, bloggers, and brands. Before you completely overhaul, redesign, or go back to school, try adding a little more pep to your email step with one of these six tips.
6 ways to stand out in the inbox just by working with your email template.
1. Add a gif to entertain readers or to emphasize a point.
Adding a gif to your emails can serve multiple purposes. You can use them to entertain readers, to emphasize a point, to break up content, or to add a little touch of personality to routine communication.
Gifs are email compatible with most email applications and clients, unlike iFrames, which are often used for embedding videos. In FeedBlitz, adding a gif to your email is as easy as adding a regular image. (And it’s even simpler with our Tenor integration available right in the visual mailing editor.)
2. Work your preview text to your advantage.
Preview text is the short blurb of content visible immediately after the subject line of an email in a subscriber’s inbox. Visible on both desktop and mobile versions of emails, this valuable space is often left to automatically pull the first snippet of content in your mailing.
Stand out in the crowd and use this neglected opportunity for a burst of creativity — or encouragement — to invite your reader to open and read your emails. For your next email, why not try:
- Add a punch line to your subject. The Worst Way to Grow your Email List …. And what you should be doing instead.
- Share a joke, music lyric, or movie quote. I’ll never let go, Jack. I’ll never let go.
- Write a “This email created while…” line. This email created while binge-watching Scandal (again).
- Make a completely unrelated observation. You know you want to open this email.
- Give a slice of healthy encouragement. It’s ok, open this email. No one’s looking.
- Offer a special discount. Use the code ZOINKS! for 10% off just for reading this.
Whichever option you choose, ensure the preview still aligns with your content. Have a little fun, but stay on brand.
3. Switch up your regular messaging by using an image.
Pictures are great; they’re worth 1,000 words after all. On your next email campaign, why not try using an image in place of written content?*
Images are excellent for drawing a reader’s attention to a point you would like to emphasize, and they’re also useful for those email scanners out there who open your email, do a quick scan, and move on to the next. Choose a data point, a quote, a statistic or something important in your email, and highlight that by turning it into an image.
Not long ago, if you weren’t a graphic designer, the idea of turning content into an image was daunting. But it’s 2020! And you don’t need expensive tools to give this a try.
Services such as Canva, make it easy to create a great image you can easily upload to your email and sites such as Unsplash offer hundreds of thousands of royalty-free images to use. And as a bonus for using this tactic? You’ve just created a super shareable image for your social channels, too. Win, meet win.
*Be sure to use appropriate alt text to ensure your email is still meaningful for visually impaired recipients.
4. Add a PS for the skimmers, with a twist.
Whether you’re an email scanner or you digest every single word in any given email, few things catch our attention like a well written PS.
It is a great tool to use to summarize your email:
– Making an offer of some sort? Restate it here.
– Asking your readers to take a specific action? Remind and relink it here.
– Attending an event / hosting a webinar / going live on the ‘gram? Link. It. Here.
You can have a little fun with your PS, too:
– Did you tell a story in your email? Add a detail you left out.
– Are you unsure if something you wrote was grammatically correct or an overshare? Make note here.
– Does something need a little more explaining? Link to additional info or talk it out here.
The PS of an email is an optimal spot to create engagement and connection with your reader. It’s simple enough to test out in a few emails, and if you’re adding links, you can always check how popular they were with your readers using your email metrics and heatmaps.
*If you’re sending automated RSS to email campaigns, you can still easily add a catchy PS for your subscribers by adding it to the campaign template. This won’t automatically update with each email, but it could be an item worth changing every few weeks or months.
5. A/B test your subject lines.
They’re the subject of many debates (pun intended) in email marketing. Do we go with something straightforward? Do we get creative? Should it be focused on the main goal? Is it too sales-y? Does it match our shoes?
Who knew so few words could trigger so many meetings?
Simplest solution? You won’t know until you test, and that’s where A/B testing comes in. Pick your top two subject lines (casual vs. business, sales-focused vs. funny, etc.) and use them both. Some services allow you to easily split any email list into two groups chosen at random (heyyo, FeedBlitz!), some require you to manually split your list.
Check your metrics – did one subject line earn a higher opening rate? Did one email have more engagement? This allows you to start gauging which style of subject line resonates with your audience.
6. Change up your template using background images and colors.
Backgrounds seem to have a bad rep when it comes to web pages and emails.
Maybe because used badly they can look like Myspace skins or are too much of a throwback to the days of GeoCities and AngelFire. Designers have strayed away from the background image in the last decade, but we’re making a case to bring them back – when appropriate.
Background colors or images can increase brand awareness and is a low-investment way to have a little fun with your email. There’s no harm in testinga background image. Using the Visual Mailing Editor (VME) is even more low-risk as you can try a background image or color for a segment of your mailing instead of your whole audience.
Please don’t change it all at once.
By now you may have a slew of ideas on how to give a little more pizazz to your email. This is a great place to be! And we’re confident you’re about to crank out some of the best, most engaging emails you’ve ever drafted.
There’s just one word of caution here: Pick one (two at the absolute most!) and test.
It’s tempting to want to try more, but trust us.
Stick with your choice for a few emails and then check your email engagement, click rates, and open rates. Are subscribers engaging more? Are there more clicks? Are your open rates increasing?
These are all indicators that your emails are coming back to life, and therefore — standing out in the inbox.
Ready to be the hero of your email marketing? Learn more about our free trial and reach out to us on our Support Page to contact us via email, chat, or even over the phone. Live support is available Monday to Friday, 9 AM to 5 PM Eastern.
PS – It’s pronounced gif.