The process of securing a date is now strangely aligned to the business of creating an eDM that delivers the elusive click-through.
If you’re single, you’re probably on Tinder. If you’re already loved-up, you’ve likely helped a friend swipe their way through the endless stream of potential dates. Thing is, the process of securing a date is now strangely aligned to the business of creating an eDM that delivers the elusive click-through.
In a world of spam-jammed inboxes, it’s a challenge to make your eDM demand attention. An effective eDM entices people to open the email, read the content and, importantly, do something. Much like a successful Tinder profile entices potential dates to swipe right, read the profile, strike up a conversation and, most importantly, ask for a date.
A while back they taunted, teased and shouted from their penthouse suites ‘Email is dead’. Truth is, it is anything but. Far from being crushed by the squeeze of new media, it’s evolved, embracing the powers of mobile and social, and using them to amplify the message.
The familiarity, the fact that it’s finite – they’re both part of it. But the real power of an eDM lies in its origin. It’s there, in your Inbox because you asked for it and it includes links to content you have deemed relevant. When the sheer enormity of news and information available online feels overwhelming, email newsletters help us figure out what’s worth paying attention to. But what’s the key to success?
1. Subject line
The subject line (much like your Tinder tagline) has super powers. A good subject line creates excitement or interest in your eDM. It succinctly conveys its purpose and reflects your brand’s personality – it is the life and death between Open and Trash. The dream subject line should ignite curiosity. Dangle a carrot. Address a need. Solve a problem. But never, ever, tell the whole story.
2. A clean list
Less is often more. A Tinder list offers the ability to purge a ‘match’ with one click. Spreading your carefully crafted message to an old or purchased email list wastes your time and effort, it also has the potential to harm your brand's reputation and negatively impact on precious performance stats. Never buy an email list. It is not a good idea and it will not perform well. Maximise your data accuracy. Give people simple, user-friendly opportunities to opt out or update their details. A clean list = strong deliverability = increased engagement.
Talk to your database like friends sharing advice. Talk to your Tinder match the same way. Go easy on the hard sell. And similarly, go easy on the quasi-porn references with your Tinder match. Highlight the features and benefits of what you’re offering and provide a clear call to action. Use active language that propels the reader towards the click-through goal and offer multiple opportunities to click.
4. Excellent timing
Be in the right place at the right time. Your Tinder match could be metres away. Effective eDM reception is as much about timing as it is about content. Consider when your demographic is most likely to respond, pick your day and your time and stick to it. The timeliness of your content is also paramount. A well-timed, well-executed eDM can amount to significant increases in Opens and CTR.
5. A/B testing
Like the value of thorough research for potential partners, comprehensive testing is crucial for email marketers. If it’s worth creating great content and a wicked subject line it’s worth taking the time to test. Most email service providers offer the opportunity to split-test an email campaign. Some can even detect an early winner and automatically complete the send using the best performing content.
It’s not one message fits all, it’s one message fits me (who’s prompting you to hit the Tinder ‘like’ button). Make sure your message is personal and appeals directly to your audience; delivering content they specifically asked to receive. Segment your database to achieve this. The flexibility to tailor your message to parts of the database and deliver unique content to each segment is a gift. Accept it. Monitor the performance, and learn from the stats. As marketers leverage profile data along with interaction and external data feeds, they can begin to anticipate what content their customers want to receive at any given point in time. Therein lies eDM nirvana.
7. Responsive design
First impressions count. A dodgy profile pic = a left swipe. Likewise, an eDM that is not responsively-designed risks a swift trip to Trash. The best thing to do is take time to review the analytics, this will enable you to build a picture of when and what device your customers prefer to receive your information. It’s never been more important to create a user experience that will adapt to the device your eDM is being viewed on.
And the Don’ts…
Don’t abuse your position. It’s going great, you’re messaging him, he’s messaging back… don’t start stalking with updates every time you blink! Stick to the frequency your database are used to and deliver, on time, and with perks. Like a friend with benefits!
Don’t be that guy. No weird stuff. Explicit language. Tread carefully. If you begin to be seen as spam, you will soon notice an ever diminishing database. Avoid spammy words like ‘free’, ‘discount’ and ‘win’ in your subject line and you’ll avoid being filtered straight into Junk.
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