How to Structure Your Next Emailer

Emailers can be an effective tool for your marketing communications and promotions. While their design and format may vary depending on the specific purpose and message you want to convey, this is how the basic structure should look:

1. SUBJECT LINE

The subject line is the single most important element of your marketing mailer because it determines whether the receiver of your email will open it in the first place. A good subject line is:

  • Catchy – to draw the reader’s attention from among the hundreds of mails he/she receives on a daily basis
  • Personal – so that readers feel it is addressed to them or their needs (consider starting with the first name, but ONLY if you are convinced that the mail will truly address the reader’s need)
  • Relevant – in a way that validates the need for readers to see what is on the inside

If you are sending a mailer as part of an ongoing email drip campaign and feel that the open rates have been low, then you can also consider using your subject line as a teaser of sorts.

Pro tip: Clickbait subject lines do work, but use them only if you DO provide relevant content on the inside. On the flip side, using clickbait may also put your mail at the risk of being marked as “spam”. 

2. PRE-HEADER

Inside the actual mailer, the pre-header will appear as the first line – in small font. But it has an important role to play. This is because the pre-header text also appears as part of the preview of your email, alongside the subject line. If you’ve missed convincing the reader (to open the email) with your subject line, you still have one last chance with the pre-header.

So what should go into the pre-header?

  • A short, one-line summary of your main message
  • A short, linked call-to-action (CTA), such as “Learn More” or “Buy Now”

The pre-header also serves the purpose of helping the reader get the gist of what you want to say and take action fast, without having to scroll to the very end.

It is often considered an “optional” element of a mailer, but we recommend that you make the most of it. If you do decide to leave it out, remember that your header is what will appear alongside the subject line in the inbox preview.

3. HEADER

So, you have convinced the receiver of your email to open it and the first thing they will notice when they do so is the prominent header at the start of your email. Therefore, a header will need to retain the attention your mail has received, and propel the reader to journey through the rest of your message.

Keep it short and informative… and pack a punch if you can!

4. BODY

The body of the mailer is where you are likely to put in most of your efforts. The purpose of your mailer – for instance, if you are selling a product/service, you are likely to be best served by highlighting benefits – but in general, a good mailer contains:

  • Useful, relevant information
  • A combination of text and images
  • Use alt text liberally, explaining each photo in detail, so that the messaging from images is not missed in case the images load slowly/don’t load at all in your recipient’s email client

Address your reader in second person; use pronouns like “you” to refer to the reader.

Pro Tip: Avoid images with text on them, because if the images don’t load, your message will be lost.

5. CALL-TO-ACTION (CTA)

Every marketing or sales emailer must have a CTA, or there is really no purpose to the campaign. It is what ties together all the other elements of your mailer, and number of clicks on your CTA is typically how you analyse the results of your campaign.

At the end of the emailer, if you’ve done everything right, the reader is asking themselves – ‘Fantastic, so what should I do now?’ Your answer could be: Start a Free Trial, Sign up, Join Us, Donate Now, Subscribe, Get Started, Get in Touch, or even something creative like Grab a Free Demo, as long as it answers the reader’s question.

Don’t forget to place your call-to-action in the form of a clickable button or link in your mailer. You could consider adding a single line lead-in before the CTA button itself, like this:

Lead-in —-> We’d love to schedule a FREE DEMO to show you how our product can
help your business. Just tell us when!

CTA —–> [Schedule a Demo]

6. FOOTER

Although it occupies only a small portion of space at the bottom of your mailer, the footer is important because it carries your identity. Especially if you are writing to an audience for the first time, the footer is what makes you or your organisation look legitimate. With your footer, you are giving the reader proof that you have a real website, physical address and so on – and that’s a proxy for the reader to know that you are not a scammer.

A great footer will contain:

  • Your company name, logo and address
  • Your contact information (email ID and phone number)
  • Links to any or all of your official social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter
  • A single line, informing the reader “why” he/she is receiving this mailer; this is a statutory requirement when using most marketing mailing tools
    This would be something like: “You are receiving this email because you subscribed to our email updates through our website.”
  • An unsubscribe link to allow people to opt out of receiving these emails from you in the future; not only does this acknowledge their free will, it is also a legal requirement

Every element of your emailer speaks volumes about your product and brand. Often, it is the smallest element that makes all the difference to your email marketing initiatives. This is why a marketing emailer isn’t something to be drafted in a hurry. Set aside the time to brainstorm, conceptualise, and execute in order to create emailers that really work for your business.
Don’t have the time to write, design, code, distribute, and track the results of your emailers? Get in touch with us today… at Mot Juste, we will take care of it all for you from start to finish.

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