The Inbox: Email Marketing Cheat Sheet

By May 21, 2015Design, Email, Strategy

Bluetent’s email department recently transitioned to a new email software that allows both our project managers and clients to create campaigns better, faster, and easier. As the number of our self-service clients grows, we thought it was high time to share the secrets that make Bluetent’s award-winning email campaigns so effective. We’re beginning a new blog series called The Inbox, where we will cover a new email marketing topic every month.

Email Marketing Cheat Sheet

A quick overview of our best practices that have proven effective for us time and time again is listed below. Hopefully, with these tricks of the trade, our self-service clients will see better conversions than ever before!

Email Content

Emails should be eye-catching, concise, and informative. When it comes to the content of your email campaigns, pay attention to these key areas:

  • Body Copy – Try to limit your main paragraph to no more than 3 or 4 lines. The majority of users spend less than 15 seconds reading any given email, so you want to communicate your message quickly while still connecting to readers on an emotional level. One thing we’ve learned over the years is that great email campaigns capture readers’ emotions. Whether that emotion is the urgency to book during a promotion, nostalgia while remembering past vacations, or excitement for the possibilities that a new destination holds, your readers are motivated to book by their emotions. Jonah Berger, a speaker at the Marketing Sherpa email conference our team attended in February, said it best: “nobody tells bedtime facts, they tell bedtime stories.”
  • Buttons – Use call-to-action buttons early and often. As you know, the goal of every email should be to direct readers back to your site and get them to do something. Whether it’s bookings, social media engagement or simply brand awareness that you’re after, you need call-to-action buttons to make it happen. Why not just link text, you ask? Call-to-action buttons have been proven to receive more clicks than linked text, perhaps because they are more eye-catching, so use them!
  • Images – Use images that are of good quality, are relevant to the subject of your email, and capture what makes your location unique. Surprisingly, images receive even more clicks than call-to-action buttons, so it is important to take advantage of them.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is key when sending email campaigns. All of the best practices we’ve established have been the result of testing! It sounds complex, but thankfully our email software makes testing easy to do. An A/B test is simply sending two campaigns that differ in just one way to a small portion of your list, determining the most successful campaign of the two, and sending that campaign to the remainder of your list. You can test subject lines, images, calls-to-action, and so much more.

When to Send

The general rule of thumb is that sending mid-week and mid-day is best. That being said, it’s important to test send times (are you noticing a trend here?) to see what works best for your audience. One demographic may be more responsive to emails sent at 10am on Wednesday while another is more responsive to emails sent at 2pm on Saturday. Every audience is different, so try different send times to see what works for you.

Segmentation

Segmenting is a great tool to market to a diverse audience. No two readers are the same, so segmenting your list into groups based on their location, booking habits, preferred property size, etc. is a useful habit that takes a little more effort, but produces great results. For example, you could send a campaign about properties on special this coming August to a list of guests who booked last August in order to fill up those last few homes. You could send a campaign about the cool mountain temperatures in Colorado to guests in Texas during the sweltering heat of July to encourage last-minute bookings. There are endless opportunities for segmentation.

 

Start putting these principles into practice and we’re confident you’ll see improved conversions. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to a project manager and stay tuned to the Bluetent blog as we continue to share more in-depth tips on email marketing. If you’re interested in learning about our self-service email software or seeing a demo, please tell us a bit about yourself below and we will be in touch.

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