With human attention becoming an increasingly scarce commodity, email marketing must be a matter of quality over quantity. The fact is, email marketers must be prepared to pay a fair price for a high return in attention and engagement.
Can we say ‘relevance’ enough?
Simply sending mass, non-targeted emails to a large number of people is neither appropriate nor effective in terms of driving a engagement. It’s far more important to know your audience and what content they are most likely to engage with and share. To ensure a return on investment, email marketers must develop specifically targeted campaigns.
Like advertising, it’s about getting noticed at-a-glance.
Subject lines must be catchy and make a user want to open an email. Therefore, in terms of campaign investment, in the words of David Ogilvy: ‘80 cents of your dollar spent is on headline.’
Proven advertising theory can be applied just as effectively. The ‘Hierarchy of Effects’ model dictates that advertisers must appeal to the cognitive, affective and conative mind of the customer. Customers must be taken on a journey whereby they are attracted to, engage emotionally with, then ultimately buy-in to a product.
Attention, engagement and commitment
These steps do not necessarily work in isolation, so email marketing campaigns must consider all three human processes:
Cognitive – is your recipient thinking about your content?
- Make the relevant information your customer needs to know stand out by using contrasting colours and images.
- Keep copy short and sweet so that customers don’t get lost in the fog and miss your key messages.
Affective – does your content hold emotional value for the recipient?
- If you know your customer, you’ll know what will appeal to them and you should place your product in this context.
- Evocative content may fall on death ears when sent to the wrong person. Make sure your email and product appeal to the specific emotional needs of your target audience.
Conative – will your recipient act on your content?
- Once a customer is emotionally involved setting a deadline (offer ends tomorrow) make them think ‘I need to buy this now’.
- Incentivise your customer further by offering discounts and exclusive offers to make them feel valued.