Peanut butter and jelly, Kermit and Miss Piggy, bread and butter.
If I wanted to add your email marketing program and website to the list above, would it fit? When it comes to making these two things go together like milk and cookies, Mick and Keith, etc (I think you get the idea), then it’s all about creating a seamless experience for your audience. Take a look at these two scenarios:
Scenario 1) Someone visits your website, but they’re not ready to purchase yet. They sign up to receive your emails in order to stay in touch with you. They receive their first email and are unfamiliar with the from name; the voice is completely different than on your website; they don’t recognize the logo, the colors, or any of the messaging; and, in fact, they aren’t really quite sure this is the same company they were initially interested in doing business with. They leave your site and start looking at your competitors.
Scenario 2) You plan an email campaign with a great offer that you’re sure will drive conversions. The email is well laid-out, compelling, and you’re sending it to your highly engaged list. Once people receive the message, they click through to your website and it takes them to your homepage. There’s a small button on the homepage relating to the offer and you’re sure they’ll find it. Unfortunately, once most visitors click through and can’t find anything related to the offer, they bail and forget about your message.
Branding: Consistency is Key
Virgin is philanthropic and innovative; Apple is fresh and fun; Southwest is customer service-oriented; and Lady Gaga is unique and daring.
Each of these people/companies have created a brand that we all know them by. When creating your email campaigns, do you focus on branding? Consistency in voice, messaging, and even down to your logo and color scheme, is key across all of your online channels, including your website, email marketing campaigns, social media communications, and other online messaging like banner ads. When planning your email marketing campaigns, keep the following in mind:
- Overall look & feel. When designing your emails (or website), use your main logo and color scheme, so that when subscribers open your email (or visit your website), they immediately recognize who it’s from.
- From name, from address, subject line. How do you refer to yourself? At Blue Sky Factory, that’s exactly what we call ourselves in our communications. No Blue Sky, no BSF, just Blue Sky Factory. Because of this, we use “Blue Sky Factory” as our from name in most emails, and our from address is firstname.lastname@example.org (most of the time). Both make our emails easily recognizable in the inbox. If you also want to include your company name in your subject line, then by all means, go for it; just remember to make sure you’re consistent with how you refer to yourselves in other channels.
- Style & voice. On your website, are you formal or more casual? If your style is more professional, then your audience will expect a more formal tone across all channels. If you have a more casual, laid back tone on your website, just be consistent when writing your email content.
Landing Pages: How to Increase Conversions
When you create an email campaign, you determine what you want your customers to do. Do you want them to click-through to read an article or click-through to purchase your product? No matter which it is, more times than not, you’re directing people to your website to take action. It’s important you avoid “Scenario 2” above, and make the conversion a seamless transaction for them in order for them to take your desired action and return for more in the future. In order to help this process, ask yourself these questions when planning your campaigns:
- Is my branding consistent between my website and email? (in order to avoid confusion)
- Does the call-to-action direct subscribers to a specific landing page, so there’s no mistake that that’s where they are supposed to be?
- How many clicks does it take to get to the final landing page? (most people will give up after having to click once or twice)
When planning your email campaign, send a test email to a friend or family member. Ask them to try it for you and see if they have any questions or confusion. If not, then most subscribers will probably find it easy to act on too.
While your email marketing program and website may seem like two different channels that don’t necessarily cross paths, they do. Treat them like extensions of one another. The easier it is for subscribers to convert, the more likely they are to do so.
Questions or comments? Leave them in the comment section below!
If you want to take your email marketing up a notch in 2011, download What Count’s free eBook, “50 Ways to Grow Your Email Marketing List”, now.