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Email marketing best practices

By Jitta

Updated 7 days ago

Gist helps you build, schedule, and automate email campaigns that are targeted, personalized, and relevant to your users.

This is a simple guide to show you how you can send personalized emails to users based on what they do on your site, and how you can send emails that convert.

Set campaign goals

It is important to set goals and define objectives before you start writing emails. If you don’t have a clearly defined goal, your message will not be direct and as a result fails to inspire action from your users.

Examples of clearly defined objectives are: ‘To get 100 users to upgrade to the paid plan’, or ‘To make 200 users create a new project’, etc.

You can set goals on Gist when creating messages and campaigns. Any custom event or user action that you have already defined on Gist, can be used to define your campaign goal. This will help you measure the success of your campaigns.

Understand how you can help your users

Once you have your objectives clearly defined, the next thing you need to think about is what your users need in order to reach your goal. Think about how you can help them get to where you want them to be. Instead of writing what you want to tell them, think about what your users want to hear from you, and what might help them the most.

Try to create value and show your users the benefits of doing what you want them to do. For instance, if your goal is to get your users to download your ebook, think about the benefits of downloading that book.

You can start by asking simple questions like ‘Why should they do it?’, ‘What value does it provide to them?’, ‘What would make them jump with excitement?’ Once you get the answer to that, you will be able to write a personal, and persuasive email.

Address users at a personal level

It’s very important that you address your users as actual people, and not some lifeless beings. Opening your email with the typical ‘Hi there’, or ‘Dear Subscriber’, etc., is a bad idea, because that tells them that you are sending the email to many people at once, and that they’re not special in any regard.

Remember that you need to talk to users as a friend, and not as a salesperson. And that is why you need to personalize each message so that it's customized to everyone who gets it. But the challenge is that you’re mailing thousands of customers. Then how can you be personal?

Here are a few quick pointers:

  • Address users by their first name. Gist does this for you automatically, so you’re good.
  • Avoid being sales-y in your emails. Maintain a casual and friendly tone.
  • Speak like a human. Use emotions and emoticons, but don’t overdo it.
  • Keep the messages crisp, and to the point.
  • Gently urge them to take action and include the ‘call-to-action’ link in the email.
  • Let them know that you will reply to their questions. But only do this if you can actually reply to every email in a short time. Customers won’t appreciate if you go back on your promise.

Test the email as a recipient

Before you finalize the email, send the email to yourself or to a close associate and view it from the other end as a potential customer. Observe how it makes you feel, and make changes wherever necessary.

Get creative with the subject line

Lastly, it is important to understand that no matter how good your email may be, the user has to first open it to see what’s in store for them.

And for that, you need to come up with a subject line that doesn’t suck. You should make sure you don’t write subject lines that are either boring or too sales-y.

A subject line must not give away anything to the user. It must pique their interest enough that they feel the urge to open the email and see what it’s all about.

For example: ‘I wasn’t going to share this with you…’, or 'Here a gift for you' would work a lot better than ‘Here’s a 50% off coupon’. Or ‘I bet you weren’t expecting this!’ would get the user to open your email than ‘Your free trial ends today’.

These tips should get you rolling. If you think of a brilliant subject line, or if a new experiment worked for you, we’d love to hear. Let us know. :)

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