Emails, Explained #08
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Hello Inbox Apprentice,

So if you don't know, I'm an enormous Taylor Swift fan. All my training sessions will have Swiftie references and amazing GIFs like this:

So I've been listening to the new Folklore album, which is a big departure from her previous pop hits. But I digress as this is Emails - not Taylor, Explained.

If you're a Mailchimp user, there's some super exciting news about automation (email sequences) coming soon. I'm an official Mailchimp Partner and I get sneak peeks ahead of features going live.

I can't say very much but, the new changes make a lot of sense and GET EXCITED! There are some long-awaiting features and I'm super proud to be a partner right now.

It'll start hitting Mailchimp accounts over the next few weeks, and  I'll have a blog and video about the changes and how you can use it and some suggestions on how to make the most of it.

Thanks for everyone who got in touch last week, first time I've publicly announced that I'm writing a book! Mostly I did it to shame me into getting it done, but it's always good to tell your fans first.

The theme for today is being clear about what you want. Email marketing (as I'll keep banging on about forever) is about developing long term relationships. Most of this is about making sure you're giving the reader is getting what they need first, but relationships are two-way streets.

Once you've helped the reader, it's time for the reader to help you. There's a nice seamless way to do it, and a tacky way and if you're unsure, try to make it less tacky.

You've been enjoying (I hope!) Emails, Explained and I've not asked for anything in return. So I'm being clear now:

Connect with me on LinkedIn >>
Not every email has to have an action - but it's good if it does, even if it's just reading an article or watching a video.

By not being clear or direct, it can be confusing for readers. 10 buttons to click on can be overwhelming, three or less is always a great guide, unless they're very clearly structured, like this great example from AWS:

In this example, there actually are quite a few links - but they're really clear in the order you should browse them.

Have a think about how you might be able to make clearer what you'd like readers to do.

For now, all I want you to do is enjoy this week's Emails, Explained and have a great week.

Email Of The Week

Talking about being clear about what you want from readers, this email from Taylor Swift is pretty good.

It's quite a short email and there are three quite clear defined sections:

Discover folklore > Takes you to a page where you can stream on your favourite service

Shop merch > Does what it says on the tin, directs to a shop to make a purchase.

Watch "Cardigan" > Again, pretty straightforward, directs to a YouTube video

While the design could be improved (the huge image at the top takes up a lot of a mobile screen), it's super effective in being clear.

Big contrasting buttons with two or three words are really key to getting maximum clicks.

I see a lot of emails crammed full of buttons. I always think you should give readers three or less ways to leave your email. Not having any and they won't take action, too many and they'll get Analysis Paralysis and not take any of them.

Engaging with emails: Webinar

I gave a talk to students' union and university marketing teams last week all about how to engage with readers in membership organisations.

I got some great feedback, so I'll be offering it as a one-hour webinar towards the end of August. For you, dear reader it'll be free (because loyalty is everything).

For the plebs, it'll be around £39, so if you know someone who might really benefit, sign them up here >> (and they'll get it for free too!)

Your Actions/To Do:

☑ Read this email

☐ Look at emails you get this week a bit more carefully. What are they trying to get you to do? Are they using active verbs on their buttons?

☐ Think about how you can make your emails clearer in what you want readers to do - that's on my to-do list this week too!
Send me your emails! Add to your newsletter list and I'll showcase the best in the Email of the Week block.

If I don't see an amazing email (a rarity but it happens), I'll change it to Email Tip of the Week, as I continue my positive splurge - thanks to Joanna, a student of mine from teaching student media at Royal Holloway University of London, for the feedback!

Speaking of feedback, this email newsletter will always be a bit of a work in progress. Think it's great, or that's something's missing? Just hit reply and let me know.

Until then, have a great week and always let's Send Better Emails.

Many Thanks,
Jon from Inbox Hero
Copyright © 2020 Inbox Hero, All rights reserved.

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