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The Great Email Bake Off

The Great Email Bake Off

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The Great Email Bake Off


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This Sunday I spent some time baking a birthday cake (coffee and walnut if you’re interested) with my daughter whilst pondering what to write for this week’s topic. Then I realised the the answer was right in front of me... 

Creating an effective email campaign is very much like baking a cake. If you have the right ingredients and add the correct amount of each of them, you will get the perfect result. But like baking, email marketing is a science. So being able to produce the perfect email is more difficult than you may think and even more testing than finding that piece of cake that is so delicious and decadent, that you’re willing to throw your diet right out the window.

So, what’s the secret to an email that is memorable, and most importantly, how can you replicate it? Let me walk you through a recipe for your email success:

  • Add one part objective/strategy and timing

  • Add two parts content

  • Add a heaped tablespoon of design (think: engaging eye catching graphics)

  • And finally, add a generous sprinkle of personalisation and segmentation

What’s in your email recipe for success?

Like all amazing cakes, each email is made up of a mixture of key ingredients, from objectives to design. Having all the right ingredients sets you up for success and makes sure you get the best results. What are the basic components you have to include? I’m glad you asked. 

Here are 4 key ingredients you just can’t skip:

#1 Objectives/strategy and timing

Objectives/strategy act as the flour for your cake and the foundation for your email campaign. There are multiple reasons why we send emails: welcome, re-engagement, newsletter, abandoned cart, new content, discounts… and the list goes on. But it’s very important that you think through each send and understand your underlying objective for sending the email. Why are we sending this email? How does it benefit our audience? What message are we trying to send? What are my goals associated with this email? Taking the time to stop and think about your approach to the email and execution makes all the difference and helps you concoct the perfect email recipe.

#2 Content

Content is like the baking powder of a cake. It helps the email rise to its full potential. It’s a critical ingredient and without it, your email will not compel your audience to do what you want them to, whether that is to download, purchase, or re-engage. Content is key to communicating your core message and getting your point across.

#3 Design

Design is like sugar: fun, sweet and pretty, and necessary for a cake to be appealing. We all love a good-looking email. When you open your inbox and click on an email and up pops a beautifully designed email template with catchy call-to-action buttons and thoughtful imagery and fonts, that’s the one you are more likely to click on. Presentation is everything (and really helps when you’ve put so much hard work into a well-crafted email).

#4 Personalisation and segmentation

This is your butter; it holds your whole idea together. Like cake preference where some people like coffee and walnut cake and others prefer chocolate or vanilla cake, with email you have to consider your audience and their wants and needs at that specific time. Segmented lists and dynamic content really show your audience that you’ve thought about their needs and care about building a personal relationship with them. Use your data to build on this. 

Here’s a few questions you might ask yourself:

  • Does this audience need to receive this email? Does my audience need to be segmented?

  • Will the information resonate with my audience? How will they react?

  • How are you personalising the content of the email? Have you included tokens to populate personalised content, such as first and last name?

This is just a very basic framework recipe for building the perfect email. Most importantly, make sure your email fits with your brand/message and keep working on those email marketing recipes!

We will be posting more hints, tips and advice in the future that further looks at how you can improve your email marketing campaigns. If you need some help/advice or would like us to set up and deliver an email campaign call Ray on 01482 242243.

Ray Shephardson


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