On Subject Lines and Pitches: Cultivating the Click-Through
Question: What kind of copy gets emails opened and clicked through? What are the best subject lines? Should I include a pitch or a call to action?
What actually works in email marketing is not set in stone.
Wouldn’t this be an invaluable article if I could truly bestow exact answers that make every email attractive to every viewer, and get you a 100% open rate? I wish I could.
But there are some pointers that have been shared with me over multiple conversations with people in the industry that are worth considering when you’re sending emails.
Email marketing can be a powerful complement to a photographer or illustrator’s marketing efforts – generating new business, reinvigorating existing business and continuing conversations with interested parties. But email campaigns must be well thought-out, properly executed, considerate of your viewers and respectful of their boundaries. Two concepts, consistency and cohesiveness, will always garner better results than just winging it.
So, Who Are You Speaking to – Your Listeners or Viewers?
- What do they want?
- Can you provide them with something that meets their needs?
- Is there a reason that you SHOULD be speaking to this audience?
- Have you DONE YOUR HOMEWORK AND RESEARCH? If not, why are you contacting these people?
You can test your emails to see what’s most effective. It takes time to correctly set up the information you want to test, and you need to make sure your test group is large enough to provide conclusive results that will help you make effective marketing decisions. You can test different subject lines, different calls to action or audience segmentations. A word of caution: Test only one element at a time or the test will be inconclusive and useless.
Basic Practices to Follow
- Make sure the email marketing aligns with your overall brand in design, feel and voice.
- Include your full name or business name in the “from” field.
- The “subject” line needs to draw someone in, but should it be a pitch or a call to action? Whichever you choose, it needs to be descriptive, not just “catchy.” If you become too “cutesy” or misrepresent why you want to speak to the audience, you’ll lose your opportunity for now and the future.
- Timing is important. Think about the date and time. No one wants a ton of emails clogging their system first thing Monday morning, and not too many creatives will be hanging in their offices awaiting your emails Friday afternoon.
- Remember, many people already have their favorites. You want to entice them to consider you but not pressure them too much with an overbearing “call to action” that simply pushes them away.
- Contact info needs to be easy to find – front and center.
- Double-check your marketing piece. Make sure all the links work, check spelling and grammar and test your email on a number of browsers.
You need people to open your email, but remember that you’re selling your services and capabilities as a photographer or illustrator. Your choice of imagery is massively important. If you don’t pick an image that has a ton of impact or you over-saturate your message with too many images, you can forget getting anyone to stay for more than two seconds.
Clicking on Through
- Make it easy to find
- Make it easy to click
- Make it convincing
- Make it simple
- Make it impactful
Remember, if you want people to feel like they can get “more,” you need to spell that out!
Good luck with your email marketing! Be smart, arm yourself with knowledge, support your brand, choose your words wisely and pick memorable imagery with real impact!
Katherine Hennessy is a representative and consultant with a proven track record based upon a strong creative background, practical and street-smarts education, and high ethics, paired with agency experience, relationships throughout the photographic industry, and pure gut instinct. kate & company
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