How to Create Killer Email

By Greg Ogarrio

Email Marketing with Emojis | Leanplum

This post began life as “Send Better Email.”

Then it started to veer off to: “Send Whatever Email You Like But Make Sure Your Audience Is Already Engaged and You Have a Killer Asset, Topic or Event on Offer.”

Because no matter how sexy or trendy your creative, how strong your CTA, how well a GIF may play, or how many partner logos you flash in your footer, success usually boils down to “What’s in this for me and why should I care?” moments for users.

Right, let’s save that thought for another day.

Back on point, I have more than a billion sends under my email marketing belt, and now work with a team that created the mobile-first email solution trusted by the world’s biggest brands. So, I thought it was time to share engaging advice to help fellow marketers send not just better but killer emails that get noticed.

Delight Your Audience

Enjoying their moment in the marketing sun, emojis are already the lingua franca of text and social.

These those lovable little icons are making a big impact in email and mobile marketing channels like push notifications, where they dramatically increase open rates.

Used judiciously in subject lines or email body copy, we’ve found they can impress the out of users, as our friend Hankey did in this recent email we deployed.

Email Marketing with Emojis | Leanplum

Killer Email Marketing | Leanplum

Think Mobile First

Everything’s gotta be perfect, right? In the past, I’ve spent an inordinate amount of email QA time pruning headlines and body copy to weed out annoying widows, orphans, and bad line breaks.

But when more than half of email is now opened on mobile (Litmus ”State of Email” | March 2017), it’s better to spend your daily life force making sure your content shines on a small screen rather than desktop. Which means shorter copy, fewer paragraphs, simpler graphics — line breaks be damned. You simply you can’t control the experience across every platform or configuration.

Viewed on desktop, the guts of a relatively “short email” are often viewable entirely at a glance in the email pane. Viewed on mobile, the same creative may require a scroll or two to see your CTA button.

Desktop Email Marketing | Leanplum

On desktop

Mobile Email Marketing | Leanplum

Same message on mobile

If you don’t employ an email testing program like Litmus, get in the habit of sending yourself and colleagues tests on various mobile devices for a mobile reality check.

Push the Right Buttons With Your Subject Line

To me, the subject line is part and parcel of your email.

But one email marketer’s provocative opener is another user’s turn-off. That’s why every campaign I queue up to more than 1,000 recipients gets an A/B/C/D test, usually a mix of approaches, like this from a recent webinar campaign, ranked in order of their success: