Writing may be a subjective craft — but in the marketing world, there are some exceptions.
Email campaigns, for one, have a clear right and wrong approach: one will generate the high click-through rates you desire, and the other will leave you wondering why no one bothered to open your message.
How to Write Emails No One Wants to Read
Want to create the worst emails ever? You’re in luck! Use these tips as inspiration for sending disengaging, misleading and poorly timed information to your target audience’s inbox.
(And consider following the opposite advice to create an impactful email marketing campaign that spurs conversions.)
Start with a Sucky Subject Line
The average working American receives over 100 emails every day, but your brand is so special that it will automatically stand out from the rest. Right?
When crafting your subject line, be sure it’s impersonal, unclear and lengthy. First impressions never last, anyway.
Now back to the real world, where you don’t want your emails to get lost in an endless sea of content. Mailchimp says only 21% of emails get opened, and a common point among those that do is a compelling email subject line. How you introduce yourself may be the difference between a lifelong customer and an instant unsubscribe.
Include Confusing Calls to Action
If you’re trying to convince readers to take a specific action, like signing up for a service or buying a product, your goal should be to perplex them as much as possible.
Scatter multiple calls-to-action throughout your email, as well as distracting buttons with no clear directive on what will happen once they click. This will keep your conversion rates nice and low. And, if you complicate the click-through process enough, they may never open another email from you again. How neat!
Just kidding — we promise you don’t want that. In fact, WordStream found that emails with a single call to action receive 371% more clicks compared to those with multiple. Give each message a standalone purpose that clearly informs users of their next step.
Draw It Out: The Longer, the Better
People love finding novels in their inbox, and there’s no better time to sit down and read them than in the five minutes between their long list of to-dos, errands and meetings.
Don’t limit yourself to sharing only your company’s detailed history; you might as well tell your entire life story here, too. Include lots of meaningless fluff, and if you’re thinking about adding space between paragraphs — don’t. Huge clumps of text are great for readability.
Okay, now time for some real advice: Keep it short and sweet. HubSpot reports emails with concise paragraphs yield open rates of over 50%. Remember, what you say matters far more than how long it takes you to say it.
Don’t Target Through Segmented Lists
All customers are exactly alike, from their social and ethnic background to their perception of your brand. Thus, you should treat them all the same. If you’re sending a renewal notice, member discount or important company update, who cares if the user has never heard of your brand before? Everyone loves irrelevant content.
On a serious note, segmenting your contact lists is vital to maximizing a customer’s value to your business, as well as improving their overall experience and satisfaction. Align your emails with the user’s level of interaction with your brand to make your emails more personal and effective.
Send Your Emails at the Worst Time Possible
Timing can be tricky, but it’s smart to always send emails around 2 a.m. on Saturdays.
Think of it as a fun challenge to see how low your open rates can plummet.
Step one is to identify certain times of day when people are most likely to be sleeping peacefully, stuck in traffic or spending quality time with family. Step two is to make sure your notification blows up their phone at that exact moment.
Not only will people be thrilled to welcome this distraction, but they’ll also begin to develop a deep-seated resentment for your brand. You love to see it!
We really hope you’re sensing the satire for this one. Research shows the best times to send emails are 10 a.m. and between 3 and 4 p.m., though any time on weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. are safe for most industries. However, this can vary depending on the type of email, call-to-action, target audience and industry. Research, testing and industry knowledge are essential.
Ignore Mobile Compatibility
Your emails only need to function well when viewed from a desktop. Who actually uses their cell phone these days? Mobile compatibility is trivial, and if someone insists on checking emails from their phone, you can trust them to navigate the desktop display without any issue.
Reality check time: Over 85% of people regularly check emails on their smartphones, according to Adobe. Neglecting mobile compatibility is proven to reduce conversion rates in every industry. The difference is especially striking in the finance and media sectors, where mobile conversions more than triple those on desktop. While you shouldn’t totally ignore the desktop display, most of your focus should be on mobile.
So, you’re all set. We’ve given you all the guidance you need to create the worst email campaign of all time. When executed properly, these tips will help reduce your click-through rates to zero, cut down conversions and hopefully even piss a few people off.
Sike. Please don’t take our sarcastic advice seriously. If you want to create a strategic email campaign that actually performs well, our marketing professionals will help you find the right message to send to the right people at the right time. Learn more about our inbounding marketing services.