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Promote Your Site \ MAY 31st 2016

Email Marketing Content Best Practices From A Wix Expert

Email marketing has been businesses strongest promotion tool for years now – and it’s holding its ground. Wix ShoutOut has made sending out beautiful email newsletters easier than ever, but there are still ways you can tweak and perfect your marketing efforts.

With millions of emails sent out every month, we figured the best place to source for expert tips is Wix’s very own email marketing team. Product Marketing Manager Nastasia Zemour took a moment from firing out Wix emails to give us her top-notch intel on what makes a winning email campaign.

Email Marketing Content Best Practices from the Wix Pros

How do you choose email topics

A good starting point is to try and put yourself in your [email] receivers’ shoes. What would you like to know about? What interests you? And as a marketer, you should be asking yourself: what’s your goal?

At Wix, our emails have three main goals:

  • Educate. In our case, we want to help people learn about how to create a website, strengthen their brand, and market their business (to name just a few).
  • Inform. Our emails serve as a great way to let our users know about new features and developments that they can use to enhance their website and grow their business.
  • Inspire. Sharing the amazing creations and stories of other Wix users is just one way we like to keep our users inspired to keep their sites up to date and in line with the moving web trends.

Overall, it’s a good practice to vary your email topics. From a new product release to a special offer, think about what you don’t want people to miss. Depending on the topic, you might want to utilize a landing page.

What do you find works best when it comes to copy

It depends a lot on the topic. But in general, the shorter the better – no one want’s to read a never ending email. The email itself should only have the main info; always try to keep it minimal in terms of content, as most people don’t read long paragraphs. If you have a lot of crucial information, use bullet points, separators and bold sentences to hierarchize your content – or create a landing page for your additional information.

In terms of tone, it depends on who your target audience is. If you’re doing B2C (business to consumer), you might want to use a lighter tone. A tip would be to try to talk to your user as if you were facing him – not too high level and never condescending. Also, avoid trying to get your audience excited by using too much punctuation and a “fake” tone or over promising (ie: you won’t believe what you can get, or, this is going to be the best email you’ve ever read!!!’) There are marketing buzzwords that have been proven to incite action which you can try to incorporate into your text, just make sure you use them in an organic way with your own content. Above all else, just be sure you’re staying true to your brand. If a casual tone isn’t in line with it, don’t go that route. Keeping your language and wording consistent is far more important.

When do you choose to use a landing page with your emails 

If you’ve seen our emails, it’s pretty obvious that landing pages are a key tool in our marketing strategy. This is because we’re always trying to keep our emails as short and concise as possible. So we use them when we need to include more information, but don’t have the space in the email itself. What’s more, an LP lets us design a whole new (and beautiful) page that can let the user explore further while increasing engagement. If it’s an LP for new Wix features, for example, we can give more detail about each new item, how to use and add them – all with stunning visuals.

I think it’s probably clearer to pinpoint key times we don’t use them:

  • During sales. There’s no need for more info here – it’s best to direct people straight to the product page, and get them to check out as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Account info and updates. No reason to bring people to an LP when you’re simply letting them know their domain was successfully connected or their payment went through.
  • Letting people know about the Wix Blog. When we want to let our new users know that there are useful and informative articles on how they can enhance their site’s SEO or market their business (to name just a couple), we link directly to those blog posts – not an LP.
What elements are absolutely crucial to include (social icons, CTA, etc) 

Once again, it depends on what you are trying to achieve. Do you want people to find you on social networks? Add social icons. Do you want people to visit your online store? The call to action ‘Shop Now’ should be central and visible.

Don’t undervalue your header. It’s a key element that should be concise in terms of content (some of our favorites include ‘New Arrivals,’ ‘Welcome to Wix,’ ‘New features’)

And in terms of design, it’s important not to put too many elements. You want to guide your readers’ eyes to what matters most. If you have new products, add a few pictures but keep the background clean so the main focus is on the CTA going to your store (think teaser.)

What are your best tips for nailing the CTA? How many should an email include 

This is something you’re going to want to test to find out what works best. Try different CTAs in different emails and see what works. You can start with basic logic (ie: if your audience is mostly male, don’t use pink for your buttons, or keep in mind that red usually means danger so it’s not optimal) and from there, do many tests on how your users react. You might be surprised.

Another thing to try is to vary the call to action. Don’t put too many buttons in your email (one in the header and another one at the bottom should be enough),. You can also try using linked text inside a paragraph, or stand alone text like: Learn More >>

Above all, the CTA should pop out. The user should know exactly where to click when he opens the email. Use colors for the linked text (blue is a good one here) or underline them so they stand out from the rest of your email’s design.

In terms of content, be clear and create your CTAs according to where you want to direct the user. The user should know exactly where he will get by clicking on the CTA. For example:

  • Online Store? Shop Now or See Collection >>
  • Article? Read More >>
  • Special offer? Get the Discount >>
  • Issue? Contact Our Support Team >>
How important is the subject line? Is it a good idea to use emojis

Subject lines are hugely important as they impact the open rate of the email. I said it before and I’ll say it again: test different subject lines to see what works! Try subject lines with numbers, question marks, capital letters, lower case letters, the name of the user, with a teaser or straight to the point – go crazy here, just don’t use them all together. Also, be careful not to end up in the spam box by avoiding the words FREE, surprise, winner or general subject lines like ‘you won’t believe what you just won.’ This might trigger your reader’s inbox to register your email as spam.

As for emojis… the answer is both yes and no. Studies show that it works but it has to be tempered. It’s always better to keep your subject line short, as more than 50% of users read their emails on their phone. But if your subject line is short, and it goes with your brand’s messaging you can totally add one. It’s good to surprise your user; using it once in awhile is probably a better practice than making it a rule. And of course, it depends on the content of your email. I wouldn’t suggest adding and emoji if your email subject is “We couldn’t process your payment.”

How do you go about optimizing your emails

This is the fun part! We always try to learn from our previous emails and challenge ourselves. Here’s what we track:

  • Feedback. We get a lot of users contacting us through support about our emails. The feedback varies, but when they say they loved the design of an email (for example) it not only makes us smile, it also helps us understand that we got it right.
  • Numbers. The main ones we’re interested in are the open rate (how many people opened the email) and the click rate (how many people clicked the button inside the email). These numbers are invaluable intel on our email strategy – ones you should also be watching for in your Wix ShoutOut Stats page.
  • Timing. We always learn a lot when we literally watch the clock. When are your users more keen to open your emails? In the morning when they arrive at work or at home after dinner? It depends on your business, on your email and on the location of your clients. This is an area where you need to conduct many tests in order to find the right times and optimize your strategy.

If I had to give ONE tip, it would be to test, test, test everything. Test your design. Test your tone. Test different subject lines! Keep going until you find the formula that works best for your unique business.
Ready to start your own stellar email marketing campaign? Send & share beautiful emails in minutes with Wix ShoutOut!


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