Email Marketers: Email Voice Consistency Is Crucial for Hooking Readers

Email Marketers: Email Voice Consistency Is Crucial for Hooking Readers

I think consistency is probably one of the biggest factors that hooks readers. It’s like when you’re having a conversation with your best friend—if they talk to you differently every time you meet them for a coffee, you’re going to feel a little weird about them!


At mailfloss we’re focused on helping email marketers get the most from their email marketing campaigns. We do this in a few different ways. First, we help email marketers improve their deliverability through the use of our email list verification tool. Secondly, we work hard to educate email marketers on the various topics relating to running a successful email marketing campaign by publishing in-depth educational articles on our email marketing blog.

Today, mailfloss had the opportunity to chat with Jaina Mistry, an email marketer whose specialties include; email copywriting, email design & build, testing, deployment, reporting, and email campaign development.

Without further ado, let’s jump into the interview.

The Interview

Hi Jaina and thanks for joining us today. It’s a pleasure to have the opportunity to pick your brain about your experience in the email marketing niche. You have over 8 years of experience as an email marketer. Can you tell me a little bit more about how you got your start in email marketing? What was it about the industry that grabbed your attention and hasn’t let go?

Like a lot of folks who currently work in email marketing, I actually just fell into email marketing. My first exposure of email was over 10 years ago while I was working as a web producer. As well as web design and development, I spent the other part of my days knee-deep in email—designing, developing, deploying—all the D’s! If I’m totally honest, I don’t think there was anything specific about the industry that really grabbed me back then, I think it was more of a case of me having a skill that was in demand, than anything else. A couple of jobs later, I’d stepped out of full-time positions and into contracting and freelancing. With my background and skill set as a web designer and developer, I was getting contacted more and more about email specific positions. That was when I was really grabbed by the industry—on the design and development side, it was the problem-solving aspect that I loved. Often, folks complain about the limitations that email design and development presents and that it limits them to be creative. But those are the very things that forced me to be more creative.

From there, it was the opportunity to learn almost instantly about the performance of my email designs—what worked and what failed catastrophically. I guess it’s that instant gratification that we, as humans, tend to love but in my case it was the instant learnings.

You focus on the A to Z’s of email marketing from email conceptualization to email performance analytics. Let’s talk about conceptualization a little bit more. What are some of the most innovative email campaigns you’ve seen come out recently? What makes these campaigns so interesting to you? Is it their effectiveness, their voice or something else?

Can I gush about my own team here? Because I am really proud of what we were able to accomplish for our newsletter last October. It all came about very organically. We knew we wanted to add some level of seasonality to the email and also wanted to feature the hot topic of Dark Mode, too. And being Litmus, we wanted to push the boundaries of what we can do with email. What made this campaign truly effective was the expertise we drew in for it—email development, email design, content marketing. But you wouldn’t necessarily know this looking at the email as a subscriber—everything from the subject line to the look and feel feels seamless. And that’s part of the magic of a great campaign.

Let’s talk about “voice” a little bit more. Who are some companies you think other email marketers should study to learn more about email marketing “voice”. What is it about these voices that hook readers?

I’m a big fan of inVision’s weekly newsletter, Inside Design. Everything from their subject line through to the copy used on their CTAs tells the reader exactly who they are. And they’re consistent! That’s challenging, but it pays off.

While I’ve never purchased anything from Chubbies, their emails do something similar to Inside Design—have a strong, consistent tone of voice that’s fun. And that sense of fun draws readers into the emails.

I think consistency is probably one of the biggest factors that hooks readers. It’s like when you’re having a conversation with your best friend—if they talk to you differently every time you meet them for a coffee, you’re going to feel a little weird about them!

So while the fun, playful aspect of Inside Design and Chubbie’s voice is most excellent, it’s their consistency that’s key.

On your website, you mention that you like mapping out email campaigns. Over the course of your career, what are some of the biggest takeaways about email mapping / sequencing that you’ve learned? Any actionable tips for other email marketers out there who are just getting started and looking for a good sequence?

Don’t be afraid to totally change up your approach based on what you’re seeing in your email campaigns’ results. Email marketing is all about learning from what you’re doing. As email marketers, we don’t know the right thing to do all the time. And even when we think we’ve got things figured out, something changes and we have to start all over again. And that’s okay!

One thing I will suggest email marketers out there do is check in on their automated onboarding emails flows regularly. Add those check-ins to a calendar, schedule them in, do whatever you need to do to review what you have running on a regular basis. It’s incredibly easy to set things running and forget about them. I’ve done that in my career because there’s always so much to do!

Oh, another thing—make friends with everyone! From engineers to the data team, designers to leadership. Email touches so many parts of a business, it’s important for you as an email marketer to give email at your organization a voice.

Let’s talk about analyzing and reporting now. First, what are some of the most common traits of emails that have the most impressive performance analytics?

The teams involved. Email marketing is a channel of its own, but a great email campaign requires the expertise of folks from different teams. At Litmus, we rely heavily on our content team to help us create the monthly newsletter. Our content team knows which content performs best and understands what our audience wants to read. So we leverage their expertise to build our newsletters.

Email is a team sport!

Where do you stand within the debate around email tracking? Some email marketers avoid it because they notice a reduction in deliverability. How do you personally balance deliverability with performance tracking?

Hate to answer a question with another question but … I’m going to—how can you accurately monitor your deliverability without performance tracking? Even the most basic performance metrics can give you an insight into the health of your email program. And for that reason alone, they’re a necessity for me.

While many email marketers are narrow in their focus (often just concentrated on marketing one web property), you’re the opposite and instead get to work with multiple companies in different niches. What are some of the most important lessons you’ve learned from working in a wide range of niches? Surely, there are strategies or concepts that you’ve seen work well in once niche that you’ve been able to extract and use within another niche.

It’s the different perspectives that working in different niches gives you that’s been invaluable to me. Those learnings and techniques you pick up working for one niche can be applied to another.

One thing that ecommerce organisations had cracked before other businesses was the need for highly modular and templated emails. This was a necessity to build highly-personalized emails at scale. In the last 5 years, there’s been a huge need for this across various types of businesses but for a somewhat different reason—the need for non-email specific teams to be able to create an email. The need boils down to the same thing—the need to scale and produce email fast. But now that’s not just an ecommerce email need.

Creating email for international audiences taught me that subscribers interpret things differently. Creating email for audiences based in Spain, UK, Portugal, Germany, it wasn’t just the language that had to be different but how the message was communicated. And the same could be said even if your entire audience is English because they may be at different points in the customer cycle and it’s more effective speaking to them slightly differently.

Where do you think email marketing is going in the next 3 to 5 years? Do you see any interesting changes, trends or technologies on the horizon that we should be aware of?

It’s hard to talk about the future and not talk about AMP for Email. Since it was announced, email marketers have been buzzing about it. It’s got the potential to really change how the email channel is positioned. Right now, email’s primary objective is to push readers to take an action—usually a click to a landing page—where they can take further action. (This is very generally speaking!) With AMP for Email, readers can skip an entire step and make all the actions they want to take from the email itself. I have to admit, I’m a little skeptical about AMP for Email. It requires a whole new MIME type and scripting language and that new MIME type needs to be supported by ESPs. And right now, I can count how many ESPs support AMP for Email on one hand. Without widespread adoption by ESPs, it’s hard for the average email markets to cash-in.

I also see email marketing coming out of its silo. But that’s probably more of a general thing all of the different aspects of marketing. Marketing is at its most effective when every channel works together. And to be an effective email marketer, you may need to dip your toe into product, growth, retention, content, and social media marketing to create the best email campaigns.

And I think 5 years from now, we’ll be asking the same thing of ourselves and may even have the same answers!

Thank you greatly for taking the time to chat with the mailfloss email marketing blog readers today, Jaina. We really appreciate you taking the time. To our audience, if you’d like to learn more about Jaina and the work she does, you can follow her on Twitter or head over to her website here.