As the direct marketing industry continues to move from direct mail to email, marketers should heed the following advice in order to deliver powerful campaigns.
Use compelling subject lines. An email subject line that is clear and compelling gives your email better visibility in a crowded inbox. Incite your recipients to open your message with a call to action in the subject line. A generic header such as “June Newsletter” doesn’t intrigue as much as something like “Purchase within five days for 10% off your graduation gifts.” Just be sure you don’t use words like “free,” “limited time offer,” or “amazing” in your subject line. These are red flags for spam and will cause your unopened email to go directly into the trash folder.
Campaigns are more compelling when graphics visually promote messages. A good email service will include tools that allow you to search, resize, crop and rotate photos and images without leaving your email. The tool should also allow you to select, preview, and purchase royalty-free images if what you have isn’t on-hand. Don’t forget to include a clickable call to action with your image so you can see how your readers respond to each graphic. Data about who clicks on a photo’s hyperlink will give direction to future interactions. If the report shows traffic, use it in a future email. Also include a text click-through for recipients who may have turned off the graphic display option. A good rule of thumb to prevent image overload is have at least 70% of your message be in text format and 30% or less in image format.
Be mobile-friendly. The adoption and usage of smart phones is changing the way we interact with email marketing. According to a September comScore report, more than 58.7 million people in the United States have smart phones. That figure is expected to grow to 154 million users, or 1 in 2 Americans, according to Nielsen. While most smart phones do a fairly good job displaying emails, marketers should include an online/mobile version link at the very top of the email because Web browsers are generally more capable of showing HTML content than email clients. Subject lines should be front-loaded because smartphones only display four to six words in the subject line and a preview of the first few words in the email. Remember to test your emails on a smart phone.
Melanie Attia is the product marketing manager for Campaigner Email Marketing. She can be reached at [email protected]