Email marketing is a great way to create awareness for your company, stay in touch with your customers, and introduce yourself to new prospects. Unfortunately, it is also an incredibly popular medium, and users are receiving more and more emailers in their inbox everyday. So, what can you do to increase your chances of being read? Consider starting with our tips here:
Keep content simple, short, concise.
You have to get info to your audience fast, and in a way that makes them want more.
- It’s a good idea to include the beginning of an interesting article in the emailer and then link to a webpage for the full content, especially for longer emailers, such as e-newsletters.
- Photos are a great way to draw readers in. A picture can say a thousand words, and does so in a way that is a lot less daunting! If you have good visuals, there is a better chance readers will be more engaged from the start.
- Think about headlines. Sites like Yahoo! do a great job of crafting headlines in a way that makes people want to continue reading. Instead of simply telling the reader what is in the email, think of a creative way to pique their interest first. Consider asking a question or starting with an open-ended headline. Overly basic statement-based headlines immediately tell what the article is about, opposed to creating interest. For example, “We grew membership by 1,000 in the last quarter of 2012” does not do a great job of forcing users to read more, whereas “Quarter 4 was a smashing success!” is more likely to capture their attention.
Image-based vs. HTML/text-based.
One of the biggest questions our clients ask is if they should send out emailers that are image-based or HTML/text-based. It is common for people to worry that their image-based emailers won’t make it to their audience, thinking they will be mostly blocked or sent to spam folders. This is not usually the case, especially when distributing through platforms like Constant contact or Vertical Response. Most major retailers send promotional emailers as all images, such as BestBuy, Nike, Crate and Barrel, and the NFL to name a few. The benefit to image-based emails is that they will look uniform in all inboxes. Since they are a solid image, all browsers and desktop programs will display them the same way. The downside is that there is a sightly higher chance that they will end up in a spam folder. For invitations or promotional emailers, image-based is still the way to go, as it allows more detail and creativity.
We recommend HTML/text-based emailers for anything text heavy, such as e-newsletters. HTML text offers better readability and a sharper display, and should be used for longer emails with more copy.
Emails will do what emails do.
However we go about it, we do our best to ensure our clients emailers will look good across as many platforms as possible. We test over a variety of programs, like Gmail, Yahoo!, Outlook, and Mac Mail. We follow industry best-practices and keep the code as simple as possible. Even after all of this, there is no guarantee the every single email will get to every single inbox as beautifully as we’ve designed it. Understanding these quirks and balancing the pros and cons of various providers and methods is important and helps set expectations properly.
Why is email important?
You can reach a vast audience quickly and economically with email marketing. In the old days, you would have to print and mail your marketing materials to clients and prospects, which would take time and cost a lot of money to print and ship. Emailers are relatively cheap compared to direct mail, and enable you to share more information more frequently. It’s fast to create and distribute – you can get a major announcement out the same day! So build your mailing list, think about how you want to communicate with your audience, and try e-marketing!