Archive for March, 2012

Seeing as the most searched for topic on our blog is ‘welcome emails’ you might also want to read our ‘welcome 101 master class post,  and then you can view email welcome examples in our top-rated post on ‘8 outstanding welcome email examples’ to get you started.

In this post, we’ve broken down the word “Welcome” as an acronym to provide a little inspiration in bite size chunks on the topic of welcome emails.  We picked the words below to highlight what we think are some of the more important components of a good welcome email strategy. Now, you might have your own words for some of these, and that’s fine. In fact, we’d love for you to add your suggestions in the comments!

W – Why
Why are you sending the email? What are you welcoming them for? This will determine the style of the email, when you need to send the email, and what you require your subscribers to do once they receive the email.

E – Engaging
This is potentially the first email they will have ever received from you – make it great! Make it so wonderfully enticing your recipients open it, and make sure it represents your brand, so that when they get your emails in the future they will know it’s you and they will open it.

L –Love your subscribers
Show them the love! Don’t just send an email saying ‘Thanks for signing up’ – where’s the joy in that? If they have just subscribed, or just signed up to something with you, or just purchased something in store, tell them you appreciate it, say thanks, offer them something.

C – Clickthroughs
Is there a call to action required from this welcome email? (You will get this from the questions in the ‘WHY’ section) Would you like recipients to clickthrough to a voucher, or your website for example? Have a good call to action that makes this obvious.

O – Opens
Good design and good copy is key. Make it relevant, timely, attention grabbing and appealing. That way you will ensure new customers or new subscribers will open your welcome email and get the information they need from you instead of mistaking it for more junk and deleting it and missing that vital new customer 50% off voucher!

M – Mandatory
We say mandatory because we believe welcome emails are that important and that effective. And if you don’t already have a welcome email campaign set up, contact and our design team can put some concepts together for you.

E – Ever and Ever
First impressions count right? If you want this recipient to keep coming back and showing you the love for ever and ever impress them off the bat and you’re more likely to hold on to them as a subscriber.

S – Series
Plural ‘welcomes’ to us means ‘welcome series’! Welcome series are great for when people visit your website, and generally they have limited time to get the gist of what it is you are great at.  So you use a welcome series to extend the education period. For example you could say ‘Sign up to our monthly news updates and we will welcome you with 5 ways to get the most from us’ then, you can use triggers in SmartMail PRO to deploy a series of emails at set times– perhaps weekly, or twice in the first week then one a fortnight.  Or even better, use the series as your sign up incentive – you could say “Sign up for our newsletter and we will send you our ‘3 ways to save money when you shop.’” How enticing is that?


You are welcome!

“Our rugs will floor you”

This has got to be one of the best subject lines I have seen so far in 2012. Their play on words was so clever I opened and read the whole email even though I have no interest in rugs. If their email subject line had said ‘Rug Sale’ I would have deleted it immediately. Instead, they caught my attention instantly.


The next thing that impressed me about this email was their good use of the pre header text. As you can see in the screenshot, their pre header text matched their subject line, so even though they did repeat the information I knew exactly what the email was about. It’s descriptive yet simple. They also give the option to view text, or text with images which is handy. And they provide a link so people can add them to ‘safe senders’ list. This is a link that we strongly recommend people use if they don’t already.

The body of the email had fantastic graphics that were bright and visually appealing, (Part of which you can see in these screenshots) and like I said I’m not excited by rugs but this email made me want to buy one.

So they have captured my attention, got me excited by their rugs, now they have provided me with a large, colorful, simple, unmissable, call to action. Which I promptly clicked on. (You may recall the importance of a good call to action from our post last week – read it here) See this great call to action in the screenshot below.










Overall this email has all the elements of a well-designed, well thought out, and well tested email. It has a great subject line, makes good use of the pre header text, has attention grabbing content, has a great call to action, and also includes handy links to unsubscribe and connect with them on social media sites at the bottom.

Well done.

As an extension of our posts in December about personalisation, we thought we would start the New Year with a focus on subject lines. New opening lines for a New Year you could say.

Some subject lines work really well, and others leave you cold. Why is that? Well that’s what we are going to explore.

1) It’s about creating intriguing, catchy subject lines that capture the recipient’s attention above all the other emails in their inbox.

2) It’s also about creating subject lines that are in keeping with your brands style and language.

3) And it’s about creating subject lines that cleverly and naturally incorporate a recipient’s name to make it really personalised.

I have recently received two campaigns which did a great job of using personalisation in the subject line, and they were really engaging and got me to open the emails and read them.

‘Amanda, have we got the deal for you!’
I thought ‘wow I better check that out just in case it really is something I will like, also I don’t want to miss out!’ I opened it of course, the deal was good, and so I thought it was a great email. You can play on people’s FOMO (Fear of missing out) – if that works for you and if it’s relevant, it’s fine.

‘Thought you’d like to see this Amanda’

I was naturally curious as to what they think I should see, so I opened it. (Well it worked didn’t it!) Inside was simply a promo about something that I wasn’t interested in, but it got me to open and read the email.

I received another email campaign that used personalisation in the subject line, but it didn’t provide me with quite the same feeling as those other two. The email came from someone I knew, and the subject line said:

‘Amanda, I owe you an apology!’
I thought, ‘Oh gosh, what for, I haven’t spoken to them in a long time! So I opened it, and saw an email that was a clever sales pitch to attend their sales seminar. I don’t open any of their emails any more.

Apart from this example I give above, some examples of not so effective personalization we have seen are:

  • Name; Do You Have a Minute?
  • Exclusive Savings for Name
  • Name – Good news and bad news
  • Hi Name
  • NAME; Save 30% for Two Days Only!

Each of these examples read like a subject line from a spammer or some such similar source. So how likely would you be to unsubscribe from emails with a subject like these? How much more likely to click ‘Spam’ would you be? How much less likely would you be to open emails from these senders again?
The general idea is about being on brand and in keeping with your brands tone and voice; it’s also about not appearing to come across as a spammer, or appear to be people who send emails with subject lines that give a less than reputable appearance. You don’t want to be sending subject lines that make people think you are a spammer. And we all know it’s wise to stay away from ‘deal’ and ‘$’ and ‘free’ and words along those lines.

My key take hope tips from this for you would be to write subject lines that:

  • Are intriguing and catchy
  • Are in keeping with your brands language, tone, style and message
  • Not trying to sell anyone anything
  • Naturally, and cleverly incorporate a recipient’s name

Do all these things, and you will have winning subject lines that will  increase open rates. And we all like that.

Colour is an important consideration in regards to your brand identity.  Colours have a significant impact on people’s emotional state, and they also have been shown to impact people’s ability to concentrate and learn.  They have a wide variety of specific mental associations.  In fact, the effects are physiological, psychological, and sociological.

For instance:

•Non-primary colours are more calming than primary colours
•Blue is the most calming of the primary colours, followed closely by a lighter red.
•Test takers score higher and weight lifters lift more in blue rooms.
•Blue text increases reading retention.
•Yellow evokes cheerfulness.  Houses with yellow trim or flower gardens sell faster.
•Reds and oranges encourage diners to eat quickly and leave.  Red also makes food more appealing and influences people to eat more.  (It is no coincidence that fast food restaurants almost always use these colours.)
•Pink enhances appetites and has been shown to calm prison inmates.
•Blue and black suppress appetites.
•Children prefer primary colours.  (Notice children’s toys and books often use these colours.)
•Forest green and burgundy appeals to the wealthiest 3 percent of Americans and often raises the perceived price of an item.
•Orange is often used to make an expensive item seem less expensive.
•Red clothing can convey power.
•Red trim is used in bars and casinos because it can cause people to lose track of time.
•White is typically associated with cool, clean and fresh.
•Red is often associated with Christmas and orange with Halloween and Thanksgiving.
•Red and black are often associated with sexy and seductive and are favoured by porn sites.
•Black clothes make people look thinner.
•Black is also associated with elegance and sophistication.  It also seems mysterious.

So how do these colour connotations translate to your email marketing campaigns? Well any successful email marketing campaign is made up of many different components and a good template is one of the most important parts. However, it takes more than simply creating a template – you will need to think about the colour and font that you use.

There is no need to use every colour in the rainbow when putting together your email marketing, however while colour goes a long way in email marketing just as it does for any other marketing medium, to make really effective use of colour there are a few things that you should always avoid and a few things that you should always do.

1. Catch people’s eyes, don’t blind them.

Using colour in email to help something stand out is great but you cross the line when you blind anyone who tries to read it. Colour should subtly catch your eye without being painful to look at.
Tip: Many email clients automatically block images by default so you can use coloured text as your alt text as a useful way to capture recipients attention and get them to download images.


2) It’s not a children’s book…

Colour is best used to highlight specific points in your email, not to highlight the whole thing. Try to use colour sparingly to highlight the most important part of your email rather than the entire email.
Tip: There are actual methods out there that mark certain words within messages, as the brain picks up on these marked words and pays special attention to them. Coded spy letters use this technique, and so can you.

3) Colours to avoid

Going by our handy guide above, there are definitely favourable colours you should use. But are there certain colours you should avoid in your marketing? Red and blue are two such colours you should be careful of when writing text on email (or web). The online world has trained us to automatically identify blue text as links, and red is too often the symbol of danger so these are best avoided.
Tip: Ensure all links are highlighted in blue and that all other text is a different colour.

4) Size of the font

Is there a ‘right sized’ font? At Jericho we maintain a standard font size of 10pt or 12pt. Spammy emails tend to use larger fonts, and any smaller than 10pt can be too hard to read.
Tip: If you wish to make a point you can change the size of the coloured font to 1 or 2 point sizes larger, which makes this important point pop even more to anyone who even glances at the email.

How do you use colour in your email marketing?