Posts Tagged ‘call to action’

Alpha Recruitment sent an attention grabbing email recently saying ‘Keep Calm and Like our Facebook Page’ and it certainly got my attention!

They sent this solus email out saying that since they have won their category in the SEEK Sara’s awards so many times they are not in the running this year, however you can still show that you back them by going and liking their Facebook page.

The email is really just one big Like button with the call to action front and centre, with just a brief amount of clear concise copy which explains what the email is about but keeps the focus on the visual call to action. A great feature of the email is their play on the ‘keep calm’ slogan and the Facebook colour scheme which I’m really liking, and all these factors come together seamlessly to create a simple campaign that really stands out.

Click the image below to see the full email:

 

Following on from our post about how your From Name and Subject Line act as the gatekeepers to your email campaigns, (Click here to read) we are now going to tell you the formula for creating the ultimate subject line so you can increase your chances of your campaign standing out, getting opened, and getting read.

As we’ve said before, prompting the open by getting past the first ‘gatekeepers’ is the primary goal, because you can’t count clickthroughs – much less sell something -  if no-one opens your email.

So with so many people receiving many emails, deleting and filtering, how do you get your subscribers attention? A great subject line gets your email opened.

 

SUBJECT LINE MYTHS

Spam filters can be triggered by a variety of reasons, rarely will specific words like ‘sale’ or ‘free’ get you a one way ticket into the spam folder – filters are changing and it takes a combination of things to really mark your email as spam. So don’t be afraid to put in the odd exclamation mark, you can use all caps, even the word free or sale is fine.

The key is to use these words sparingly. Spam filters assign points to ‘spam’ words, and if the points exceed a certain threshold then the email is considered spam.  However if you just use one or two of these words and symbols throughout your email or even just in the subject line, they won’t automatically mark your email as spam – you may have heard us say before that while content filtering is important, there are now other factors like your sender reputation and engagement metrics that are much more important.

WHAT WORKS

You may have heard a lot of talk about geo-location lately – well collecting and using geo-location data to create more relevant and personal emails and subject lines can increase open rates.  For example, the same email content can come to life when the subject line suggests it’s especially relevant for you.  American retailer Urban Outfitters does this well with subject lines often calling out to me ‘Hey New Zealand – here’s our best sale yet’  or ‘We ship for free to Kiwis every day!’.  Extrapolate that out to your regional customers and – well you see our point.

Subject lines framed as questions have often performed better in tests. Of course you won’t be asking just any old random question – consider your audience, their interests, what your campaign is about, and frame a question around that which will pique their interest and even better if they can respond in some way you can increase engagement.  ‘How many ways can you wear this scarf?’  ‘What’s the best way to show the world you care?’.

Email marketing company MailerMailer found that longer subject lines had lower open rates and click through rates than those emails with shorter subject lines.  They found emails with 28-39 characters in the subject line had the highest open and click through rates. Considering that is about how many characters of a subject line smartphones display, that is no surprise. So the golden rule of thumb is keep it shorter than 50 characters, or at least make your point early in the sentence!

STRATEGIES WITH A CAVEAT

✓ There has been a craze of sorts lately with people using ✶symbols✶ in clever ways in an effort to stand out in the inbox. If used appropriately and cleverly, ✈ symbols may get you more opens, but too many symbols might start driving people crazy so again use sparingly ☂ and only if relevant ☀.  You can read our article about using symbols here.

We’ve heard recently that contrary to previous advice, using the recipient’s name in the subject line does not significantly improve open rates. If it clearly looks like a mail merge then it’s not very personalised at all and will probably have no effect, however if you use their name cleverly and in a relevant way, it may increase opens. In their July 2012 study, MailerMailer saw significantly lower click through and open rates for personalised subject lines compared to non personalised ones.   We have many clients who use this technique every time and it works very well – the answer for you is TEST it!

GET THE OPENS

Keep it useful – why would your recipient want to open your email?  Tell them.

Keep it short – remember the golden rule of 50 characters.

Keep it specific – make sure it is relevant and valuable to the recipient.

Keep it timely – with everything being instant now there really is no place for old news, old jokes, or old memes – keep it fresh.

Always have a call to action – people will respond when you tell them to do something. So ask yourself why are you emailing them? What do you want them to do?  Make your CTA’s easy and ensure they make sense.

Test test test – use the A/B split test send function and test out different subject lines and learn what works for your audience.

Set expectations – clearly state what’s inside the email, and why the recipient should read it.

This advice along with the previous post on From Names and Subject lines will give you some things to work on, and we’re here if you want to talk about what works for you, what doesn’t work and how you might grow your response rates, and deliver great emails to happy customers!

Email readership on mobile devices is growing so fast that soon it will be the predominant platform for email consumption, and mobile email consumption may overtake all other platforms even sooner. We are way beyond just ‘planning for mobile’ – it is now imperative to design your campaigns and landing pages to be easy to view and work well on a mobile device.

Return Path’s Tom Sather, senior director of email research, says:

“Looking at the trend lines of our clients, we’ll probably see mobile overtaking web-mail and desktop by the end June as the preferred platform, but definitely by the end of the year.” As a result, Sather said: “Marketers need to wake up and think about their mobile strategy. More than half of all marketers have no idea if people are reading their email on mobile devices.”  

He goes on to say “A lot of people talk about optimizing email for mobile devices, which is kind of a no-brainer, but a lot of people don’t think beyond the email. If they do click on a link and they come to a landing page, is that optimised for mobile as well? Studies have shown that less than 2 percent of people will revisit an email on their desktop or laptop, so you really only have one chance to make a good first impression.”

 However, Sather cautions against discounting other platforms. “But just because mobile is the rage, don’t forget about desktop email clients such as Outlook, as well as web mail,” he said.
We agree Tom. To back that up, here is our list of the most important mobile email design considerations and best practices:

Make sure you optimise your emails and landing pages for mobile. Email open rates have increased since last year and last quarter, but click-through rates have declined. This is most likely because they are abandoned after consumers open them on mobile devices and the messages are not optimised. With mobile you only have 1 chance to get the recipient to read your email and to click through to landing pages. If you are directing people to your website or landing page and it doesn’t look good or load or operate well on mobile, people will leave – and find another site that does work.

Think about where, when and how people read emails on mobile. In a recent survey, it was discovered 70% of users read emails in bed before going to sleep or first thing before waking up. So be mindful of this in terms of your design, and don’t use bright images which might be hard on the eyes for those reading your emails in the dark or as they are just waking up.

Reduce the template width to fit a smaller screen. We recommend you set the width of your email template to 640 pixels or less. Smartphones have screens between 320 and 480 pixels wide, so if your email is 640 pixels wide it is both suitable for desktop viewing, and is suitable for viewing on smartphones too.

From name and subject line become even more important for mobile. We know the from name is important already – but it becomes even more so due to the fact that the very first thing you see on your mobile, is your from name. So this to me becomes the most important facet of the mobile email. This is closely followed by your subject line. Make sure your subject line is punchy, strong, and we recommend no longer than 35 characters. This is how many characters you see.  

Space is at a premium so make it simple and save on real estate. Use one-line pre-header text. Pre-headers are usually 1-2 lines of HTML text at the very top of the email. They are ideal for hand held devices to highlight an enticing offer, making it the first thing prospects read before they even consider downloading images. Keep key content above the fold. (This will be the top 200 to 250 pixels). This area is prime real estate for the 3 to 5 seconds a prospect is focused on your email message, so it needs to have useful, readable text, or a very clear image. Be mindful to incorporate branding and offer-driven text above the fold.

It doesn’t have to be brevity central… if it’s good enough, it will be saved for later. On a mobile you obviously have less space so eliminate unnecessary content and put the focus on the key parts of the message. However don’t strip everything out – creating mobile friendly emails is a balancing act, where your shorter message should be comfortably able to be viewed, read and actioned on a small screen. Longer messages can always be saved for when subscribers get home and can read them in full on a larger screen. Mobile users will delete any long emails that are ineffective, but they will save your email for later if it’s well designed with great content.

Bigger, Bolder call to actions – think of the thumbs! It is crucial you increase the size and padding of text links and call-to-action buttons throughout your emails. A typical adult finger covers 45 pixels, and it is no accident Apple makes all their app icons 44 x 44 pixels! Make sure your calls-to-action are padded by at least 10 to 15 pixels to avoid frustrating and accidental finger tapping errors.

Because it’s on a smaller screen, you can use larger fonts. This is where we do recommend you use a slightly larger font to keep things easy to read. However still stay with web safe fonts, and use a font size of 12-14 point for body copy and headlines at 20-22 point. Keep in mind that the larger font means you’ll have even less space, so keep your content brief.

Please do download the Jericho Mobile Email Whitepaper here now and share with your colleagues.

 

There is obviously a plethora of mobile infographics, links, resources, tips and advice everywhere you look however this is really intended as our list of vital mobile email design considerations that we really want you all to know….

If you have any queries please contact us, and remember we have an expert in house design team that you can contact for advice at any time.

If you follow the email marketing industry, you know that engagement is quite the buzzword lately.  But Engagement isn’t new at all. It has been a part of the filtering mix for quite a while. ISPs including Yahoo! (Xtra) Hotmail and Gmail are adding clicks, opens and other measures of user engagement to the long list of other engagement metrics that have been in use for a while. All these metrics try to do the same thing — figure out which messages are truly wanted by subscribers.

ISPs are measuring engagement and using it to decide who gets to the inbox, and who goes to the junk folder. In simple terms, the ISP is basically looking at whether or not your subscribers open, click, and in general, “interact” with you. If you send an email that mistakenly goes to the junk folder, then the subscriber moves it back out, you scored some engagement points. If your subscriber clicks your links or hits “reply” to send you a message, you get some engagement points.

Returnpath’s George Bilbrey says to senders:

“Treat inactive subscribers differently: This is probably the biggest change that most marketers need to think about. Mailing to a lot of inactive accounts may actually make your reputation look worse at some ISPs. Segment out inactive users and run a win-back campaign. If you cannot win back these subscribers, you may simply want to stop mailing them altogether.”

Over at Clickz, Jeanne Jennings had this to say about inactive members of your list:

“If these folks really aren’t that into you, they may take the next step and report you as spam. It’s like that shunned suitor who just won’t go away; eventually the victim will consider him a stalker and get a restraining order. Keeping inactive names on your list can open you up to blacklisting and deliverability issues.”

There is an art to deciding who is engaged and who is not.  This will depend on your buying cycle and the types of emails you send. It is good to use an email expert to help you make a matrix for your own business but there are some things you can consider:

Do you have strong calls to action in your emails – so that there is something to click?

Do you have a genuinely relevant and  interesting email stream, sent at least bi-monthly (6 per year)?

If you have a frequent email (weekly or more) do you allow people to control the frequency and type of emails they get using a Preference Centre?

  • From time to time you should dissect your email list to identify who have never opened, clicked or bought something from you. We call them ‘zombies’.  They bring all your metrics down, they impact your engagement measures and they don’t pay their way.  Try to get them to wake up – or kill them off.
  • Next look for who is in a coma – used to engage and now don’t.  Talk to them differently too.
  • Who is on their way out?
  • Who are you best responders?  Make them feel special, use them to spread your word, and keep up the good work!

There is much to this and a good agency can help you do this and come out the other side with a more profitable program.

And worst case is you get to kill a few zombies!

 

 

 

When the DMA and the EEC sent an email to talk about their upcoming conference this morning we were a little taken aback with what we received.

We might be all the way down here in New Zealand but after 12 years we know our way around email design best practice… and this wasn’t that.

Turns out there was some kind of error somewhere, so we thought we’d try to help and jump in and make it look a bit more like email marketers would expect to see from their guiding lights.

Check out the before and after shots below (you need to click to enlarge them to full size) and please let us know what you think in the comments below or via @JerichoCrew on Twitter:

BEFORE:

Click the image to see the full version

Overall, the original design was quite disorganised. The main focus in terms of imagery seemed to be around the location of the conference, rather than the content. And we’re unsure what re-purposing the classic ‘Got Milk?’ advertising campaign adds to the communication.

The images used are quite rough and, in places, have been stretched disproportionately to fit a gap. The headshots used for the speakers are of varying sizes (which again makes the design look rough/messy) and are laid-out in a way that means they aren’t associated with their corresponding text (profiles on the left).

The various logos aren’t given space, making the composition quite cramped. The main call-to-action for this communication should be to register, but although it features at the top of the email, it doesn’t really stand out and is given no more prominence than the other calls-to-action.

 

AFTER:

 

Click the image to see the full version

We looked to simplify the layout and make it easier to follow. The conference name and date are given prominence, with supporting imagery which ties in with the content of the event, rather than the location.

We used a short blurb to explain what the event was about, followed by the call-to-action, in orange, so that it stands out. We placed the speakers’ images with their profiles and gave their logos space to breathe. The speaker section is followed by the same call-to-action. The reason for this, is that we don’t want recipients to have to scroll back to the top to take action – we’re making it easy for them to do what we want them to.

Our secondary calls-to-action (Join EEC and Join DMA) then follow this and are treated in a way that they are still obviously clickable, but they don’t detract from our primary CTA.

What do you think?  We hope they use it, or at least let us have another try at a design they will use.  Watch this space.

“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.

Unless your email is a service update notice, there will usually be a reason why you send an email. And this reason will probably require a call to action.

Ask yourself these questions: Who is the audience? Why are you sending it? What do you want the recipients to do upon reading your email?

The answer to these questions can be solved with a good call to action.

Do you realize how impactful a good call to action can be? It is one of the most important design elements in emails and usually represents the whole reason you are sending the email.

If you have a fantastic email yet you have no call to action, you won’t get the results, the sales, or the traffic you could potentially get.

Here is a little story for you.  An inbound marketing firm decided to test a few alternative design features. “We were pretty shocked to discover that new call-to-action buttons yielded a 1,300% improvement in click-through rate (CTR),”   How good is that?

So here is some of our advice for creating a great call to action.

Design
Should your CTA be large or small? Should it contain an image or not? Should it be a button? What’s going to work best for your audience? There are no set rules; you’ll only discover what appeals to your customers through testing.

Key pointers:
Make it obvious
Make it big

Colour
Colour is an effective way of drawing attention to an element. One good tip is to use colour to distinguish the call to action from other elements in your email to make it stand out.
Also consider what colour it will be as different colours mean different things.
(Keep your eyes out for our upcoming post all about colour)

Key pointers:
Pick a colour that best represents your brand
Pick a colour that brings out the emotion or state you wish to inspire in recipients

Placement
Some people advise always placing the CTA ‘above the fold’ however we often see emails with the CTA near the bottom of the email. Which is better? Again, testing and trials will help you determine what’s right for your campaigns.

Key pointers:
Make good use of white space
Position it well

Purpose
It is also important to be focused in your calls to action. Why did you send the email? What do you want your recipients to do? Too many options and the recipient can be overwhelmed. By limiting the number of choices someone has to make we reduce the amount of mental effort and increase the chances they will click that one big old’ ‘buy now’ button.

Key pointers:
Have a distinct action
Make it simple

There are no set rules for the best call to action, but with testing, you will discover what works best for your campaigns and your recipients.

Today we have received a lovely email from Anytime Fitness with a great deal. However we couldn’t really identify said deal from their email…

 Some of our staff go to this gym and they are great, and their staff are lovely. However from the email we received from them today, we identified a few things they could do to improve on their email campaigns.

 

 

1) Font color. Their header font is white and their footer font is black. And the blue link in the footer is almost impossible to read. It is always important to ensure that you stay with your brand look and feel, and stick to consistent design, font colors, etc.

2) Font size. This font is OK but any larger and can have the tendency to look like spam. Be aware that the optimal font size is 10 or 12 (This is what we stick to when designing emails) and if it is any bigger it usually gets picked up by spam filters.

3) Watch your use of jargon. Note the sentence “You are able to use your access fob…” Now I have spoken to someone who attends the gym and even they don’t know what the fob is. Always watch your use of jargon.

4) Template. You may have seen some of the stunning templates we get to put together for clients at Jericho. They are structured, have a set width, includes images that catch the eye, they are structured into tables that help certain elements stand out and makes everything easy to read. More importantly, spammers don’t tend to use templates, instead choosing to use line after line of plain text. So this only serves to highlight how this email could have been improved by a template.

5) Centre Aligning. I think this came and went with comic sans.  It is very difficult for people to read so be sure to keep things left aligned.

6) Lack of prominent offer or call to action. We here at the office are struggling to identify what the offer actually is and where to find it in the email. And what do we do now? Where is our clear and simple call to action? One of the most important things to include in your email is information that answers these questions – who is this from, what is it for, what’s in it for me, and what do I do now?

7) Line height. It doesn’t help that the font is large and centre aligned, however we suggest increasing the line height to improve readability.

8) Contrast. The contrast of black on white generally is quite hard on the eyes – we suggest using a softer colored font, or a subtly colored background.

9) The main thing we noticed was what initially appeared to be Name and contact number fields that hadn’t been filled out correctly. The words in capitals do say ‘your free membership links’ so I was expecting to see links to something that gave me free memberships.  So I thought this was a matter of them not having checked the email correctly before sending. However after looking at the email 10 more times I see that it is actually where I need to input the names of 6 of my friends and then reply to the them with that information… Not many people look through emails more than once, so if they were like me they will miss this entirely. I will now reiterate the importance of having a clear call to action as mentioned in point 6.

10) I will give them this - they had a catchy subject line that was clever and worked well, and the email did pass all the tests on litmus that we ran it through. Litmus is the service that tests your email campaign against all major spam filters and will tell you if it will pass or fail the filters requirements, and gives you grades accordingly. Any number of things can influence this such as having all images or all text, or words such as ‘deal’ free’ sale’ and ‘$’.

So you can see how the little things can make such a big difference. We hope you use this as an opportunity to review your own campaigns and look out for the little things you could do to enhance your emails.

Email Marketing ABC's

A is for Auto responders
An auto response trigger is the criteria that is used to send an automated email. One example could be sending an email on a recipient’s birthday, or sending an email when a survey has been completed. You can also use these as follow up messages to send reminders, or post event surveys, and more!

B is for Bouncebacks
A Bounceback is an email that has not been able to make it to your recipient’s inbox due to an error. There are two types of bouncebacks. A hard bounce occurs when there is a permanent failure, and a soft bounce occurs when there is a temporary failure. This is where data cleansing becomes very important.

C is for Call to Action
Make sure you have a call to action. You need to make it clear to people what the email is for, and what you want them to do. Also consider all the people readying the emails on their smartphone and how to make the call to action stand out for them– make it big, bold and easy to click. It’s harder to click something with your thumb than a cursor.

D is for Design
This is a very important part of your message, but often overlooked. When designing your emails, choose your images carefully, layout your message in an easy-to-read way, keep your design consistent, and make good use of white space throughout all your messages.

E is for Engagement
If subscribers stay engaged and respond to your messages, they’ll remain on your list longer. To keep subscribers interested in your company, try some of these ideas.

F is for Frequency
Make people aware of how often they should expect to receive your email campaigns – either specify it on your website or subscription form. People are more comfortable receiving your emails when they know what to expect and how often they will arrive.  You may want to allow your subscribers to choose the frequency at which they receive your emails – for example, a daily digest, a weekly bulletin or a monthly summary, to give them control of what they receive and when.

G is for Growth
In order to grow your database, you need to bring in new subscribers and retain the ones you already have. Incorporating a subscription form into your email campaigns, that clearly explains the benefits of joining your mailing list, will encourage new people to subscribe. For existing subscribers, using the SmartMail Pro preference center allows current subscribers to update their information to ensure their details are current and accurate.

H is for Help
Help your subscribers out – they need to know how to interact with your messages. You should clearly explain how to subscribe, unsubscribe and contact you. For example, help your subscribers understand what they’ve subscribed to by explaining it the preheader text. And help your subscribers to unsubscribe – you don’t want them marking your emails as spam!

I is for Images
Images can make or break a campaign, and a good balance between images and text is ideal. Spammers have a tendency to hide all their spammy text by using images only. An interesting and well balanced campaign includes good images and good copy. Don’t forget to include the ‘alt text’ on your images to entice subscribers to download the images, giving them the full experience of your email.

J is for Junk
The junk folder is the last place you want your emails to end up. There are a number of reasons that determine if your email ends up here – the sender’s reputation, spam filters, or recipients marking emails as junk. Look out for more information about this in future posts.

K is for Key Words
It’s pays to avoid using words that are often associated with spam. We’ve got a great document that gives you a series of key words to stay away from right here.

L is for Life Cycle
Email attrition (Otherwise known as email life cycle) is where a proportion of a list is no longer usable due to the subscriber addresses being invalid. Addresses can become invalid for a number of reasons such as the subscriber changes jobs, or when a webmail address has been inactive for a long time. The attrition rates we see vary from list to list. We would expect the attrition on average to be about 15% per annum, but can be higher. For example we’d expect to see a higher bounce rate for first time deployment to a list that had no confirm or double opt in email.

M is for Manage
A well-managed list that is clean and up to date will have better deliverability rates. If you are sending relevant engaging emails to subscribers that want to receive it, your open rates will be higher as well. Remember to keep track of your reports after each send to optimize your campaigns.

N is for Never
There are a few things you need to avoid. For instance, never send unsolicited emails, never purchase lists or use a no-reply address. And never send your email without testing it!

O is for Optimize
With the increase in smartphone uptake in both business and consumer markets, now is the perfect time to optimize your emails for smartphone users. We wrote a post about Smartphone penetration recently – read it here. To optimize your campaign for mobile, you can make some simple changes like using bigger calls to action, single column designed emails, and make links isolated and clearly marked so that when people are scrolling they don’t accidently click on links.

P is for Permission
Asking subscribers to confirm their subscription ensures they’re aware they joined your mailing list. It also reduces complaints and helps improve your overall deliverability. For more of the legalities surrounding email opt ins, click here to read the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.

Q is for Questions
Email should be a two way street; give your subscribers the ability to provide feedback and ask questions by incorporating surveys, polls, questionnaires, forms in your email campaigns.

R is for Reporting
With the silly season almost upon us, now is a good chance to review the years email campaigns. Use your clickthrough rates to see what people were interested in, and your open rates to identify the best time to send your email campaigns. You can also use the comparison report feature in SmartMail Pro to compare a selection of your emails against one another.

S is for SmartShare
If you are looking for ways to increase the reach of your emails, the SmartShare tool in SmartMail Pro is a definitive must have for your email campaigns. Give your subscribers the ability to share your content with all of their friends across all their social networks.

T is for Test
Testing is the single most important step of email marketing!
It’s important to test across a variety of popular email platforms, particularly to Gmail, Hotmail and Yahoo to make sure the email displays and functions correctly. Other things to keep an eye on are hyperlinks, merge fields, bookmarks, design, fonts… You can refer to our post on testing here or even download our email campaign testing checklist to help ensure you have everything covered off come deployment time.

U is for Unsubscribes
By not including an active unsubscribe function, not only will you get in trouble with the DIA, but you can also damage your brand. With so many people using social media these days, you don’t want to have to always be dealing with negative comments or unhappy subscribers – you want them to be happy with you and their experience with your communications; so make it easy for them to unsubscribe. Go here to make sure you comply with the Unsolicited Electronic Messages Act 2007.

V is for Valid
Ensure you always have a valid from and reply email address that is manned by someone. This helps to give your brand a human voice and gives your subscribers an opportunity to engage directly with you.

W is for Weight Loss
Put your emails on a diet, and keep them short and sweet! No-one wants to, or has time to read a novel of an email – people read them on the go – keep it relevant, simple and succinct. How long is too long? Find out here

X is for Xmas
Before the Christmas carols start playing in all the stores, have your Christmas campaign strategy planned out well in advance. Give your brand a creative edge to help it stand out in the inbox; a funky fresh design, a punchy subject line, and that extra something that keeps your subscribers wanting more – we will give you the low down in upcoming blog posts.

Y is for Yawn
How often do you receive emails with such unappealing subject lines that you don’t bother to read them? If you are anything like us, this is probably a lot. And we, as much as you do, don’t want your emails to be a yawn.
The aim is for your campaign to be exciting, grabbing, punchy and engaging. A good subject line that grabs people is a great entree, and to follow, a main course of good content is ideal. For some examples of things to aim for, or avoid, check out our hall of shame and fame!

Z is for Zoom
Zoom might be a non-technical word to describe the speed of our servers, but they go pretty fast! So before you deploy your email, make sure you check it and test it thoroughly. You may also want to consider scheduling your email campaign to send at a later time to help prevent those ‘Oh no’! moments where you see something wrong once the email has been sent.

Are You Following the ABCs?

Review your email campaigns and make sure you are following the ABC’s!

 

In the latest MarketingSherpa Email Marketing Benchmark Report (2010), a survey of email recipients found that only 33% have images turned on by default. That means that 67% – or two-thirds of recipients – don’t.

This is a Jericho client – Mitsubishi NZ – showing how to do email right.  With a mix of images and text balanced so that it allows the email to make sense even if your recipient is in an environment that supresses images by default.  In a corporate environment that’s quite common, as we talked about in this earlier post.

The email on the left here is as it was intended to be viewed and on the right we show it with images ‘off’.

The headline, all links and calls to action, as well as key instructions are clearly visible.

Compare this beautiful campaign to the ‘blanks’ we showed there!  (By the way House of Travel keep on doing the same thing each time they send an email…)

One thing that is on its way to counter that is that the tablets will change the way people interact with your email.

We wrote recently about whether your email is ‘touchable’.   By that we mean that readers on iPhones and iPad for now, and other tablets to come, will be searching for links they can poke their finger at - so your calls-to-action need to be bigger and intuitively they will click on images expecting them to link to content.

Email marketing and iPads and other tablet devices is going to become more ubiquitous and then it will let us have a lot of fun with email campaigns.

Hooray! We can hardly wait for everyone to have iPads – I love mine so much that I’m happy to recommend you request one for Christmas over any other option for a gift.

Then we can keep up our work with clients to make more beautiful emails than ever…

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