Email Marketing Techniques 2010 – Email Design Tricks. Part 2

    by Paul Shuteyev
    Additional info on email marketing - Top Email Marketing Software Solutions 7. Subject lines -- this is only a test Did you know only 25 percent of marketers are testing subject lines on a regular basis? If you're not constantly testing, you're missing opportunities to find out which ones maximize opens and conversions. Before you test, make sure that your subject line is relevant to the call-to-action in your email. Subject line studies by Alchemy Worx and other groups have shown that using a subject line with 72 or more characters gives added relevance, increasing click through and conversion. Likewise, by going with a subject line that's 60 characters or less, the open rate will tend to increase. The area between 60 and 72 has been shown to be a "dead zone." 8. Pre-header and footer: Do you have one? Is it working? The pre-header and footer are two of the most important elements of your email. The pre-header is located at the very top of your email, and is what your reader is going to see before scrolling down into the body of the email. Currently, one-quarter of companies do not use any type of pre-header, and 80 percent do not use white list instructions. Surprisingly, snippet text is only used by about 13 percent of marketers. Again, it's crucial for campaign optimization to test using the pre-header a few different ways in order to find out what works best for different campaigns and audiences. With the footer, make sure that you include an option for readers to view the email by mobile device. Currently, 75 percent of marketers are providing a good user experience by having links for profile and subscription management, yet fewer than 10 percent create a mobile version of their email. Don't be a statistic! Get ahead and grab those customers who want to view your emails on mobile devices. 9. Use HTML: Got images? The biggest advantage of HTML emails is the ability to display images. Images help convey brand messaging better than words and can excite and entice the reader to be receptive and interact with your company. But, for those email providers who do not display HTML, make sure you are able to reach your entire audience by linking to a text version available in the pre-header. Finally, make sure that you have alt tags on all images. By describing the image simply in an alt tag, you will be able to help with user accessibility and tell them what is going on in the image in case it's not displayed or it's blocked in their email. 10. Preview pane: Engage before the open This is what we at eROI call "prime real estate." This is the window below your inbox that previews the email and is found in many popular email clients such as Outlook and MacMail. To ensure that the reader is engaged and can clearly view the email, our recommendation is that emails be between 550 and 700 pixels wide. Also make sure that the purpose and call-to-action of the email is made apparent in the top 300 pixels so that readers can see the email even if they don't open it. This top area is a great location to place your company logo. In addition, design several different background scenarios so that you can cater to each email client's specifications. 11. Test it and tune it The last steps before you launch your brilliantly designed email are testing and tuning. Our years of email marketing campaign trials, tribulations, and testing have helped us to develop these tips and tricks for you. Follow them closely and you'll have less to adjust and fix before you launch your campaign. Keep in mind that testing is the single most important part of your campaign; without it, you're just flushing away money. Testing lets you know how your email campaigns perform across different email clients and will alert you to any spam traps that you may fall into. There are four easy tests that you'll want to conduct through the use of an A/B split. This will allow you to learn more about your subscribers and what they react and gravitate to in your messaging. The first test is between short and vague subject lines versus long and detailed subject lines. When looking at the results for open rates, clicks, and conversions, you may find that you get a lower open rate with longer subject lines, but a higher conversion rate. The second test is pretty straightforward. You will compare the results of a graphical button versus a textual link in order to find out which gets the most clicks. Next, send out a test that compares the results of "$" versus "%" in your subject line and/or body copy. Your readers might react differently to dollars versus percentages. The last test before you launch is to compare the results of emails sent at different times of the week. For a start, try Tuesdays versus Saturdays. After completing the final tests, you're on the homestretch. The last step is to adjust those elements of the email that did not perform well in the test. Make sure you analyze the results and make adjustments to create the most appealing and effective email before you launch. With these tips and tricks in mind you should be able to create well-designed and performing emails in no time. Also, don't hesitate to use professional Email Marketing Software like Atomic Email Studio or stand-alone versions like Atomic Mail Sender, Atomic Email Hunter.
    Written by:
    Paul Shuteyev
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