These Marketing Practices Will Make Sure Your E-mails Look Their Best
It was 1972 when Ray Tomlinson invented a new method of communication called “electronic mail,” or “e-mail,” for short. Several decades later, most e-mail inboxes are inundated with one marketing campaign after another. The advent of inbound marketing, however, has brought sharper, more meaningful practices to e-mail marketing. We’ve collected the 10 best e-mail marketing practices below so you can make sure your e-mails have the best chance of connecting with your recipients.
Before we get to them, we need to set one thing straight. No e-mail marketing practice can help the company that is sending e-mails to those who haven’t requested more information or given the company their e-mail in the first place. If you’re sending e-mails to those who haven’t asked you for them or demonstrated interest you’re aware of through inbound marketing, then “you get out of here.”
Glad that’s settled, moving on…
1. Get Mobile on your Mind
Every time I write about the importance of being mobile minded, the percentage of mobile Internet traffic increases. At the time of this writing, 56% of Internet traffic happens between the thumb and the pinky. By the time you’re reading this, the percentage has probably gone up.
Are your e-mails responsive? If not, you may be sending e-mails over half your recipients will find difficult to read.
2. WORK on that Subject Line
You have between 30 and 50 characters to catch someone’s attention, so your subject line shouldn’t be some last minute addition you create after you’ve finished your e-mail. You could have the best e-mail of all time waiting in that inbox, but without an enticing subject line, all those excellent e-mail practices you’re learning in this article are lost on your recipients.
As often as possible, your subject line should include an incentive (such as, “Free shipping when…” or “receive a free…”). Open rates jump 50% when an incentive is provided in the subject line.
3. Use Calls-To-Action
Your e-mail should contain a Call-to-Action that quickly addresses your recipient with precisely what you want them to do as a result of having received and read your e-mail. Your CTA should be close to the top of your e-mail and reinforced several times throughout your content. If your CTA falls below the fold, 70% of recipients won’t see it.
4. Make Your E-mail The Right Size
If your e-mails are bigger than 650 pixels wide, your recipients are inconvenienced into scrolling horizontally in order to read through your e-mail content. But, of course, they won’t. What will actually happen is they’ll quickly close/delete your e-mail and move on. Keep the width of your e-mail between 500-650 pixels.
5. Put Your Logo in its Place
Studies have been done to track the eye movements of readers as they open e-mails (you read that sentence right, welcome to the future). These studies have discovered e-mail recipients instinctively look to the top left of your e-mail to see your logo. Keep your logo in the top left of your e-mails to make sure recipients know whose e-mail or offer they’re receiving.
Pro-Tip: This isn’t one of those times where breaking the industry rules is innovative. I’m constantly looking for those opportunities as well, so I get it. You want to be different and you’ve seen the Ted Talks that inspire you to break the rules. That’s great, and when the time comes, go for it. But this isn’t one of those times. Put your logo in the top left of your e-mails.
6. Tie E-mails to Landing Pages
Once your e-mails are generating links back to your landing pages, you don’t want your recipients and users to be surprised by stark contrasts between your e-mail templates and your landing pages. To build on your brand awareness and familiarity, you’ll find it helpful to fashion your e-mail appearance after your landing pages so your readers know what to expect.
7. Clarity Over Catchy
There is perhaps no better an icebreaker than which that gets a smile from you reader. For your e-mail marketing, the utilization of relevant and clever phrases can be a very good thing.
Or, and this is a very big “or,” your catchiness will get in the way of your message’s clarity. This is what you don’t want to happen. Microsoft found this out the humiliating way when their e-mail to Bae Interns went viral for being yet another effort in trying too hard.
Be catchy, be funny, but don’t forget your aim is to communicate a message. Find humor that moves your message forward. It’ll make you a better writer (and for your family and friends’ sake, it’ll make you a much more funny person).
8. Write in 2nd Person
In case YOU haven’t noticed, this post has been written mostly in the second person. Your e-mails should be written in 2nd person as well. Refer to your recipients as “you” as you would in conversation with them.
While there are formal areas where the proper/official/3rd person writing is still most appropriate, your e-mails don’t have to fall into that category, particularly if your e-mail marketing is sent to those who’ve requested more information or demonstrated interest in your particular industry.
9. Be Brief
You might be the author of the next great American novel. But your e-mails are not the place to prove that. As you construct your e-mails, ask yourself what must be included for your message to get across quickly, not what could be in the e-mail.
10. 5-Second Test
Once you’ve put your e-mail together with a visible call-to-action and impressive subject line, send a copy over to a friend. Find out if he or she was able to discern what the purpose of your e-mail was within 5 seconds of opening it; if not, work on that subject line and call-to-action some more.
5. Hubspot, again.
6. You guessed it, Hubspot.