Email Design Tips
Feb 22, 2017
Email is the single most effective marketing tactic for for awareness, acquisition, conversion, and retention. And according to recent reports, marketers plan to continue to increase their email marketing budgets. So to make the most of the medium / channel here are some tips and things to remember to make your email marketing campaigns more effective from a direct response perspective.
- Write a compelling subject line and keep it short. Your message needs to have a compelling and attention getting subject line. The subject line is the most important factor in determining whether your message goes to SPAM, junk mail or gets opened. Your message body needs to spell out a strong customer benefit, have a strong offer and call-to-action. The offer and call-to-action should be above the fold and the call-to-action should be repeated throughout the message.
- Make sure your landing page matches the email in terms of headline, copy, offer, and design.
- Test to see if your email can pass the "5 second" rule – can the reader understand the offer and quickly tell what your call-to-action is?
- Use auto-responders for Opt-Ins to remind the reader that they opted in to receive your email messages.
- For best viewing, set up your email pixel for the device it will be primarily viewed on. For the average desktop, that is between 550 and 600 pixels.
- Design the email for quick viewing.
- Use basic HTML and keep it simple.
- Use pre-header text to emphasize the offer (good for viewing on hand-held devices before images are enabled).
- Stick to fewer than 3 typefaces.
- Keep the main message and call-to-action above the fold.
- Keep your email 500-650 pixel wide.
- Put your logo in the upper left-hand side of the email.
- Use auto-responders for Opt-Ins.
- Closely tie the email to a landing page.
- Conduct the 5-second test (if they can't tell what your call-to-action is in 5 seconds or less, you lose.)
- Include a mobile friendly URL link at the very top of your message.
- Make sure the subject line and the pre-header text work together and support each other.
- Use call-to-action buttons and icons because they increase response.
- Make sure your email and the supporting landing page are mobile friendly.
- Focus on a single subject.
- Include strong offers in headlines.
- Restate offer from headlines in body copy.
- Keep the copy short and relevant.
- Clearly state important benefits and features. Demonstrate benefit and value.
- Personalize your email message.
- Use bullets to call attention to important details.
- Avoid spam words and phrases.
Dudley Stevenson, founder and CEO of DWS Associates, has over thirty-five years’ experience in consumer marketing, business-to-business marketing, and direct marketing, including developing, planning, and implementing go-to-market strategies. He's also the author of "Marketing Direct: Breaking Through The Clutter." Working with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, he and his team have helped clients such as IBM, Sony, Neiman Marcus, Arizona Highways, Marshall Field & Co., Mrs. Field’s, UNICEF, and Patagonia implement successful direct marketing programs. A longtime member of the Direct Marketing Association and the American Marketing Association, Stevenson is also a sought-after speaker. He’s given hundreds of presentations and workshops on marketing and direct marketing. His “Marketing Planning 101” workshop alone has reached more than 100,000 marketing and sales professionals.