The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Make eMail Creative by Including a Preview Pane

When you start an email marketing campaign, capturing the attention of your customers is the primary goal. That means making your email creative in some way. A preview pane is a very easy method to do just that.

Understand the Basics of a Preview Pane

The preview or reading pane is a common feature on most email systems, such as Outlook and Yahoo! Mail. It allows viewers to preview messages in their inbox without opening them. This enables them to view messages safely without the possibility of activating or opening malicious scripts or attachments.

The benefit to your marketing campaign is you allow your recipients to glimpse your message before they open it. If it looks like spam, they delete it immediately. If it appears to be from someone familiar – like a reputable brand – they open it.

Therefore, the subject and look of your email message are critical to catching the eye and attention of your recipients. Things you don’t want readers to see until the end – unsubscribe, disclaimers, and such – should be left until the end.

Building a Good Preview Pane

As this MarketingSherpa blog suggests:

The preview pane is your prime real estate to pull people into your email. In conjunction with the sender address and subject line, it’s the key to getting people to read your email.

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Is Your eMail Marketing Campaign Sending the Right Message?

It seems like using email to market your products and services would be easy and straightforward. You prepare a standard marketing letter, drop it into an email, hit the send button, and off it goesright into your customers’ trash.

Putting together a creative and winning email marketing campaign takes more than just throwing together the same old marketing letter. Your email should include a clear message with a call to action.

Create a Clear Message with a Call to Action
Your email marketing campaign may look good. It may even read well. However, if your message isn’t clear, customers may be overwhelmed and become frustrated.

An unclear message may occur when your email:

Contains too much information. That old saying, “less is more,” applies here. You may want to extend multiple offers to your customers. However, according to an August 2012 article at Huffington Post “office workers spend an average of 2.6 hours per day reading and answering emails.” That means many people have very little patience by the end of the day. Smaller email marketing campaigns are a better option.

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Trend: Designing for the tablet experience: Marketers will need to brand for optimization within the tablet interface.

iPad passes Mac computer in sales. The tablet is the new frontier.

It’s official. Consumers are tablet crazy; so much so that they are choosing the mobile devices over computers. It’s that time again marketers, just when you’ve finally optimized for mobile…

A look into Apples record breaking year provides an impressive example of the tablets’ rapid rise in popularity. In 2011, the company sold over 156 million iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch), 55 million of which were iPads. To put this in perspective, in just one year combined sales of these mobile devices have exceeded the 122 million Mac computers ever sold. Since it was first available for pre-order in March of 2010, the sales trend of the iPad has blown all other Apple products out of the water (see figure below). CEO Tim Cook commented “This 55 is something no one would have guessed. Including us. To put it in context, it took us 22 years to sell 55 million Macs. It took us about 5 years to sell 22 million iPods, and it took us about 3 years to sell that many iPhones. And so, this thing is, as you said, it’s on a trajectory that’s off the charts.” There has been buzz for some time of the possible upcoming announcement of the iPad3, and today we have verification via Mashable that Apple has sent out invitations for an event on March 7th. The invitation states simply “We have something you really need to see. And touch” and according to Mashable is "superimposed on what is almost certainly an iPad". Knowing this, it is more crucial than ever for marketers to take to heart the magnitude of this trend. It has been rumored that the newest generation iPad will have a full operating system, providing the user with a full blown hand held computer, and conceivably further intensifying this trend. Yes, Apple is just one example, but I think it’s safe to say they are usually ahead of the trend. Assessing how we communicate via tablet will be paramount. 

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Trend: Chrome use is growing. Marketers will need to choose rendering sides.

Google Chrome is set to pass Firefox and reach second place (behind IE) by December of this year.

Chrome is rising in the browser ranks at a steady rate, according to the trackings of StatCounter. Currently poised at a remarkable 23.6%, up from 15.6% at the beginning of the year, it’s giving Firefox and IE a run for their money.

Takeaway: What does this mean for marketers?

If you haven’t already been doing so, it’s time to start paying attention to Chrome. We’re not dealing with another fad here. The facts clearly state that out of the top three web browsers, Chrome is the only one gaining momentum. Usage of IE and Firefox is steadily declining, as each is giving up market share at a fairly rapid rate.
Knowing this and assuming Chrome is here to stay, we, as marketers need to take notice of how our message is being received. As with any other digital channel, ensuring proper message rendering within a web browser can prove to be a pesky process of trial and error. Nevertheless, it is one we cannot overlook.

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Selling B-to-B? Video Will Lead The Way

Latest Marketing Trend:

According to Forbes Insights, the research division of Forbes magazine, “video is becoming a critical information source for senior executives,” with more than 80% of executives watching more video online than a year ago. This trend isn’t surprising with executives continually facing information overload they are turning to video to help cut through the clutter and aid with decision making.

After watching video content, executives are more likely to:

  • Visit a vendor’s website 66%
  • Conduct a search for more info 53%
  • Call a vendor 22%
  • Make a business-related purchase 26%
    Source: Forbes Insights, Dec. 2010
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