The From Line
Recently, our blog discussed email deliverability, and how to ensure your email reaches the customers’ inbox. Today, we extend that discussion by examining three of the most important considerations for email rendering, or how an email displays when it is opened.
An html template can display differently across email clients like Yahoo Mail, Gmail, or Outlook. It's imperative that you review how the email will render in each client. In addition, each of these email clients uses a slightly different approach to display a snippet of the email's text, and some of them use a preview pane. Carefully designing your e-mail to ensure the strongest message from each of these avenues will help increase your email opens.
These days, there’s a good chance that your customers will be checking their email on a mobile device. To master a mobile message, remember that a mobile display is half that of a computer screen and that a single column orientation will display best. Other design considerations include the use of a finger for clicks vs. a mouse pointer, as well as font size and readability. Customers will likely interact more with a display that is easy to read and accommodates for finger size, eliminating the need for zooming in. Simple, elegant, straight-forward design continues to work best on mobile devices.
Finally, remember that many email clients do not automatically display graphics. Image heavy messages may display as blank boxes. It is important to include alt text. This not only allows search engines to read images on your web site, but also maintains consistency if the images are blocked or not rendering correctly.
We would be happy to discuss email rendering with you in more detail, so that you can best optimize your email marketing campaign. For more information, contact us.
The era of the smart phone is fully ascendant in 2013. This year Deloitte estimates that the billionth such device will be activated. However, mobile marketing success going forward will be about much more than just numbers. Anticipating how user behavior will evolve will be absolutely crucial to a well-managed mobile marketing budget.
Linear No More
For example, consider the 'second screen' phenomenon. The old paradigm, first on laptops and then on mobile devices, was linear. That is, users would move through channels in succession. Linear consumer behavior is relatively easy to track as one moves from point A to point B to point C.
Now, a new behavior pattern is emerging. For example, more and more smartphone users are active while simultaneously watching TV. Key questions arise. To what degree will smartphone usage relate to the 'second screen,' the TV? Will TV viewing and smartphone activities be related or not?
Smartphones may become popular as a means for further interaction with a television program. Should such consumer behavior proliferate, mobile marketing can respond with a more cross-channel, holistic approach. In fact, in ideal scenarios, the impact on advertising may almost be counter-intuitive. That is, the successful advertisers that truly engage such cross-channel users may gain their attention in very relevant ways.
Email marketing is a primary factor in generating leads and initiating a call to action. But how can you make your campaign the best it can be?
Start with a Solid Email-Marketing List
A well cultivated and relevant list is the most valuable tool any email marketer can have. This means a list that has been carefully compiled, consisting of contacts of a true opted-in nature (not one that has been purchased) and genuinely want to hear from you. It is also important to keep your list up to date. Proper list cleansing and maintenance will ensure the best deliverability possible.
According to the September 2012 Business2Business post, “Get to Know Your Email Marketing List a Little Better,” the size of your marketing list is not nearly as important as the quality.
If you don’t take time to get to know the people in your list, you stand the risk of sending irrelevant, untimely, and potentially boring emails to the majority of your subscribers. This will result in poor engagement—sometimes referred to as email fatigue—and will lead to declining open rates and click-throughs, and ultimately poor sales.
Give Your Message the Creativity it Deserves
In order to produce a truly creative and targeted email, marketers must take into account several key components. The message’s subject line, body content and graphics all come into play.
The subject line should be engaging and include a strong call to action. After all, the first thing viewers will want to know is “what’s in it for me”. The first impression is invaluable. Marketers should make sure to tell subscribers what they want up front, what they will get in return, and then reinforce it several times throughout the email. By grabbing the subscriber’s attention from the start and layering their call to action several times, marketers will increase the strength of the first impression.
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.