As you’re having your first cup of coffee to start of your morning, you decide to check your email. You open your favorite email client and there are three non-relevant emails in your mailbox that you never asked for. Without thinking twice, you select and delete them. You didn’t just delete them because they were poorly designed or because you thought they provide absolutely no value, but simply because you didn’t ask for them.
Email marketing can be quite powerful and effective, but only if done right.
Here’s a list of ten things to think about before you start your next email campaign:
1. Did they really ask for it?
Are you sending emails to subscribers that they did not clearly sign up for? Then you are running the risk of being marked as spam.
This begins where your subscribers sign up for emails on your website or in other locations across your digital marketing campaign. Provide opt-ins and even double opt-ins, clearly stating what and how often you will send emails to subscribers. If you simply force it, people will delete and ignore your emails, or worse, the spam complaints will increase, which will hurt your deliverability.
2. Is the timing right?
Give your recipients enough time to act upon offers, or clearly state how much time they have to get your special deal.
3. Blocked images? Oh no!
As an email designer, you have to make sure you can get your message across, considering the fact that by default, about 50% of the users have images blocked. Make sure you use plain text when possible and ALT tags when not. Unfortunately, a lot of widely used email clients don’t support background images.
4. Freedom to unsubscribe?
Give your user an option to willingly unsubscribe from email if necessary. Respecting their rights builds stronger business relationships.
5. Effective previews
Let’s use Gmail as an example. Gmail inbox preview shows a subject line and the first line of your email content. If the first line of your email is an ALT tag such as Blue_Ad_Top_Web_Logo, it might be bit confusing. Replace it with something more enticing to subscribers while they’re making a split second decision if they will open it or simply delete it.
6. Mobile friendliness
It’s 2011, and now more than ever, people are relying on mobile devices when it comes to email. With that being said, the real estate on mobile devices is a lot smaller than on desktops or laptops, so make sure your content is designed to fit on both.
7. Getting personal
Make your emails personal. Use their name or any other relevant information they provided when they asked for the email to be sent.
Nobody enjoys reading long emails, so keep your content short and to the point.
Test, test and then test some more! Sign up for multiple email clients and send test emails to yourself and your team members. Most email clients are different and might generate different outcomes.
10. Be creative.
Creativity goes way beyond making great designs. Style and color your ALT tags, play around with font sizes, and include colors and font that pleasantly reflect your brand. Here’s a great example of folks using colored table cells and precisely cut images to generate 8-bit design previews when images are blocked.