Email Best Practices
WHAT TO TEST
- Give the recipient the option to view the email in their browser by including a link that sums up the offer, key benefit and the call to action at the top of the email.
- Make sure that all the important information is in the top left 2-4 inches of your email, or what’s considered “above the fold.”
- Keep a message between 35K and 75K in size to lessen the chance of the email being blocked or filtered.
- Avoid images that contain important copy (like headlines, etc.), as most email clients block images.
- Make sure to define the alternative text, “Alt Text,” for the images that are included in the content.
- Be wary to not include too many images and graphics. This can increase the email as being tagged as SPAM. Use the guideline of max 30% images and 70% text.
- Limit subject lines to fewer than 40 characters (including spaces).
- Keep the subject line simple, concise and focused.
- Describe the reason for the email in the subject line (a white paper, webinar, download, register, etc).
- Avoid using ALL CAPS, multiple exclamation points!!!!, dollar signs $$$, or any t e x t w i t h s p a c e s.
- Be clear and concise. Get to the point of why the email is important.
- Keep the content to just one offer (reason the email was sent).
- Repeat the offer a minimum of 2-3 times (include both the text links and buttons).
- Avoid starting the email with a YES/NO question. If the answer to the question is NO, you’ve lost the reader.
- The offer should be tangible and specific. Avoid using verbiage such as, “learn more” or “for more information.”
- Support the value and credibility of the offer by displaying a quote or statistic to support the content.
- Keep paragraphs short, only 1-2 sentences each. Long paragraphs are intimidating at a glance.
- Use sub-heads within the body that are action-oriented and tie back to the offer. This breaks up the content and will grab attention if the reader scans the email.
- Sell the offer, not the product.
- Include specifics when marketing an event (date, time, speaker bio, event length, topic list, benefits).
- Social sharing links are considered secondary offers and can distract a reader. They can drive away clicks from your primary reason for sending the email. Generally, keep social sharing links to the landing page, thank you page or a confirmation email.
- Know the difference between social “sharing” and social “following.” Social sharing icons allow the recipient to share your email content via their social media networks. “Follow” icons allow the recipient to “follow” your company’s social media networks.
WHAT TO TEST
- Test responsive design so the email will adjust its size when viewed on a mobile device.
- Always test the subject lines. The two most important subject line variables are Topic and Benefit.
- Test only one variable at a time. For example, when testing a subject line, vary only one or two words so that the results mean something.
- Test the copy and design elements on your landing page. Increasing the conversion rates is easier compared to achieving the same impact at the front end of the process (what was opened, clicked).
- Use tools to perform SPAM filter tests before sending the campaign.
- Preview the campaign on different email clients to see how the content renders.