REDWOOD CITY, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 07, 2007 -- As Valentine's Day approaches, email inboxes will once again begin overflowing with promotional emails. And since consumers usually decide whether to open and click on an email in less than five seconds, it's crucial for marketers to cut through the clutter with emails that get noticed.
Responsys, a leading provider of on-demand marketing solutions, offers ten practical tips for marketers looking to get more out of their email campaigns this Valentine's Day.
"Holiday email campaigns typically deliver superior results, especially for retailers," said Barry Stamos, Senior Director, Strategy for Responsys. "Every business should leverage this special time of year to 'share the love.' Whether it's a simple thank you e-card or a customer reward like twenty-percent off -- don't miss this timely opportunity to engage your prospect and customers in a 'sweet' email experience."
"Regardless of how businesses reach out to their audience this Valentine's Day, there is always room to improve on the basics," said Julian Scott, Creative Director for Responsys. "By following a few simple tips and best practices, marketers can make over even the most simple email campaigns to build brand consistency, improve ROI, increase customer loyalty, and significantly boost conversions."
"Falling in Love is our romantic, sensual fragrance and it seemed like the perfect promotion for Valentine's Day," said Karolyn Stayer, Director of Brand Marketing and PR at philosophy. "We worked closely with Responsys to create a Falling in Love email campaign with the fun, whimsical look that characterizes the philosophy brand. From the subject line -- 'fall in love with two free gifts' -- through a sweet and subtle heart animation that tied together the email, we achieved the right combination of elements to get noticed."
Below are proven strategies and tactics for delivering your difference:
1. The "from" address is the first thing people see. Make sure your company's name prominently appears in the "from" address. And never use a generic "from" address that includes vague alias like email@example.com. Instead, try ValentinesDayNewsletter@yourbrand.com.
2. The subject line is the most important element of your campaign -- because it either gets people to open your email or delete it. Always feature your company's name in the subject line -- this can increase open rates by 5% or more -- and make sure subject line text is catchy, specific, and actionable. But keep it short: six words or less (or less than 50 characters).
3. Now that your customer has opened your email, the next thing to think about is what they see above the fold. Make sure your image begins 300-500 pixels from the top of the view to grab the viewer's attention and put your logo in the upper left. Keep email width to 500-600 pixels, or it will run off the page. You also want to make sure your email recipients can instantly understand the following: who the email is from; what's in it for me; and how do I take action.
4. Put your dominant call to action above the fold, such as "Order online within the next 48-hours for Free Shipping." If the action is a button, make sure to offer a text link as well. When a customer opens an email they need to be able to immediately answer: Who is this from? What's in it for me? And, what action is requested?
5. Repeat a call to action multiple times including at the end of each content section, offering buttons and text links throughout the email. Not doing so is one of the biggest mistakes you can make -- because 50% of your customers read to the end of the email and often times there is nowhere to go from there. Don't let this happen.
6. Give your viewers options. The primary offer may not interest them, no matter how well you've segmented the campaign. Offer them links for more information and related content, not just the current promotion. The inclusion of a simple call-to-action like: "Don't see what you want? Visit us online at www.yourbrand.com" might just be the safety net you need to entice them to click.
7. Go easy on the pictures. Colorful graphic content is great, but remember some people's email programs block graphics, so make sure there is text above the fold with a call to action, and related text actions sprinkled throughout. Use animations sparingly.
8. When it comes to the text, avoid abstract ideas or long sentences. Be brief and direct. Make sure you spend as much time on the creative text of your email campaigns as you do for all marketing campaigns. Remember, you're using email to communicate your brand, not just a special offer.
9. Design text-only emails for AOL users and other subscribers that can't view HTML emails. Even if only 5% of your users are in this category, don't neglect them.