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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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
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
10. Always include a footer with your company contact information, a
and a clear opt-out mechanism (don't try to hide it and always honor opt
outs within 10 days).