How to Optimize your Email Marketing

Team Bonafide
by Team Bonafide on November 30, 2012 in Strategy
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An email message can be a powerful marketing tool--if people actually read it. To increase email open rates and make your messages more attractive, consider the following questions:

  • Is it clear who the email is from? People are very wary of spam and potentially malicious emails. If recipients do not recognize the sender's email address, it raises their suspicions and lowers your open rate. 
  • Is the subject line short? The ideal subject line would be 20 characters or less, because that is all that displays on some mobile devices. Even on non-mobile devices, the subject should not exceed 70 characters if you want to prevent your text from being cut off.
  • Is the message concise? People like to get through their inbox quickly, which means they might skip or delete your email if it looks long. Keep your message brief, and break out longer portions of your copy into more managable sections.
  • Do the dynamic tags work for all recipients? Customizing the message with something like "Dear (recipient's name)" is a nice personal touch--unless that tag isn't replaced with the recipient's name, and the copy literally displays as "Dear (recipient's name)." Just in case no name is provided for an email contact on your mail list, make sure the message is set to insert an appropriate default term (such as "Dear Valued Customer".)
  • Is the email's width less than 650 pixels? Many people use Microsoft Outlook, which does not display anything wider than 650 pixels. Ensure your email doesn't exceed this dimension to avoid your emails being cut off.
  • Is there an option to view the email in a new browser window? If a recipient's email client does not display your message correctly, a link to a browser version of that message still allows them to see the design as you intended.
  • Are the image sizes specified? In case the image does not display, you still want the image placeholder to be the same size so that it does not alter the design of the surrounding template. Specify the correct width and height in the HTML coding.
  • Do the images have alt text? Some email platforms do not display images, while others display only certain types of images. While a small image or two is a good idea, make sure to include "alt text" wording that will display in case the image does not.
  • Can your email be shared via social media? Including buttons to share an email on sites like Facebook and Google+ has been shown to improve click-through rates--besides expanding your reach to all of the friends or followers of the person doing the sharing.
  • Is the "unsubscribe" option clear? If somebody no longer wants to receive your emails, you want them to unsubscribe. It is better for you than the likely alternative: that they get annoyed by your company or report you as a spammer. 
  • Does your email include your physical address? This one is a "must-have". Your address is required to appear in each email to comply with federal anti-spam laws.
Once you can answer "yes" to all of these questions, you're ready to send your message as part of an effective email marketing campaign.
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Team Bonafide

Team Bonafide

Not your father's digital agency. Wicked-smart, straight-shooting, modern-day marketers who are hell-bent on growing businesses and relationships.