An effective email is like the human anatomy. There are many different parts that operate together to ensure a healthy outcome. To better explain, I’ve broken up the email I created in the first part of this series into three sections: The head, the body and the foot. I’ll dissect each section and explain how to optimize each to get the most ROI on your email marketing.
The head of your email consists of 2 major components. The all-important subject line, and the preheader. Did you know that 47% of readers open an email based on the subject line alone, and 69% will report email as spam based on the subject line. That’s why it’s so important to have a clear, creative subject line that is centered around the reader. Avoid using aggressively salesy verbiage, all caps, excessive exclamation points and overtly promotional language like “Buy Now” or “Free”, as these will likely be marked as spam. Keep your subject lines short, no more than 40-50 characters. If you can find a creative way to include your reader’s first name into the subject line, it’s sure to draw attention in their inbox.
The preheader is a line of text offering a short summary of what is contained in your email. While the term preheader and preview text are sometimes used interchangeably, preview text is a bit different. The preview text displays the first string of text it finds within your email. This could be a headline, a greeting, or a preheader, if one is in place. I wrote about this topic in detail, explaining the importance of a preheader and how you can choose to hide the text so it’s not visible on your email. There are 2 simple ways to do this, the video below will show you both ways.
The body of your email is where you will find the heart and guts. Much like your own body, it’s important not to fill it with artery-clogging content. Be direct and keep it simple. There is some debate on the importance of keeping your most vital information “above the fold”, meaning within the first 400px of your email. Some feel that readers have been instinctually trained to scroll, so it’s not as important as it once was. That said, it’s never a bad idea to catch your reader’s attention at the top of the email to encourage then to scroll further.
When it comes to imagery, choose only high quality, bold images that help to convey your message. Too many visuals have the potential to overwhelm and confuse your reader.
Make it clear to your reader what next steps you want them to take by adding a call to action. Ensure the message is clear, and provide a valid URL hyperlink. If the call to action button links back to your website, be sure to add web tracking to the URL so you can capture all that wonderful data. See how to add the web tracking link in the video below.
Just like your own feet, your email footer helps to get your email where it needs to go. Without these vital components in your footer, your email could be flagged as spam, effectively stopping it in its tracks.
Three essential items that should be found in your footer include:
- contact information
- a small statement as to why the reader is receiving your email
- option to unsubscribe
Not only is it good practice to include your contact information listing your mailing address, in most countries, including the US and Canada, it’s the law. I recommend beefing it up a bit with links to your website and social media accounts so your readers have easy access to get in touch.
Did you know? In order to ensure Lasso is compliant with anti-spam legislation, we have standard footer block that is attached to the bottom of every mass mail sent through our system? This block includes both a short statement about why readers are receiving the email and the required unsubscribe link.
If you’d like to include your own wording for this block, it’s simple to do. Simply create a basic template with your copy and assign it to the opt-out content block in the specialized templates section. View the video below to see how it’s done.
Just as you take care of your own body, taking care of the various elements of your email’s anatomy will ensure healthy interaction and delivery rates. Keeping your message simple and your communication transparent will help to develop a strong, long-standing relationship with your readers.
Read Part 3 of the series Pixel Perfect Visuals.