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Email Marketing Foundations: 7 Best Practices For Your Campaign 9 February 2015 | Janine Neutra

Users these days desire and expect a seamless user experience (UX), and this is an inclusive expectation of the emails that show up in their inbox on a regular basis.  Email marketing campaigns are effective tools for getting information directly into the hands of the audience, but it is essential that marketing blasts are thoughtful and targeted- otherwise they will be tossed into the trash before the message is even opened.

Understanding web design and marketing and the basics of email UX is the best way to ensure that readers are engaging with content, and that readers are converted into customers through the process of awareness, interest, desire and action.

Read on and we’ll help you strengthen your marketing approach by outlining our top 7 best practices to utilize in your next campaign:

The process for hosting an actionable email marketing campaign begins with the first thing the user will see: the subject line

1- Create a succinct, engaging, and personalized subject line

The subject line is really a make it or break it opportunity for the email marketing campaign.  It allows readers to get a quick glimpse into the topic of the email, and in a split second, readers will decide whether they want to open or trash the message- so make sure the content is engaging and draws readers in by introducing a topic brief that is inspiring, informational, personal or otherwise appropriately targeted.

(Source: aweber)

(Source: aweber)

2- Use a concise header that shares the main message in one phrase

The header should be a key phrase that lets the reader know what the body of the message is going to be about and why they should invest their time in continuing on to the rest of the message.  The header is the first thing to be read on the page, so it is essential that readers get a clear picture of what the content will be about.  This content should appeal to the emotions, intellect, or in some other way get the full attention of the reader.

3- Write clear and articulate copy

The main message of the page is meant to give the reader all the information that they stuck around to gather.  This section should include all relevant information for explaining the point that was alluded to in the header.  Always try to improve readability by allocating bullet points and lists so readers can more easily skim and retain content.  It is also a good idea to add sources of any facts used to increase credibility of the copy.

4- Create an inspiring Call to Action

Unless the email is a newsletter or recap style message, it is essential that there is only one topic addressed in the email, especially if there is an included Call to Action including asking for donation or other participation.  If the goal is a Call to Action, then this should be the main focus of the email, and both the header and content should directly relate to the actionable step.  Read more about call to action buttons here.

(Source: wiredmarketing)

(Source: wiredmarketing)

5- Limit images to beautiful and relevant

Overstuffing an email with images can be extremely distracting to readers, and they can also be difficult to view on mobile platforms and tablets.  Often, using one gorgeous or thought-provoking image in the email is more effective and leaves space for other important information.  Likewise, it is important to include brand images whenever possible, because users have likely already established a fair amount of trust with a brand they have previously interacted with.

6- Make sure it’s mobile optimized

These days, everyone is on the go, and it is essential that email campaigns are able to pack a punch not only on traditional desktops, but also on tablets and mobile platforms.  The more difficult it is for readers to access the essential information in an email, the more likely it is that they will simply give up and move on to the next item in their inbox.  Make emails as mobile friendly as possible, and be sure that readers can easily find the link for further information and can move easily to a landing page so they can continue on the subject without the distractions of the homepage.

7- Include options for social media sharing

If the reader wants to share the important email message or campaign via social media, it better make be easy for them to do so using provided social media sharing buttons.  If the option to share is not readily available, it is unlikely that users will go searching around multiple platforms to share the content and information on their own.  To ensure that marketing messages are spread to a greater audience, make sure the outreach network feels empowered to share stories that they care about.  This is the easiest way to gain new followers and jump ahead a few steps in the conversion funnel, because the message has already been vetted within the network for credibility and relevance.



Utilizing these simple steps, it is easy to create an email marketing campaign that is simplified for UX, rather than complicated and confusing. Click here for further information about optimization and the marketing conversion funnel.

In the end, creating actionable results is the goal of any email marketing campaign, and users are much more likely to engage when they don’t have to think too hard about getting involved.

Janine Neutra

Written by Janine Neutra

Janine Neutra has worked in digital marketing since 2000, where she managed search and social media marketing for a national nonprofit organization. She‟s now Sr. Director of Online Marketing for a national marketing company, helping small businesses and startups create programs that get results. She’s a big Giants fan, and often walks her Pomeranian Rowdy in the fog. Wearing a Giants sweater, of course!

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