Back to the Basics of Email

There are tons of things evolving on the internet these days. Whether it’s responsive web design, being able to put things in your Amazon cart through Twitter,  or the ever evolving gmail inbox there’s LOTS of growth. In times like this one of the first things to fall off of the radar is the simple stuff.
If you work with templates or a preset design in your email design it’s really easy to just keep reusing it without thinking about how it works in today’s digital environment. Here are a few tips for things that maybe you need to check out before you send out your next marketing message.

Hosted Version

These links are most frequently clicked because there is an issue with the email displaying properly or something else went wonky. This escape hatch away from the inbox to a full browser experience will often remedy a conflict in the inbox that will keep the subscriber moving along the path to purchase. But if the link is not there, the email will likely be deleted and the subscriber will not have a positive experience. In addition to providing an escape for the opener, you can also monitor clicks on the link to gain insight into which ISP, device, and browser combinations get the most clicks – likely indicating there is some issue with that population.

Pre-Header Copy

Regardless of how your message is being viewed, it’s highly likely that your subscriber will see a portion of your pre-header copy in the inbox. ISPs have been changing things up, like Gmail’s grid view, but this copy can still help to increase open rates by providing additional information about a promotion or other contents of the email. I was shocked to find how many top retailers either start emails with images, resulting in no supplemental copy being shown in the box, or use the valuable lines for bland copy like “Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view a version in your browser.” As noted in the previous section of this article, having a hosted version is recommended but pre-header copy should be used more effectively to extend the subject line and give more details about the email.

Clickable Space

If you show a photo of a product, I should be able to click it. I should not have to click the supplemental copy.

Appropriating clickable space on your site is a different game. You need to have scrollable areas and non-clickable space can increase usability. Find the non-clickable space in your recent emails and ask yourself if you would have wanted to click on it. Test various percentages of clickable space. You will likely find that you will gain clicks if you increase clickable areas where it just makes sense.

(via ClickZ)

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