Once upon a time, in a galaxy far away, someone wanted to convey a message in a short manner, clear and to the point, in order to sell their goods to their fellow men. Since it was a long time ago, that specific story ended in violence and mud, but the principle of the story is relevant to this day, in this galaxy – we all want to write the perfect email, to convey our message, to sell our product, or at least make sure that our potential clients will follow our call to action.
Easier said than done, huh?
Actually, it’s not that difficult, once you master the next top five important principals. Remember, most emails are read these days on smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices – not just desktops or laptops. Combining this fact with the shortening attention span of the average Joe, or above-average Jane, makes writing good marketing emails even more important.
- Keep it to the point, starting from the subject line and up to the body of text. Try and keep the subject line up to 15-20 characters, and remember that a mobile email reader is likely on the go, so they will merely skim the email for relevant details. An important part of keeping it to the point, is being clear and understood; don’t assume your recipient knows who you are and why you’re emailing him. Explain, introduce yourself, and do it in a minimum of words.
- Always check and edit the text version of the email, since you want your recipient to view your email no matter what device they are on. You want to make sure you cover all of your bases for those devices that can only read text, and not HTML. You can do this by double checking your text version. In Marketo and most marketing automation applications, you are provided both a text and an HTML email, so this article can be exercised with no problem.
- Size does matter, friends, and so does design. Don’t go wild with new and beautiful fonts, since there’s a good chance some of them will not display on a lot of devices. Even popular services like Gmail on web or android devices have their quirks. Use this detailed article or this recently updated excellent resource for more information on fonts and design, and remember the key rule here – keep it simple and clean.
- Using images? Great! Now remember these guidelines: Use GIF’s or JPG’s. Use max resolution of 72dpi. Do not use flash, video embeds, or Animated GIF’s – you can’t take a chance that some devices will not display them properly. Also, keep the email width at 600px and remember to use a responsive design. Your ESP will provide you with great tools to follow this super-important rule, make sure to use them.
- Use clear Calls to Action (CTA), because just as you want to include CTAs on your website that link to your landing pages, you should do the same in your emails. Make your primary CTA stand out, and make it very clear what the benefit is of clicking through. Once email recipients reconvert on your site, you’ll know that they’re more qualified leads. Oh and don’t forget to tag your CTA URLs with marketing parameters, otherwise how will you know which message your next deal started from? 🙂
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