As we recently passed midyear 2009, my team thought it would be a great idea to share the links to NewsLever’s “FulcrumTech Top Reads” that you, our subscribers, clicked on most since January. Interestingly, these articles remind us of some of the most important lessons for developing and implementing effective email marketing programs. So here we summarize what you may have missed along the way.
- What Are the Best Days of the Week to Send Email Campaigns?
This article provides an analysis of the positives and negatives associated with sending emails on various days of the week. But because no two email campaigns are the same, the article also points out the need to consistently test target audiences and campaigns to be sure you get the “most bang for your marketing buck.”
- Monday: Office work has not filled inboxes yet, but people are in a “work mode” and may not take the time to read all emails.
- Tuesday: People have organized their week and can find personal time for emails, but it may be too early for a weekend response.
- Wednesday/Thursday: Consumers are planning their weekends, but the workweek is winding down and a requested action may be pushed back.
- Friday: Fewer total emails are sent, which increases visibility among other messages, but people may leave the office early and not take time to view non-work emails.
- Saturday/Sunday: Weekends may have untapped potential, but also may seem intrusive to some people. The author advises to avoid Sundays and focus on Saturdays.
- Email Design No-Nos Your Designer May Not Know
This article highlights the following five email design no-nos to help you create an email that works effectively in the inbox:
- Don’t put a logo or graphics in the top left corner of your email. Since readers see this area in the preview pane, it’s more effective to feature your primary call-to-action or value proposition.
- Keep mobile devices in mind during design and avoid having a row of navigation links near the top of your emails.
- Because many email clients block images by default, avoid using graphics in emails.
- Don’t include a primary message or call-to-action in a graphic, since it may be blocked.
- Designers need to specify formatting instructions – such as fonts and colors – throughout the email and should not rely on cascading style sheets.
- 2009: The Year of the Subject Line
This article provides three tips for ways to get the most impact from your subject lines:
- Talk to your media planner (or Microsoft directly) and ask them to share Hotmail email reading trends for insight.
- Survey friends and family to find out what their priorities are in the next week or month to help you choose themes to use in your subject lines.
- Don’t write off the non-responders to your emails. Rather, a “last chance” or “final offer” email can activate non-responders by up to 50%.
- Email Preheaders Work, So Make them Work for You
This article provides three ways to make the best use of preheaders – the short blurb of text that appears at the top of your email (above the graphics or HTML) and is the first thing readers see.
- Decide if you need a preheader by looking at your email message in various email modes – especially in the preview pane and with images turned off. If your primary call-to-action or value proposition isn’t visible, adding a line of text to the top of your email would likely be effective.
- Determine if you need better inbox-teaser text by looking at your email message in Outlook AutoPreview mode. The author suggests creating an “invisible” preheader that won’t clutter up the email design.
- Test to see if preheaders work by sending a regular version of your email to half your list and the preheader version to the other half. Then, compare the open and click-through rates for both to see which one works best.
- Six Steps to Easier E-mail
This author offers six steps for making emails faster and easier, based on information gathered from an email forum with a group of moms:
- Make sure your subject line and preheader text quickly tells who it’s from, “what’s in it for me,” and the requested action.
- Incorporate all promotional details – including products, costs and conditions.
- Make the deal easy to close by linking directly to a landing page, rather than your home page.
- Clearly state frequency and volume on the sign-up page and email message, as well as offer options for adjusting the frequency.
- Encourage sharing with friends and posting on social networks by adding functionality to your emails that allows it.
- Make both subscribing and unsubscribing as simple as possible.