Email can be a marketer’s best friend – Only if you know how to use it right.
Chances are that when you wake, the first thing you do isn’t to head for the bathroom, but to reach for your phone. And often, besides replying messages and looking through social media, you find yourself habitually checking through your emails even before preparing for the day.
Maybe it has become so routine that we don’t notice it at all. Or perhaps, it plays an integral part in our social and working lives. Whatever the reason, one thing is for certain – Emails get your attention on a daily basis, and marketers know it too.
This shift towards digital comes with good reason. Email’s ability to adopt new technologies, introducing better experiences and improved content, makes it increasingly valuable. And it delivers results. Personal yet professional, emails enable marketers to gain direct access into a reader’s information feed, converting 40 times better than social media.
As the most important marketing tool for 2016, email shows no signs of slowing down. However, it would be unwise to think of it as plainly text focused; There is more to crafting an email than what you write. Here are some essential components that every email campaign should have today.
Mobile Friendly Features
Our introduction aptly described today’s consumption of emails; In this multitasking culture we live in, mobile apps have outgrown desktop clients in our search for convenience. In fact, 56% of email openings are through phones; Mobile friendly emails have become essential, and campaigns should be optimised for both desktops and portable devices.
Responsive Templates: Screengrab from Emma webpage.
One way to make emails more mobile friendly is by adopting responsive email templates. These layouts detect screen dimensions and scale information to fit into these formats for a more consistent look. Campaign Monitor, Litmus or Emma are just some of the many options that provide these clean, visually pleasing solutions.
Streamlined Copy: Screengrab of Canva’s email update.
Along with seamless visuals, a mobile-friendly email should contain streamlined copy. Users reading on mobile are less attentive and are already bogged down by smaller screens. Texts should thus be concise, with short paragraphs or pointers that readers can scan through in a glance.
Note: The subject line is the second line in black text, whilst the pre-headers are the words in grey.
Similarly, an email’s appearance in the reader’s inbox is especially important. As the first point of encounter for the viewer, titles have to be short (preferably within 25 – 30 characters, due to mobile screen constraints), yet punchy enough to grab attention. Also, do not overlook your pre headers, short descriptions usually found after the subject line, as they are useful for adding context and providing more details.
Visual Text Balance
An email shouldn’t read off like a textbook, but it shouldn’t pass off as a photo gallery either. Though humans are visual creatures, an email that only focuses on graphics baffles more than it bewitches. A right balance of copy and images will help to grab attention, adding variety with value to the viewer’s reading experience.
Striking banners: Screengrab of Apple’s E-Newsletter.
The key to balance is to show more than tell. Treat visuals as not just a tool for aesthetics, but one that also constructs meaning. Striking and relevant banner images with words work better than boring text-only titles, while presenting information graphically instead of describing them verbally allows readers to absorb information quicker.
Pops of colour: Screengrab of Scoot’s E-Newsletter
Other innovative ways of weaving in visuals include the use of animated GIFs or video embeds. Even simple changes to the background or colour scheme of a template does wonders to sprucing up the look and feel of your email.
There’s more to email than meets the eye and we are just getting started! Look out for our upcoming second instalment which will introduce more must haves for any email marketing campaign.