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Anatomy of Email

Tips for successful email promotionsEmail Anatomy

51% of recipients will delete your email
within 2 seconds of viewing it
How can you increase the chances of your promotional email being opened and viewed a little longer? Here are 12 tips for increasing the open rate of your email promotions.

1. Subject Line is the first thing a recipient sees
An outstanding subject line gets emails opened. Personalize an email with someone’s name in the subject line and you may increase your chances of getting opened. You can also add their name to the body of the email. Make sure your subject line is clear and grabs their attention, without sounding spammy.

2. Actual person is the sender
Your chances of getting your email opened will increase when it is from a real person, rather than a web address or company name. An email from Ann@Kidfo.ca is better than Advertise@Kidfo.ca, but a first and last name is even better.

3. The Preheader captures their attention
When a recipient receives an email, they can only see the top 6 in. or so—the premium real estate of an email. Add a preheader— the HTML text at the top of an email—which will show even if the recipient has images turned off by default.

You can repeat the subject line in your preheader or add a promotional line of type such as “Save $20 on snowblowers”. Some preheader at the top of this email has a summary or table of contents with links so you’ll know what’s contained in this e-newsletter, whether you scroll down or not. Other emails have a link to their web version and mobile version.

4. Company logo or identifying header
The recipient should know who the sender is as soon as they view the email. A recognizable logo or header or brand at the top of an email will gain their trust.

5. Personalized content with the recipient’s name in the email
If an email had your name in it, would you keep it open for a few more seconds? Having your name in the body of the email will give the impression that the email is customized for you. Studies show the clickthrough rate increases by 14% when you personalize an email.1

6. Segment your list
You may have multiple lists—one for existing customers and one for prospective customers. Your email should reflect which segment it is going to. Companies that have multiple lists and change the email to reflect the lists have a better open rate and lower unsubscribe rates.1

7. What is your offer and why is it valuable?
The purpose of your email should be apparent to the viewer instantly. Why are you sending the email? If you’re having a sale, make the offer obvious. Why is it important to the recipient?

8. A call-to-action
Most print advertisers know the AIDA principle: A is for Attention, I is for Interest, D is for Desire, and A is for Action. An advertiser needs to get the attention of the person looking at the newspaper, get them interested, create a desire to want it, and then tell them where they can buy it. An email promotion should work the same way ... it may have a link to more information or an order form, a telephone number, or address where they can buy it. How can the viewer get the offer? Make it obvious. Reserve your seat today will generate more action than Submit. Call-to-Action buttons or CTAs are meant to be noticed.

9. Relevant graphics and images
Good images will help engage a recipient. In fact, a HubSpot study found that 65% of people prefer emails with more images than text. Make sure your images match the content of your offer.
Since people do judge a book by it’s cover, show a picture of the book if you’re selling books or a cover slide if it’s a webinar or class.

10. Social media buttons and links
The recipient should know who the sender is when they view the email. If you spend a lot of time developing valuable content, why not make it easy to share your offers.
Ask recipients to “Like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date” or “Follow us on Twitter to receive special offers.”

11. Link to privacy policy
Most digital marketers are comfortable filling in personal information online, but others are not as comfortable providing information on an anonymous email page. Everyone has received unsolicited spam emails or other unsolicited promotions in the past.
Give your email subscribers peace of mind and a sense of security by including a link to your organization’s privacy policy. Add something like this to your email promotion template: “We do not rent or share our lists with anyone.”

12. Unsubscribe link
The last—and mandatory—element of a successful email promotion is the Unsubscribe link. You must have an Unsubscribe link on every email promotion. You don’t want to violate CAN-SPAM regulations or damage your sender credibility.
1 According to HubSpot.
2 According to the 2012 Marketing Serpa Email Benchmark Report

Excerpt from Email Promotions Made Easy course manual. To see the course description or to reserve a seat, click here.

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