One of a series of white papers by Elizabeth G. Fagan dba EGF Consulting.
Email Marketing Campaigns Best Practices
Be customer-centric, not product-centric
- Emails enhance your company’s customer service reputation and increase users’ confidence.
- The overall message meets the expectation set by the subject line and registration process.
- Instead of focusing on “product” descriptions, focus on meeting customers’ needs.
- Place marketing messages after content. Users are likely to delete emails that begin with marketing messages before they see the content that interests them.
- Use engaging text that “closes the loop” of an action the user took or that outlines opportunities for benefits, education, and convenience.
- Do usability testing and refine content over time.
Differentiate your email from spam
- Include your company name in the display and domain names of the address.
- Give users content by including type of email (confirmation, alert, offer).
- In the subject line, promote the email’s value rather than giving a description of its contents.
- Do usability testing to determine the best subject line for each customer segment and email message.
Make registering easy
- Promote account registration on an above-the-fold space on the home page.
- Put account registration in the universal navigation.
- Include a link to privacy statement at point of registration.
Position content by its relative value
- Readers scan the top first: place call to action above the fold.
- Use the inverted pyramid structure: put the most important information at the top.
- Because some email users turn images off, put all message copy and links as text outside of images. Use images to enhance, not convey.
- Readers scan the left-hand margin: use headings and bulleted lists to make content scannable.
Add relevant links
- Managing customer phone calls is expensive. Instead of encouraging email recipients to call your company, encourage them to go to your website.
- Link to FAQs.
- In the footer, tell users how to manage their email account.
- By law, include your company’s physical address and unsubscribe link.
- Tell users how to edit account profiles.
- Tell users how to change email addresses.
- Provide customer service information.
Headings are short abstracts
- Heads contain a first word or two that carry important meaning of associated content.
- Headings make sense without text.
Writing is clear and concise
- Avoid wordiness; sentence length should not exceed 15 words.
- Use active verbs (“the cat caught the rat” vs. “the rat was caught by the cat”).
- Call the reader “you” and refer to the company as “we.”
- Use simple, everyday language.
- Avoid nominalizations (“the purpose is to communicate” vs. “the purpose is the communication of”).
- Put statements in a positive form (“paying promptly ensures you” vs. “if you do not pay on time” or “your failure to pay on time”).