The Anatomy of an Email

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DJ Waldow, director of community at Blue Sky Factory, gives an email anatomy lesson and "dissects" the various parts of an email. Includes many examples and suggestions to improve.

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The Anatomy of an Email

  1. 1. Baltimore, Maryland Blue Sky Factory Driving Email Marketing Performance The Anatomy of an Email September 24, 2009 1:00 to 1:45 PM ET DJ Waldow Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  2. 2. About Blue Sky Factory Blue Sky Factory is both a full & self service ESP. Design, execute, and track your email marketing campaigns with Publicaster ( that’s the name of our application) Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  3. 3. About Blue Sky Factory (bonus) We’re also a fun company with cool people Fruitcakes Talent Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  4. 4. About DJ Waldow DJ Waldow @djwaldow • Married, no children (yet) • Salt Lake City, UT • Dog, 3 cats • U of Michigan, NY Giants • Beer, coffee, people • Former middle school teacher • Director of Community, Blue Sky Factory Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  5. 5. 30 Minutes of Anatomy, 15 Minutes of Q&A • A thorough understanding of the various parts of an email • Examples of "good" and "bad" email designs • Tips and advice on where to spend time when planning email campaigns • Suggestions to increase opens, clicks, and conversion What I’m hoping you’ll leave with today: Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  6. 6. 6 Parts of the Human Body 1. Head (Hair) 2. Face (Eyes, Nose, Mouth) 3. Neck & Upper Body 4. Abdomen (Guts) 5. Legs 6. Feet & Toes 6 Parts of an Email 1. Preheader 2. From Name/Subject Line 3. Header, Navigation, Hook 4. Main Call-to-Action 5. “Other Stuff” 6. Footer Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  7. 7. Image Credit: http://images.mirror.co.uk Human Body Email Face (Eyes, Nose, Mouth) From Name/Subject Line Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  8. 8. The Bad – From Name 1. David Axelrod: Who is David? (also too long) 2. concierge: Am I at a hotel? 3. register.welcome: Lazy. Lazy. Lazy. 4. data: Oops (see #3) 5. tim.westergen: I don’t know who that is. Do you? Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  9. 9. The Good – From Name Perfect. Why? Simple. Company name. Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  10. 10. From Name Takeaway The From Name is a representation of your company and/or brand. Keep it simple. Be proud of it! (Test) Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  11. 11. The Bad – Subject Line 1. Don’t miss this: Spammy! 2. A Message from…: I still don’t know who Tim Westergren is. 3. Your upcoming…: Use the data you have. 4. Your receipt…: See #1 and #3. 5. TwitBacks Newsletter: Boooooring. 6. EasyUpdate…: I have no idea what that is? Brand? 7. djwaldow…: Be careful with first name personalization. Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  12. 12. The Good – Subject Line 1. WEEKEND CLOSEOUTS…: It works. Trust me (they test) 2. 9 hours only!...: Sense of urgency. 3. Save up to 87%: Random number is catchy. 4. Miles or discount…: Intriguing. I have a choice? 5. 3 Minutes, 52 Seconds: Interest piqued (think: video) 6. REI Subscriber Exclusive…: Exclusivity. Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  13. 13. Subject Line Takeaways 1. Length 2. Exclusivity 3. Call-to-Action 4. Sense of Urgency 5. Dare to be Different 6. (Test) Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  14. 14. Image Credit: DJ Waldow (really) Human Body Email Head (Hair) Preheader Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  15. 15. Preheader Options • Snippet Text • Whitelisting/Address Book Instructions • View Images • Call-to-Action • Mobile Device • F2F and/or SWYSN • Advertising Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  16. 16. The Bad Too much preheaderNo preheader Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  17. 17. The Good • (2) Calls-to-action • Mobile/Text • View with Images • Fun icons • Bonus: “secondary preheader” above navigation bar Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  18. 18. Preheader Takeaways • Include it, but don’t over do it • Size matters • Be different • Include call(s)-to-action • Whitelisting option overrated? • (Test) Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  19. 19. More Preheader Information Reportlet: Many Retailers Not Optimizing Preheader Text Download the study Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  20. 20. Human Body Email Neck & Upper Body Header, Navigation, Hook Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  21. 21. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  22. 22. The Bad • Header: Weak • Navigation: None. • Hook: Appears to be “Hello DJ.” Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  23. 23. The Good Fabric.com email – Images Off Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  24. 24. The Good Fabric.com email – Images On • Bulletproof buttons • Clearance in red • Clear header • Hooks everywhere Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  25. 25. Header, Navigation, Hook Takeaways 1. Make it Pop (credit: Lisa Harmon) 2. Bulletproof Buttons (credit: Lisa Harmon) 3. Whitespace, but not too much 4. Clear hooks 5. Play with the colors 6. (Test) Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  26. 26. Image Credit: http://pix.motivatedphotos.com Human Body Email Abdomen (Guts) Main Call-to-Action Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  27. 27. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  28. 28. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  29. 29. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  30. 30. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  31. 31. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  32. 32. The Good Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  33. 33. The Good (and Main Call-to-Action Takeaways) 1. Consistency: Subject, Preheader, Image, Call-to-Action 2. Bulletproof Button (credit: Lisa Harmon) 3. Image/Text Balance 4. Colors 5. Animated gif 6. Many options to click 7. Clean Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  34. 34. Image Credit: Flickr - derpunk Human Body Email Legs “Other Stuff” Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  35. 35. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  36. 36. The Good Image Credit: RetailEmailBlog Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  37. 37. The Good Image Credit: RetailEmailBlog Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  38. 38. “Other Stuff” Takeaways 1. Bulletproof Button (credit: Lisa Harmon) 2. Image/Text Balance 3. Colors 4. White space 5. Many options to click 6. Clean Note: Very similar to “Main Call-to-Action” Takeaways Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  39. 39. Image Credit: Flickr (vernhart) Human Body Email Feet & Toes Footer Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  40. 40. The Bad Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  41. 41. The Good Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  42. 42. Footer Takeaways • Unsubscribe • Manage Preferences / Update Account • SWYN / F2F / Other Social • Tertiary Calls-to-Action • Don’t Make Them Work For It • Simple, Straightforward Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  43. 43. “…delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages to people who actually want to get them.” S. Godin (1999) Send Timely, Targeted, Relevant Emails To Subscribers Who Have Asked For Them If You’ve Learned Nothing Else Today, Know This “Secret” Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  44. 44. Flickr Photo: a2gemma Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory
  45. 45. @djwaldow http://djwaldow.com/ http://lmgtfy.com/?q=DJ Waldow @blueskyfactory http://blog.blueskyfactory.com/ http://www.blueskyfactory.com/ http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Blue Sky Factory Let’s Talk Copyright 2009 Blue Sky Factory

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