Get Your Email Opened & Email Eye Candy


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Two sessions presented by Rosie Taylor for our Email Marketing Series: The BEST Email Ever

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  • Getting your email delivered is one thing easily solved by using an email service provider. But getting the email opened is all on you! One thing to remember is the “from” field. Be sure it’s recognizable by your audience, your name, your brand or both even. I use Rosie Taylor of Rosiemedia because I’m known both ways.But the biggest thing people look for when scanning their inbox to make a decision to open or not is the subject line.
  • This is important and care should be taken to write it well. After all, if they don’t open the email, they’ll never get to the good stuff that DJ is going to show you later in his session.
  • Now back to the subject line. The subject line is important. It gets the email opened. Don’t treat as an afterthought as you’re figuring out when to send it. Create it as part of writing the message. It deserves the attention and you’ll have greater success when you craft it with care. Think of it as a “headline”. Remember those from newspapers and magazines. They’re short, grab your attention and entice you to read further. Think about the supermarket check out. You know all those National Enquirer and Star headlines? Admit it. You do read them while you’re standing there. Some may even prompt you to pick it up and read it while you wait. Of course, you put it back before someone sees you.
  • Now think about your subject line among all the other subject lines competing for attention in your reader’s inbox. An average day can mean hundreds of new email messages in someone’s inbox. So what’s a small business owner to do? Well, that’s why you’re here right? To get those pearls of wisdom. So here we go…
  • Raise your flag! If you send out regular emails consider a short ‘flag’ that identifies your brand or organization and put it in brackets like ….
  • [Rosiemedia] [Nat’l Knitters] [LeadingWomen]. By using this same tag in your subject, you will be instantly recognizable and it supports what they see in the “From” field.
  • Give the reader the exact benefit or reason to open the email. Be specific. If it’s time sensitive then say so. If it isn’t then don’t. Crying wolf is a bad way to build trust. Remember you’re asking them to open it so tell them exactly why they should take the time to read it.
  • Keep it to the least amount of words possible and a good rule is 5 – 8 words. Wait! I can’t say ‘Rule”. DJ is the Email Rebel. Let’s say that your 5 – 8 words should take up between 30 – 40 characters. And that’s a good thing. Most email clients won’t go past 55 characters so keeping it shorter gives your reader the whole story while they’re scanning the inbox.
  • Some clients allow people to decide how wide their inbox is so get your message into the first 30 and they’ll always see it. You can see here, the Gmail Client reads straight across, but Outlook lets me change the width of the pane. Remember it’s the catchy headline so the first few words need to tell the story. Anything else is extra. It’s ok to use all 50+ characters, but don’t count on the last 20 to be seen as part of the message. Like the subject line from Melanie Dickinson “South Florida Morning Edition: Romney’s ‘47 percent’ video shot at home…” What’s the point of the email? Don’t really know and couldn’t they have said 47 with a percent sign instead and leave off the ‘quotes’?
  • Speaking of catchy subject lines, there are a few examples of breaking the rules that can really work, just be sure to that they make sense to the actual email. I got one recently that said, “Have You Seen Ruby?” I immediately saw it as missing person or dog headline. I quickly looked over and saw it was from Dress Barn. I shop there so I immediately opened it. I could instantly see it was going to be another adorable promotion involving another plushie pal (they love to do that) and it got me excited to see the next email. They are in touch with their audience of 30 – 50 year old career minded women. Notice how many words are in there? Just 4.
  • Symbols have been showing up in subject lines recently, but I think the jury’s out about whether they work. One thing is for sure, you want to make sure you’re using them with some thought. Use them sparingly and when they make sense. Hearts on Valentine’s Day or to say “We [heart] our customers!” for a thank you email is a good way to stand out. But to put an ace, stars and hearts to ‘decorate’ your subject just looks random and cheesy. You can hear the reader thinking, “Oh, I see you there trying to stand out in my inbox.”
  • If you use them, don’t rely on them to replace words. Check it Out needs to say “Check it Out”. The Checkmark may not show up on certain clients and the message will be lost. It’s also a good idea not to overuse them. Like a new pop song. It’s a toe tapper when it first comes out and once the radio stations play it six times a day, it’s just a snore. Lots of people are trying this tactic out, so be aware when it becomes mainstream. You won’t really stand out as often. Do they work? Try them out and test them on your audience. Your reader’s responses are the only true way to know. Be aware also that with mobile mail clients between iPhone, Android and Blackberry your symbols may not even come through at all. And all you’ll be thinking is… curses! Foiled again!
  • Use brackets for brand identification.Get to the immediate benefit of opening the email in the first 30 characters.Keep your subject short and clear. 5 - 8 wordsBe catchy, but not pitchy and spammy. Use symbols sparingly and with some thought.
  • Creating content can feel daunting and although we’ve promised ourselves we would send regular email newsletters and promotions to our list, we shrink when it comes down to putting words together. The truth is, you have terrific content all around your company.Your Blog [example]Your Outbox (those pesky questions you answer all the time)Your Staff (Ask them… what questions do you get every day?)Your Print Collaterals (Are there great pieces of marketing materials that you can repurpose?)FB/TWITTER/YOU TUBE – Are there some great questions laying around in your sm stream? Some testimonials or downright awesome reactions to your brand that can be shared and expanded?Customer stories & successes – Let’s face it. We all love a good story and putting that in your newsletter is worth as much as a Super Bowl ad and a lot less controversial. You may even find that some stories can be broken up and shared in different ways tieing together your email and social efforts within your overall online presence.InfographicsIndustry reports/stats: What does it mean to your brand? Edelman Trust Report
  • Your newsletter can show the first paragraph and continue on by linking to your website. The main body of your work should really reside on your website as a ‘home base’ for all your content. By keeping your email short, you have a better chance of the reader getting all the way through it to the Call to Action. Stay tuned because DJ will be sharing some really good stuff on that… Your links can also go to downloadable documents and my all time favorite, a dedicated landing page for the rest of your content.Just remember, you have content all around you already. What you need to do is organize it and then repurpose it for your email and social media. Once you’ve written great content, it’s easy share!
  • Q&A Time! If you’re listening to the recorded version of this program, you missed your chance to ask questions…. No, I’m kidding. You can email your questions to me…
  • Now that we’ve figured out the subject line, our next mission is how to create a layout that is a feast for the eyes and an experience for the mind. Your email layout is very important. Not just for the pleasing look, but for the function of getting the whole darn thing read! What’s the point of creating an awesome call to action if they can’t get past the first few lines or if they have to scroll through four screens?!
  • Apple is the epitome of design so it’s only fitting that I start this design discussion with an infographic featuring Apple. It’s from Flowtown because they make awesome infographics and I didn’t have an Apple email handy. 
  • The lazy “Z” is a well known layout principle in the western world…. We go….. And end up at the bottom right.Apple uses whitespace and images to repeat those curves and keep you scrolling through more than the first screen. They start with the important information or the featured product and then they move down. Almost the same way you treat content in an article. You go from the lead down to the secondary details. They make sure the tip of the next product is peeking through enough to keep you going. And they’re not the only ones who employ this…
  • Wow… they got this to go 3 screens! Notice the tilt of the graphics. The last thing we see is their Pinterest page link. Elegant!
  • Radio Shack does the same thing in a more linear way ignoring the curve but keeping the next product close enough so you know there’s more.
  • Weight Watcher’s uses text in this example to keep you scrolling….
  • Until you get to the coupon as your final ‘look’. A perfect placement for your call to action.
  • And WW Smart Ones are a prime example of consistent branding from email to website. There’s no question that it’s immediately recognizable.
  • Alt tags are important. Some email clients like Gmail turn off images by default. Having the alt tag lets the reader know what you intended to show and encourages them to turn on the graphics to get the full impact.
  • Here’s what the Threadless email looks like with the graphics turned on. Much more impact, but the tags let me know that the pillows were on sale before I even did that.
  • Promotional emails should simply be laid out to fit totally above the fold in one screen. Why? Because your promo emails are usually hyperfocused on ONE offer with a single compelling CTA. I would even dare say this is relational because they’re doing me the courtesy of reminding me about that expiring coupon… plus it’s a great way to get me back into the store.
  • Make sure your layout makes sense for your message. If you’re introducing your mobile app, make sure your layout is mobile friendly. I won’t go into the pixel sizes unless you want to see me get all nerdy, but it should be narrow and use enough white space so you can click on buttons and fields with your finger and still be accurate. Graphics can be used to guide the person down for scrolling.
  • Another example of a mobile friendly layout introducing their mobile app… get an appetizer for downloading the app. And you’ll notice they used the permission reminder area to tease the content/benefit of opening the email. This is a great way to encourage opening from the inbox as the person scans all their messages.
  • The dreaded, ever loving newsletter… I chose this example because it really doesn’t look much like a newsletter. It looks more like a Pinterest Board and I think that’s ok. Remember that layout still plays a role in newsletters just like all your promo and relationship building emails. What I like about this example and want to point out is the relevant photos for each topic. The photos are size properly to look proportional. Often times I see graphics used in emails and the person didn’t take the time to resize them or took a small image and stretched it out. This one has several calls to action. Above the fold we have the AAA Vacations….
  • Then below the fold we have few pictures and specific information on local events personalized for me. Again… lower right just before the edge.
  • Header space…. Be mindful of templates that have large header space. Treat the top real estate of your emails like sacred ground. It is likely that your reader will not scroll down unless they are given a clue that there’s more to see and that it is interesting. The example on the left is using almost a complete third of the email for an image and the title alone. It’s ½ a screen before you get to any content. The example on the right isn’t as bad since there’s some text but it isn’t saying much in the first third and if I add my company logo on top it’s probably over 1/3 of the total email. Have different versions of your logo that is appropriate for vertical horizontal and different aspects so you can minimize the top space before the content.Pro tip: when choosing templates for your email stay away from the ‘end of the list’. Those tend to be older designs and less suitable.
  • Newsletters can be longer than promo emails and relationship building emails like Thank you or Happy Birthday. Try and keep your newsletters down to a letter sized page by posting the bulk of your content on your website so you can keep the overall feel clean and concise. Just remember that even with different layouts, you want to keep branding consistent by using the same color palette and standard logos for your business.
  • Q&A Time! If you’re listening to the recorded version of this program, you missed your chance to ask questions…. No, I’m kidding. You can email your questions to me…
  • Ok, now to give away a copy of the Rebel’s Guide to Email Marketing by DJ Waldow and Jason Falls…. We’ll be sending that out to you directly from Amazon so watch for it.If you didn’t win, I encourage to go visit or your local bookstore and pick up a copy. If you thought you learned a lot from DJ today, just think what you’ll learn from his book.
  • Before we go, I want to DJ for joining me today and thank you for joining the webinar. We hope you learned how to bring these ideas together and create the BEST email ever. Rosiemedia are offering $50 off a brand new program developed by Duct Tape Marketing called Total Online Presence. In the meantime you’ll receive a link to download the free companion eBook along with a link to the slides for today’s presentations.This program is built for small business owners like you in mind. In six weeks we guide you through the creation of a Total Online Presence. This means much more than just a website and in particular we cover an entire session on Email Marketing. We dig in on how to build a responsive list of people who want to hear from you and even how to get those precious leads. Now go out and send some awesome emails!
  • Get Your Email Opened & Email Eye Candy

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