Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Email Creative


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Slides From Jordan Ayan of s presentation on how email creative can help you succeed in email marketing. Includes emphasis on content, subject line, design, calls-to-action, and much more

Published in: Business, Technology, Design
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Top 10 Things You Need to Know about Email Creative

  1. 1. Jordan Ayan CEO & Founder SubscriberMail
  2. 2. Top 10 Things You Need To Know About Email Creative
  3. 3. Follow Up @jordanayan @subscribermail [email_address] [email_address]
  4. 4. Producing great email creative requires being great at adapting to changing standards
  5. 7. Stronger relationships Sales Promotion Cross Sell/Upsell Subscription growth Transactional
  6. 10. Creative Encompasses the Entire Messaging Process 1
  7. 11. Email Creative Includes: <ul><li>Graphical elements </li></ul><ul><li>Use of Logos and branding </li></ul><ul><li>Your Subject line </li></ul><ul><li>The “From” address </li></ul><ul><li>The “To” address </li></ul><ul><li>Delivery date and time </li></ul><ul><li>Images Used </li></ul><ul><li>Content and copy </li></ul><ul><li>Order & flow </li></ul><ul><li>Welcome message </li></ul><ul><li>Landing pages </li></ul>
  8. 12. What makes email creative different <ul><li>How you read it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Process rather than flow </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where you read it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually stationary </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Why you read it </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Usually for information not for pleasure </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What can go wrong </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Electronic distraction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Auto sorting, blocking, multi-tasking, beeps, bells and whistles </li></ul></ul></ul>
  9. 13. Define the Goal of Each Message 2
  10. 14. Create a Project Direction Document
  11. 15. Creative Input/Project Direction Document <ul><li>Objective of the message </li></ul><ul><li>Audience(s) </li></ul><ul><li>Desired Response </li></ul><ul><li>Background </li></ul><ul><li>Benefits </li></ul><ul><li>Other requirements </li></ul><ul><li>Design requirements </li></ul>
  12. 16. Subject Lines are a critical part of the email creative process 3
  13. 17. Subject Line Style Guidelines <ul><li>Try to limit to 45 characters or 5 words </li></ul><ul><li>NEVER USE ALL CAPS </li></ul><ul><li>Only…use…punctuation, that is...necessary!!! </li></ul><ul><li>Be relevant to your recipient </li></ul><ul><li>Think like a filter </li></ul><ul><li>Test, test, test </li></ul>
  14. 18. Subject Line Creative Rules <ul><li>Clear indication of why it should be opened and what to expect </li></ul><ul><li>Most important words up front </li></ul><ul><li>Content focused vs entity focused </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Example – “101 Ways to Offend Employees” is stronger than “January HR News” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Have someone write the subject line who did not write the copy </li></ul><ul><li>Mention brand if possible </li></ul><ul><li>Think relationship, not message </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid SPAMMY words </li></ul>
  15. 19. Complimentary White Paper www. subscribermail .com/creative
  16. 20. It’s not just your same old Subject Line Anymore
  17. 21. Pre-header or Snippet Text
  18. 22. Pre-header or Snippet Text Typically the first line of your message
  19. 23. Pre-header or Snippet Text Typically the first line of your message
  20. 25. Relevancy 4
  21. 26. Creative, Relevant Content <ul><li>Meaningful </li></ul><ul><li>Interesting </li></ul><ul><li>Rewarding </li></ul><ul><li>Timely </li></ul><ul><li>Non-Intrusive </li></ul><ul><li>WII-FM </li></ul>
  22. 30. The Big Brother Effect
  23. 31. Consistency across email clients 5
  24. 34. Image Blocking <ul><li>Many email clients disable images by default </li></ul><ul><li>Surveys by both SubscriberMail and Marketing Sherpa found that nearly 60% of consumers and 90% of business email users view some or all of their email with images turned off. </li></ul><ul><li>A controlled study by SubscriberMail found that an optimized email vs. a non-optimized email sent to similar test groups received 87% more clicks. </li></ul>
  25. 42. Preview Technology <ul><li>Test across multiple email clients </li></ul><ul><li>Identify layout and rendering issues before it’s too late </li></ul><ul><li>Allows for testing with or without images suppressed </li></ul>
  26. 45. Optimization Tips <ul><li>Include relevant “alt” text in your HTML for all images </li></ul><ul><ul><li>alt=“Free shipping” vs alt=“header image” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use HTML to create colored text, background colors… </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid large images, especially above the fold </li></ul><ul><li>Present links as text – avoid image buttons </li></ul><ul><li>Specify a height and width for each image –if they don’t display the layout will remain intact </li></ul><ul><li>Include a link to a browser-based version of your message </li></ul>
  27. 46. Copy, Content and Offers 6
  28. 47. Copy Guidelines <ul><li>Test, test, test </li></ul><ul><li>Experiment with readers’ preferences for bulleted text versus details. </li></ul><ul><li>Use strong headlines that grab! </li></ul><ul><li>Test both long and short versions on your readers </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize content for easy scanning. </li></ul><ul><li>Call to action should be prominently above the fold and also at the bottom </li></ul><ul><li>Include multiple links to main destination as appropriate. </li></ul>
  29. 48. Additional Copy Ideas <ul><li>Add a special message for inactives </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We’ve missed you! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add a special message for new customers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Welcome to the our family! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Add a special message to prospects on file </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We have the highest Security encryption available today </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Our company has over 50 years…. </li></ul></ul>
  30. 50. Direct readers focus to key offers
  31. 51. Boost response with tested effective Promotions
  32. 52. Make effective use of color
  33. 53. Single focus to improve conversions
  34. 54. Prompt customers to add you to their address book…
  35. 55. … and if it appears they need help, show them how to do it
  36. 56. Layout Guidelines <ul><li>Test and optimize “hot spots.” </li></ul><ul><li>Generally, the top left quadrant is best placement for logo/branding. </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid white text on dark backgrounds (default settings may delete background and type will be “invisible”). </li></ul>
  37. 57. Design -Typography, Images and Rich Media 7
  38. 58. <ul><li>Try to keep email width under 600 pixels wide </li></ul><ul><li>Keep it simple </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid nested tables, multiple columns, etc </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Use caution and test: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Style sheets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>URLs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Email clients can strip out style sheets </li></ul><ul><ul><li>(solution: use inline styles and plan for CSS degradation) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Don't use javascript, it will be stripped out </li></ul>Design Guidelines
  39. 62. <ul><li>Crate & Barrel applies a consistent creative treatment, seasonal relevance, and templated approach to their customer retention campaigns </li></ul>
  40. 63. <ul><li>Crate & Barrel applies a consistent creative treatment, seasonal relevance, and templated approach to their customer retention campaigns </li></ul>
  41. 71. Video <ul><li>Key Facts: </li></ul><ul><li>14.8 Billion videos were viewed online in January 2009 by U.S. internet users </li></ul><ul><li>76.8% of U.S. internet users viewed an online video in January 2009 </li></ul>*Video is one of the most widely used, and widely shared forms of online content
  42. 72. Video Guidelines <ul><li>Most popular email clients block embedded video players </li></ul><ul><li>Use an image of a video player on your email rather than embedding a player </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Make the PLAY button visible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Don’t forget the “alt” text! </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Make the video image clickable, but include a text link as well </li></ul><ul><li>Direct traffic to a landing page where the video is front and center </li></ul>
  43. 73.
  44. 74. Links and Calls-to-Action 8
  45. 75. Conduct a private EMAIL event <ul><li>Good for retention </li></ul>
  46. 76. <ul><li>Preview pane </li></ul><ul><li>Above the fold </li></ul><ul><li>Text vs image </li></ul><ul><li>Formatting </li></ul><ul><li>Clear language </li></ul>
  47. 77. Lead people to take the next step
  48. 79. Make it time sensitive & Convey a sense of urgency
  49. 80. Add a content relevant sweepstakes
  50. 81. <ul><li>Transaction within an email message is a security risk… </li></ul>
  51. 82. Landing Page Considerations 9
  52. 86. <ul><li>Relevancy to offer or link </li></ul><ul><li>Positioning on the page is important </li></ul><ul><li>Amount of data collected </li></ul><ul><li>Complexity of copy </li></ul><ul><li>Data collected </li></ul>Landing Pages
  53. 87. Guidelines <ul><li>Never send them to your home page </li></ul><ul><li>Clear, Concise, Quality copy </li></ul><ul><li>Ensure congruity with message </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize page distractions </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing that counts below the fold </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure they realize there is a fold </li></ul>
  54. 88. Viral Opportunities 10
  55. 89. <ul><li>Forward to Friend </li></ul><ul><li>links allow for </li></ul><ul><li>shared content </li></ul>
  56. 91. Email & Social Media <ul><li>Drive </li></ul>
  57. 92. Email & Social Media <ul><li>Include links to blogs and/or social media profiles in emails to increase following </li></ul><ul><li>Make it worth their while - avoid re-purposing email content on social media outlets </li></ul><ul><li>Is your content worth sharing? </li></ul>
  58. 93. Follow me on Twitter @jordanayan @subscribermail
  59. 94. Viral Opportunities: What you need to get beyond the inbox <ul><li>Engaged subscriber base, strong branding </li></ul><ul><li>Unique, relevant and high-value content—articles, video, special offers </li></ul><ul><li>Means for recipients to share content </li></ul><ul><li>Realm for audience discussion/interaction </li></ul>
  60. 95. What NOT to do
  61. 98. Top 10 things you should remember <ul><li>Creative is about the entire process of email </li></ul><ul><li>Clearly define each message’s goal </li></ul><ul><li>Subject lines are a critical part of the email creative process </li></ul><ul><li>Message relevancy is key to long-term creative success </li></ul><ul><li>Email client inconsistency can ruin great creative – pay attention to the impact </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of Type, Images and Rich media </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of copy and content </li></ul><ul><li>Impact of links and calls to action </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget about landing pages </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t forget about viral components </li></ul>
  62. 99. Email creative is part art – part science.
  63. 100. Follow Up @jordanayan @subscribermail [email_address] [email_address]