The Future of Email Marketing: Email Design Best Practices for 2014
Let’s get one thing straight: email marketing is most definitely NOT dead.
However, there is no doubt email usage is evolving.
Email is becoming smarter – it’s more dynamic, more structured and more comprehensive.
It’s becoming shorter – research shows email users spend an average of 51 seconds reading each email newsletter.
And, of course, it’s becoming mobile – stats say 51 percent of email is now opened on a mobile device.
These innovations are game-changers in the world of email marketing. Businesses must understand the future of email marketing in order to profit from its potential. This means adjusting email design best practices so as to maximize your email’s ability to connect with your audience. Fortunately, we’re here to show you how.
The Framework Behind Brilliant Email Design
When preparing to launch your next enewsletter campaign, be sure to keep the following best practices in mind:
1. Create and organize your lists.
The first step to an effective email campaign is identifying an audience to distribute to. Ensure all individuals on your list have “opted in” – meaning they have requested information about your company.
2. Select an email marketing platform.
We’re big fans of Mail Chimp at Bright Blue Wave, but there are a number of other systems, such as Constant Contact, which you can use to launch your campaigns and track performance. The best part is, most are relatively inexpensive or free.
3. Establish a publishing schedule.
Delivering your enewsletter according to a set schedule will give your customers something to expect and look forward to. It will also help you to inform your readers of newsletter frequency so they know what they are subscribing to.
• The best time to send emails is when customers are viewing their inboxes. Research shows maximum open click rates occur in the morning and early afternoon.
4. Choose your content wisely.
Though we’re sure you have plenty of great content on your blog, try to keep a strategy in mind for each newsletter edition. The most successful campaigns are cumulative. Use each email blast to propagate a journey for your audience.
• Focus on sharing timely topics.
• Ensure each article supports a general theme.
• Include at least one new article that is published the same day as the newsletter is being sent out to entice readers with something fresh.
5. Use a catchy subject line.
The first step to a high click rate is a high open rate. Find something to hook your readers in. Keep it short but informative.
6. Pay attention to your Preview Pane.
This pane, which measures 400 by 300 pixels, is the most valuable area of your email – it plays a major role in engaging your recipients.
• Ensure your header, call-to-action/teaser text, and the top of your hero image are all visible within this window frame.
7. Keep the visual layout simple and scannable.
Remember, you’re working with an average 51-second attention span here.
• Keep all text short and to the point.
• Break up copy with images.
• Use bold typeface and subheaders to make certain text stand out.
• Keep body font size at a minimum of 14 pixels and titles at minimum of 22 pixels.
• Avoid busy backgrounds.
• Ensure email layout is mobile-friendly.
• Include footer with organization’s complete contact details.
8. Make it easy for readers to share content.
Encourage your audience to share newsletter content with their social networks by including share buttons that link directly to social media platforms.
9. Don’t overdue it.
Your newsletter is one of many ending up in people’s inboxes. Don’t overload them with information.
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