Some quick bonus tips on designing the perfect email.
- ALWAYS TEST on every major email client and web browser (for online versions) for links, copy, spelling, design, personalization, and SPAM score.
- Consider using short, teaser copy for each main article. The Cliffhanger-Effect (or Zeigarnik-Effect) shows that consumers feel the need to answer unanswered questions, articles or problems, and that they’re more likely to click-through to an article when prompted with an opener only.
- Segment your data. The more segmented your data, the more personalized it becomes. Metrics will increase noticeably as recipients respond to relevance to them and their needs.
- Never send similar content emails to same recipients within 2 weeks of each other. Otherwise you risk large unsub rates or worse (ISP complaints).
- If sending similar content to same recipients as part of a touch/conversion process, ensure your content is clear, and obvious that it is Step X of a X step process.
- While text links for calls-to-action help with SPAM filters, large clickable image buttons get higher clicks.
- Try to place your average recipient into 2 main groups: B-to-B (business to business) and B-to-C (business to consumer).
- B-to-B: These users primarily use desktop-based email clients administered by a dedicated IT group, which includes spam filter rules. Common B-to-B email clients include Outlook and Lotus Notes. It is worth noting that Outlook should be divided into 2 sub-groups: Pre-Outlook 2007 and Post-Outlook 2007.
- General rule-of-thumb: Table-based mark-up using inline CSS.
- B-to-C: These users are a mixed bag, using both desktop-based email clients that include Thunderbird and Eudora, as well as web-based email clients including Yahoo, Hotmail/Live, Gmail, and .Mac.
- General rule-of-thumb: Either CSS or table-based mark-up, with diligent testing.
March 5th, 2008