The average internet user receives 416 commercial emails a month, so how do you stand out from your competitors? All you need to do is follow a few basic rules and go back to the ABC of emailing best practice.
1 – Sender: a strategic address that will inspire confidence
As a response to the threat of spam, internet users are distrustful. And the first thing they look at to check if a sender is serious or not is their email address. The sender’s wording grabs the recipient’s attention, while reassuring them. You need to stay away from the famous “firstname.lastname@example.org”, which is too impersonal, and avoid email addresses that are too generic (info@…, webmaster@…, contact@…, etc.). The simplest is to use the name of the company or its brand: email@example.com, or even firstname.lastname@example.org, or any other address related to the contents of the email like “email@example.com”.
Finally… Did you know? Girls’ names improve open rates…
2 – Subject line: first impressions
In order for an email to be opened, the user has to want to open it… Does that seem obvious? And yet errors in subject line design continue to be found frequently, condemning thousands of emails to the recycle bin without ever being opened… Just remember the basics: a subject line that is too long has less chance of being read. At EmailBidding we have discovered that the ideal length of an email subject line is eight words.
More precisely, this email subject line must not exceed 36 characters, and particular care should be taken over the first 30, which are crucial. And to get past spam filters, starting with figures (“50% off” for example) should be avoided, as should overuse of upper case and punctuation. Finally, be careful of the obvious “spam words” (“sex”, “free”, “sale”, etc.).
3 – Header: “Where the call to action happens…”
The pre-header is just as important as the header. Indeed, this is where you can write an additional text to the subject line, positioned between the header and the body of the email. It is crucial because some web and mobile email services (like Gmail) display them right next to the subject line, without the user even having to open them.
In the pre-header you can also enter a (key) link to the mirror site. Because if you are still wondering, you should be aware that, yes, despite your best efforts, your email can be displayed in surprising ways in some email services. Finally, it is recommended that you provide an “add to contacts” link. If the user accepts, this will considerably improve deliverability and visual impact, as the images of future messages will no longer be blocked.
Once these basic rules have been followed, the header together with the logo should be used to highlight a clear call to action, a promotional offer, or other.
4 – Email body: simplicity and prioritisation are the keys to click success
Before starting to construct the body of the email, two principles should be kept in mind.
1- The body of the email should be consistent with the subject line. A disappointed, deceived contact is a lost contact.
2- Everyone likes to be known and recognised… A personalised message has a better chance of attracting the recipient’s attention.
That being said, it should be remembered that in constructing the email body, simplicity reigns supreme. Many are tempted to say more, to say too much… There will always be time to go further on the website once the sacrosanct click has been obtained. Good prioritisation of information is also crucial: recipients decide in just a few seconds if they are going to click on a message or not.
Simplicity again: a message must correspond to a single call to action. This is why it is important to define your objective beforehand. One or two appropriate and skilfully integrated links are sufficient to direct the user where you want them to go…
5 – Footer: honest sender = trusting user
In addition to the essential contact details, legal notices and other privacy policies, the key message in the footer is the unsubscribe link. There is no point insisting on keeping the email address of a user who no longer wants to receive newsletters. Because, at best, they will not open them; at worst they will declare the sender a SPAMMER and its deliverability will suffer.
6 – Image to Text ratio
It is also important to have an image to text ratio of at least 60/40. Also worth knowing: animated GIFs are no longer read by Outlook 2007. Images of text should be avoided, and do not use images as a background.
7 – Responsive email: essential adaptability to mobile internet
37% of emails were opened on mobile devices in 2014 (31% in 2013). 41% of European mobile internet users close or delete non-optimised emails. In response to this growing demand and for better readability, email templates are recommended to be “responsive”. The format adapts to all devices and only needs to be integrated once.
* Source RADICATI GROUP, INC, Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018
* Source Raffles Media