Wednesday, April 22, 2009

If you're going to send an e-mail, design it right!

In our last blog, we talked about picking the proper theme. We will now look at format and layout considerations.

One of the most important parts of any email is "from:" and "subject" lines. There are studies that show up to 65% of recipients will decide to open an email based on the from: line.

The secret is to keep the from: line familiar. Some guidelines to achieve this is to include the following:
  • Your name (drjack)
  • Name of your business (tCDG Studios)
  • Combine your name and your business name. (drjack - tCDG Studios
  • If you have many locations, include your locations - drjack - tCDG Studios, Orlando

Also create an email of what you are and what you are doing

It is estimated that up to 31% recipients will open an email based on the subject line. Some suggestions:
  • Highlight immediate benefits
  • Include value words
  • Work with a theme. Colors work well, eg. making your sales more green

Another important aspect of your email is its format/layout. You should consider the following when working with text.

Font - This is especially true if your email is in a html format. If you select a font that is not stored on the viewers computer, it will not display properly. Use commonly accepted fonts such as Arial, Garamond, Georgia, Impact, Times New Roman, or Veranda.

When considering font styles, use the following rules:

Bold: contrast or emphasize
  • Headlines
  • Short phrases
  • Captions
  • Key words or phrases

Italic: subtle emphasis
  • Single word
  • Subheadings
  • Proper names
  • References to titles

Underline: emphasize words or phrases
  • Text links
  • Column headings
  • Headlines to separate from text

Font Color: enhance overall look and feel
  • Add emphasis to headlines and subheadlines
  • Links within text

Images - Make sure that the file format can be recognized by browsers. These are usually .jpg, .gif, or .png.

Images should re-enforce your text.
Photographs are most versatile in telling your story.
Examples include:
  • Key staff members
  • Products/Services being used
  • Site location
  • Event activities
  • Customer testimonials

Created Art
  • Logos - required for brand strengthening
  • Clip Art - recommend limiting use since it can "date" your design/layout
  • Animated .gif - same as clip art
  • Icons
  • Text images - most common is signature. Also effective for headlines

Another important consideration is how to increase the content value of your email. The following help increases the effectiveness of your email.
Include an offer
  • coupons
  • Give-a-ways
  • Lost leaders
  • Extending urgent offers

Effective Call to Action. Examples of Call to Actions are:
  • Read your email
  • Save your email
  • Print your email
  • Forward your email
  • Make a purchase
  • Fill out a form
  • Visit your web site
  • Visit a physical location
  • Request information
  • Register for an Event
  • Make an appointment
  • Phone you

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