With the growing popularity of the Email Marketing tool built into the OrderDynamics On-Demand eCommerce Platform, we wanted to share some tips and best practices and on how to present a great email marketing campaign. Parts one and two of the series focused on Text-to-Image Balance and Remarketing. This week, we touch on Formatting to Support Calls to Action.
#3 Formatting to Support Calls to Action
You’ve built up your database of names and email addresses, you’ve designed a visually appealing email campaign to send to them, and now you need to make sure the campaign is seen. How do you ensure that the people who receive your email actually open it as opposed to swiftly clicking ‘delete’? And once they open it, how do you make sure you get whatever your email is asking for?
The very first part of your email campaign a subscriber sees is the subject line, which is in itself a call to action to open the email. It is important to make sure your subject is as descriptive as possible while remaining concise. A study by Mail Chimp found that the most effective email subject lines are 50 characters long or less, which means you need to state your message as simply as possible. Even if the recipient never opens the email, they need to be able to fully identify what the email stands to communicate. If you’re offering 35% off a specific brand of shirts named “Mary”, your subject line needs to be along the lines of “Get 35% off all Mary Shirts!”
For the actual call to action, where you explicitly state the purpose of the email within the content of it, wording, position and tracking are key. Many email campaigns simply utilize a ‘buy now’ or ‘click here’ call to action, and to someone whose inbox you just infiltrated, this can be seen as being too forward or prematurely implying a commitment to your product. Instead, you need to put forth content that educates the reader and makes it easy and desirable to fulfill what you’re asking for, regardless of if you want them to buy something, subscribe to a service, Like you on Facebook, or Follow you on Twitter. Communicate with non-commitment type statements with cushiony words like “view”, “browse”, and “shop” like this:
It’s important to remember that a shopper knows you’re trying to sell them something or collect information from them, so you need to emphasize to them that there is a return benefit and state what it is, like in the below example – of course you don’t want to miss the exclusives!
Your calls to action also need to be visible because if the reader can’t see what you want, they can’t give it to you. The above examples were placed at the very top of the email message where there was no other content to distract from them. In the example below, the bright pink highlight of the call to action clearly stands out against the stark grey background, making it impossible to miss.
When creating an email campaign, it’s important to note that a reader may only ever look at their emails in the viewing pane preview, which means emails may be only partially viewed. Or similarly, they might only read the top, scroll straight to the bottom, or only want to view a specific product featured in your email rather than browse its entire product category. To accommodate for this, include calls to action throughout the email. This doesn’t mean flooding the message with “view here” and “shop now”, but instead enabling click-throughs on things like individual product images, retailer name, and categories based on gender, sale, and product type. Make sure to utilize tracking codes on all links, ideally a unique entity for each one so that you can measure where your email database most prefers to click, so that overtime you can implement links and calls to action more efficiently.