In email marketing, we always look at the statistics. We calculate the success of the campaign primarily based on the open rate, and the click rate. But aren’t we focusing too much on those reading rates?
That our campaigns lead to conversions is normal. And we also use our readers who click through to measure that, where else could they come from? But it isn’t that black and white. First, you can never tell with 100 percent certainty who has read your message. If the images are turned off by default, you can also not detect the pixel that is loaded to measure if the message is being read. So there are always more readers than we see in our reports. That is certainly good news.
Directly to the website or webshop
But we have more. It’s not because your message isn’t being “read”, that there is no conversion. A lot of your contacts – especially regular customers – get enough information from the first look at your sender name and subject line to take action. Not to open your message and click through, but to directly go to your website which is saved in their browser history or bookmarks. Because that link also holds their login or the preferred page. Just because they think it’s easier. “Seeing” your message in their inbox is the trigger to browse for your website. The better your subject line, the better you stimulate this behavior.
Don’t think too hard about the logic of your contact. But knowing this, it becomes even more important to focus on those elements that should convince the receiver of your email message.
And that’s these classic elements:
The sender: In every email client this will be the first thing your contact will see. So choose a correct name. The trade name is better than the company name. Go for a name that will generate the best recognition.
The subject line: Lots and lots of pages of texts have been written about the subject line. Taking into account that the receiver should understand the message before actually opening it, you should pay a lot of attention to the subject line. So don’t go for “The latest news about shoes”, but better “Order today to get your shoes under the Christmas tree in time”. Ofcourse with some extra words to trigger the reader.
The Preheader (first sentence): Literally the first sentence of your message in visible in most email clients – like Gmail, Iphone email app, … – right after the subject line. You could perfectly use this text to trigger your contact even more to open or take action. Put the most important information first to make sure it will be seen. Too often you’ll see “click here if the message isn’t displayed correctly”. And that’s a waste. It does nothing for your reader to see this as a preheader. Also make sure there is no repetition: really use the preheader to support and explain your subject line.
New experiment from Google
But there’s even more possible in the future. Google is working on a new lay-out of Gmail. Under the promotions tab – where they store email marketing emails – they are working on a grid view. You can already see it in beta, but it looks very promising. The email messages are presented in grids, where they display the banner, the company logo, the sender and the subject line in a sort of header. Reading emails will be more like looking at pictures. That will also mean that the first elements become even more important.
That means that we can add two elements to the list above:
The main image: At the beginning they will get it from your Google+ account. But we are betting that at a later time, you will be able to let Google know which image to take from your email message with some kind of css style.
Your logo: We always say that it should be the opener of your email message. So always place that image at the top left corner, to get instant recognition in the preview pane. Same thing goes for the grid view of Google.
The grid view is still in testing phase. Want to get in on it? You can get in line here. And we also know that the digital world has lots of copycats. The chance that other ISP’s or email clients will experiment with different types of displays is there. But for now, make sure you focus on the first three items on the list!