Personal, Responsive & Timely: 7 Tips for the Perfect E-mail
Most of us know from experience that newsletters and advertising e-mails are often annoying and, in many cases, banished to the trash folder unread. That is why many companies sidestep e-mails and primarily use social media for outward communication. But the e-mail remains an indispensable marketing tool, achieving higher conversion rates than any other form of advertising. For that reason, e-mail marketing should not be overlooked. Instead, the focus should be on sending e-mails that will actually be read by the recipient. Remintrex founder, Florian Werner has pulled together a few tips for a successful e-mail.
1. “Service” e-mails are more frequently read
Service e-mails that users perceive as added value work particularly well. The best example of this is supplier status mailings or product recommendations related to a purchase made. Transaction e-mails sent following a purchase, informing customers of extra or similar products, can be hugely advantageous: Following a purchase customers are feeling positive and open to other products. The subject line of this e-mail alone can trigger an impulse, e.g. “Your visit to Tirendo”.
2. Give e-mails a responsive design
The use of mobile devices is still on the rise. Yet even though 47 per cent of e-mails are read on a smartphone or a tablet, thus indicating a clear trend towards mobile, the desktop computer is not yet out of the running. This makes it all the more important to ensure e-mails have a responsive design, one that is displayed in a user-friendly manner on mobile devices as well as on the PC or laptop. If an e-mail is not displayed properly and difficult to read, in 80 per cent of cases it will end up in the recipient’s trash folder.
3. Ensure optimum image to text ratio
While every marketing expert is familiar with the importance of images and the enhanced readability of short texts, the text to image ratio should not be less than 50 per cent. Not only do mailings with too many images lead to quick overloading, they can also cause problems in mobile receivers when it comes to loading the images. The text to image ratio is also a key criterion for the recipient’s spam filter.
4. Give the opt-out option a prominent position
Every recipient must be given the opportunity to quickly and easily unsubscribe from a newsletter or service e-mails. The law states that this should not be impeded by an additional log-in or any other obstacle. The general rule is that it is more preferable for the user to unsubscribe from the mailing list than to mark the e-mail as spam out of irritation. It is therefore advisable that the opt-out button be given a prominent position, i.e. right above the menu. Two-tier processes whereby an extra unsubscribe e-mail must be confirmed, should be avoided.
5. Use preheaders
Both smartphones and tablets as well as some desktop computer e-mail programs display the first few lines of text in the inbox as well as the sender and the subject line. With this in mind, it is important that these lines spark attention and prompt further reading. Calls-to-action which prompt the user to act are often successful. “Ends today: order now for free delivery!” is an example of an action-provoking preheader that prompts the recipient to read on and indicates to him/her before he/she has even read the e-mail in full that the he/she can draw some benefit from the information contained within the e-mail.
6. Address the recipient personally
Addressing the recipient by name in an e-mail conveys familiarity with him/her and a more personal interaction. The name of the recipient should therefore be incorporated into the greeting where possible. A decision should be made depending on the target group as to whether just the first name should be used or the recipient should be addressed more formally by their surname. Ideally however the personal address should not end after the initial greeting: recently-viewed products, inquiring as to a suspended purchase transaction or customised offers capture the recipient’s attention and encourage him/her to return to the website.
7. Seize the window of opportunity
If an e-mail arrives in the recipient’s inbox at the wrong time, i.e. during a stressful day at the office, it is highly likely to go unnoticed. That is why it is essential that you send e-mails at a time when the recipient is ready for its content. If, for example, they have just visited the website a few minutes beforehand, or have just been browsing through the online shop, it can be assumed that an e-mail in connection with this will strike a chord. The time of opening a previous e-mail can also be a good indication of a favourable time.
Conclusion: How to make a service e-mail work
Not all advertising e-mails are shoved into trash without consideration or labelled as spam. Taking the stated aspects into consideration significantly increases the chances of making very good use of a valuable marketing strategy. When it comes to reaching users, the support of an e-mail marketing service can prove advantageous, allowing even non-registered site visitors to be reached via re-targeting.
According to Florian Werner, managing director of Remintrex, only a very small proportion of page visitors set up an account and become a contactable customer for the website operator. However, 70 per cent of an online shop’s visitors do tend to have a purchase interest, but do not make any purchases. Re-targeting these customers using an appropriate mailing can therefore be a crucial factor in new customer acquisition.