HubSpot -The 12 Pillars of Reader-Friendly Email Marketing
Ah, your first email message from the latest list you opted into. Cool! Let’s check it out and see wha …
Eyes burning? Yeah, you just got burned by some really unpleasant email marketing design.
Okay, so maybe I’m being a little hyperbolic, but you must know what I’m talking about. What’s with the flashing GIFs? Color overload? Excessive font experimentation? If you’re guilty of any of those (or what we’re about to talk about in this blog post), you might be rocking your email recipients’ worlds, and not in a good way. Ugly email design can distract from your email message, confuse recipients, hinder click-throughs, harm your brand’s image, and even result in unsubscribes for the seriously offended.
So to ensure every email you send looks pleasant, use this list as a reference point for the qualities of reader-friendly email layout and design — and never send out a frightful email again!
How to Design an Email for Superior User Experience
1) Use a Clear “From:” Field
A great email experience begins before your recipient even opens the message — it all starts with the “From:” field. People are extremely protective of their email inboxes; they’re personal spaces that, when violated by spammers and bad segmenters, prompt recipients to unsubscribe. So it’s critical you establish some level of familiarity right away by making it easy for your recipient to recognize who you are, and why you’re in their inbox. Some marketers have found they have better open and click-through rates when they use their company name as the sender. Others, however, have found more success using the name of an employee — like the recipient’s account manager, for example. Some companies actually see the best results when they combine the two, using both a personal name and a company name — we conducted our own test to confirm this suspicion:
Whichever method works best for you, make sure to also include an actual email address to which the recipient can reply to reaffirm that you are, in fact, a real person.
2) Make Sure Your Subject Line Displays Fully
The other part of your email that can make or break a reader’s experience before even opening the message is the subject line. We’ve written about how to write excellent subject line copy, but you also have to consider how long that subject line looks in an inbox. Think about it — if your subject line is “GoDaddy.com’s domain names are going on sale tomorrow,” but your recipient’s inbox cuts off even the last few words, the meaning of the email is totally lost — and probably your instances of email opens, too. So try to keep your subject lines brief and to the point, frontloading any words that are critical to the meaning of the email. While every email client displays a different number of characters, trying to keep the subject line under 50 characters is a good rule of thumb. If you have a large mobile audience, shoot for 20 characters or fewer.
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