Friday, September 16, 2011

The Ineffective Email

The slow decline of print advertising has been accompanied by the growth of digital marketing.

Print advertising includes newspapers, magazines, phone books and junk mail.

I have seen some of my friends in the print business evolve into the digital world, but there are a few tips and "tricks" to keep in mind as outlines by

Five Email Design Must-Haves

The average email subscriber faces an inbox filled with clutter. Once she sorts through a variety of personal, professional and marketing messages, she won't look kindly on messy or incoherent email offers. "Without a well-crafted, clear and consistent design for your brand, your email is going nowhere in a hurry," says John Murphy in an article at MarketingProfs.

Here's how to avoid such a pitfall:

Use a good balance of text and images. Many spam filters consider an email's text-to-image ratio when deciding if it will reach a recipient's inbox. If there's too much text or too many images, it risks banishment to the spam folder.

Assume that images will be blocked. There's a good chance your subscribers will only see embedded images if they actively click on a link to display them. Because of this, the text in your message has to make sense even if its images don't show up.

Provide a back-up option for image-rich backgrounds. A number of clients—Gmail and Microsoft Outlook, for example—don't support background images. But Murphy says there's a workaround. "HTML allows both an image and a color to be coded in the same tag," he writes, "which means that if a mail client supports background images, the images will be displayed; if it doesn't, then the chosen color will appear as the email background instead."

Include a table of contents for lengthier messages. When an email has several sections, ease its navigation with a simple table of contents that links within the message to the topics a subscriber wants to read.

Remember a call to action. You've sent the message because you want your recipient to do something—so make sure he can.

The Po!nt: How it works matters as much as how it reads. Don't sabotage your strong content with weak email design.

Source: MarketingProfs.

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