Email Marketing Campaigns

One of a series of white papers by Elizabeth G. Fagan dba EGF Consulting.


Email Marketing Campaigns Best Practices

Be customer-centric, not product-centric
  • Emails enhance your company’s customer service reputation and increase users’ confidence.
  • The overall message meets the expectation set by the subject line and registration process.
  • Instead of focusing on “product” descriptions, focus on meeting customers’ needs.
  • Place marketing messages after content. Users are likely to delete emails that begin with marketing messages before they see the content that interests them.
  • Use engaging text that “closes the loop” of an action the user took or that outlines opportunities for benefits, education, and convenience.
  • Do usability testing and refine content over time.
Differentiate your email from spam
  • Include your company name in the display and domain names of the address.
  • Give users content by including type of email (confirmation, alert, offer).
  • In the subject line, promote the email’s value rather than giving a description of its contents.
  • Do usability testing to determine the best subject line for each customer segment and email message.
Make registering easy
  • Promote account registration on an above-the-fold space on the home page.
  • Put account registration in the universal navigation.
  • Include a link to privacy statement at point of registration.
Position content by its relative value
  • Readers scan the top first: place call to action above the fold.
  • Use the inverted pyramid structure: put the most important information at the top.
  • Because some email users turn images off, put all message copy and links as text outside of images. Use images to enhance, not convey.
  • Readers scan the left-hand margin: use headings and bulleted lists to make content scannable.
Add relevant links
  • Managing customer phone calls is expensive. Instead of encouraging email recipients to call your company, encourage them to go to your website.
  • Link to FAQs.
  • In the footer, tell users how to manage their email account.
  • By law, include your company’s physical address and unsubscribe link.
  • Tell users how to edit account profiles.
  • Tell users how to change email addresses.
  • Provide customer service information.
Headings are short abstracts
  • Heads contain a first word or two that carry important meaning of associated content.
  • Headings make sense without text.
Writing is clear and concise
  • Avoid wordiness; sentence length should not exceed 15 words.
  • Use active verbs (“the cat caught the rat” vs. “the rat was caught by the cat”).
  • Call the reader “you” and refer to the company as “we.”
  • Use simple, everyday language.
  • Avoid nominalizations (“the purpose is to communicate” vs. “the purpose is the communication of”).
  • Put statements in a positive form (“paying promptly ensures you” vs. “if you do not pay on time” or “your failure to pay on time”).
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