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Anatomy of an Effective Email: 9 Steps to Creating Emails that Work – Part I - Guest blog by Audrey Howes @ahowes #Swiftpage

by Administrator Administrator on ‎01-17-2012 09:53 AM

by Audrey Howes, Swiftpage


Email marketing is only as effective as the thought put into email that is sent. Our inboxes are filled to the brim every day, but we only give our full attention to a handful of emails. What is it about an email that makes us open it and want to read it? This week we’ll share 3 quick tips on the anatomy of an effective email. Over the next few weeks as we reveal 6 more important insights.


1.     Who Are You?


In this digital world, we are increasingly aware of who we are truly communicating with. When we scan our email boxes we look to see who our emails are from before anything else. When you send emails, carefully consider what email address the email comes from. If you send a wide variety of emails, think about creating email addresses for each type of email. For example, use for your email newsletters and for general updates. Creating familiarity with your from addresses speaks credibility to your audience.


2.     Give them the Short Version


In the mornings my inbox is littered with offers from dozens email subscriptions. As I glance down the list I scan each subject line and determine which emails I will actually open and quickly delete the rest. I look for subject lines that tell me what is inside the email and have a bit of creativity that piques my curiosity. Your subject line should be an accurate preview of what your readers will find in your email. Play with words to package your email’s subject in an enticing and creative way. Keep in mind that subject lines suggesting content that is significantly different than what is in the email will often cause your readers to flag the email as spam.


3.     Everyone Loves a Good Preview


Previews are honestly one of my favorite parts of watching a movie. The preview gives me the general storyline, gets me excited to see the film or causes me to preemptively eliminate the movie from my must see list. Most email clients and mobile devices offer a preview of the contents of the email. Typically the preview reveals the top left of the email, but sometimes it reveals the entire top section. In viewing the preview, readers are looking for brand recognition and something that catches their eye. This can be especially tricky since many email clients also default to keep images hidden unless the reader chooses to download them. Here is an example from Indulge Bistro and Wine Bar. The image on the left is what I see in my preview pane before I open the email. The image on the right is what I see in my preview pane if I have images turned on. In both previews, I can clearly see the offer that is being presented. Great work, Indulge. The one negative in their email is the lack of brand recognition with images turned off. Thankfully they used a familiar from address and identified themselves in their subject line.




Next week we’ll share 3 additional tips with you! Stay tuned.

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