This is it. The 3rd and final part of Incloud’s Email Optimization Series. Part 1 got you to the Inbox, Part 2 made sure they actually opened your email and now? Well, we want them to actually click on all that precious content that was created (and debated burnt orange vs. pumpkin orange, Karen?!). Moving on, here are a few points to consider when creating the best emails in the entire kingdom.

Keep It Above The Fold

Remember back in the day when people actually read newspapers? Me neither. Anyway, the point here is that the most important content of the day was on the front page, above the “fold” to ensure it got the maximum exposure. Same applies to email content, keep the good stuff in the first 600px of your email so that whether a user scrolls or deletes, they were exposed to your main message.

Be Responsive

The majority of emails are opened on mobile. We know this. Yet some email templates are still not using responsive design (and people are stuck trying to read 8pt font on a 6 inch screen. Don’t be that company; invest in a template that will re-size, re-stack and really make your customers not have to squint).

Use Clever CTAs

Step 1: actually put a call-to-action button on your content. It may seem obvious, but some companies get so caught up in the beauty/design of the email that they forget its purpose: get people to click. That being said, you don’t always need to use the standard “Shop Now” or “Find Out More” CTAs but inject some of your brand’s personality. For example, an email about winter coats can have a CTA “Bundle Up” or “Stay Warm”. Sky’s the limit here people, just don’t be so ambiguous that users can’t connect the dots between your content and the associated CTA.

Keep Copy To A Minimum

People don’t read online, they skim. So as much as we want to channel our inner Shakespeare in email copy, instead be brief, be bright and be gone let them click. If a user wants more information they will click, it’s your job to be relevant enough to make them want to click.

Let It Flow

When designing an email, try to make the artwork appear as cohesive as possible, with one message flowing visually into the next one. Keep a colour theme or design element that is consistent throughout the entire email so users feel like they are scrolling through lots of information but in a namaste kinda way.

Use GIFs & Inspiring Visuals

Movement in email tends to attract a higher Click-Through-Rate, so whenever possible try to add a GIF and attract attention to the most important elements. On a similar note, opt for a mood shot or a scenic photo vs simply using plain/boring product images on bland backgrounds. Your designers are talented individuals, they will find the perfect blend between aspirational and inspirational to promote your content in the best possible way.

Keep Your Promise

Make sure that the Subject Line is in fact a reflection of the content within the email. Deliver on your promise as to what the user can expect to see when they actually took the time to open your email. Click-bait type subject lines work when used sparingly, but if ever single email has content that is completely unrelated to what the user is expecting, they will eventually stop opening your emails and never see that lovely message in pumpkin orange font (whatever, Karen).

Make It Personal

Whenever possible, personalize the content within an email based on the data you have about your customers (age, sex, location, etc.). For example, you can showcase products they have recently searched for or items that are relevant given the current weather in their region (rain boots vs sandals). It may seem logical, but this type of content generally receives higher than usual CTRs, since well… it’s more relevant to the person reading it- so go ahead and create that connection with your content. On a related note, this is a great opportunity to use Dynamic Content in your emails, whereby multiple versions of content are saved in 1 email and showcase the best visual based on a set of predefined rules (aka sunny vs rainy).

Dot the I’s and Cross the T’s

Don’t forget to take the time to proofread your content before sending out your email to the masses. Spelling and grammar contribute to the credibility of your brand and the last thing you want is to undermine your message because you couldn’t differentiate between your and you’re.

Make Them An Offer They Can’t Refuse

Include a compelling offer in your content, whether it be free shipping, a free consultation, a percentage off or any other relevant deal/value that will get a customer to take action. As much as possible, place this “deal” at the top of the email and give it more “weight” compared to other messages. You can also use a content slot in the email to upsell or cross sell any related products and offerings- the goal here is to augment the conversion rate (and subsequent revenue).

Use Segments

Not everyone on your mailing list wants to receive every single email you design (*gasp). In fact, users are becoming more and more protective of their inbox, so if you don’t send them relevant content, you may risk excommunication. Use data collected within your preference centers or other tools to send catered content to each user as much as possible. For example, in fashion, something as simple as creating a male and female-centric version of your email can make a huge difference when it comes to CTRs…unless, well, your users have a high interest in cross-dressing (#NewSegmentAlert).

So as you can see, an array of tactics can be used when creating content for your emails, but just be mindful of the goal you are trying to achieve and use the best possible strategy for all the people in the land. And whenever possible, A/B Test your content so that you can prove that pumpkin orange will win over burnt orange (just saying).

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