Friday, March 29, 2013

Color In Creatives

Colors evoke emotions, influence attitudes, and can ultimately influence behaviors. If you want to get readers to react to your emails, or any marketing material for that matter, you should be considering the colors scheme you are utilizing.

Below are the primary colors you may use, and a list of psychological emotions they may evoke. Keep this in mind while creating your next mailing template to make sure the theme of your message is conveyed through color:

YELLOW is a great color to draw attention to certain topic. It also conveys happiness and energy, but be careful -- too much yellow is difficult on the eyes and can overpower the rest of your content.

ORANGE is another color that embodies warmth and energy. Uniquely, including orange in your email is a great way to portray both creativity and wealth.

RED demands attention. More assertive than yellow, red conveys a boldness, sense of urgency, and power to your readers. Be cautious not to use too much of this color as to not come off as too aggressive.

GREEN represents cleanliness, health, and the environment. One of green’s best attributes is its easiness on the eyes. Use green to create a tranquil, optimistic email creative.

BLUE is one of the most commonly used colors. Blue evokes emotions ranging from confidence, security, cleanliness, and authoritativeness. (Most business apps use the color blue!)

PURPLE is the color of royalty and wealth. Spirituality, power, and luxury can always be depicted through the use of purple. Due to purple’s artificial nature, it is not widely used.

Happy Mailings!

Author: Kayla Sfiligoj
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, March 22, 2013

Optimizing Emails for Mobile Devices

Over the last 2 years, mobile device usage has shot through the roof with more and more users relying on their portable devices to open and read through emails. Have you considered this fact when optimizing your email campaigns? If you’ve never taken email optimizing for mobile devices seriously before, now is the time to start. According to Campaign Monitor, mobile email usage has grown from 4% of the market to 20% in two years.

So the question becomes - How can you optimize emails for mobile devices?
Subject line:  Use 15 characters max to ensure that recipients can read the full header upon opening

Layout: Use a simple, stacked layout as opposed to a multi-column layout

Width: Keep the width to 600px or less so portions of email are not cut off

Buttons and links:  Make buttons and links big and “clickable” by providing padding (whitespace) around them to eliminate “mis-clicks”  

Click-to-call: Use a plain text phone number or a click-to-call button.  It stands to reason that mobile users are likely to have a high conversion rate over the phone. The idea here is to make it as easy as possible for them to do that.

Ergonomics: Remember that ergonomically, you’re designing for people’s thumbs. Keep that in mind as you’re placing important elements such as call-to-action buttons.

General best practices: Most of the best practices for regular email design still apply. Use images wisely, balance images with plain text, use alt text.

 Happy Mailing!
Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Increasing Click Through Rates

Follow these tricks to obtain more clicks for your e-mail:
More Links
You can use the obvious linking of
call-to-actions such as “Click Here” but try linking your words within your article or pitch. You might find that people will respond better to more links.

Link Your Headlines
If you write a newsletter and you’ve got headlines for your articles, try linking the entire headline. If you sell a product link the product name.

Link Your Images
People are used to being taken somewhere when they click on an image. If you’ve got an image that relates to your product or cause, link it!

Include a Table of Contents
Let people get to the content they want to see fast by using
anchor tags in your table of contents at the top of your email. Make sure to implement anchor tags properly as programs like Outlook 2007 have strict specifications for proper anchoring.

Tease Your Recipients
Include half the story in your email and link off to the other half. Make sure in your link you tell them there is more to read. A good suggestion might be “Finish reading this fantastic article…” or something of that nature. Then on the page you direct them to, you can include offers that relate to your content.

Link Your Offer
 If you’ve discounted a product make sure you link either the text or the image you use.

Use a Free Gift as Incentive
Give a free gift with purchase or donation, but only tell them what it is if they click on the link. Then you’ve got more real estate on the page to tell your story.

Link to a Customer Video
Perhaps you’ve got a customer who made a video about your business. Why not link to it in your emails? Nothing sells you better than one of your customers plus your customer will tell all of his friends about it.

Personalize Your Links
If you’ve got a special offer, why not try including your recipients name in the link. “John, click here for your special discount” or “Stanley, click here to learn more about how you can save the Bay.”

Happy Mailing!

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand

Friday, March 1, 2013

Increasing Opens Rates

An email campaign can only be as good as its open rates. The key to obtaining higher open rates is to let your customers know you value them and that the content in your email can benefit them. Follow the steps below to learn more on how you can increase open rates:

First Step: Grab Your Reader’s Attention
Emailing is an efficient marketing strategy that can help your company gain awareness. But like most other marketing strategies, research is a must. First, know what your customers want and define what your business can offer them. Next, turn that into the objective of your email which will grab your reader’s attention. This way, you will have an email campaign that will not only appeal to readers but ignite their curiosity just enough to open the email.
2nd Step: Make Subject Lines that Appeal to the recipient
Certain subject lines have been shown to produce more opens. Listed below are examples of some effective subject lines and its corresponding strategy:
  - Opposites Attract: Advertising NEVER Works. (If you disagree, click here)
  - Cliffhangers: Advertising never worked - until I did this one new thing.
  - Interest by Association: Oprah approved: Jane Smith book signing, Wed. at 12
  - Tendency to Belong: You are not alone…

To find out more about these Subject Line techniques look out for next week’s blog titled “Effective Subject Lines
3rd Step: Optimize the First Line
A subject line isn’t all that a receiver reads when they see an email in their inbox. Most ISPs display the first line of an email as a sneak peak of the email after or underneath the subject line.
In most cases, all people see is the line “If you are having trouble viewing this email…” or “If you have received this message in your Spam…” An easy fix to this is to place your logo at the very top of your creative and have the alt text as a line that gives an insight to the content of your email or at least something that is a more appealing.
4th Step: Build Customer Relationship with Content

Now that you’ve gotten your reader to open your email, satisfy them with your contents. Prove to them that you are a valuable source that can offer benefits, solve their problems, provide them with valuable information, etc. 
Consumer relationship management (CRM) is an important part of email marketing, for some it is the only function of email marketing. By inputting valuable content into your email campaign, you are able to effectively and efficiently retain a relationship with your customers and even increase future open rates.

Email marketing is one of the best and most efficient ways to promote your business but it can only work if the readers open the email. Once they do however, they’ve opened not only an email but a door of benefits that your business may be able to offer them.

Author: Michelle Chan
Editor: Caitlin Durand