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9 Tips for Boosting the Effectiveness of Your Brand’s Emails

The modern media landscape offers a diverse array of marketing channels — including radio, television, print, email, internet, and social media advertising, just to name a few. But only one of them can claim to be the ROI leader … and the king in this category has held the crown for quite a while. According to research, email leads all marketing channels in return on investment, netting brands an average of more than $40 back for every dollar spent.

Even as the reigning ROI champ, though, if marketing emails aren’t opened or engaged with by the consumers who receive them, they won’t move the needle much. And with nearly 320 billion emails sent each day, it’s important for brands to find a way to make their marketing emails stand out from the crowd. But there’s good news to share here: Fortunately for brands that employ them, a handful of tried-and-true tactics can boost open rates (which average just over 20% for brands’ emails) and crank up the click-through rates (with an average at just over 2% for marketing emails).

To boost the effectiveness of your brand’s email marketing campaigns, consider these nine proven and powerful tips from The Brandon Agency:

1. To Up Engagement, Offer an Enticing Incentive

With consumers receiving so many marketing emails these days, the most likely to be opened and engaged with are the ones that offer a solid reason to read them. Whether this is achieved via great content, attractive offers, a highly professional look, helpful information, or an educational opportunity, be sure your emails give the recipient good reason to dive in.

2. Set the Stage With a Strong Subject Line

The subject line may well be the most important element of the email — because if it doesn’t spur an open, the rest of the marketing message will simply go unseen. Use this marquee space to introduce your brand, highlight an offer or benefit, or hype up what you’re selling. And keep in mind that the best subject lines build intrigue or create urgency, leaving the reader feeling compelled to open the email. (One effective example: Ask an open-ended question to spur interest.) A few more quick-hit subject-line tips: – Keep them short. (Don’t exceed 40 characters if possible, with a 25-character limitation hitting the sweet spot.) – Using emojis can draw interest, but be careful not to overuse them. Consider the reader’s time: If using an emoji can keep the subject line more concise and convey a lot of info quickly, it’s worth including. – Adding personalization in the subject line typically leads to higher open rates. – Avoid overuse of exclamation points. Used selectively, these can help add urgency — but they can get old fast (and lose their effectiveness) when overdone. – Refrain from beginning your subject lines with FWD: or RE:, as most consumers recognize this as clickbait, quickly leading to a loss of trust with your audience.

3. Keep it Quick to Get the Click

Within the body of the email, try to keep the written content short and sweet, as attention spans … well, they’re just not what they used to be. Be careful not to overcommunicate in the email, as the goal is to have the user click through to get the full story.

4. Amp up the Visual Appeal

Emails that catch the eye with a small amount of copy and attractive imagery placed front and center tend to perform better. Further, image-based emails allow you to use branded fonts and place copy over images — often a better option for design purposes.

5. Offer Them Intrigue

One reliable way to build intrigue is by requiring the email recipient to click through and go to your brand’s website to see the answer to a question or to get the full offer. Often called a click-to-reveal, this tactic can create an opportunity to tease and intrigue — all while employing a proven way to increase click-through rates.

6. Put the Message in Motion

Employing animations in your emails, even simple ones, is another tactic that tends to increase click-through rates. A word of warning, though: Be careful to keep the size of your animated file relatively small (ideally below 2-3 MB) — as the larger the file is, the longer it can take to load. And in case your recipient’s email client doesn’t support gifs, you can always create a static frame or jump frame that contains all the pertinent info.

7. Serve up a Scrolling Story

By designing emails featuring a lengthy vertical orientation that reveals additional “story” elements as the reader scrolls down the page, brands can create a visual allure that draws recipients in and makes them want to read more. To execute this tactic, have each cartridge in your email’s design play off the one before/above it. Have fun with how your design guides people’s eyes down the elements of the email to make them want to keep scrolling.

8. Delight Them with Design

The most compelling email designs feature professional photography placed in image-forward layouts to convey a clean, modern, contemporary look and feel. When possible, they should be fairly light on the copy — conveying just the vital, need-to-know details for the reader — and can sometimes even employ type over the main image, which can drive a less templated, more organic feel. It’s OK to use vertical imagery that takes up more screen space, as today’s consumers know to scroll down if they’re interested. And of course, all brand emails should be mobile-friendly with powerful, purposeful calls to action that push the reader to take a specific action.

9. Send Them a Series

An email stream is a series of emails that all have a consistent look and speak to the same topic, working together from a messaging standpoint. Look for opportunities for your brand to create email streams around similar topics, as the recurring theme can create a sense of familiarity for consumers that draws them into the messaging.

Could your brand benefit from some professional email marketing guidance? At The Brandon Agency, our team of certified brand strategists and data-driven marketing experts has helped clients in an array of industries boost their email open rates, clickthrough rates, ROI, and more. Further, TBA’s fully integrated marketing firm can cover the full spectrum of your brand’s marketing needs, including brand strategy, web design, creative, media, e-commerce, analytics, social media, SEO, conversion rate optimization, and more. To get started with help ranging from simple website analysis to a comprehensive strategy tailored to boost the performance of all of your marketing campaigns, contact us today.

Ed Lammon

Ed Lammon

Managing Editor of Agency Content

Ed Lammon is the Editorial Director of Blog and Long-Form Content for Brandon. A native of Enterprise, AL (home of the world’s only monument to an insect), Ed is a 1998 Journalism graduate of Auburn University (War Eagle!). When not working, he enjoys travel, hiking, telling dad jokes, and hanging out with friends and family (particularly around campfires, at concerts and at tailgates).

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