When executed effectively, email marketing can be a powerful tool to generate new leads and nurture existing ones. To help you stay on top of current email marketing trends, AMA Columbia’s August 2015 event welcomes Paul Allen, Assistant Director of Recruiting for the Professional MBA Program in the Darla Moore School of Business at The University of South Carolina, to share essential email components that are guaranteed to engage your audience. Paul has a few tips below to improve your emails and will go more in depth at the AMA meeting on Tuesday, August 18.
For those who are not fluent in HTML, do you suggest using popular services like MailChimp or Constant Contact for email marketing?
Absolutely! These are great services that have already done a lot of the heavy lifting when it comes to designing an email. Plus, they offer a nice drag and drop experience that produces well-coded HTML emails with great performance.
Is it unethical to hide the unsubscribe link further down in an email design? Is this an effective tactic for decreasing unsubscription rates?
In my opinion, it is not unethical to put the unsubscribe link further down in the email. However, it is unethical and illegal to not include one altogether in marketing emails. This being said, it is actually beneficial for your unsubscribe link to be in an easy to get to location and not hidden. You want subscribers who are interested in your content. So if someone is not interested in your content, you want them to unsubscribe so you have a better idea of your subscriber base. It is much more informative for them to unsubscribe than to mark your email as spam and continue to be sent emails they will never read. The best way to reduce your unsubscription rate is to provide content that is valuable for your subscribers and is delivered in a format they can easily consume on a regular time table.
Are people more likely to read emails with plain text formatting that don’t necessarily stand out as a marketing email?
This one can go either way. It really depends on your demographic and your messaging. There are some really great plain text campaigns out there that have had great success. However, a well-designed marketing email with a clear call to action is pleasant to consume and tends to perform well. We will talk about plain text vs. HTML in on the 18th .
Should call to actions always be at the end of an email?
Not necessarily. Your call to action should come at a point that makes sense. The whole email should urge the reader to perform that action. This may come towards the start of the email, at the end, or in both places. If a call to action is too far down an email, the reader may not get to it, especially if they are having to scroll multiple times on a mobile device.
Do you write your email content before the design or vice versa?
Usually copy does come before design, unless I am doing a template to use over multiple campaigns. Knowing the content you want to give your subscribers is half the battle of creating a successful email.
How do text heavy vs image heavy emails impact click-through rates?
This one is tricky because there are so many variables at play. Text heavy emails that make it hard to determine a call to action can affect the click through rate. However, image heavy emails have a hard time displaying properly in all email clients and often get caught in spam. I will certainly be talking about this on the 18th.