6 Questions to Better Email Marketing

It may be one of the most basic tools in your marketing arsenal, but there’s no question that email is far from irrelevant. In fact, an impressive 77% of consumers say email is their preferred channel for receiving permission-based marketing communications. So it’s crucial to ensure that every aspect of your email campaign is optimized before hitting that ‘Send’ button — and building an effective template is a great place to start.

77% of consumers say email is their preferred channel for receiving permission-based marketing communications (ExactTarget, 2013) tweetbutton

If you’re looking for some guidelines for email template design, like where to place your call to action or what elements you need to include, start by consulting the following six questions. And remember: an attractive, easy-to-read email template can make the difference between your email being read, skimmed, or deleted.

1. Is HTML or plain text better suited for your email? Many emails (like newsletters and event invitations) lend themselves more to HTML, while drip emails and webinar follow-ups might be more effective with the personal touch of simple, plain-text emails.

2. Does your email have an obvious call to action? Your message should have a clear CTA that’s set apart from the rest of your email by color, placement, or text treatment. Without this, it will be hard for your recipients to understand the purpose of your email. Even more importantly, it will make it that much more difficult for them to take the action you desire.

3. Have you broken your email up into smaller sections and used bulleted text as much as possible? Today’s consumers are pressed for time, meaning that they have a tendency to scan emails for any important points that pertain specifically to them. Use bulleted text and short paragraphs as much as possible to cater to these preferences.

4. Have you taken advantage of using images wherever possible? Including visuals in your emails can break up the monotony of text (especially if there is a lot of it). Just make sure to have a reasonable image-to-text ratio— having far more images than text could serve as a red flag to spam filters.

5. Did you include contact information, social sharing buttons, and unsubscribe links? You want your recipients to be able to quickly and easily share your content, or communicate with you should they have any concerns or wish to unsubscribe.

6. Is your email template clean and uncluttered? This is perhaps the most important thing to pay attention to when designing your email templates. Information in your email should be as easy to read and digest as possible.

Looking for more email hints and tips? Download our free Complete Guide to B2B Email Marketing! And let us know your own thoughts on building effective templates in our comments section.