Wizemail provides email marketing software solutions and e-shot HTML templates to a wide variety of clients - SMEs, Corporate and Digital Advertising Agencies alike – all with one common requirement, a dynamic, professional, digital marketing team on hand when required.
At least weekly, one of the Wizemail team will post a tip, trick or general email marketing advice here.
Subscribe now to keep informed.
At least weekly, one of the Wizemail team will post a tip, trick or general email marketing advice here.
Subscribe now to keep informed.
- Background color
- Background image
- Border Color
- Font Type
- Font Size
We’ve recently mentioned how your email marketing open rates depend to a great extent on your choice of Subject Line. You’ll be pleased to know that they need to be supported by a preheader and that these need as much creativity as the Subject Line.
As the preheader is known by other titles, I’ll clarify what I mean by the term. It is the text shown under or after the Subject Line when your marketing email is seen in a receiver’s inbox. What they will see is 1/ who the email is from, 2/ the catchy Subject Line of the email, and finally, 3/ the preheader tells them why they should open it.
You see the arrangement on TV crime dramas in the format of the hero saying: I’m DCI Vera Stanhope, from Northumberland and City Police. I want to question you about the murder of, etc. In other words, who she is, why she’s important and the reason for the confrontation.
The preheader should be used to convince those not totally swayed by the Subject Line that they should open the marketing email. It’s also another way to reinforce personalisation. Not convinced that you need to bother? Read on.
Most emails are opened on mobiles and most ESPs provide the preheader. It’s a fact of life that you should not only accept but plan for as well. Preheaders are shown on laptops and desktops as well as on mobiles.
A preheader consists of a varying number of characters, 35 on my Moto G5S running EE. Once I’ve checked the sender, I, like most people, will read the Subject Line. If I’ve decided it might be something worthwhile, I’ll read on. It’s the sender’s chance to convince me to open it. That’s free text, what anyone in email marketing dreams of. Yet so many companies spend little or no time on deciding what to include.
Another factor that you must consider is that preheader text is expected. A subscriber will want to know if it is worth their while spending the time reading the full marketing email. They might be out and about, in a lift or train. They are looking for reasons to delete the email. Those extra few words need to make the difference.
If you have used a Subject Line that is a little ambiguous or humorous, the preheader is the way to explain what you meant. For instance, if you were selling Liverpool as a holiday destination to those who might be more inclined to go to London, you could say ‘Samuel Johnson was wrong’. The preheader could read, ‘Tired of London? Try Liverpool.’
It fits, I’ve just tried it. Feel free to use it.
It can be used for personalisation. It’s the perfect place to explain to those on your email marketing list that you know their problems and can solve them. Give the resumé of your solutions in the preheader.
It seems odd that despite there being a free text option, in the right place to increase open rates, so few seem to bother.
What makes you pull a book from the shelves of Waterstones? All you have to go on are the title, author and publisher yet, after a quick perusal, you will be able to pick a book that, even if you do not buy it, will probably interest you. You can see why authors will agonise over what to pick for the title, almost as much as you do for the Subject Line of a marketing email.
A bookshop browser, probably with their head tilted to the right, will run their eyes over a number of books and then stop. They will often touch their favoured choice with a finger. They will consider if it is worth their time and then, normally with a practised hand, pull it off the shelf in one smooth move.
Seems familiar? The success of your email marketing campaign depends to a great extent on whether the Subject Line generates enough interest in someone glancing through their inbox to click on it. If it fails to, then it doesn’t get opened.
A book title will often state, although not in those words, what genre it falls into and will also show why this specific one is so much better than the others. Many a murder mystery will have dead, or a derivative, in there somewhere. Many a marketing email will have reduced, or similar, somewhere in the Subject Line.
One way authors grab the attention is by intriguing the browser. ‘The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’ was a classic as the format was common, but the final word startled. How many, other than me, decided to have a look at the book just to see. This can be useful in email marketing. How about, ‘Want to pay a bit more for your holiday?’. Of course you don’t, so subscribers might wonder why you asked.
If you promise a benefit, then deliverability is an essential. If your Subject Line says ‘Your printer ink problems solved’ you must offer them something that answers their problems. Otherwise your email marketing list subscribers might not take your next email off the shelf.
I’ve mentioned before, and will mention again, that in order to get ahead of your competitors you must go outside of email marketing to look for ideas that might work for you. Take Subject Lines.
I’ve just written a book and I’m struggling, as always, to come up with the perfect title. It is non-fiction and appeals to a relatively small section of the book-reading public. I know the keyword that I must use for the book title to attract my target audience, but my book will be one among many. I want a title to encourage readers to look at it.
This should sound familiar to you as it is the sort of situation you suffer under when looking for a Subject Line for your next email marketing campaign. The thing to do is what anyone in book publishing will do; sit back and work out first of all what will excite your target audience enough to open it. Or you could come at it from another direction and pick a title as if it was a book.
There’s an old story, probably apocryphal but I’ll use it, that a book entitled The Mystery of the Iron Mask suffered poor sales. The publisher made a small change, the addition of just one critical word. The Mystery of the Man in the Iron Mask, personifying the matter rather than just having a mystery about an object. Potential purchasers now thought of a man trapped in a device of torture. Sales tripled.
There’s little chance of you tripling your open rate by the addition of one word, but the example still applies. The change made people relate to the book as there was someone involved. Just as importantly, they were intrigued.
There’s an entertaining YouTube TED Talk video, presented by Chip Kidd, whose role includes choosing titles. He makes some excellent points, so you can learn while laughing. It encapsulates the difficulties publishers experience and as such are directly relatable to email marketing.
When browsing for a book, the norm is that you are presented by just the title, publisher and author. The purpose of these are to get the you to remove the book from the shelf so that you can decide whether it might be worth buying. Isn’t that the purpose of the Subject Line of a marketing email?
One vital aspect of any book title is that it should give some indication of what is inside. It doesn’t have to explain everything, but it should enable the browser to work out if it is worth further investigation. Another vital requirement is that the book title/Subject Line should relate to what the book/email delivers.
People are not judging a book by its cover but are using the title as an indicator as to whether it might interest them. In the same way a subscriber will not decide to buy a product solely on the strength of the Subject Line. All they are doing is working out whether it is worth further investigation.
Have you ever forgotten the obvious items you needed for a holiday? It’s a rhetorical question of course. Who hasn’t started out for the beach looking for a shop that sells sun cream at a price which won’t make you turn red in the face? This is a gap that email marketing can fill.
I’ll run the risk of being thought of as having a beard and admit to attending a three-day folk festival in Yorkshire over the long weekend of 17-19 May. It was a long way from where I lived, making it five days for me, and there was no opportunity to return for the essential items that I, and others, had forgotten. So I had a list.
My penchant for lists makes me the butt of jokes from friends. Whilst the derision I’m subject to can irritate, I get my own back when friends ask, ‘Did you bring any plasters with you? We seem to have run out.’ I hope I look suitably smug when I ask, ‘What size do you need?’ I’ve brought the lists to perfection over a number of years. There’s got to be an opportunity to support an email marketing campaign by providing lists for subscribers to check through.
If you sell anything useful for holidays, from flights to insect repellent, why not have landing pages set up giving advice to those off on holiday. It doesn’t even have to be for strange and exotic locations, especially if the suggestion that the Brexit impasse has given rise to an increase in ‘staycations’ is correct.
If you make the list easily downloadable they will see your strategically placed logo on the form every time they refer to it. You can use what you list to your advantage.
You should highlight those products you sell, and suggest they compare the prices with those they anticipate at their destination. You will naturally send the marketing emails in good time for them to order the items, but be aware that some people will check the list very near their departure time and so realise they are missing essential, or even luxury, items too late to go to the shops.
Your subscribers will want to know whether you can deliver the items in a hurry. If your systems can cope, give them a deadline. Next day delivery if ordered before 3pm is very tempting. You might feel it necessary to have an additional charge for such rapid delivery, and those who have suddenly discovered what is not there will probably be willing to pay the additional sum.
You can still offer ‘free delivery’ if they don’t mind waiting that extra day. How about pointing out that you can deliver to their holiday address if they are leaving first thing in the morning? How grateful they will feel for you relieving that pre-holiday ‘have I got everything’ panic.
I like lists. They save me having to think. A lot of my friends have asked for copies of my lists, and a couple have even suggested additions. Now there’s a blog idea.
I used to go camping, way back when; in a tent no less. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially with my new family. However, the first few times I always turned up at a camp site with one or two items gone AWOL. I took to keeping a list, together with a ‘replace by’ date. I’m the type of subscriber you could target in your email marketing campaign.
Most of the items I forgot to take with me were easily replaced, as long as I did not mind paying the higher local prices of course. The difficult bits were mainly clothing. No offence to Glen Nevis, but it did not have the selection of items of my local London high street.
The summer holidays are about to be on us and those on your email marketing lists might well respond to a reminder of the things that they will need for their fortnight’s holiday, wherever they are going.
There is a suggestion that many of those in the UK are opting to holiday locally due to the uncertainties of Brexit. If so, and there is evidence to support the contention your subscribers might not be fully prepared for the vagaries of the weather. A marketing email with lots of lightweight, waterproof jackets would need little design.
Something simple, with emphasis on how unpredictable the weather might be, and images of the items being worn by smiling models, perhaps with a beach in the background, but in bright sunlight of course, will generate that feeling of, ‘I really must get one of those,’ in your subscribers.
It is probable that most of your subscribers will not have a list, so that’s a gap your marketing email could fill. If you normally sell clothing, then why not also offer a selection of those other items that are forever forgotten? SPF 30 sun cream might be something you could throw in as a tempter.
Most important, though, is guaranteed overnight delivery. If the subscribers to your email marketing lists are anything like me, the afternoon before the holiday starts is when they will realise they have somehow misplaced the storm guys.
Never go against history. If it did not succeed the first, second and third time, try something else. The past has an inertia that is difficult to overcome.
Keeping that in mind, is there any point for having an email marketing campaign focusing on British products? ‘Buy British’ failed in 1931, failed again in the 1960s and, guess what happened in the 1980s. There’s no point in proving a point again and again.
There’s lots of evidence to show that people prefer to buy locally. So what stopped them in the past? In the 1930s, most people had precious little disposable income. In the 1960s, British cars had a poor reputation for build quality and reliability compared to some continental makes. Ours were the butt of stand-up comedy routines.
The campaigns of the 1980s to buy British failed because it was illegal under the Treaty of Rome. Given that Brexit is just a little while away (probably), this last problem might well be not the constraint it was before. Should you start planning for a ‘Buy British’ email marketing campaign?
One campaign on buying British goods has been very positive. Morrisons have had great success in their push to get consumers to buy local farm produce. They do it with a certain subtlety, with concentration on better quality items rather than price.
One significant aspect is that British manufacturing is at an all-time low, so the range of available products to push in an email marketing campaign is restricted. Although this might be a problem for a national campaign, an individual company could well buck the trend.
There are advantages to pushing the Union Flag. Given that 50% of consumers prefer to buy locally, the suggestion is that price is probably a feature in why they are holding back. Post Brexit, there might well be price rises for imported goods. Home produced items should be comparatively cheaper.
What makes an item British? Most will contain imported parts. The Trades Description Act requires substantial change to the product in the UK. Make it clear what you mean by British and prepare now for post Brexit ‘Buy British’ email marketing campaigns.
The UK has one of the lowest ‘buy locally’ beliefs in the world; for food products it is 51% compared to 63%. It has been suggested that this will change post Brexit. If you have British-made products in your lists, now is the time to start planning email marketing campaigns.
Whilst buying British is often given as a favoured choice by those taking part in polls, it will come as no surprise to anyone in email marketing that price plays a bigger part. Post Brexit, imported goods are likely to cost more so British sourced items should become more competitive.
The big question is whether the fact that items are British will make them more desirable. There is likely to be some jingoism once we leave, especially if the deal is seen as a poor one. There might well be some resentment. Peppering your email marketing templates with Union Flags might not be sufficient though.
Many supermarkets have already moved towards using ‘British’ as a synonym for high quality. It is almost a moral standpoint. It has certainly been very successful for Morrisons and their endless images of happy farmers might have convinced many town-dwelling children that it never rains in the countryside.
I’ve read that the low rate of buying locally-made products is a sign of the average person’s commitment to the EU. That’s not a suggestion likely to get universal support I think, but even if only partly true, there is the possibility of a bit of a backlash, at least initially. If we struggle a little financially post Brexit, it is likely to be stronger.
Morrisons’ methods of marketing its British-sourced produce is an example that we in email marketing could usefully follow. Some of these items carry a Union Flag on the packaging, but it is often muted, perhaps party obscured by the logo or name. There’s a certain irony to the fact that too much flag-waving is often seen as un-British.
The successful companies that highlight the Britishness of their products tend to suggest, albeit subtly, that they are of higher quality than those that are imported. In all probability, this is done to justify a higher price. Post Brexit, price differences are likely to shrink and an alternative, and perhaps more justifiable, technique might be a better tactic.
Two sets of figures from Morrisons focus, to a certain extent, on using British suppliers might concentrate your mind. In 2017, local sales were up 50% and accounted for two-thirds of total sales. In email marketing, 5% is a significant change.
Not yet convinced? Morrisons saw a rise in those ‘interested’ in buying local rising from 7% to 68% in 12 months. This does not refer to profits or ROI, but is quite overwhelming none-the-less. It should be enough to make you wonder if there could be anything in it for you.
If your business can move towards local sourcing, or, if you already do, but do not use it as an email marketing ploy, now’s the time to consider it. Brexit is coming, probably.
Even if you seek out trends in email marketing design in the hope they will give you some idea of what’s ‘in’ at the moment, you might have overlooked the various annual graphic design awards. As an example of self-indulgence they are nowhere near that of the Oscars, but there does seem to be an unreasonable level of contempt for what is fashionable.
There is nothing wrong in following a trend. In fact, it means that much of the work has been done for you. A few changes here and there, especially those which you expect to attract subscribers to your email marketing list, and your next rebranding is done for you.
If you are just starting out and are confronted by the range of choices in the free email marketing templates at your disposal, keeping in mind what your successful competitors are doing can have a lot of benefits. You will have the basics laid out for you. The heading goes there, the sub heading just underneath, and you have an example of the image size and location that is about right.
You might find the best way to emphasise who you are and what you stand for is to be similar in appearance to your established competitors. You are as dependable as they are; you just need to highlight your major differences; your charges are lower and you have people at the end of the phone.
One of the judges of a recent design award stated that house styles, trends and looking like your competitors is bad. He used an edgy, ironically rather trendy, adjective to describe his point of view. He also stated that he rated originality over practicality, dangerously close to suggesting that there are more important things than RoI.
Once you are established, the attractions of appearing distinctive and different can be much more tempting. You will want to show that you are pushing boundaries and offering what the others don’t, as the last thing you want is to disappear in a pile of similar looking marketing emails.
It is perfectly possible to base your designs and presentation on a new trend but put enough spin on it to appear different without scaring those on your email marketing lists. For instance, it is accepted that there is a distinct European design. German graphic design can be, er, Germanic; North American design is quite homogeneous despite the size of the country. If you want to appear aligned to any block, go with them.
Where are you going to find what the new trends are? You should subscribe to the email marketing lists of other companies, particularly outside of your field. If you see some following the lead of a more avant guarde company, then you might be able to be first to a trend in your speciality.
It is difficult to predict what will be taken up, but even if your choice disappears, you still have shown your company to be different, exciting and willing to take a risk. There is always another email marketing template to modify.
Is now the right time for you to change the branding for your email marketing campaigns? There should always be a reason for change, but given the number of free email marketing templates you have available, if you have been running with the same old predictable appearance for email after email, that is probably reason enough. The difficulty you will have is in knowing what to go for.
Email marketing is a fast-moving craft and if there’s a new trend that you like the look of, by the time you’ve got your new design up and running, all your competitors are doing the same. There’s one simple way of changing the look of your emails and stopping you being just like your competitors; change your typeface. You’ll appear daringly different but reassuringly recognisable.
I’m not decrying professional graphic artists, after all, I used to be one, but many will go into great depth on the subject of typefaces and fonts. For instance, they will frequently mention a supposed ‘battle’ between sans and serif typefaces. You know, the one they’ve been mentioning for decades. However, it doesn’t really exist, so it doesn’t really matter.
If you are agonising over which would be best in your next email marketing campaign, all you have to consider is how it will appear to your subscribers. Will it create the impression you want? Sans serif does not mean modern of course. Johnson’s and Gill began to look a bit past it when Univers took off in the ’60s. If you are after a modern, vibrant appearance then the choice of typeface for email marketing falls well below that of colour, images and, especially, tone of the copy.
Most say the choice of typeface is important. The historic advice was aimed at easy readability; sans was best for headings and sub headings, and a serif for the body copy. Yet some now suggest that given the short line lengths used in marketing emails, the reverse gives more advantages.
For once you have a decision that is easy to make. The best typefaces for your email marketing campaign are the ones that look right to you.
The first thing to do is not panic. The figures suggest that just 3% of the adult population is vegan. However, the numbers are increasing, and you should monitor how they change.
Tesco’s own brand of vegan foods, rather oddly named Wicked Kitchen, has been going for over a year. It proudly states on its website that it won an award. If they think the demands of veganism are worth covering, then it tends to indicate that it is something email marketing should concern itself with.
It is not all the preserve of groceries though. Many of the items you sell might have animal products in them, or use such material in their manufacture. Chocolate is, obviously, unsuitable for vegans, so your Easter images might have been a poor choice. Less well known is that Worcestershire sauce contains anchovies. Anything fortified with vitamin D3 probably has lanolin in it. Beer, wine and ciders may not be suitable for vegans, although there are vegan alternatives.
What could be wrong with an image of people drinking coffee? With a bit of care, it could be nothing as there are many milk substitutes which look that same, although beware the chocolate dusting on cappuccinos.
The rate of take-up of veganism is not uniform across the age range. The majority are millennials. If your products are aimed mainly, or even substantially, at this demographic then there are certain steps that you might usefully take.
1/ Ask those on your email marketing lists if they are vegans or vegetarians. The norm is that they will be only too willing to identify as such.
2/ Ensure images in an email marketing campaign are unlikely to affront them. At Christmas it might be best if you did not show a turkey being carved.
3/ The copy should be vetted for similar reasons.
Once you know which on your email marketing lists are vegans, treat them accordingly. It is not all negative of course. If certain of your products are suitable for vegans, such as wine without the use of isinglass, then boast about it. You could be targeting a growing section of society.
Veganism has largely passed me by. There’s little on the subject in the reports on specialist email marketing sites. However, it was brought home to me this Easter, almost literally.
A friend of mine is in the process of having his kitchen refitted and we offered him and his family of partner and two teenage daughters a cooked lunch and dinner on Easter Sunday. There would have been 16 of us around our table at lunch, but we were relieved of the risk of elbows bumping into one-another.
It seems his partner and both daughters were committed vegans, a matter that was brought up almost as they entered our house, presumably because they smelt the lamb and turkey nicely coming to mouth-watering perfection. The problems were resolved by moving the three vegans and my friend to a table in the conservatory where they could share various pasta dishes.
Veganism has a number of rules which are not, it seems, applicable to all. It’s a bit like Brexit; there are many degrees of veganism from soft to hard. It is a minefield for email marketing. I was surprised to discover that fresh pasta is not vegan whilst that from Waitrose in packets most certainly is. It also turned out that there was no problem with my friend eating fresh pasta at the same table as the vegans despite them refusing to sit in the same room as those enjoying the delights of a Welsh leg of lamb.
Similar to the variations of what the movement stands for, statistics on veganism are open to some dispute. However, many suggest that just 3% of adults follow its precepts closely. Given that there are so few, is there any point in creating a separate heading in your email marketing lists? Much as I hate to be definite, I will say probably.
It seems that in 2017 less than 2% of the adult population was vegan so there’s been an increase of substantially more than 50% in one year. That’s quite remarkable and would suggest that it is something that, at the very least, anyone involved in email marketing should have plans for.
There are suggestions that the vast majority of the newly committed to veganism comes from millennials, an unknown number of converts probably coming from vegetarianism. If you are unaware of the differences between the two, now is the time to start reading up on what each may and may not eat.
Veganism isn’t so much a diet, my friend rather belatedly tells me, but as a response to the way animals are treated. There can be few who would not support the humane treatment of animals, but as someone who knows a dairy farmer, with his commitment to his animals’ welfare, I find it odd that cheese is seen as verboten. You haven’t tasted cheese until you get it from a farmer’s stock.
Ask those on your email marketing lists, particularly millennials, if they are vegans or vegetarians. You will show yourself as considerate, and you’ll have another way to target them.
I subscribe to dozens of email marketing lists for research purposes, and have done for some years. One thing that still surprises me is that, as far as content goes, I’m largely ignored at best. You see, I’m over 55 years of age.
It seems very odd as, for the first time in my life, I have a fair bit of disposable income. I assumed I would be targeted, but most marketing emails miss me by some distance. One example is clothes. It would appear there are no clothing models over 35 years. I’m grey-haired and a little overweight, so how can I see what I will look like in a suit when the model is slim, athletic and has dark hair?
Every so often I’ll get a marketing email for upright chairs, or a powered one, and these often show people 30 years older than me. They all look happy, perhaps because they are wearing bedroom slippers. If I am a typical grumpy old man, it’s because of badly targeted marketing emails.
My first computer used a command line interface and so does my current laptop as I’ve installed Ubuntu on for a bit of fun. So why do I get marketing emails for IT advice for seniors? I would prefer being ignored to being patronised. I’m sure George Clooney would be miffed at that as well.
Irritate subscribers to your email marketing list by patronising them and they will become ex subscribers. However, it does not mean that you should ignore age as a demographic despite the variations in the desires and needs of the age range.
The fact that few marketing emails to the over 55s are so badly targeted leaves a gap in the market. Ironically, you can’t use their age as the sole criterion. The way to sell to them is as individuals. Don’t treat them as grandparents so much as a group that has high disposable income, possibly to spend on young children. You will have realised that you need to segment your email marketing lists to find what they want. Just don’t offer me Werther’s Originals.
I have a neighbour who is 67. He’s grey-haired, a bit overweight and is often seen pushing his youngest grandchild around in a wheelchair. This year he will drive in a motor race for the first time. He says that he’s not your typical grandad, but then, no one is.
We use many ways to classify subscribers to our email marketing lists but working out what emphasis to put on each aspect is the difficult bit. We often see it done poorly on TV and in newspapers, with people being described by age. ‘Over 50’ is one that is bewilderingly common. It is as if there’s a cliff people fall off at that age.
It can be a useful demographic, but Age is a crude brush. We are told that the over 50s have greater disposable income than millennials, some putting it at three times that of those half their age. We also read that due to later marriages and easier divorces, many 50 year olds have young families. So which email marketing campaign for your over 50s: the camping holiday or Verona for a long weekend?
One point we can be clear on is that only using a date of birth to target an email marketing campaign is a waste of time. Both Marylin Manson and the ex-Coventry flanker Neil Back were born in 1969. Other than age, and that both would make fascinating dinner guests, I doubt there’s an email marketing template that would appeal to both.
We can guess at some things they have in common. For instance, many people approaching 50 do not want to be reminded of their age and might not appreciate being bombarded by marketing emails for funeral plans. The other killer mistake is to patronise. It’s as bad as shouting at over 60s because the assumption is they’re hard of hearing.
I have to confess to being seduced by ISA ads. This is not because of my age so much as that I have, at last, a little disposable income. Not much, but I am concerned about my future security. Perhaps it is my age. Which all goes to show that, except in exceptional circumstances, you should not use one single demographic to define your segmented email marketing list.
You might well be wondering if there is any need to use the classification of middle age in email marketing. It is clear that there is nothing unique about any one adult age range. Microsoft prefers to use adoption of technology as a way of differentiating their customers. Whether this is a sensible option for you, only you can say.
Age is not the differentiator it used to be. I can say that as an older person. The historical social pressures to conform are, thankfully, all but gone. Further, online technology is open to all and this makes available all sorts of opportunities. When going for a long drive, I plug my MP3 player into the car radio in order to listen to Mark Knopfler and Ava Max.
Age is of little use in email marketing.
There are a number of regulations which limit what advertisers can promise or even suggest in an advert. In general, they are an aid to anyone selling via email marketing as customers will feel reassured, if only to a certain extent. You have the ability to reinforce this impression and ensure that they believe what drops into their inbox.
If you promise that a certain ingredient in your cream will reduce wrinkles or weight and it doesn’t, the best you could hope for is that the regulators will tell you to desist in such claims. That’s bad enough, but more to the point, if the customer was a subscriber to your email marketing list you will have lost their trust. You will probably lose them as a subscriber as well.
There are a number of well-known motivators which can be exploited, via an email marketing campaign, to encourage customers to buy objects that they would not normally opt for. There’s obviously nothing wrong in doing so and, in fact, it has a distinct positive. You might well generate gratitude as you are opening up new experiences and opportunities to subscribers to your email marketing list. It will probably encourage them to try something similar again.
We have enormous amounts of data on our subscribers which allow us to target our email marketing campaigns. To a great extent you know their triggers. With this goes responsibility. Many would think that it would be immoral to use this information to encourage a subscriber to buy something they will not use.
Even ignoring the moral and legal aspects, there’s another feature to be considered. Targeting does not mean using subscribers to your email marketing list as a target. If you ignore their needs and desires, and make promises the product cannot fulfil, remember they might open the package when they are in a more logical frame of mind. They will realise that they cannot trust you.
Many people, on discovering they’ve been played, will become irritated and want some kind of recompense. They can always return the product and the unsubscribe button is always just a click away.
The Japanese word Ma confounds reason. Online you will find multiple translations, some of which contradict one another. There is a general consensus that can be summed up as the gap between objects can be as important as the objects themselves. This is useful to bear in mind when designing an email marketing campaign.
Given all the information you want to convey to those on your email marketing lists, you might think that leaving a lot of empty space is a waste. However, the benefits of white space, the English translation of Ma, in western graphic art has been recognised for at least a century. The classic Volkswagen advert, Think Small, which tested the limits of white space usage, was first published 60 years ago, so there’s no excuse for giving into the urge to cram as much as possible into a marketing email.
Email marketing templates allow a great deal of flexibility and who can fail to be tempted by the ease at which one can increase the size of an image. After all, it will be reduced in size if the recipient views it on a pad or mobile phone. It is, unfortunately, a trap, one that many willingly fall into.
Ma has multiple purposes. Whilst it might seem counterintuitive, you can use it to frame an image or a headline. It enables the item to stand out. Without distractions and clutter it will be much more prominent. Framing is nothing more than a way to emphasise a separation.
For one thing it doesn’t have to be white nor does it have to be a single, even colour. It can be anything that will be ignored so a blurred image where nothing can be distinguished can be white space. However, it can be tricky to pull off so care needs to be exercised in order that readers don’t get pulled towards it.
One of the major benefits of white space is that it lends itself to being a subtle influence. Readers of a marketing email might be wary as they know you are selling something. Clever use of what is, in essence, nothing is difficult to guard against.
Despite being insubstantial, Ma directs the eye. There are simple ways of using gaps between text or objects to pull a person towards your CTA button. Little white space on one side of a marketing email, steadily opening out towards the right margin, will direct the eye. Place your button there.
White space needs to work for you. It’s no good inserting gaps just because you’ve run out of ideas. There has to be at least as much reason for including it as an image, if not more so.
Ma requires a purpose. The accepted definition says that it can have equal importance as text and images. The fact that it is conditional means that you have to work at it. It’s back to splitting email marketing lists to see what works best for you.
Page 1 of 20