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Create an Effective Email Campaign

It is estimated that you have one second to grab a reader's attention. Consider the e-mails you open each day. What is it that attracts you to them? E-mail marketers take the position that 5 percent of recipients taking action is a good response rate.

Optimized email header for an effective campaign and un-optimized email header

Here are a few rules to follow in order to create a successful e-mail marketing campaign.

Attention! Get your reader's attention before they open your e-mail with a subject title which will intrigue them to read more. A prominent message will act as a call-to-action and get you noticed. Include the recipients name and email address in the header "To" field. Your company's name and a valid email address should appear in the header "From" field.

Keep it simple. As the internet has matured the use of JavaScript and Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) has allowed for the creation of complex web pages, however, e-mail messages do not have the complex support standards of web pages. The standards used for e-mail are older, so to be effective your e-mail needs to keep the html code basic and simple.

Style it. Keep the e-mail html self-contained by using inline styling tags. Links to external style sheets may not work and many style sheet features may not render properly in an e-mail.

Images. The use of images should be considered carefully. What will someone see if the images do not load when they open your e-mail? If you rely on images for the text content viewers may see a series of missing image symbols.

  • Avoid the use of background images - many e-mail clients will not display them.
  • Do not rely on images to replace all or most of your text.
  • Do use ALT attributes to identify what a missing image is and repeat any text content.

Keep it small. Beautiful graphics can add pizzazz to your e-mail, but if the images are too large the email may be flagged as a potential virus or as spam threat. Optimize your graphic content to get the best quality with the smallest file size.

Absolute vs relative path. Your e-mail is leaving your server, so make sure you use absolute URL paths for images and links.

It's an e-mail. Remember, depending on the e-mail client the reader is using, there may be buttons and navigation controls limiting the size of the display area. A width of 600 pixels will satisfy most e-mail users.

Don't be a mail box hog. Before you include a video file in your e-mail consider the size. Few people will thank you for filling their in box with a multimedia file. Fewer still will appreciate the time it takes for the file to download. Include a URL link to multimedia files you think readers may want to view.

Don't hide it. Prove the legitimacy of your e-mail by displaying the link URL rather than hiding the link behind a "click here" statement.

Offer Options. Give the view the opportunity to view your e-mail as a web page by providing a link to a web version of the e-mail. Additionally, provide a link or button to allow them to add your e-mail address to their Address Book.

Target. Make sure your e-mail is reaching your target audience. Tailor campaigns to reader interests.

Related Articles & References

If you would like more information about creative email campaigns check out the following articles:

Date: 02.12.2010

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