In our last issue, we shared tips to increase the open rate of emails you send to a broad audience. Now, let’s look at design and content best practices to increase reader engagement.
A responsive or fluid design displays well on all devices … including mobile devices, where nearly half of emails are opened. Often, that means a simpler, one-column design, though two-column designs can work, as well. There is specific coding to assure the email adjusts to any device; that’s what makes it “responsive.” Not sure where to start? Check out some of the free templates offered by Litmus.
Aim for an image-to-text ratio of 50% or less to reduce spam flags. When possible use text instead of an image and place text toward the top of the message. If you use big images in your email, request a stylized alt tag with a background color and font size, style and color to make it more appealing to recipients who don’t download images.
Always have a “View online” link at the top. Avoid using negative language such as "If this email doesn’t display properly, please click here." You’re implying there’s something wrong with the email coding. Stick to something simple such as "View this email online." When sending a message several times to the same audience, switch up the layout and design. Have fun with the design. Be creative or try something new to capture readers’ interest.
Include a clear call to action. I know; that seems obvious, but we see many eblasts with absolutely no hint about what action readers should take.
When writing an eblast, decide the purpose up front. Do you want the reader to go to your website, request information, download a detailed description, place an order or request a follow-up call? Make sure the content guides the readers to take action.
Reader engagement is not guaranteed simply by deploying an email, but engaging design and content, with a clear call to action, will increase your click rates.