Some of the most important elements of an email are often overlooked or undervalued. This week, in our Top 5 Tips for Campaign Success, we’ll talk about the importance of making a Content Checklist so that you won’t forget the obvious.
We invite you to follow along each week and join the conversation by adding your thoughts in the comments section.
While providing a proofed and ready-to-test HTML file is important, the actual content of your emails shouldn’t be ignored. Sometimes we see clients spend so much time on their links and code that they forget to write a subject line! You may think that could never happen to you, but trust us, it happens to the best of us. So, starting with subject lines, here are a few items to put on your Content Checklist…
A subject line is the first thing your audience sees when your email pops into their inbox. It’s the tasty bait that gets your potential customers to actually open and read the content you’re sending. Open rates live and die by subject lines, yet they are often treated as an afterthought or forgotten altogether.
We won’t go into a how-to-write-subject-lines spiel. The truth is that your industry, your audience and your brand voice should determine how your subject lines are composed. However, we do recommend that subject lines should be less than 60 characters in length and approved internally during the email testing phase. These resources offer tips for writing great subject lines: Email on Acid and SubjectLine.com.
Not only should your subject lines be compelling, but they should also be personalized if possible. Personalization is a great way to grab a reader’s attention and make an initial connection. If you are able to personalize the subject line, make sure that the callout for the data to populate that field is included. Worldata states personalization in subject lines lifts open rates by 28% in B2B emails and 22% in B2C emails. Also, consider using emojis in subject lines, it’s a fun, lighthearted way to increase open rates 😊!
In addition to personalization, it can also be helpful to submit multiple subject lines for A/B testing. Running A/B tests with elements of your content can help your organization see what your customers are responding to so that you can make sure the right message is getting to the right person.
Preheader text also plays a very important role. Preheader text is a line of text that appears after your subject line that gives your readers a sneak peek into what the email is about. If your audience is on the fence about opening your email, preheader text may give them the extra push that’s needed.
The purpose of preheader text is similar to a subject line, but you generally have a little more space to convey your message. While subject lines should run under 60 characters, preheader text can run between 50 and 100 characters. Make sure that you have provided a call out for the preheader text in your data files and assign it to the right location in your ready-to-test HTML file.
Last but not least, make sure you provide a link for the reader to unsubscribe from your emails. Not only is this proper email etiquette, but it’s required by CAN SPAM laws. We’ll take a deeper dive into CAN SPAM in a later post, but for now, make sure your unsubscribe link is included on your content checklist.
Your content checklist will likely be unique to you and your organization; some checklists may need 20 items and others may need only a few. Whatever the case, make sure your content checklist includes the items listed above, and reference your list constantly to avoid costly delays and to keep the process moving along smoothly.
The next post in our Top 5 Tips for Campaign Success will discuss email Images. Join us!