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Email Best Practices

Email Best Practices

PLANNING
Advise your client to write the entire e-mail campaign at the same time to create consistent messaging.

PRE-HEADER
Don’t duplicate your subject line.

SUBJECT LINES
max 35 character width, impactful, action
Hot Topic or Hot Speaker: ―Cloud computing at Microsoft, 2/8 ―An invitation from University President
Invitation to opt in: ―Tell Yale what you think

CONTENT
Don’t put all of the details in this email.
Strong and clear call to action.
Send your reader to the website for more information.

CONTENT LENGTH
Short. All relevant content above the fold.
An E-Mail is like a retail store window; it needs to reveal just enough to compel viewers to enter the store.
Don’t overload your E-Mail; drive your reader to your website for other relevant content.

DESIGN
Use design templates provided in Imodules.

IMAGES
Thin banners/logos at top of E-Mail: 600 x 175 pixels.
Photographs/hero images at top of E-Mail: 600 x 300 pixels.
Headshot photo: 140 x 140 pixels.
Are their similarities with the selected email images and website images?

CTA (CALL TO ACTION)
Keep the calls to action simple and clear.
Best practice is to have only 1 CTA in an email.
Too many different CTA will distract the reader and your percentage of CTA clicks will decrease.

HYPERLINKS
Color: use normal blue the system provides, do not make them red.
Do not use the words: click here. Make the action word a hyperlink.

E-MAIL CONFIRMATION
This is the perfect place for transportation information, details about the venue, parking, and what to wear.

BLACK-OUT CALENDAR
Review AAD black-out calendar when scheduling your message to be sent.

VOICE and TONE
Don’t be a robot.
Put yourself in your subscribers’ shoes. When someone is looking at their inbox, they’re seeing emails from friends, family, colleagues, and companies. Many of those conversations are informal. Meet your subscribers where they are, and use a conversational tone in your email copy.

Consider the message.
Adapt your tone based on the type of content you’re sending. If it’s a transactional email about a purchase, you’ll want to get right to the point and only include the important information. But if you’re sending an exciting product announcement or birthday message, you can show a little more personality and have fun with your copy.

Be yourself.
It can be overwhelming to write in an Official Company Voice. Remember that brands aren’t people, and your subscribers want a human touch in their emails. Feel free to write in your own voice, and edit your draft later to make sure it represents the brand. Include humor if you like, but only where it feels natural—a forced joke is never funny.

Pay attention to the details.
Think beyond your subject line and body copy. Your from name, preheader, headlines, images, and footer all help set the tone for your email. Preheader text is the first thing people see in their email clients after the subject line, and it serves as a teaser for your email. Infuse it with a little personality to get people interested. (At the very least, make sure it doesn’t say “Use this area to offer a short preview of your email’s content” when you send!)

Read it out loud.
This is my favorite self-editing tip, and it doesn’t only apply to email. When you finish writing a draft, read it out loud to yourself. As you read aloud, do what I call a “human check” to make sure everything flows. You can also use a text-to-speech generator to hear your copy read in someone else’s voice. (Macs have one built in, and Google’s app gets great ratings as well.) That’s how some people will experience your emails in the first place, so it can be a valuable editing tool. As a bonus, reading out loud also helps you catch typos and errors. That’s super important for email, since once you click send, there’s no turning back.

Make room to grow.
Your voice will evolve as your company grows, and your email marketing will change over time. That’s a good thing! As you experiment with your communication style, remember that email is a great place to show off your personality and try new approaches.

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