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Campaigns that work - Getting your subscribers' attention

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By Ryan

Attention Seeking

Due to spam, email users are becoming more and more reluctant to respond to any sort of email marketing. A recent survey shows that average corporate email user will only act upon 22% of all emails they receive. Being part of that percentage relies on understanding the behaviour of the average email user.

One of the fundamental reasons for recipients' lack of response is the sheer scale of email that they receive. A corporate user can expect to receive on average 94 emails a day! How do you get your campaigns to stand out? Most email clients, whether it is a web-based one like Gmail or a desktop clients like Outlook, give a preview of the message that has been received (usually the first two lines of an email). This is your primary line of attack. Using evocative wording that catches the recipients attention in these first two lines is critical to a successful campaign. However, using too many marketing buzz words in a campaign can cause it to be filtered by spam filters.

In another study, it was shown that out of emails that are not directly addressed to the recipient only 8% will be read in its entirety. This highlights the importance of customizing your campaign so that the message is addressed to the person receiving it. This is very easy to do with TouchBasePro by using custom fields.

Additionally, providing relevant content that recipients are interested in is fundamental to the success of a campaign. Bored users don't respond positively if at all. I receive a lot of technology related news updates on a daily basis (usually two or three a day), but I only read one of the three. Mainly, because the content in that newsletter is relevant and interesting to me, the other news updates are much more aesthetically pleasing in layout but contain stuff that I'm not as interested in and thus they go straight to the trash bin. These messages aren't spam as I opted-in to receive them, but they are as good as because they are an annoyance. I haven't even gotten around to unsubscribing as I, like the majority of email users, don't have the time or inclination to go through the process. Even if your campaign looks amazing it still isn't enough if the content isn't relevant, providing engaging information to the recipients of your campaign is crucial to is success.

Looking Good

Even though content is critical, having an attractive campaign helps improve your brand's image. After all, an email campaign is one of the best and cheapest platforms for creating an identifiable brand image. Marketing psychologists theorize that a company with a visually strong presence is much more likely to do better than others with less appealing aesthetics. In fact, in a recent survey conducted in Europe, 62% of the participants said that they often bought brands they didn't know because they liked the packaging. 

The same is true for email marketing campaigns, having a professional looking design builds confidence in your customers and promotes a more positive response. Marketing analysts agree that a brand with a professional looking design takes two thirds less repetition for a customer to recognise than that with a boring or unremarkable design. Our free template designs demonstrate some of the essentials of an attractive campaign. Have a look at them if you are a little stuck for inspiration.

Creatures of Habit

Analysts use technologies to map where a user's eyes and mouse move when first confronted with information. The results are pretty expectable: people begin from the top and work left to right. This seems simple but is often forgotten when creating designs and placing content. It makes sense that the first thing a reader sees should be the most important element of the campaign, using information boxes in the top of the campaign is a great way to quickly get your point across. The human mind works to optimize our ability to absorb information quickly, so the brain is physiologically wired to be impatient. The brain uses pattern recognition to lessen the time it takes for it to process its surroundings and this can be exploited by you by working conformity into your campaigns over time. 

If your design conforms to a design standard over a couple of campaigns your recipients will soon be able to recognise what is important information and what is not, a sudden change in design can alienate people and lead to them not responding in a positive manner. If you use boxes on the side of your design to display pertinent information in one campaign, use the same element to display important information in the next campaign you send. Don't expect all the people on your mailing list to read your entire campaign, using bullet points and simple eloquent wording goes a long way in capturing the attention of the recipient.

End-User Study on Email Hygiene Co-Sponsored by The Radicati Group, Inc. & Mirapoint, Inc. April 2005
Email marketing round table discussion and review Toronto 2003

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