The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing
Best practices for developing content and building email marketing campaigns to bring you more business
Good email marketing contains a combination of short and long messages and up to 6 touch-points (a series of different methods you contact a lead, for example: text, call, email, etc…).
If you are developing a 6 touch-point campaign, the best place to start is with an outline of the subject matter by intermingling long messages, graphic images, and short messages. At Fisher, we suggest adding in short text messages to the mix.
Call To Actions (CTA)
All messages should include a call to action (CTA). CTAs direct the user to take a specific action you want them to take. These CTAs can be in both link and button format.
The CTA should always be:
- Placed “above the fold” – meaning viewable without scrolling down on a website
- Placed in the middle of body text within long messages
- Placed at the end right above the footer
Your 6 touch points should be spread out for 6 months with shorter intervals upfront. While the last touchpoint being recurring annually.
The following are examples of the best intervals used when scheduling touchpoints:
- 1 day
- 2 weeks
- 4 weeks
- 2 months
- 3 months
- 6 months
Let’s talk a little bit about Long messages. Long messages are emails over 3 paragraphs and should contain a combination of images, graphics (buttons), text, and links. These types of messages should be used sparingly and never over a social media platform. Most users will not read long format messages on certain platforms because the platform cuts off the sides and creates a never-ending scrolling to get to the point.
The ultimate goal is to represent as much text through graphics as much as possible and break up long thoughts. Emails do not have to follow the same rules that articles do. Meaning, your paragraphs should be under 3 sentences. Most people are reading from their phones and will glaze over masses of text. Additionally, the average person will only scroll down around 5 times.
Remember to include several call to actions throughout your messages in both link and button formats.
Graphic only messages
These types of messages should be a representation of the story you are telling. Such as a sales advertisement or infographic.
Make sure to always include alternative text on these images for the people that want to verify the content before downloading images. Some email systems also allow the user to turn-off automatic downloading.
We recommend the majority of your messages be under 3 paragraphs to stay under the 5 mobile scrolls test.
short messages should include the following 2 formats
- Text-only messages
- Images and text
Again, Always remember to include the call to actions placed above the fold and at the end of the message. Unless the message is too short to scroll, obviously, then only 1 button is needed.
SMS text messages
It’s important to remember that many people do not have the large iPhone, so it is best to keep text messages to 1-3 sentences. We recommend adding an image on 1 of 3 texts to test which format spurs your user the most.
Testing for better results
Finally, let’s touch on split testing. We have seen all of our best practices be thrown out the window with some audiences. There are some industries and target audiences that you need to bend the rules with a little bit. It’s for that reason we recommend comparing all of these message types for maximizing open rate and click-through rate. It is always recommended to keep a spreadsheet to compare and then create more messaging on the suggested type that falls in line with your industry and audience.
That being said, our best practices work 99% of the time.
Our team at Fisher Design & Advertising is experienced in all facets of email marketing services. Contact a team member at Fisher for a free 15-minute consultation to discuss how we can complete an email marketing strategy for your business.