The Simple Formula for An Effective Email

February 28, 2017   /   by  Diane Callihan

Kiss Clunky eNewsletters Goodbye

If your company is creating email newsletters that still look like newsletters, we have some advice for you: Cut it out.

Think back to the dawn of the internet – emails were quick and simple. That’s why they caught on.

And then, we got all design-y and fancy and tried laying out emails to look like print newsletters. We added multiple columns, tables, boxes and images. We packed ‘em full of content like mini newspapers, and expected people to scroll down for more.

Who has two thumbs and is tired of scrolling? This guy.

Busy, text-heavy emails that include multiple calls-to-action don’t perform well, especially on mobile. And most of your readers are mobile. According to a recent report, 66% of all email in the US is now opened/read on smartphones or tablets.

So, what works?

Less is more.

Think of the emails you get from the best brands. They typically have a few things in common.

  • A compelling subject line
  • A simple, 1-column format
  • An engaging header image
  • Brief teaser text (2 or 3 sentences)
  • A clear and clickable call-to action

That’s it.

Simple. Clean. Short.

After all, your emails should just direct people to relevant content that lives on your website, not actually provide all that information within the email itself. Think road sign, not atlas.

Get our free responsive email templates that are easily integrated with Marketo.

Focus, Grasshopper

Email newsletters with multiple topics may have made more sense back in the day when you sent one email to all your contacts at once. Since you weren’t sure who was interested in what, you wanted to provide a variety of different articles and resources in the hope that something would appeal to each recipient. A shotgun approach.

Now, with marketing automation, personalization and data-driven business intelligence, you should be able to easily divide up your email lists according to a user’s interests and preferences, and direct them to a single resource that you know will be of value.

Fewer choices = more clicks

Single offers get 266% more leads than multiple offers.
-Marketing Sherpa

Email is still one of the most effective (and inexpensive) marketing tactics around. Just remember to keep it simple.

Need help creating powerful email campaigns that get results? Let’s Talk.

Diane Callihan

Diane Callihan

With more than 20 years of experience writing for some of the country’s top brands, Diane helped to shape Roger West’s content strategy, lead generation, and PR efforts as Director of Marketing. She currently serves as President of Callihan Content Creation.