Email Marketing Tips – No 3: Pareto Published May 21, 2010 Email Design and content such as ‘Call to actions’ (CTA’s) have a massive impact on the success of your email marketing campaigns. Here is a run through of some things I noticed good and bad on a recent email campaign by Pareto. The Header Images This is a large header image which forces the content down, along with the call to action (CTA) below the fold of the page. The header image is not the company logo – the big benefit of having a header image is that once the images are downloaded your brand is recognisable and you have consistency between your email and the website you are linking through to. Alternative text (alt tags) are small blocks of text which are displayed when the images are not displayed, the alt tag on this image is “header”, descriptive but not contributing to the effectiveness of the email. Takeaways: If you have to have a header image make it: As small as your designer will let you – think thin if nothing else. Ensure that it matches your branding guidelines – especially the pages you are linking through to – inconsistencies in this area murder conversion rates. Use Alt tags on all images. Layout, Content & Size Good bits They clearly know what situations people are in when they consider using Pareto Law, but they are jumbled up in the right hand navigation – such a shame because that content clearly defined would have a big impact on prospects. They use a case study which lends credibility to what they’re saying, but the example used isn’t very well known compared to some of their other clients – BT, Rightmove, Barclays. A string of better known logos with “find out why these companies use us” would have been even better. Not so good bits The email is very very long and there are several scrolls required to get to the clearest call to action. The right hand navigation also means that it feels cluttered, research has shown that this type of layout does nothing to help your click through rate. Takeaways: All too often email campaigns – especially B2B ones look like letters put into HTML – emails are not letters, they are flyers. You need to generate interest, lay out the benefits and get them onto your site, when was the last time you spent more than a few seconds reading an email? Keep it clean and simple: what are you offering why should the recipient care what do they need to do next Call to Actions Good bits They are personalised emails. Personalising content is always a great way to boost response rates. Once you get to it the call to action “download a brochure” is clear and it’s obvious what you are getting. Not so good bits The call to actions could be more inspirational and direct “Call Mark (your contact) to build your sales team now!” Takeaways: Make your call to actions clear, concise and immediately actionable.For businesses that convert sales offline I’ve seen “Call me” buttons work really well – most ESP’s (Email service providers) can generate an email to your sales team when people click this button – meaning you can call them straight away. Conclusion Pareto have clearly put a lot of effort into writing the content for the email, however the design has really let them down. Plus too much content leads to the call to actions being lost. The top tip to overcome this is to show the email design to someone not involved in creating it – preferably not even in your company and ask them to after 5 seconds tell you what the offer/benefit is. If they can’t, the chances are you have too much content.