Three principles that can help improve your email marketing campaigns

Every company has the potential to achieve fantastic results using simple principles in their email campaigns. In this blog post we look at three principles that could help you achieve your email marketing potential.

Subject lines


The subject line is one of the most important elements of your email. Start by identifying the length of your email campaign. Are you sending a stand alone email or will it be a regular update?

Monthly newsletters and regular updates can benefit from using a fixed subject line like, "This month's [companyname] news". If you want a more flexible subject line ensure you include at least one consistent or easily recognisable element. Many studies have identified that using a brand, company or product name in the subject line can increase readership. The main aim should be to make your email easily identifiable.

The art of subject line writing is similar to writing headlines. Seek inspiration from your favourite newspapers and read articles related to your target market. This will help you learn what inspires your market. Don't be afraid to apply this to your campaigns and be open to trying something new.

Text to image balance


A recent article by eMarketer identified that business-to-business campaigns achieve higher click-through rates when the email has more text than images. However, business-to-consumer campaigns achieved higher click-through rates when the email included more images than text.

Test different image to text balances in your campaigns. You can even try using the same links on images and text to see which performs better. Do your readers prefer to click on the text or the image? I tested this recently on a sample of our own regular email campaigns and found that some text based links outperformed links on images. However, what works for one company may not work for another so test to see what is your optimal text to image ratio.

Testing for perfection


Email marketing is not an exact science. You need to test your email creative and try out different approaches. Always take a deliberate approach to your marketing. Plan what you are going to do and why you are going to do it.

Only change one or two elements of the campaign at a time. For example you may start by testing new subject lines. Does using your brand name or product name improve readership? You can then test something else. For example the From (name) you apply to your emails. Do you get a better response using individual names like "Trevor Munday" or does your brand name have a greater impact?

Monitor the changes and try to find a winning structure. Once you have your winning structure you can concentrate on writing great content for your emails. Don't forget to review your strategy at least once a year. Time spent on analysing results and testing new approaches will always be time well spent.