When I read email, I typically have one finger on the delete key. Like most people, I get a lot of e-mail. And like most people, I don’t have time for games. So when designing an email marketing piece I’d advise you to avoid techniques that may slow down the email scanning processes of your readers.
Avoid over-reliance on images
More and more often I see email marketing in my inbox that is made up entirely of images. Since my e-mail client is set not to download images until I tell it to, I see a blank white screen with some red x’s where the images should be, until (or unless) I click the “download images” button. Unfortunately for the email marketer, I’m more likely to click the delete key than the “download images” link. And once I hit the delete key, the message is gone. All the effort that was put into choosing the right images to portray the message is lost forever.
Instead of concentrating on “wowing” the reader with the beautiful design that they’ll likely never see, think about using a clever phrase to wow them. Or just use clear, straightforward language that the reader can quickly scan and comprehend without having to click the download images link.
Avoid unnecessary click through links
If you expect me to click through to something, you had better give me a compelling reason to move my finger from the delete key to the click through link. Sending an email that is an image with a click here link isn’t very compelling.
However if you provide an interesting sentence or two, with a link to more information, you might get me to click. If you offer an enticing discount on a product I might click through. If you give me some interesting details to an event you’re promoting, I might click through.
Keep the design simple
Remember that people are using email clients to read your piece. Not only are there countless email clients that may be in use by your readers, but many people read their email on their phones. What renders well for one reader may unreadable for the next. Current techniques used to design websites or print pieces simply won’t work consistently for email. Keep it simple if you want it to get read.