The invention of the mass market email has been one of the biggest boons to online advertising in the last decade or so. It’s a cheap and effective way to get in touch with current clients to inform them about new promotions and special offers as well as giving them a small reminder about the company. For many people, these emails represent a way to have a first look at new stock and to keep abreast of company developments and are a welcome break from the steady stream of work-related junk they receive. For some however, they are seen as a nuisance to be unsubscribed from as soon as possible. To better serve the needs of the client base, it’s important to understand some of the reasons that people unsubscribe from email marketing.
A quick glance at unsubscription rates around the Internet shows that the highest figures tend to come from gift, card and flower websites. These tend to be used as one- off purchases by customers panicking about a last minute birthday or anniversary and they may not be a repeat customer to the same website. If this sounds like your problem, make sure your consent box is visible at the check out process and offer to set up yearly reminders as part of the subscription service. This means you’ll only get in touch when they need your service again.
The average person receives over two dozen emails a day, most of which require their immediate attention. This means that the amount of time they’ll spend looking at marketing emails is minimal, so if there’s too much information in your email, it’ll likely go straight in the bin. Whilst it’s important to keep your customers up-to-date, you can reduce your unsubscription rate from this problem by formatting your emails differently. Summarise the content in five bullet points or less with a hyper link from each one if they choose to read further.
Irrelevant emails are a major frustration for all email users as they waste valuable time by the time your customer has realised there’s nothing in the email for them. This includes press releases that have no bearing on their day-to-day life, links to other related companies or a discount that they already have access to. To avoid this problem, try splitting your client list up into different groups based on different demographics and shopping habits. This means that you can target your emails more effectively to increase your open rate.
There can be nothing more frustrating that opening your inbox to find a dozen emails from the same company, all with different titles and offers. While you might be excited to celebrate and show off your current offers and news, you need to remember that your business is only a small part of your customers’ lives. An email a week can be seen to be too many in some eyes, so again, it’s important to get some feedback from your clients to help you create different lists. Giving them options for what kind of news they sign up for will give them a feel for how many emails they can expect from you. The golden rule here is “if you have nothing useful to say, don’t say anything at all”.
Finally, people unsubscribe from emails because they’re simply not interested in the product or service that is being offered. In these situations, there’s very little you can do apart from thank them for their custom and interest and remind them that your address list is always open.
So before you start to get upset or worried about high unsubscription rates, take a few hours to analyse the reasons why your clients are leaving your address list. You’ll quickly be able to see a pattern of one of the five reasons emerging and can then take steps to bring your followers back.
The key to email frequency is an artefact that marketers cling to in a desperate attempt to explain the relationship between the reach of their message and the engagement of their customers in statistical terms.
People have yet to discover this correlation though, and it’s great that this is how things stand. A world where marketers could predict phenomenal engagement and influence customers via email to such an extent that fierce battles would be fought between only a few producers, is a world we wouldn’t want to be in. Yet, when the most unbearable sound for a company is its neighbour’s cash register opening, the closer we can get to this hypothetical ‘key’, the better.
Nowadays, the hottest topic on marketers’ lips is responsive email design. While it has very little to do with email frequency, in theory, it’s turning the issue of frequency into a real conundrum. It’s one thing to send emails that a customer would see on his way back from work or while he sips his morning coffee, but it’s another thing to send emails that a customer can react to instantaneously. After all, would you want to switch off your phone because too many pesky emails pop up when your eyes are glued to the phone display for entirely different reasons? No. So, volume is a sensitive issue when it comes to email marketing.
But relying on volume alone to bring you enhanced levels of engagement is like letting a genie out of the bottle and then asking for your three wishes to be granted, after it’s flown the coop. It will get you nowhere and it will ruffle a few feathers. That’s because there’s one factor in this equation that simply can’t be quantified: human behaviour. It’s a variable that will tilt the scales when we least expect it, and it also explains why email volume isn’t directly proportional to customer engagement. Simply put, there’s no way of anticipating what a customer will want at a point in time, or at least, not in the long run. Humans are fickle and kudos to us, because it makes us just a tiny bit less boring.
We know this for a fact: engagement is incremental, and once you’ve hit your peak, there’s only one way to go. In other words, after a certain number of times, your customers will eventually lose interest or become annoyed with the emails you send too often. When this happens, you’re no better in their eyes than a spammer, a social bot, or an irksome banner that keeps popping up just because you happened to hover over it. So, after you’ve come up with a reasonable number of clicks, buys, or whatever it is you’re really looking for, commit to it. Don’t be greedy. Until your company grows further, there’s no point in trying to push the envelope, because the more emails you send, the faster the engagement drops, from this point on. Only push a new campaign further when you have an ace up your sleeve.
When it comes to online advertising, you only need to use three words to describe your situation: dog-eat-dog. So fierce is the competition for the spotlight, and so diverse the companies and their customers, that it’s pointless to try to replicate your most fervent competitor. While statistics will show you that this many customers end up deleting e-mails, and that many check their emails on their phone, these figures need not apply to you. Marketing statistics are based on extremely large control groups with different interests, living in different areas, going to work at different hours, using different phone settings, clicking on links for different reasons, expecting different things from you, and finally, drawing different experiences from the same type of interaction with your emails. Unless you have the global reach to take advantage of all these circumstances put together, you’re more likely to fall under very different conversion patterns. And if you have that kind of reach, you probably don’t need these statistics.
As much as you may feel like we’re answering your ‘But, how will I know?’ question with a dry, condescending ‘You’ll know…’, there are patterns to your business cycle that only an insider can get a feel for. Your email marketing frequency needs to make allowances for national school vacations if you’re an estate agent, it should not conflict with fasting practices if you’re a gourmet food retailer, it shouldn’t coincide with inflated petrol prices if you’re a car dealer, etc. There are matters pertaining to your business model that a robot dishing out emails simply can’t cope with.
Whenever there’s an inkling of light at the end of the tunnel, you’re taking a chance. When none of your tools are tried-and-tested, and the weight of previous failed attempts in similar situations weighs heavily on you, you’re taking a clear, undeniable plunge into oblivion. So, rather than focus on that one-size-fits-all solution to the optimum number of emails, try to be reactive to drops in existing engagement and try to prevent any more of those from happening.
Complaints about spam are one of the most damaging things to a marketing company’s reputation. When a company’s emails are repeatedly marked as spam, the sender risks being blocked by many of the major ISPs. While most businesses do not deliberately send out spam emails, there are many avoidable things that can contribute to a higher than average spam score. Here are some points to consider that should help reduce the amount of email spam complaints:
1.The Mailing List
Purchased mailing lists should be avoided as the people on them have not signed up to receive emails and will not recognise the sender’s address. It is important to keep the mailing list up to date. An out-of-date list could contain old email addresses and some subscribers may have forgotten that they opted in to emails from the company.
Senders need to be sure that the recipients of their newsletters are aware that they have opted in to receive them. Otherwise, they will classify those emails as spam! When a customer opts in to receive updates by email it pays to use a double opt-in system. Sometimes, people will sign up for something using a fake email address, which may be already being used by someone else. The recipient will then perceive the emails they receive as spam. To avoid this problem, customers should be asked to click on a link within an email to ensure both that they did not sign up using a fake address or had checked a box in error.
Companies should ensure that it is made clear to clients what they are signing up for and how often they can expect to receive emails. This may scare off some customers, but it is better to have one opt-in who wants to receive emails rather than twenty who would mark them as spam.
2. Sender Identification
Marketing companies should strive to make it crystal-clear who the email is from. Companies should not just use an email address such as firstname.lastname@example.org, but identify themselves, for example, Business X. They should also make the subject of the email clear. The email pre-header, that often consists of one or two lines explaining that the subscriber has opted-in to receive this email, can be used instead to offer the recipient some information about the content they can expect.
It is an excellent idea to personalise the headers and body of the email. It may take longer to do so, but it will make the email look more professional and credible.
3. Expired Opt-ins
There are many reasons why recipients might no longer wish to receive emails, such as losing interest or changing jobs. It is important to monitor and remove expired opt-ins from the mailing list. Recipients who have lost interest will lower a company’s open rates and may also eventually mark the emails as spam. It is good practice to email these opt-ins once or twice to check whether they still wish to receive updates and newsletters. If there is no reply, these contacts should be deleted from the mailing list.
4. The Unsubscribe Button
The unsubscribe link is a company’s best defence against spam complaints. It may seem a good idea to hide it away in the midst of the small print at the foot of the email, but this is not correct. Customers receiving unwanted emails often mark them as spam simply because they cannot see an unsubscribe button. It is much better for a customer to be able to unsubscribe easily, as they are then less likely to mark the email as spam. The unsubscribe link should be easy to find and very visible, at the top of the email and perhaps in a larger font. ISPs have made it easy to mark an email as spam, so marketing companies need to make it even easier to unsubscribe.
5. The Feedback Loop
If a company sends a lot of emails, it makes sense for them to subscribe to a feedback loop that is provided to businesses by email clients such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo. When a recipient marks an email as spam, the feedback loop automatically removes them from the sender’s mailing list.
Signing up to a feedback loop will not prevent customers marking emails as spam, but it will allow companies to remove them from the mailing list, thus reducing the potential for complaints.
More and more people are choosing to connect to their email account through their smartphone. For some, a busy life dictates that it is easier to check emails when on the move, for example while taking a train to work or having lunch in a coffee shop. For others it is the “I want it and I want it now” attitude of modern society, where people simply don’t want to wait until they have a chance to log on to their computer to look at their emails – who knows what they could have missed out on in that time.
The trouble with smartphones is that not only do they come in a variety of sizes, emails will be displayed differently depending on how the user is viewing them – be it through their phone’s native email app, a dedicated app by the email provider, a third party email app, or simply by logging on through one of the many mobile browsers available. For those sending emails, it has therefore become increasingly important to think about incorporating a mobile-friendly design, as in the fast paced modern world, if it can’t be read now, many people will just delete it.
The subject line is the most important part of an email, as if it is boring or confusing, the email will simply go unread, in which case any efforts that have gone towards making the design of email itself compatible with a smartphone will have gone to waste. Creating a captivating subject line has always been important, however, mobile phones can typically display between just 20 and 30 characters on the subject line, making the task even more difficult. These 20 to 30 characters should be used carefully, to come up with a subject line that is interesting and intriguing enough for somebody to click on, as the email is just one swipe or tap away from the bin.
An email design with lots of visual elements such as multiple columns might look great on a computer screen, but on a mobile phone, they are just going to make the text small and look confusing. Concentrate on making any visual elements bold so that they are both easy to see and understand.
Sometimes, images are a necessity to show a point. When they are not, they are best avoided as many email providers hide them by default. Where they are not hidden by default, reading emails on a phone can be a frustrating experience for users not connected to WiFi, as they can take a long time to download, and will eat into their data allowance.
When reading an email on the move, nobody is going to want to sit and read through paragraph after paragraph of text. One of the common purposes of emails is to drive traffic to a website, so rather than bore the user with an essay, use a small snippet of text and a nice bold button linking to a web page where all the relevant information can be found. Buttons are preferential over text links for mobile users as they are much easier to click.
Previously, the iPhone width of 320 pixels was considered the standard for mobile screens, however, even Apple have now started heading towards larger smartphones. Scalable designs of the past were often based on a width of 640 pixels, allowing for exact scaling on a mobile phone. Scalable designs are popular as they are easy to implement and don’t adjust the widths of any tables or images used. The downside is their simplicity which means that for some Android users, the emails will not be scrolled, resulting in a poor user experience where it is necessary to scroll both horizontally and vertically across the screen. Whilst scalable designs aren’t necessarily bad practice, and are certainly better than not considering mobile users at all, they often don’t offer the best user experience.
A fluid layout is a step up from a scalable design, and allows the width of tables and images to adapt based on the screen size they are viewed on. These emails should look good on smartphones of all brands and widths. As they allow the content to flow, they work best where there is a lot of text; however, emails that are heavy on text are not always the best way of grabbing the attention of a mobile user.
A responsive email layout uses CSS media queries to change the layout of an email based on the size of the device, and can even use different text, images or buttons depending on whether the email is being read on a computer or mobile phone screen. Content can be moved around or hidden depending on the device, allowing mobile users to see the headlines whilst desktop users are delivered more text. If the time and skills are available to come up with a responsive email layout, it is without doubt the best way forward.
Free responsive email template using a travel theme. This template should work on all devices.
Use your favourite text editor to make changes to the template. Once you’re happy how your template looks, run it through a CSS inliner
Included inside the ZIP file is a completely coded and tested HTML template.
Download Email Template
If e-mail is one of the blessings of modern life, then spam is one of the banes. As inboxes come under attack from a deluge of unwanted mails, so defence mechanisms become more sophisticated. The mighty Google has now waded into the spam-prevention fray, with image-caching in Gmail.
While spam may seem totally random (and sometimes is), there are also companies which collect and sell lists of validated e-mail addresses. Validated e-mail addresses are those where the spammer can confirm that the e-mail has been read, meaning the address is active. The old-fashioned way of checking if a mail had been read was to include an “unsubscribe” link, which, in reality simply confirmed that the address was active. Unfortunately for spammers, once this trick became widely known, increasing numbers of people avoided clicking on any links within spam mails. The spammers then stepped up a gear and started using images to check whether or not an address was live. In a nutshell, images in e-mails have to be downloaded from a server. In the case of spam, the server will be run by the spammer. By downloading the image, the user confirms that the address is active, even if they never look at the mail itself. This is why many e-mail clients have a default setting only to download text, leaving the user to opt-in to receiving images.
Google’s image-caching service essentially provides a buffer zone between the spammers and legitimate users. Up until now, if a user has elected to display an image, it has been that user’s details which have been sent to the third-party server. Although the data transmitted stops well short of the sort of personal details which could lead to identity compromise, it still contains a lot of information spammers find interesting. For example, it gives an indication of the user’s home country and the browser they are using. Increasingly spammers load unique IDs into each image so that they can have greater visibility of who opens what. This helps spammers to target their campaigns more effectively. For those wondering why anyone would wish to download images for spam e-mail, firstly it’s worth remembering that there are still a large number of e-mail users who do not really understand how spam works. Secondly, spam is becoming increasingly well-disguised. Mails are deliberately sent with misleading subject lines; partly to get through filters and partly to increase the possibility that a user will be tricked into opening it. From now on, however, Gmail users will send a request to Google to download the images and forward them. Consequently, spammers will receive Google’s details. While this may trigger spam being sent to Google, that is their problem rather than the end user’s, and presumably Google is big enough and technically capable enough to deal with this.
Looked at purely in terms of fighting spam, Google’s move is a positive one. In the real world, however, there is no such thing as a free lunch and the price of this anti-spam service is that Google will scrutinise your incoming e-mail even more closely. Whether or not this is a price worth paying will presumably depend on an individual’s point of view. For those who prefer to have full control over the contents of their inbox, the option to opt out of this service will still be available. In broader terms, Google’s approach raises some interesting questions. While its overt purpose is to stop spam, if the user leaves it switched on it will affect all incoming e-mails, even those which the user chooses to receive. Although it will have little to no impact on the end user’s experience, it will make it more challenging for legitimate advertisers to track the success of their adverts. This may mean that direct marketing through e-mail becomes less attractive and leaves advertisers searching for alternatives – such as Google Adwords. On the other hand, legitimate marketers do have other options when it comes to taking ownership of their reader lists. The most obvious option is to send an e-mail with a link to a website where the content can be read (and if necessary downloaded).
Since the user would recognise the e-mail source as genuinely legitimate, clicking on a link would be an acceptable action. It could also be argued that this would be a more ethical way for organisations to gather information; since users would be aware that they were connecting to a website, whereas less technologically-aware users might not be aware that their e-mail could be tracked. Another potential issue, which could impact the sending of legitimate e-mail, is that some companies use tracking IDs to cleanse their e-mail lists. In other words, if they have a list of customers who have opted-in to receive a communication, but they see that one customer has not opened their communications for a certain length of time, they will remove that person’s details from their list. If they lose the tracking information, they may waste bandwidth trying to reach a user who has lost interest.
In today’s multi-media world filled with time-pressed customers, the challenge of getting and keeping their attention has never been greater. Even when customers opt-in to receive e-mail communication, there is no guarantee that they will open it. That is why open rates are such a key metric for e-mail marketers.
In simple terms, open rate refers to the number of people who open a particular e-mail. The most basic way of calculating it is: e-mails opened divided by e-mails delivered (in other words, minus bounces). The open rate can be used to track the success of a campaign. They also serve more pragmatic purposes, such as keeping e-mail lists clean. Companies do not want to waste time and effort trying to contact customers who are either unreachable (having changed e-mail address for example) or uninterested.
In order to determine when an e-mail is opened, the sender typically uses a tracking ID embedded in an image. E-mail images have to be downloaded from an external server, which means that as soon as the recipient connects to the server to download the image, the unique ID can be recorded and the e-mail considered to be opened. While this system has worked very well for a long time, it is far from foolproof. Some users opt to receive plain-text e-mails (i.e. those without images) or simply turn off the option to download images from external sources (or leave it turned off by default in their browser). Whereas previously this may have been done for reasons of security, today’s internet users are increasingly likely to be using mobile devices and to be conscious of their data usage. Additionally, Google has just introduced image caching for Gmail and it remains to be seen how this will impact legitimate commercial e-mail. If Google relays the individual tracking ID with each download, senders will still have at least some visibility over who is opening what, but if they manage to implement a caching system where they only download the image once and send it to multiple users, it will be effectively impossible to track individual openings using this method. Commercial mailers may move to adopting alternative strategies to measure open rate, such as having a user click on a link to access the content. This approach may, however, be less than ideal for users of mobile devices.
Even when the open rate can be measured successfully, it still needs to be treated with a note of caution. In point of fact it is something of a misnomer in that it only identifies when a user has downloaded images for an e-mail rather than whether they have actually given it any further attention. It is therefore best looked upon as a useful guideline rather than as an exact science, and really the best way to get a handle on a typical open rate is to track it over time and be alert to any variation. However, the basic rule of thumb is that the more targeted the list and the more engaged the readership, the greater the open rate. At its most basic level, this means keeping e-mail lists clean and removing addresses where there has been no action for a defined period. Ideally, it means generating clearly focused lists (e.g. by special interest or local area) and keeping readers engaged from issue to issue (e.g. by including interactive elements such as competitions).
Step number one in getting people to open subject lines is to get them to the right addresses. There is no point in continually sending e-mails to addresses where there is never any sign of a reaction. Clean your mailing list and focus on customers where you at least have a chance of getting a response. Step number two is to get your mails past spam filters. This means being careful with subject lines. Avoid words which suggest that the content contains sales pitch and if at all possible avoid symbols and exclamation marks. Spam filters tend to look upon these with suspicion having been developed to filter out “vi@gra!!!” and the like. By a happy coincidence, this will also often help with step three, which is getting the human recipient to pay attention to the subject line.
The subject line should inform and engage rather than attempt to sell. Think of how you react to a salesperson pushing themselves upon you when you are browsing a shop rather than actively looking for assistance. That’s how pushy e-mail subjects look to readers. The old rule about capital letters looking like SHOUTING holds as true for subject lines as it does everywhere else. They are also looked on unfavourably by spam filters, which is another good reason to avoid them. Once you’ve got your reader past the subject, the opening lines of the e-mail must engage the reader’s attention. Whatever the most important point of your e-mail is, get it in quickly. While this isn’t technically measured in open rate, it is, essentially the object of the exercise. Be prepared to experiment. If your open rate isn’t how you’d like it, try sending your mails on different days. Try splitting longer weekly e-mails into shorter daily ones. Try using Twitter to advertise what the current e-mails key points are. Continual innovation is the way to e-mail success.
If your emails contain images, this can be effective on many levels. Through images, you can increase your sales, draw in the attention of clients and just boosts the visual communication in general. You can definitely ensure that your emails contain images, but are you using these images correctly? It has become rather common that major companies to send out emails containing only images and no text, but is this an effective technique?
Here are some important things to think about before attaching images to your emails.
Unless everyone who opens one of your emails has the world’s fastest internet, it is likely that it will take longer for an email which contains large images to load, so the bigger the image, the longer it will take to load. So anyone who isn’t that patient, will not want to wait for an email to load, click, read, close, that’s what we humans like to do with emails!
Sometimes, your image is what contains all the important information. So taking into consideration that not everyone will share the same internet speed, it is probably a good idea to think about re-sizing your images to ensure faster loading time.
Unfortunately, nearly every email client out there blocks images in emails. This is done by default, so those who wish to view images in their emails, have to go into the settings and change the security settings. So this brings no benefit if all your information is contained in one single image, because most people forget to change these settings.
People like easy access to things, so if your images takes a long time to load or the customers have to do a lot of scrolling on their handheld device just to see a bit of text clearly, it is unlikely that they will open any of your future emails.
Balance Text and Images – This is simple, add more smaller images with some additional text. This works better than just one massive image containing text. Balance the two.
Optimize for Mobile – As mentioned above, it is becoming more common that people are working from their handheld devices. So optimizing your emails for mobile use is essential. To ensure that your emails and images are mobile-friendly, you need to scale them to 600 pixels and not any wider. The best way to do this, is to use some sort of image editing software, like; Photoshop etc.
HTML 5 is the new version of HTML and XHTML. It is rising rather quickly and it has been said that it will play a huge part in the world of HTML in years to come. Although the final stages of HTML 5 are still in the works, browsers such as; Safari, Google Chrome and Firefox are all supporting this new technology. The HTML5, <video> tag has been said to stand out particularly well. It has been said that this ‘tag’ was created to allow video support of all formats to work on all browsers without installations of any other plugins etc.
The below code seemed to give the best result, after all the current video options were removed.
<video width=”600″ poster=”fallback-image.png” controls autoplay>
<source src=”http://domain.com/video.mp4″ type=”video/mp4″ />
<source src=”http://domain.com/video.webm” type=”video/webm” />
<source src=”http://domain.com/video.ogv” type=”video/ogg” />
<!– Fallback if HTML5 video is not supported –>
<a href=”http://domain.com”><img border=”0″ src=”fallback-image.png” label=”Fallback Image” width=”600″></a>
As seen in the example, you have to add in a substitute image (this will be loaded as the image for the video before it is presented to the clients who want to support video for their emails) in the <video> tag. You also have to include the width and the height of the video. While showing reference of your source on your server, the ‘H.264’ encoded video should be called into the <video> tag. This is done by incorporating the <source> tag. After you have incoded all of this, you add in the content which you want displaying in your choosen email clients, ensuring that they don’t support HTML5 (while inside the <video> tag).
If you are a Mac using, your first choice should be Apple Mail. This is because, it has been said that the video will run effectively without problem. It has also showed perfect playback on the iPhone too. After a successful outcome with Apple Mail, you can then try out all the other email clients, like; Hotmail, Yahoo etc. However, with much disappointment, online web clients have chosen to not support HTML5 video playback. Although video playback isn’t supported, backup content will be able to be played. This feature was not supported before, so it will be appreciated now. The same happened on Windows too. The video was not supported however, the option for backup content was allowed.
Here are the best professional email templates examples to purchase from ThemeForest for as low as $10!. Every template has been thoroughly tested in the most popular email clients like Outlook 2010, Gmail, Lotus Notes, Apple Mail, the iPhone, and more.
An e-mail template for cafés, restaurants, etc.
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-Elegant is clean, multi usage, and elegant newsletter solution.
Product Offers Newsletter is an elegant, customizable, clean and ready to use 4 newsletter templates in blue, white, red and blue gray look.
Platnum is a modern and stylish newsletter template, suited for any business that wants a solid newsletter.
Versatile Newsletter 1 is a collection of 7 versatile html email templates.
Airmail is a professionally built and designed custom HTML email template!
RichType is a bold, clean, and ultra customizable email template. It’s perfect for a wide variety of uses, from corporate newsletters to product advertisers.
iNewsletter email template for web development / software companies that want to give their clients an update on their new products and latest news.
Modern Business 4 is a professional HTML email newsletter template. If you need a vibrant, strong and clean looking solution for your email campaigns to promote your latest product or service, this is the solution for you.
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