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Elements of an Optimized Marketing Email

Elements of an optimized marketing emailEmail marketing is a way to target your customers with periodic messages based on information they want to receive. It can be a very effective marketing tactic, but you have to be sure you’re following CAN-SPAM laws and getting the most out of every email.

Below are elements every email marketing message should have.

Accurate Header Information

The “to” and “from” fields in the header of your email must have accurate information about the recipient and sender and cannot include misleading information. For example, the email can’t say it’s from Bill Gates when it’s really from your organization.

Attention-Getting Subject

Take time to write a subject that both previews what’s in the email message and gets recipients’ attention. If your subject line is weak, users are less likely to open your message. However, your subject line can’t be deceptive—it has to be representative of what’s in the email. Avoid gimmicky subjects like, “Win a Free iPad,” or “Best Chili Recipe Ever.” Even if you have an iPad giveaway or think you have the best chili recipe, email clients may still flag you for spam. Try something like, “Great Prices from Far Reach,” or “Try Far Reach’s Latest Chili Recipe.”

Brand-Consistent Design

When someone receives your email, they should know who it’s from without looking at the “From” field. Did you include your logo? Is the email designed with your approved colors? The look of the email should match the look of all other marketing materials your organization develops.

Eye-Catching Images

Include images in your email where appropriate and make sure they’re related to the content.

Compress images in your email messages. If you send large images, they load slowly and discourage readers. Size the images to the specifications you need and compress them to 72 dpi. If your image has a lot of detail, link to a high-resolution version on your website.

Descriptive Headlines

Make your headlines big and bold. Keep them short, but write them so readers will understand your main message, even if they only read the headline.

Limited Body Copy

Keep body copy in your marketing emails to a minimum. If you have more than two paragraphs of copy per headline, link to the full story on your website or blog.

Physical Mailing Address

Every marketing email message is required by law to include the mailing address of the sender. It is standard to put this information in the footer of the message.

Opt-Out Option

All emails must have an option to unsubscribe from receiving future messages. If a user unsubscribes, you must comply by removing him from your list within 10 days.

Social Sharing Buttons

Get more out of your email message by encouraging users to share it on their social networks. Also include links to your organization’s social profiles so recipients can connect.

Download a printable version of this email marketing guide.

Email Marketing Download