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Usable Email Campaigns Make Thankful Subscribers
Posted By Rebekah Henson On November 20, 2012 @ 8:51 am In Email Marketing | 7 Comments
Email campaigns that are easy to read and navigate make your subscribers happier. How does your campaign rate? Are subscribers thankful for your emails?
If you haven’t evaluated your campaign’s usability yet, now is the perfect time to do so, right before the thick of the holiday marketing season sets in. Let’s see how your campaign stacks up!
How easy is it for subscribers to get on your list? If they can’t navigate your sign up form, you might as well stop reading here, because they won’t be able to get to your emails no matter how user-friendly your messages are.
Make sure your web forms are simple, direct and don’t require too much information. It’s okay to ask for gender or age in addition to email address on your form, but make these fields optional to avoid scaring off new subscribers. Don’t be like Bath & Body Works :
Every field on their form is a required one. Well, except the field for apartment number. But that’s a lot of required fields for an email sign up!
Keep it simple, keep it clear.
Some email clients – namely Gmail and Outlook – include a short preview of an email’s content in the inbox following the subject line. This short preview is called a snippet and it can make your emails usable before your subscribers even open them.
A surprising number of companies don’t use snippets to their full advantage. Most of the snippets in my inbox look like this:
Not very informative or helpful. But there are one or two that stand out from the pack:
…like DailyCandy , who includes a summary of featured articles you’ll find inside the email. One glance at the snippet tells me if the articles inside will interest me or if I should just archive the email for later.
When it comes to writing emails that are easy for your subscribers to use, preheaders and footers contain the vital information.
Your preheader can:
This preheader in an email from Just Fabulous  hits all the right points.
Your footer should:
Like Patagonia’s  email footer, which contains links to their social networking profiles, blog, customer service and an unsubscribe link:
See more examples of helpful preheaders and footers in these posts:
5 Ways a Preheader Can Increase Response and Deliverability 
Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Email Footer? 
Do all of your email subscribers read your emails on devices that can display HTML messages? Some of them probably do and some of them probably don’t. What’s the best way to make sure your messages display correctly for everyone?
The answer is writing your emails in both plain text and HTML. It’s simple to do. Design your HTML message in the Message Editor, then copy and paste the text into the Plain Text box beneath the editor. When you send your broadcast, your subscribers’ ISPs will decide which version to display.
Sending a plain text version with your HTML emails is especially important for smart phone owners who may read your messages in an email app on their phones. Smart phones are getting smarter, but they’re still not known for displaying HTML emails very well on a tiny screen. Including plain text messages makes your emails accessible to all of your subscribers regardless of the device they’re using to read your email.
Learn more about the user-friendly text and HTML combination in these posts:
Should I Use Text or HTML? 
Who Cares About Plain Text? 
Are You Sending HTML Without Plain Text Alternatives? 
You’ve finalized your email design and it’s gorgeous. You can’t wait for your subscribers to see all your images. There’s only one problem: A number of email programs disable images in HTML emails by default. Depending on how your subscribers have their inboxes set up, they may not see your images at all unless they enable image viewing themselves.
This is how an email from West Elm  displays with Gmail’s default image settings:
That’s a lot of white space! But they do one thing right: They use alt tags with their images so that even with images blocked, their navigation links are usable and subscribers can still see their main message and call to action.
For comparison’s sake, here’s the same email with images turned on:
When you’re designing your emails with images, make sure your subscribers can read your main point whether they can see your images or not.
What kind of best practices do you follow to make your own emails more usable? Ever had a subscriber tell you that they appreciate your emails?
What do you pay attention to when making your campaign user-friendly?
Article printed from Email Marketing Tips: http://www.aweber.com/blog
URL to article: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/usable-email-campaigns-make-thankful-subscribers.htm
URLs in this post:
 Bath & Body Works: http://www.bathandbodyworks.com
 Are Your Signup Forms Usable?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/usable-signup-forms.htm
 Don’t Let Your Opt-In Form Get Out of Control: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/out-of-control-opt-in-form.htm
 3 Ways to Set Expectations at Sign Up: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/ways-to-set-expectations-at-sign-up.htm
 DailyCandy: http://www.dailycandy.com
 Do You Use Snippets for More Opens?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/do-you-use-snippets-for-more-opens.htm
 Improve Your HTML Email for Gmail Subscribers: http://www.aweber.com/blog/articles-tips/improve-html-email-for-gmail.htm
 Just Fabulous: http://www.justfabulous.com
 Patagonia’s: http://www.patagonia.com
 5 Ways a Preheader Can Increase Response and Deliverability: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/preheaders.htm
 Do You Make These Mistakes In Your Email Footer?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/email-footer-mistakes.htm
 Should I Use Text or HTML?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-template-design/should-i-use-text-or-html.htm
 Who Cares About Plain Text?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-deliverability/who-cares-about-plain-text.htm
 Are You Sending HTML Without Plain Text Alternatives?: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-template-design/are-you-sending-html-without-plain-text-alternatives.htm
 West Elm: http://www.westelm.com
 Improve Your HTML Emails: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-template-design/improve-html-emails-6-design-tips.htm
 Images Disabled? No Problem!: http://www.aweber.com/blog/email-marketing/images-disabled-no-problem.htm
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