How to Make Your Email Stand Out from the Rest: Contrasting Images, Succinct Writing and Grabbing Subject Lines

January 16, 2015

Email marketing is a direct offshoot of direct mail marketing.  Businesses have been sending brochures, menus, special offers and catalogues to clients via regular mail for a long time.  So it seemed natural to extend this idea to the internet and send people marketing emails as well.  

 

 

However, marketing emails work differently from direct mail pieces.  To begin with, you can’t see the entire email right away; you have to click on it to see the content.  With direct mail pieces, the customer can see, at a glance that s/he has received a brochure and knows what the brochure is about.

 

With direct mail, you can also send booklets, like those Victoria’s Secret catalogues which have become so popular.  When it comes to email, however, you can’t send booklets or overly long emails because most people will lose concentration once they’re halfway through.

 

So here are a few tips to make your email stand out from the rest:

  1. Use Contrast.  When it comes to direct mail, you have the option of using glossy paper and making your images more appealing.  But with email, you have to rely on sharp images to attract the customer’s eye.  If you’ve ever seen an Ansel Adams print, you’ll know what this means.  The outlines of an image should be clear and its colors should be saturated.

  2. Write Succinctly.  Most people checking marketing emails will just give them one glance and go back to what they’re doing.  So you need to catch their eye with the main points of your email which should be in an easily readable font.  You can describe more about your offer, your business or your product later in the email but catch the reader’s eye with the highlights first.

  3. Subject Line.  Use an interesting subject line.  You can either make it humorous such as this one from Trulia, regarding real estate: “Dear Santa: I want a house” or you can ask a question like “Dream home not within your reach?”  When you take your audience’s needs into consideration, you can come up with a great subject line.  Some more good subject lines include this one from an entertainment website: “Prepare yourself for some high-octane entertainment” and this one from Freshdirect: “Holiday help is here: complete meals done for you.”  Keeping your subject lines simple is a good idea.  If you have too many things in there, it may come across as confusing.

 

By Todd Levy

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