As Black Friday approaches, our inboxes will undoubtedly start to fill with offers from our favorite retailers, reminding us of holiday discounts and promotions we won’t want to miss. We’ve compiled a checklist of basic facets every email should contain to help you get your point across this season. Read the list, and check it twice, to ensure your message won’t be lost amongst the cornucopia of inbox offers!

  • Refine Your Subject Line – With emails flooding inboxes, creating a quality subject line is more important than ever. You’ll want to give your email a subject line that entices an open by including a sense of urgency but avoids sounding spammy. So skip the exclamation marks, but don’t be shy when it comes to stating what recipients have to gain by opening your email and how long they have to gain it.

Subject Line Examples:  “5 Days Left to Use Promo Code…” or “Order by Midnight Tonight for …”

  • Include a Preheader  A preheader is a small section of text that is included at the top of your email above the header and main content of your message. Since many email providers display the preheader in the inbox, they are a great way to deliver a compelling summary of your email to engage recipients and get them to continue reading. Since many busy recipients scan content for valuable information, an email that delivers the goods in a preheader can be much more effective than one that buries it in the body.

Preheader Example 

Don't Get Lost in the Cornucopia of Inbox Offers

  • Provide a Call to Action – Whether you send an email to inform individuals about your company, to increase customer sign-ups, or to promote a particular product, providing a clear call to action, is essential. A call to action in the form of a button, hyperlinked text, a widget or an image will not only help increase engagement but will also get recipients to quickly take the desired action before they lose interest or become distracted.
  • Follow the 80/20 Rule – If your recipients wanted to read a book, well, they would read a book. To prevent readers from being overwhelmed by too much text or too many images, follow the 80% text to 20% image rule. And, limit the overall amount of text your email contains while varying text size and color.
  • Hyperlink, hyperlink, hyperlink – Don’t forget to link images, mentions of your company name, and any text that states a call to action. As the holidays approach and your recipients’ schedules become increasingly busy, you’ll want to take advantage of any opportunity to get them to sign up, contact you, make a purchase or visit your website. And, hyperlinks are a great way to make sure those who are interested can easily get the information they’re looking for with just one easy click.

Hyperlink Examples: Link an employee name to their email or Twitter page, or insert a login link to any mention of your company name or website.

Visit VR’s Everything Holiday Site to help you check off these email essentials and stay holiday-relevant this season.

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Posted by Savannah Stewart

Savannah Stewart is the Partner Marketing Coordinator at VerticalResponse and blogs here about all things related to marketing and B2B communication. Connect with her on Twitter at @savannahstewart.

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