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You may have seen recent reports that adding email to your marketing mix can both increase the effectiveness of your other efforts, as well as stretch your budget by providing the highest ROI of any digital or offline channel.  “Its incredibly-high ROI and low costs make it the golden bullet so many companies want, and it’s far more targeted than traditional advertising like print or broadcast,” says WebpageFX.

So if you’ve decided to add email blasts to your marketing mix — smart move!  But have you ever wondered what MAKES a great email?  Taking your emails from good to great means looking at 10 key areas:

Keep it targeted & relevant:

Today’s consumer is bombarded with more noise and messaging than ever.  Targeting at the most granular level possible and keeping everything from your images to your text as super relevant as possible can increase the effectiveness of your email campaigns dramatically.

Use a Great Subject Line:  

Arguably the single most important piece of real estate in your entire email, a short, compelling Subject line is essential to grabbing someone’s attention and getting them to open- and read- your email. Check out these tips to craft subject lines that work.

Pair with great preview text:

The preview text (you know, that grey text that shows in your preview pane) is the first words someone sees in any email application.  Make sure you’re using this valuable real estate wisely and not simply restating your subject line. Also, consider writing preview text that is specifically designed to pair well with your Subject Line.  For example, if you ask a question in your Subject Line, tease the answer to that question in your preview text, enticing people to open your message and continue reading.

Simple Design:

Recent studies suggest that emails with simple, clean designs significantly outperform ones with multiple images, large amounts of text and multiple Calls To Action. Un-cluttering your design and not trying to shove too much into a single message can help ensure your email does not end up in spam filters.

One Single Image:

Try limiting your design to a single image. Many email providers now automatically block messages with too many images; when in doubt text is always safer than a lot of pictures.

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Limit the links

Links are a great way to get readers to your website or blog archives but when a message contains too many links, email filters can mark it as spam and move it to a Junk folder. Increase your deliverability stats by keeping it to 3 or 4 links per email.

Very clear CTA:

Driving openers to a single, clearly defined conversion point, or your Call to Action.  Don’t get me wrong, you can include more than one CTA, just make sure your primary conversion is easily distinguishable from Social and other lower-priority links.

Buttons not links:

Buttons just beg to be pushed and research shows that buttons outperform hot links, especially on mobile opens.

Consistent w/Brand Design

Customers see your cross-platform efforts multiple times a day.  Make sure that your email messages are consistent with your app, website, Social media photos and print ads

Keep Mobile in mind

Did we mention that virtually everyone now scans their email (yes, even their work email-  you know you do) on their phone?!  Decisions on everything from image sizes to single-column formats should be made with mobile in mind.  After all, potential customers won’t engage with your brand if they can’t easily open and read your email message on their phone.

Navigating the rapidly-changing, constantly evolving landscape of email marketing can be a challenge.  If you’re interested in learning more, you can access more information thru our Blog and Vlog at