Email Marketing Manual

The do's and how to's of email marketing

Yukka.co.uk boutique retailer checks in to the Email Clinic

Yukka.co.uk is a boutique online retailer specialising in urban clothing labels. Their monthly email newsletters promote new, limited edition and exclusive labels, aiming to increase traffic to their site and generate sales.

This kind of acquisition campaign email requires clear messaging that taps into the key needs of the target audience. However, with a lack of focus and with vital information hard to find, are readers being left cold?

Current Design

Yukka sales newsletter

1. The design elements of this campaign email don't have the same slick, professional look and feel as the yukka.co.uk site. Your readers are predominantly motivated by image and probably already familiar with your brand – they could be put off.

2. Yukka.co.uk sells to both male and female audiences, but if your email newsletters only showcase clothing for men, you're cutting out half of the target audience immediately.

3. It's difficult to identify the key message of the campaign. Email newsletters should have a clear focus but here it's become lost in the header. The brand, Fabulous 300, should be given much greater visibility so that customers can easily tell whether the email is worth looking at or not. If it takes too long to work out, readers will simply delete it.

4. Images in email newsletters need to be clean, clear and eye-catching. The models in this message are floating on the white background, with no border and harsh cropping. This looks unprofessional and makes the clothing promoted look undesirable.

5. Your audience's attention is always drawn to the images first yet here there's no product information, price or call to action to buy. The people reading your email newsletters are motivated by brand and cost, but there's nothing here to inform them of price or compel them to purchase.

6. The doubling up of images only wastes valuable space and pushes important content 'below the fold' of the campaign email. Users may not bother to scroll down, missing out on half the content.

7. One of the fundamental rules of email newsletters and e-shots is that there should always be a highly visible call to action. Particularly for campaign emails aimed at driving sales, it's important to make purchasing as easy as possible. The current call to action is hidden at the bottom of the email and the link is not clear.

8. The free shipping promotion is a secondary message, but it's currently too prominent and competes with the key message of the campaign. Emails like this one need to guide the reader to their key focus, not distract them.

9. The Zen and Fuka item, another secondary message, also competes with the main Fabulous 300 promotion, making it unclear where to look first. It's fine for email newsletters to carry a number of news items or promotions, but they need to be clearly prioritised.

10. While you must include an unsubscribe link in all email newsletters, it shouldn't stand out above the more important calls to action. Currently it's the only obvious link on the page, aside from the left hand navigation. It's also written out as a full URL – which is messy and unprofessional.

11. The YukkaUSA link seems out of place. You should be targeting readers based on their location, segmenting your database on every campaign – email newsletters promoting a US store to UK customers only waste valuable space.


How it could be improved?

Yukka sales newsletter after email clinic

1. It's important to include 'trust earning text' at the top of all your email newsletters so your readers know why they're receiving your mail. Accompanying this with a request to add your sending address to their address book reduces the likelihood of later emails being marked as spam.

2. A send to friend link is another important addition to every campaign. Email newsletters have the potential to spread well beyond your intended readership and grow your database as a result, if you include a prominent call to action at the top of the message.

3. Use design elements that are consistent with your website and other marketing collateral. Besides the issue of brand consistency and a professional image, readers will already be familiar with the layout of your email newsletters and feel comfortable using them.

4 If you're going to use your campaign email to target both male and female audiences, you need to ensure there's an offering relevant to both. Even if the main promotion is tailored to the male audience, the left hand navigation now makes it clear that there is also something for the female audience.

5. In every one of your email newsletters, make the key message as clear as possible, displaying it underneath the main header. This makes it much clearer what brand is being offered here and why it's being promoted in the email.

6. If you're going to include a secondary promotion or message in your email newsletters, make sure it is secondary. Have a smaller, 'Also new in' section which promotes the other key labels but doesn't distract from the campaign's email main message.

7. Images are important for drawing attention but don't over do it. Include just one of the best images to represent the product. This means the reader can see more of the content of the campaign email, without scrolling.

8. To stand the best chance of generating sales through your email newsletters, all images should have the smooth and professional look that represents your brand and the products. Also, make the information that's important to your audience, brand and price, immediately visible.

9. Again, if you're to improve sales and conversions through this campaign, email marketing best practice dictates that the desired action, i.e. preorder now, is clearly displayed next to each product.

10. The free shipping offer is not the main motivation to buy, but it may be the clincher. Moved lower down the email, it doesn't compete with the key message.

11. Maximising clicks-through on your campaign email requires making the hyperlinks clear, ensuring customers know straightaway where to click. Make the essential unsubscribe link into linked text across all email newsletters, so you're complying with legislation, but not encouraging readers to leave your database.

Wed, 11/26/2008 - 11:08 — Anonymous