48 New Messages.  A polite chirp woke me up early Saturday morning letting me know I had a bucket of emails to go through.  I started at the top of the list and hit trash can after trash can deleting sale offers, free pizza, political messages and more.  But then, as an email loaded, something caught my eye and made me click the next arrow instead of the trash can.  After cleaning up the remaining emails I went back to the one that had caught my eye and ended up on the company’s website reading 3 different blog posts and bookmarking the site.

So what made this particular email campaign eye-catching?   Was it a picture?  Was it the title?  The offer?  How would it compare to your emails?  Here are 4 email campaign elements that can help keep your message out of the trash.


the message 1. The Message

What you have to say is key to your campaign.  It’s where your cause, offer, or lesson can shine. To set the right tone, create a great subject line.  It must be interesting, tempting, but don’t over sell it.  If your subject gets them to open the message then you can interest the potential customer enough to click through to your site or landing page.  Some experts recommend spending as much time on your title as you do on your article or offer.

Be clear about what the reader will get, learn or find.  Do you offer a solution to a problem?  Can they download a resource? Is the offer clear and worth the customer’s time? Spending some time on “why” and your message and titles will get better read and click-through rates.  Ask a colleague to proof your writing.  Make sure your message leads to a clear call to action (next step for reader).

Essentials Checklist:

  • Fits with Company Branding
  • Valuable & Relevant Content
  • Catchy Subject Line
  • Good Photo or Visual
  • Check Spelling and Grammar
  • Call to Action


the method 2. The Method

The most effective way to gain leads and customers is to develop a landing page that clearly represents what you are offering.  It should represent your business and service effectively and be targeted to your audience for the offer. This is your chance to gather information from your email recipient and turn them into a paying customer. A free white paper or special coupon is a great exchange for contact information.

Your catchy message in the email got them to click through to your landing page, now you want them to give you some information.  The value of the offer determines the amount of information you can request.  Use this exchange to better relate to a particular prospect and to measure how your potential customers interact with you.

Be sure to test all links, forms, and downloads to ensure they work correctly.  Provide social sharing options so those who like your offer can share it with their friends.

Essentials Checklist:

  • Specific Landing Page with Clear Offer
  • Form to Collect Contact Data
  • Social Sharing Options
  • Working Redirects
  • Provide the Resource, Info or Offer


the beautiful mess 3. The (Beautiful) Mess

Yes, it can be pretty.  It is a great idea to make sure your branding is consistent across all marketing materials, including email campaigns and landing pages.

Make sure your logo is visible in the email and links to your company site.  Choose colors that are pleasant to look at, images that clearly present what you are attempting to convey, and choose fonts that are eye catching and still legible. These design elements should  be carried through to your landing page.  You want the design to complement your offer.  Resist the urge to “over decorate” the email or landing page.   A clean design can create a wonderful pedestal to display your valuable offer.

Essentials Checklist:

  • Consistent Branding
  • Legibility
  • Relevant Graphics
  • Simplicity in Design


reaching the masses 4. (Reaching) the Masses

To reach prospective customers you must build a good subscriber list.  A big part of growth and retention is quality content, so make sure the message is worth reading and sharing!  Beyond content, strategies for growing a list include asking for sign ups on your website, at an event, or while at your store.  It’s important that you have permission to email subscribers.  Never buy a list of emails and import them.  That violates CanSPAM legislation and will not get you happy readers.

When using online forms, keep them short and simple, first and last name and email is plenty to get the conversation started.  Displaying social share buttons can help your list to grow too.  Keep in mind that email marketing campaigns are subject to the CAN-SPAM Act which states that you must clearly state how users can opt-out of your email list.  To comply with federal law and to increase your likelihood of landing in the inbox, we recommend using a third party email marketing service.  Here are 3 of our favorites:   MailChimp  |   Benchmark Email   |  iContact

Essentials Checklist:

  • Get permission to email
  • Give options for sign up
  • Keep forms short and simple
  • Use Social Share Buttons
  • Give users an opt-out option


Something Caught My Eye and Made Me Click…

Regardless of your industry or service, an email that has a compelling title, great content or a strong offer will stand the greatest chance of creating a reader, a customer and a brand fan.  For me, it was the title and photo together than stopped me from deleting the message and got me interested enough to read it.  The content was relevant and informative, so I clicked through for more and bookmarked the site.  I’m interested in what they have to say, so I’ll be back.



Marissa enjoys social media management and digital platform integrations.