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    UX considerations in email marketing – what do you need to focus on?

    by Iain Thomson Project Lead

    One single factor should influence your user experience decisions when it comes to email marketing. That is that you are encroaching on someone’s personal or professional space.

    They don’t care about your business or your offering half as much as you do, so you need to make the whole experience as quick, painless and impactful as possible.

    A good outcome is that they finish the interaction with a positive opinion of you – if they pick up the phone or click that link, that’s a bonus.

    We’ve created hundreds of email templates for clients, and UX is at the heart of everything we do. Along with ongoing research and feedback from live campaigns, we now have a host of considerations for making them more effective, and we’re sharing three of them with you here.

    1. Get to the point

    Because you’re using up someone’s time , you can’t expect them to be in full absorption mode. Remember – you contacted them; they didn’t seek you out.

    Keep your message as short and impactful as possible, then shorten it a bit more. From the subject line to internal headings, subheads and paragraphs, your whole message should be understandable in seconds.

    Lead with the benefits and keep your calls to action close to the start, even in the subject line. Don’t think your enigmatic teaser will pique their interest – it’ll end up in the bin, and you in the blocked list.

    2. Make sure it works across clients and browsers

    Test, test, test. If you make a new design, ensure it works on all the popular email clients and browsers across the Apple, Microsoft and Android ecosystems. That’s quite a lot of permutations, but it’s worth it.

    A happy side effect is that it usually makes you declutter and simplify your layouts, as it’s probably some unnecessarily clever bit that’s making it crash on Android Opera.

    Speaking of phones, although they have great resolution these days, remember that for most viewers, your email will be about the size of a business card, so keep it bold and striking.

    3. Know your audience and look professional

    A template keeps your emails on-brand, so use it and re-use it to build familiarity with your recipients. Don’t ever be tempted to send out basic text emails, even if they do have a nice boilerplate at the bottom.

    Your template also lets you speak to your customer base in a language they appreciate. Some audiences are all about the splash, the special offer, the unmissable deal. Others respond to a considered, long-term benefit approach.

    Check your own inbox if you need inspiration – if you’ve signed up to a lot of newsletters, you’ll see the whole range of styles and tones of voice. The 2-for-1 pizza emails undoubtedly look a lot different to the insurance renewal ones.Which ones do you respond to?

    4. Make the experience pleasurable and you’re halfway there

    When someone checks their inbox, you’ll be just one of those jostling for attention, so put yourself in the recipient’s position to decide if you’d bother opening it and responding to it.

    It’s a concept that applies over the whole of marketing, but with email you literally have one shot at this, whereas other forms usually give you multiple opportunities.

    But, getting the UX right at least lets you start the conversation.