Conquering the Myths of Email Marketing Part 2

As we previously discussed, email marketing is a growing marketing channel, however there are multiple misconceptions about what goes into an effective email campaign.

Conquering the Myths of Email Marketing Part 2

6. Shorter subject lines are more effective.

The industry has historically advised to keep subject lines short.  Here is an excerpt from MailChimp’s Best Practices for Email Subject Lines:

Most people quickly scan subject lines to decide if they’ll open or ignore the email, so don’t expect subscribers to dig through your subject line to figure out if they’re interested. Keep your subject line to 50 characters or fewer.

While this (and everything in that article) is good advice, Adestra’s 2015 subject analysis report points out that subject line length is really dependent on the industry instead of a sweeping rule.  Obviously you don’t want to go to far the other way as many email accounts will truncate the subject on mobile, but ultimately you need to measure what works for your industry and then build you subject lines from there.

7.  Informative content is the only way to keep readers interested.

Coming up with solid, engaging copy that relates to your segmented audience is the most important part of the entire email.  However, don’t discount different subscribers’ motivations for opening the email in the first place.  Validity’s Consumer View Tracker (a fantastic free download) actually shows that for the fourth consecutive year, discount opportunities are the primary reason people are opening emails:

Consumer Email Tracker

To summarize, cater to your subscribers’ preferences and drive offers and discounts along with industry news and thought pieces.

8. Subscribers prefer images to text.

A picture is certainly worth a thousand words and are certainly more attention getting, but many marketers hide a lack of worthwhile content behind flash images and expect their subscribers not to catch on.  Hubspot recently argued that emails without images are likely to have a slightly higher click through rate than emails with images.  Besides that, more than 60% of email clients block images by default.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t use images – just be considerate of what you’re actually sending out and what the user experience looks like if pictures weren’t included.  Would it still be a compelling email?  Would it still be engaging and move visitors to an action?  Companies like Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, and MailChimp are doing a great job of making text more rich in emails in the event that you want to forgo the large cover image altogether.

If you do feel that an appropriate image has a place in your piece (and many certainly do), a simple step that many skip is to add alt text to them to show in place of disabled pictures in an email client.  This has proven to lead to a higher response rate across the board.

9. Don’t send the same email twice.

This is a method to use carefully, but in 2014, the industry’s average open rate was 17.1%, which means that over 80% of your subscriber list did not read your email.  An easy way to save on email design, coding, content development, etc is to simply change the subject line and resend it later.  According to INC, these “remails” (*cringe*) can result in a 60% increase in open rate on average.

10. The more emails that are sent, the higher the unsubscribe rate.

While I personally prefer that a brand doesn’t send out an offer every day (looking at you Spirit Airlines), Hubspot and EmailWorks found that if a company increases their email frequency from one per month to four, it will more than double the open rate and earn an additional 11% of conversions for the brand.  The Blue Hornet report linked above even shows that most users don’t mind hearing once a week from a business.  This is a great way to earn trust and loyalty from subscribers and keep you top of mind, but be sure to not make this a rule of thumb – only send out emails as you have appropriate and relevant content for them.


As always, if you have any questions about email marketing or want to know more, please reach out to us! We would be happy to talk to see if email marketing is the right fit for your business!

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