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Email Marketing 2016
Email Marketing 2016

Five things a heatmap taught us about email marketing

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14th Jul 2016
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Marketers are encouraged to embrace an ongoing programme of A/B testing to refine and perfect their email campaigns. 

But the reality is that unless they have a good understanding of what their customers find engaging, so that they can design emails according to this knowledge, it's all just guesswork. 

ReachMail and computational neuroscience firm EyeQuant recently used special software to evaluate a number of email campaigns. 

The campaigns were rated based on clarity, excitement and an attention heat map:

Heatmap

What we learned:

Use white space to steer the eye.

Under EyeQuant’s criteria, a whiskey maker missed the mark in clarity with an advertising email that’s full of dense text that overwhelms readers and gives a cluttered perception. While it’s considered exciting due to a large visual image, attention is diverted from the actual content of the message. More white space would make for an easier read.

Narrow your options and focus your message.

A trade publication also struggled with ratings because too much is going on with the design. Readers are given so many options in the email it’s hard to focus on any particular message. A robot image and the large word “automation” draws attention, but there is no clear call-to-action.

Simple design, and contrasting call to actions.

A B2B email campaign fares much better with clarity by using a simple design. Attention is drawn to the headline and “watch now” calls-to-action. The simplicity of the campaign, though, dampens the excitement factor. The company also misses out on the opportunity to convey an immediate value proposition with its content.

Clean display for technical content.

A financial services company demonstrates a simple, effective email campaign. The email evaluated here includes a short section with written content and a chart. The company does well for a financial services firm, as far as providing serious information in an uncluttered way. The call-to-action and headlines are also attention-grabbing.

Be mindful of colors and secondary elements in images.

Looking at product description, an aviation company does a great job with its titles and headlines but the email content itself is not considered interesting. The cluttered background in the photo and drab colors overall make it less successful. Like other examples, there is no call-to-action or value proposition.

We hope these insights help you improve your marketing email designs and optimize this crucial element of business communications. Stay tuned for further tips on how manage transactional email campaigns.

John Murphy is president of Easy-SMTP

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