Need some tips on email marketing? Today’s Guest Blogger shares her expertise in getting the results you want.

By Melanie Attia, Campaigner Email Marketing

The trouble with learning from experience is that you never really graduate. Once you think you have it all memorized, something changes and everything you thought you knew is now a bit different. It’s true in school and it’s true in business marketing.

Over the years, many business marketers have moved their budgets from direct mail to email marketing programs. Although it’s commonplace in today’s business environment, there are always new trends that can be learned to make email marketing more profitable.

Here are a few tips and tricks to increase your average without having to enter the school of hard knocks.

Get an A+ with Your Subject Line

An email subject line that is clear and compelling gives your email better visibility in a crowded inbox. Incite your recipients to open your message with a call to action in the subject line. A generic header such as “June Newsletter” doesn’t intrigue as much as something like “Purchase within five days for 10 percent off your graduation gifts.” Just be sure you don’t use words such as “free,” “limited time offer,” or “amazing” in your subject line. These are red flags for spam and will cause your unopened email to go directly into the trash folder.

Move to the Head of the Class Using Graphics

Email campaigns are much more compelling when there are graphics to visually promote what you are writing about.  A good email marketing service will include tools that allow you to search, resize, crop and rotate photos and images without leaving your email.  It should also allow you to select, preview, and purchase royalty-free images if what you have isn’t on hand.

Don’t forget to include a clickable call to action with your image so you can see how your readers respond to each graphic. Data about who clicks on a photo’s hyperlink will give direction to future interaction. If the report shows traffic, use it in a future email. Don’t forget to include a text click-through for those who have turned off the graphic display option. A good rule of thumb to prevent image overload is to have at least 70% text and 30% or less of images which includes your logo.

Graduate to a Mobile-Friendly Format

The adoption and usage of smart phones is changing the way we interact with email marketing. According to ComScore, as of September 2010 over 58.7 million people in the United States have smart phones. That is expected to grow to 154 million users, or 1 in 2 Americans. While most smart phones do a fairly good job at displaying your emails, remember to apply these lessons to promote you to the top of the class:

  • Include in your email an online/mobile version to view online.  Place the link at the very top of the email and make it easy to click. This is based on the premise that Web browsers are generally more capable of showing HTML content than email clients, which tends to only be the case for older, less sophisticated mobile devices.
  • Front load your subject lines as smart phones often only display four to six words in the subject line and a preview of the first few words in the email. Make sure your most important content is upfront.
  • Test your emails with a smart phone.  You wouldn’t cut a 2×4 without measuring twice. Apply the same advice to your email marketing campaigns. It’s sure to put you at the top of your class.

Melanie Attia is the Product Marketing Manager for Campaigner Email Marketing, and is focused on managing the Campaigner marketing programs and product messaging. She can be reached at Campaigner, is a leading email marketing service for small business, has announced the launch of Smart Email Builder, a new email marketing tool that helps build professional-looking email newsletters regardless of graphics skill.