Typing in the term “email marketing tips” on Google, Bing, or whatever other search engine you prefer will quickly send back more suggestions and tactics than you could look over in a dozen lifetimes. However, are all of these overcomplicated approaches to email marketing really right for your brand? According to some sources around the web, the key to efficiency and impact instead lies within a simplified take on this practice. To help you find out if less really is more when it comes to your brand’s inbox operations, let’s look at what a streamlined and trimmed down campaign really has to offer.
The Case for a Simplified Approach
In terms of sheer impact, Peter Roesler of The Business Journals points to two very specific numbers to keep in mind as you develop email content; 3 and 20. In his look at the most successful email marketing campaigns, those at the top of the list incorporated three or fewer images within the message content, as well as approximately twenty lines worth of text.
While these choices might seem arbitrary at first glance, the study referenced by Roesler explains in great detail the stats that back up these parameters. For messages in the 17 to 20 line of text range, click through rates increased by an astounding 50 percent. Unfortunately, the brands that moved into the 21 lines of text and up territory found that click through rates dropped away from the median rate of success by an equally inverse amount.
The main reason noted for this shift toward slimmer body content and a limit on eye-catching graphics? The continued push toward mobile device usage. For our regular readers out there, as well as those who understand the nature of modern consumer habits, this revelation doesn’t exactly register as breaking news.
Of course, just because the trend toward streamlined email marketing practices stands as the best option for most brands, that doesn’t mean it’s always the right answer. As Roesler goes on to note, there are a few exceptions that deserve a fair spot at the heart of this discussion.
If you represent a religious or non-profit organization, or a business that requires detailed visual cataloging of inventory to help aid customer decisions, then chances are this approach isn’t your best bet. Additionally, industry movers and shakers that lean heavily on details to close a sale – like realtors and other service providers – also fall into this minority.
Laying the Groundwork for a Streamlined Approach
For the vast majority that doesn’t fit into the confines of these narrow exceptions, it’s time to start talking about trimming down your email content into a more streamlined and straightforward variation. As Marketing Sherpa’s Courtney Eckerle points out, this process starts with being direct with the people reading your emails. Artsy writing and fluff content might look good initially, but honing your focus in on value first and foremost is the best way to generate results.
This concept of brevity might be a little hard to accept if you’re used to doing things a certain way. However, once you let go of this desire to stick to the status quo – a desire that’s just a part of human nature – it’s hard to argue with the notion of simply laying out what your customers need to know and giving them the tools to convert in a short and sweet manner.
On the technical side of things, Eckerle goes on to suggest that you can save yourself some headaches down the line by also giving a little attention to your editorial process. Instead of writing long-winded offerings without a care in the world in terms of word counts and parameters, shift your mentality into an approach that cuts off unnecessary filler content as you write. Basically, if you sit down to build your weekly newsletter or contact list update with the firm desire to stay under 20 lines of content, you’ll end up being far more critical regarding what goes in and what comes out than if you just write without direction.
Naturally, it’s not always easy to accept the idea that less is actually more – especially if you’re constantly jockeying for position with the competition in your industry. Thankfully, with the case for a more streamlined approach now on the books, as well as a few tips to get you started down this path, you’ll be well on your way to generating lean, straightforward inbox content that gets your audience the info they need in a timely and effective manner.