DEALING WITH THE F IN MARKETING

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1 DEALING WITH THE F IN MARKETING CommuniGator

2 Contents Part One Introduction 2 Part Two Eye-tracking influencing design 3 Part Three The dark art of subject lines and preview panes 5 Part Four Using templates and article management 9 Part Five Summary 10 1.

3 Part One Introduction Time. It seems to silently slink off into the distance or seep through our fingers. There s never enough time and the tasks that often should be the most straightforward become a hellish nightmare of wasted time. marketing regularly falls into this bucket as we spend hours fine-tuning the design of our s, ensuring brand guidelines are met and that the content is strong enough to drive a user to take the action we desire them to take. In this whitepaper we re going to provide some best practice tips for designing and managing your s so that the F in isn t some exasperated term that flies around the office every time you need to send another campaign. Instead we want it to become the cornerstone of how you design and build your s safe in the knowledge that you re saving time and maximising the potential for your marketing. 2.

4 Part Two Eye-tracking influencing design In this first section we ll be running through the fundamentals of design based on research and some pretty pictures. The F in isn t a derisory term to describe the process of building your s and campaigns but rather the way a human being consumes content. In the Western World we read from left-to-right, top to bottom. This automatically dictates the areas on a page we focus on the most. Seems simple doesn t it? In reality it is but we often try to make things more complicated than they need to be and focus on designing s that look great rather than speaking to the natural, human side, in all of us. The core focus of any area, whether in a book or on a screen, is the top left corner. This is where the writing generally starts because we read left-to-right. Content on the right side of your s is less likely to be read and likewise, content placed below the fold tends to generate less than 10% of the total clicks in your and the majority of those will be because you placed your unsubscribe link there. Your key content should be front and centre (or rather top left) as the eyes will automatically travel there, your call to actions (CTAs) should live close to the left edge so they are seen as a recipient reads downwards. Another consideration is scanning. If the initial content doesn t stir the recipient into action or isn t relevant / appealing to them they ll then proceed to scan the rest of the . Jumping down paragraph by paragraph to see if the rest of the contains anything they re interested in. The focus of the eye is then on the first two or three words of a section or paragraph, if what they read isn t relevant they ll jump to the next section. 3.

5 Part Two Eye-tracking influencing design The image here is a great example of this and is based on eye-tracking technology assessing where people have been focusing on the . You can start to see the faint F outline and that the hot red areas are where the focus has been for an extended period of time; the start of a title or paragraph. Here are some handy tips for designing your s based on this F in Recipients will read left-to-right and top-to-bottom so make sure your key content is at the top of your . Only place content on the right-hand side of your s in the knowledge that it won t generate many clicks, perhaps use this space for images. Make sure your core CTAs are placed above-the-fold, content below-the-fold generates less than 10% of clicks. Focus on the first two or three words in your titles and paragraphs as these will be read first, then focus on any associated imagery for your articles. Design with scanning in mind so that recipients have clearly defined areas they can jump to if the first piece of content isn t relevant to them. Eye-tracking analysis of how recipients consume and scan content in an 4.

6 Part Three The dark art of subject lines and preview panes Your only has 2 seconds to live... Sounds a bit dramatic doesn t it? When it comes to B2B Marketing we can pretty much guarantee this is the case. If three elements of your don t combine in unison to stimulate a flicker of recognition or interest with your recipient it only takes 2 seconds for them to hit that delete button. So what are those three things you need to combine? 1 The sender alias 2 The preview pane content 3 The subject line

7 Part Three The dark art of subject lines and preview panes From rigerous testing we ve found that the sender being a person rather than a company elicits a better response, and that a female name tends to work better still. You can see from the graphic on the right we've opted to use Amy as the sender for our regular "digital marketing tips" that goes out. The top 6 lines in your are the most important pieces of real estate you own. It's what's seen in the preview pane by your recipients and helps influence whether your is deleted straight away or is given a stay of execution. Don t stick your view in browser link or your unsubscribe right at the top as this is a waste of the precious space you ve got. 6.

8 Part Three The dark art of subject lines and preview panes You also need to weigh up whether to use a hero image or banner across the top of the . For consumer brands you may be able to get away with this as the recipient may be expecting your and it doesn t matter that the image won t load by default. Working in the B2B realm and in the knowledge that the image won t load automatically the better option is to think about what text can be used in the preview pane. Perhaps just use an image on the right half of this super important area? Use a text intro on the left that gives a snapshot as to the rest of the content further down. The decision is of course yours, we re just here to try and give a helping hand so that you can maximise the opportunity presented by marketing. This is your hero image with images disabled. Not really aiding your is it... If your s do appear like the image below think about some subtle changes that may have a big impact. 7.

9 Part Three The dark art of subject lines and preview panes Short and Relevant are two major things to consider here, you don t want to surprise a recipient by having a subject line that is in complete contrast to the actual content of the . Things like personalisation (depending on your data quality) can also work wonders - using a recipient s first name in the subject line will draw their attention to your . The thing you definitely want to avoid is trying to personalise an (content and subject line) and then falling flat on your face because of bad data. Tools like Salutation Managers where you can display a different greeting if you don t have a first name available for someone is a great way to get around this problem. The first two or three words of your subject line influence how long your lives in the inbox. For the sender alias using a person s name rather than a company and try to use a female name, it generates better results. Use plain language and consider including personalisation to your subject line if you have quality data about your recipients. Other considerations for your subject line include the use of plain language rather than the definitive article i.e. writing the way people actually talk rather than using the stiff upper lip. The first 6 lines of your are the most important, don t waste them with click to view in browser or unsubscribe links. If you opt for images at the top of your consider the big empty space recipients will see when images don t automatically load. 8.

10 Part Four Using templates and article management If you send a specific type of marketing on a regular basis, perhaps a monthly newsletter, have you thought about creating a template and using tools like article management to make your life easier and stress-free? What do we mean by templates and article management? Once you ve taken care of the template side of things it s all about the content and the drag and drop mentality. Basically you create a skeleton for your s, the bits round the edges like the header and footer that rarely, if ever, change. Spend time wisely and use it to create some fantastic engaging content that will have your recipients salivating and wanting to click the read more button. The main content area becomes a block you drag and drop content into so that your overall design stays the same, it s the content that changes. A template we use with the main content area designated as an article block A finished with the article block now populated with content 9.

11 Part Five Summary Hopefully this whitepaper has given you some food for thought and can act as a useful guide when assessing your current marketing. As a short summary we ve recapped everything below: Recipients will read left-to-right and top-to-bottom so make sure your key content is at the top of your . If you opt for images at the top of your consider the big empty space recipients will see when images don t automatically load. Only place content on the right-hand side of your s in the knowledge that is won t generate many clicks, perhaps use this space for images. For weekly / monthly newsletters consider article management based on a core template so all you have to worry about is the content rather than the design. Make sure your core CTAs are placed above-the-fold, content below-the-fold generates less than 10% of clicks. Focus on the first two or three words in your titles and paragraphs as these will be read first, then focus on any associated imagery for your articles. Design with scanning in mind so that recipients have clearly defined areas they can jump to if the first piece of content isn t relevant to them. The first two or three words of your subject line influence how long your lives in the inbox. Use plain languge and consider including personalisation in your subject line if you have quality data about your recipients. For the sender alias use a person s name rather than a company and try to use a female name, it generates better results. We also want to quickly flag that this whitepaper hasn t covered things like split-testing, dynamic content based on rules, dynamically segmenting audiences based on behaviour, web capture forms with automated follow-ups, automated welcome series and many other things you can do with marketing. The first six lines of your are the most important, don t waste them with click to view in browser or unsubscribe linlks. 10.

12 Part Six About CommuniGator CommuniGator is one of the leading marketing automation software providers in the UK. Established in 2005, we ve gone through a period of evolution as the marketing landscape has changed. The core platform functionality caters to marketing with automated welcome series, a HTML editor for designing your s, templates, responsive design, dynamic groups based on behaviour, integration with the leading CRM platforms, an event management suite, robust reporting and so the list goes on. On the marketing automation side we re able to track prospect activity across the web pages they visit on your website and the content they consume and take action against. This means you can build up a really detailed profile of who has done what. To read all the juicy details of what the platform offers and how we can help your business jump on over to our website: Give us a call: +44 (0) This document and its contents are proprietary to CommuniGator or its licensors. No part of this document may be copied, reproduced or transmitted to any third party in any form without CommuniGator s prior written consent. Our products and services include: MarketingAutomation I GatorMail I GatorLeads I GatorEvents I GatorDocs GatorSurvey I GatorSocial I GatorData I CRM Integration I Managed Services

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