Last week I attended the DMFA's Package of the Year Awards, an annual event in which members come together to vote on direct mail and email campaigns. From personal experience, as well as industry-wide, it is obvious some winning strategies in direct mail crossover into email.
Here are 5 successful tactics that can be used for both print and digital to boost response:
1. A great teaser – The teaser is that eye-wrangling copy found on the outside of an envelope and can easily become an email subject line. When people peruse their inboxes they are intentionally looking for those subject lines that grab their attention. Of course there are terms and words to avoid that could land you in the spam folder, but with some planning it is definitely worth your time.
2. Sender – Who is this email coming from? You wouldn't believe how many emails I get from people at a companies that I don’t know, and therefore don't trust. While it is highly suggested that the email sender be a company employee, people are highly unlikely to open an email from an unknown person, regardless of the company. To buffer this effect include the person’s title after their name. It's a small change but it adds an air of trust that the person can actually be looked up at the company.
3. Graphics – emails don’t have to be graphic heavy. A simple picture or no picture is always better than too many graphics for the sake of responsive design.
4. Copy - Make the key sentences stand out by underlining and highlighting. No it’s not cheesy it’s eye-wrangling and it works.
5. Finish Strong – Add in a P.S. While originally created to add in something the writer forgot in a letter, these days it’s used to make your call-to-action one more time or stress the purpose behind the email for the last time.
These techniques have been suggested by many of the Direct Mail greats and from my observation they are valuable no matter the medium.