According to research by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, 51 percent of all U.S. online readers identified a compelling headline as the reason why they clicked on a given story.
There were a number of key points, which cover in detail in our post small business email marketing. However, today, we will touch on three
We only have a 55-60 character subject line, so this is why we chose to narrow the list.
This is one of the hardness tasks when creating a headline. It is a balance between not being too concise as to be generic and overly verbose that the headline is truncated.
Conciseness is generally aided by the next two points, utility and urgency. A concise headline tells me what value it brings to me and why I should read it now.
Utility means ‘what’s in it for me’, ‘why should I care?’. These are the two questions your headline should answer. This seems simple enough. However, it can be very challenging to boil down a complex subject into 3 or 4 words.
Even people who do this for a living find it challenging. Add it cultural differences, context, and other general noise, and you see why communication is so messy. Keywords can be a useful place to start, as this the language people are using to search for content like yours.
We live in a society of urgency. Everything is now, don’t miss out, etc. that we are almost numb to it. A genuine sense of urgency based on a limited time value or event can still catch someone’s attention if it is tied to a clear benefit (utility).
As you can see, all three of these elements are tightly bound. It is nearly impossible to do one without affecting the other. This is why we have them as our top 3.
Email design follows the same principles of web design. Communication is messy, and design helps aid in getting our intended message across quickly and efficiently.
An email is an intrusion. We need to recognize this fact. Therefore, we need to make that intrusion as brief and clear as possible by sticking with one clear message.
We cover email design in great detail in our post on small business email marketing. We will just touch on the high points here.
A grid pattern is the most common design tool. There are several elements to a grid. First, there are rows and columns that break the page into equally sized blocks, called modules. Rows or flowlines aid in reading. Columns aid in organization. Headers, footers, and margins give structure.
For an intuitive email design, a hierarchical design is very effective. With an e-mail, we chose to communicate one thing, and one thing well. In this case, a hierarchical design can be very impactful.
The hierarchical pattern that is the most pleasing to the eye follows the golden ratio. The golden ratio is a pattern common in nature. It is a fixed ratio of 1.618, which means the size of the more important block is 1.618 times larger than the less important one.
Our eye is naturally drawn to this pattern, so it is very useful when communicating a simple, focused message.