Ever wonder what makes an email look great and work successfully? You probably have, we get this question a lot. To help answer that question we’re going to go through an email from head-to-toe and point out components that will give you a successful email.

Let’s start at the top:

From Label – This should be your company name, as most people will recognize your company more quickly than say, your personal name, and since you have just a few seconds to get someone to open your email, you want quick recognition.

Subject Line – Once your reader understands who sent the email, the subject line is what will entice them to open it. Write something catchy or interesting, but also informative (easier said than done, right?) Check out our free Savvy Subject Line Writing for Success guide for help!

Background – Use an email background color or pattern that’s easy on the eyes. The colors in the example below aren’t too bright, dark or distracting. Using black text (dark gray is good too) on a white background is the easiest to read.

Social Sharing – Make it easy on your recipients to share your email socially. These buttons are built into our system so they’re easy to add, plus you can put them anywhere in your email.

Pre-header – We can’t talk about this enough! Some email programs (including iPhones) pull the first line of text in the email into the subject line. Take advantage of this feature to get better open rates.

Table of Contents – If you have a longer email, include a table of contents to show your readers the great info found further in your email.

Links – Give your reader lots of opportunities to get to your website and do what you want them to do. Link your images, text, pre-header, buttons, etc. Plus, link clicks are tracked, so this will give you more insight into your recipient’s interests.

Industry News – Including blog posts, third-party articles, statistics, and industry news that’s relevant to your business and recipients will keep your email readers engaged. Plus, your readers will look at you as a knowledgeable resource – Just make sure to give appropriate source credit.

Keep in Touch – Include several ways to get in touch with your company, including a direct email link. If you have a brick-and-mortar store, also include business hours. And, with the holidays rapidly approaching, it’s a good place to list any special holiday hours.

Forward to a Friend – Including this link will allow your readers to share your great content with their friends or colleagues. And anyone who receives an email forwarded this way will have the option to be added to your mailing list – An easy and free way to keep your list growing.

Two things I would add to the already great email example above:

Call-to-Action Buttons  Buttons are more compelling to click than text links, and easier for mobile readers to touch. Include a couple buttons in your emails and you could see your clickthrough rate go up. We have a free tool to help you create them too!

Social Buttons – In addition to the social sharing buttons, include buttons that link to your company’s social accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, wherever you have an account for your business.

Easy, right? Hopefully the answer is yes. Most of these components can be added to your emails through your VerticalResponse account via the tool bar, in either the Wizard or Canvas editors. Try them out in your next email and see if you get better engagement.

Have you tried using any of these tips in your email? What were your results?

© 2012, Contributing Author. All rights reserved.

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