Effective emails make it easy for the recipient

What is email marketing best at, in 2020? Sure, we all get loads of emails, so we need to work as hard on being noticed as ever, but I don’t see any evidence that the volume of emails we receive is going up. Indeed, as recipients get more fussy and mailing list regulations tighten, we may be getting fewer. However, far too many still don’t get it right.

If you’re asking people to click through to a website from your email, you’re going to fail with a lot of them. That’s always been the case, although it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Some messages can’t be conveyed in an email. If you’re using email to get over a number of separate messages, summarising them with clickthrough links for the full story may be the best approach. That’s how most really good email newsletters work.

But if you’re just putting over one straightforward message, more than ever I’d try to put the whole thing in the email. My experience is that more people are happy to read even quite extensive messages within an email than are willing to click through to a website to read the same story after a tease. Maybe it’s because so many emails are read on mobile devices now, and the default presumption of most people is that on a website, the content won’t be easy to read.

Indeed, designing an email campaign around mobile devices is, I’m sure, the most effective strategy in 2020. Keep to one message, put enough content in the email itself to enable recipients to decide whether to take action, and make that action easy to do on a mobile device. If it’s clicking through to a form, make sure that form is designed exclusively to be mobile-friendly, and has as much information as possible already completed.