The From Line

Sending, Managing & Monetizing Email

Sara Steinnagel serves as Community Manager at Gold Lasso. Follow her on twitter at @Sara_C_Stein

Make eMail Creative by Including a Preview Pane

When you start an email marketing campaign, capturing the attention of your customers is the primary goal. That means making your email creative in some way. A preview pane is a very easy method to do just that.

Understand the Basics of a Preview Pane

The preview or reading pane is a common feature on most email systems, such as Outlook and Yahoo! Mail. It allows viewers to preview messages in their inbox without opening them. This enables them to view messages safely without the possibility of activating or opening malicious scripts or attachments.

The benefit to your marketing campaign is you allow your recipients to glimpse your message before they open it. If it looks like spam, they delete it immediately. If it appears to be from someone familiar – like a reputable brand – they open it.

Therefore, the subject and look of your email message are critical to catching the eye and attention of your recipients. Things you don’t want readers to see until the end – unsubscribe, disclaimers, and such – should be left until the end.

Building a Good Preview Pane

As this MarketingSherpa blog suggests:

The preview pane is your prime real estate to pull people into your email. In conjunction with the sender address and subject line, it’s the key to getting people to read your email.

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How do you convince your clients that email works with an integrated campaign?

Asked by Lorrain, 'I’m not allowed to tell you' agency

Answer by Sara Steinnagel, Community Manager.

Email Marketing campaigns

Based on this question, it sounds as if your agency is simply not educated about the overall value email marketing provides. Email should be the backbone of an integrated on or offline campaign helping to build and reinforce customer relationships. What happens when the campaign is over? Do customer relationships fizzle? Why bother collecting all that permissioned data and not use it? Doesn't your agency view this as a wasted opportunity? Aren’t your clients’ customers expecting to hear from them?

Email Marketing Value

According to the Direct Marketing Association’s 2011 Power of Direct report, email is bringing in $40.56 for every dollar spent on it in 2011, compared to catalogs' ROI of $7.30, search's return of $22.24, Internet display advertising's return of $19.72 and mobile's return of $10.51. Email is the most cost effective digital marketing medium there is. Granted, building a quality email program tends to be more complex than for other digital mediums, however the payoff can easily be substantiated. Convincing your account management team about the value of email marketing is a function of education. Like all educational processes, it will be slow and mastery will take time. Eventually your account team will need to garner enough confidence to pitch the client accordingly. If your account team seems reluctant to educate themselves about email marketing, just let them know that eventually their customers will find out and take their business elsewhere. More importantly, it sounds as if your agency needs an inside champion for email. Are you up for the job?

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Should social and email messages be redundant?

Asked by Chip Ahlswede, Government Affairs Strategies
"What is the best way to centralize /coordinate all of the external messaging (newsletters, blogs, tweets, Facebook pages etc.) so as to not be redundant?"


When it comes to e-messaging centralization and redundancy are two separate issues. I’m going to answer your question on redundancy since I think this is your real concern. In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with cross channel message redundancy. I have multiple reasons for this opinion and all of them centralize around the fact that different markets have channel preferences and consume information in different ways. If you’re servicing multiple markets there is nothing wrong with having the same message as long as the message is packaged according to the market and channel. For example, a promotional Tweet by its nature should be very different than an email. It would probably be best to spend the time learning your different markets’ channel preferences than worry about message redundancy.

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Coming Soon.... "Ask the Expert"


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Trend: Permission Equals Performance.

Consumers now demand a greater sense of control over their relationship with a brand. Email marketers specifically have had great success creating this relationship via explicit and documented permission-based marketing. A recent eMarketer article noted that as a result of permission,“consumers are more open to email messaging than most other digital marketing.” In fact, it is the trust and ease of control that comes with this approach that has made consumers more open to further communication.

The permission-based marketing trend has proven effective and fruitful in the email community and will soon make its way into the structure of all other digital marketing. Marketers, having seen emails’ success, will tackle this change by providing their customers with detailed, open and explicit permission programs.

Takeaway: Prepare for a permission-based culture.

There is no question that permission in email marketing is essential. However, ALL digital marketers must be aware that permission-based advertising will eventually affect their brand. There has been a shift in technology that now gives the consumer greater power to demand permission from brands. Now is the time to prepare your strategy for this shift.

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