Give Your Old Footers the Boot

Posted by Casey Swanton on

When was the last time you gave your email footers a strategic overhaul? Marketers who treat the footer space as a necessary evil slapped onto the bottom of the email and carried across templates without any additional thought are missing out on a valuable opportunity.

Carefully crafting your footer content and polishing its design can help boost the performance of your emails, helping to drive positive behavior and mitigate risk. Before getting into specific recommendations, let’s look at the types of subscribers that land at your footer.

  • First are those subscribers who have read through your entire message and found themselves at your footer. These are some of your most engaged recipients. Instead of forcing those motivated readers to scroll back up to the body or header navigation to take action, the footer offers a great opportunity to drive momentum towards your website, social media sites, or partners.
  • There are also those subscribers who head to the footer looking for the unsubscribe. These recipients are dissatisfied with the program or are otherwise uninterested and want to be removed from your list. While many marketers may take an unsubscribe as a hit, an unsubscribe is a far better than the alternative: spam complaints. Both complaints and inactivity are red flags for mailbox providers, and will negatively impact where they choose to place your mail. By making your unsubscribe link accessible and easy to spot within your footer, you are saving yourself a deliverability headache down the line.

What should be included in a footer? The answer varies by industry and by brand, but marketers should consider adding elements that support the following objectives:

Drive activity2016-04-12
Maintain engaged subscribers’ momentum by providing opportunities to click through or take action at the bottom of the template by including the following:

  • Social media links: Rather than including a chicklet or logo, I recommend highlighting interesting content or even including a feed of images, posts, or Tweets. An Instagram icon is far less compelling than a recently posted Instagram image that showcases the brand
  • Simple navigation items: Incorporate navigation items that will be useful for recipients of your email such as store locators, planning/shopping tools, popular destination pages, etc.
  • Contact or location information: Make it easy for recipients to head to their local store or get in touch if customer support is an important aspect of your business. It’s often a good idea to reiterate this information even it if is in your header.

Build the brandfooter_royal_caribbean
Providing content that helps illustrate the value and appeal of the brand can help sway email recipients who may be on the fence about next steps.  Content could include:

  • Awards and achievements: Highlight any recent awards, recognition, or other achievements that help promote your brand as reliable, acclaimed, and
    worthy of engagement.
  • Testimonials, client quotes, and ratings: Include brief statements of praise from recent customers or ratings that illustrate the positive experiences of others.

Boring but Important
While the following may not make a major impact on the performance of your campaign, these elements help keep you in compliance and can reduce negative subscriber behavior which can damage inbox placement rates.

  • footer_marriottEnsure that you include an easily accessible unsubscribe option and/or preference center link.  Be sure that you have a 1-click process that is easy to locate.  Hiding this link won’t do you any favors.
  • Physical address: Another CAN-SPAM essential that must be included
  • A privacy policy link: Though it’s rarely clicked, we recommend including this link too
  • A callout to subscribe: Provide the option for recipients to opt in, in case the message was forwarded by a friend, family member, or colleague.

Popular this Month

 Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in Email: Is It Right For Your Business? (Part 1)

Video in email is nothing new. Marketers have been using some form of video...

Read More

 [New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

[New Research] Are These Hidden Metrics Harming Your Deliverability?

Reaching the inbox is not as simple as hitting send. Once a message is...

Read More

 What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

What Job Is Your Subscriber Hiring Your Email To Do?

Over the last 16 years, I’ve worked as a product manager, run product...

Read More

Author Image

About Casey Swanton

Casey has a healthy fixation with helping marketers realize the potential of their email programs by addressing human needs, building better relationships, and ultimately driving improved results for the business. Her nine years of experience and obsession with evolving the email space helped land her a spot on ExpertSender’s list of “25 Email Geeks to Help You Get Your Geek On.”

Author Archive

Stay up to date

Enter your name and email address below to subscribe to our mailing list.

Your browser is out of date.
For a better Return Path experience, click a link below to get the latest version.