The Importance of Minor Body Parts

Posted by Bonnie Malone on

Having recently experienced some health issues that caused a variety of challenges in my daily life, I’ve come to abruptly realize the importance of minor body parts. For example, when your entire foot is numb, attempting to wear a shoe with a heel strap is more challenging than you would imagine. Since you cannot feel whether or not the strap is secure around your heel, you are left feeling terribly insecure and checking to be sure your shoe is still on your foot rather frequently. This unfortunate (although sometimes amusing) experience lead me to think of the important, often neglected, minor parts of an email. Naturally, we marketers focus on optimizing subject lines, headlines, creative design, and content – – these areas typically return the most for our investment. However, there are some rather “important minor body parts” that we should examine more regularly:

The From Line – Does your from line immediately connect with your subscriber-base, so they know exactly who sent the email? Surprisingly, we see many marketers attempting to be unique by using the company founder’s or salesperson’s name in the from line, often with the goal of being more personal toward their subscribers. Unfortunately, this usually doesn’t connect with subscribers, directly and negatively affecting the open rate. Be clear and proudly state your company name to resonate immediately with your recipients – your open rate will thank you.

Navigation Elements – When was the last time you looked at the click through rates for the links within your navigation bar? Do you have the most useful topics included? Are you just copying the navigation from your website, which might not be the best option for email readers? If you have low clicks on one or more links, consider testing others to optimize performance. For example, one of our retail clients changed their “Customer Service” NavBar link to “Everyday Free Shipping” and drove 5x the traffic through that single, simple change. Don’t be afraid to challenge the way things have always been.

The Footer – Usually the only regard marketers have for the footer is to ensure CAN-SPAM compliance by including the proper postal address and unsubscribe links. However, the footer can be much more productive for you! Adding links to your preference center, sister-brands’ websites, or forward-to-a-friend can promote usability in a relevant (and space efficient!) way. Consider testing to determine what works best for your company – after all, it’s just a little text, how much time does it really take?

So even though these areas are seemingly small and insignificant compared to the more often attended creative design, subject lines, etc…they can make a noticeable impact to your email program. The next time you are analyzing campaign performance, consider examining these areas a bit closer – and testing one or two elements. You just might be surprised at how important minor body parts can be!


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About Bonnie Malone

Bonnie is passionate about excellent customer experience. With a background in marketing, merchandise buying, and retail management, she helps companies stay relevant amid the changing digital landscape. Bonnie leads the knowledge and consulting teams at Return Path, the global leader in email deliverability. She is an active Email Experience Council committee member, featured speaker for events, and writes monthly for the Return Path blog and TotalRetail.

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