30 Mar Email Guidelines
Emails play an essential role in business communication. Incorporate the recommendations in the following pages as you craft emails for targeted HCP recipients. As you master these basic email practices, use analytics and metrics along with real-time personalization to increase ROIs as you better reach and engage readers.
The name of the sender in the first line of the email
- Name: Use a company name, brand name, or recognizable executive name.
- Clarity: Clearly and accurately represent the sender per CAN-SPAM compliancy.
- Length: Keep it short—mobile devices display 14 characters in the From field on average; computers vary based on personal settings.
- Transparency: Tell recipients who you are and convey your relevance and importance.
- Consistency: Use one From Name consistently to establish consistency, recognition, and trust.
Briefly summarize your message and hook your reader.
- Keep it short: Strive for 45–50 characters or fewer.
- Mobile devices render first 25 characters of subject line.
- Smartwatches render first 12-20 characters of subject line.
- Be succinct: State the email’s offer: product, service, value, proposition, and/or a call-to-action.
- Be specific: Stay consistent with the message content; avoid being deceptive or misleading.
- Lead with power: Place high impact words within the first few words of the subject line.
- Be action-oriented: Speak directly to the recipient in an active tone—start with an action verb such as learn, download, register, or sign-up, or ask a question to trigger a thought process or some kind of engagement in the recipient.
- Create urgency: Create a sense of urgency using deadlines, dates, or timeframes.
- Be choosy: Avoid using excessive punctuation or ALL CAPS. Stay away from promo phrases such as free, act now, offer, X% off, reminder, or limited time. This can help your message not get caught in spam filters or ignored.
- Be personal: Personalize or localize based on data elements including name, specialty, or state.
- Use numbers: Numbers make your message clean and simple, i.e. 10 Email Best Practices.
- Test: Test for optimal subject lines.
A teaser or fragment of text from the body of the email (typically in the first line of the email) written in the subject line of the preview pane.
- Elaborate: Elaborate on the subject line—support the subject line with additional information without duplicating it.
- Be strong: Include strong action words or call-to-action.
- Be brief: Limit characters to between 35 and 40.
- Test: Test pre-headers.
HEADER AND BODY
The heart of the message holding critical info, followed by additional content and information.
- Create: Create a clear, action-oriented CTA button or text link to lead readers to a landing page with the same CTA headline to complete the action and begin conversion.
- Boost: Boost CTA font size to a minimum of 16 pixels and button size to 40-50 pixels; the area around a link should be 10 or more pixels.
- Personalize: Create your own salutation and content as appropriate—use segmentation by specialty, location, etc.
- Be brief: Keep your message to 500 words or less, or the length of one computer screen. Aim for clear, professional, and straightforward wording.
- Use white space: Use short paragraphs and bullet points. Provide summary text for longer topics with a link to the complete message.
The email’s foundation; legitimizes what the email offers and who it’s from.
- Contact info: Provide complete contact information including the signature of an actual person and phone number.
- Logo: Provide quick, visual recognition with your logo and enable your logo to be clickable to direct readers to your website.
- Connection: Include a “forward to a friend” device (if appropriate) and links to social media.
- Footer: Make a consistent footer for each email to make it easy to navigate.
- Link: Add link to web archive of previous articles.
- CAN-SPAM compliancy: Include sender’s physical mailing address, contact email address, and an opt-out link/unsubscribe link. Note: Don’t bury the unsubscribe link or button to prevent readers from reporting you and dinging your reputation.
Keep your look clean, simple, and easy to follow.
- Mobile First: Make sure your email is responsive for desktop and mobile devices with single column or skinny layouts and large, thumb-sized call-to-action buttons to make it easy to scroll and tap.
- Combat image blocking: Design the message to be readable suppress images, advanced programming, embedded surveys, recommended.
- Optimize: Optimize the top left portion of the email so the message can be seen in the preview pane.
- Use basic HTML coding: Keep coding as simple as possible to ensure your message renders correctly across multiple email clients; do not use scripting, embeds, or attachments.
- Width—650 pixels or fewer; 300–400 pixels is optimal for mobile.
- Length—500 words or fewer or the length of one average computer; keep your entire email under 20KB for quicker loading time.
- Font size—14 pixels or higher (use web friendly fonts); 20–22 pixels for headlines.
- Preview Service: Use a preview service to preview your email exactly how all elements in your message will render and scale in the preview pane with images on and off.
- Creative: html/.htm format.
- Cascading Style Sheets (CSS): You can code in CSS, but elements may render differently in some email clients because external CSS sheets are not recognized by email programs.
- Image size: Keep images at a lower resolution and file size to prevent load lag; 72 dpi renders best.
- ALT: Use tags with images to provide alternative text when non- textual elements/images cannot be displayed.
- Symbols: Code symbols using html code, rather than the actual character. For example, TM should be coded as “&trade.”
- Links: Verify all links are coded and working correctly.
In order to reach your audience effectively, incorporate these top email tips into your email construction process. You’ll be more likely to connect and motivate them, which means better communication and better business.