The Fine Art of E-Mail Creative – Small tweaks can make a big difference: eMarketer

OCTOBER 21, 2006 By Ben Macklin – Senior Analyst – Competition for space in your inbox is fierce, but a new study from Silverpop, an e-mail marketing service company, may provide some helpful tips for increasing your click-through rates. Silverpop reviewed and analyzed 612 e-mail messages sent from 430 companies to 100 or more recipients between mid-April and mid-August 2006. The study evaluated and compared 147 B2B messages and 465 B2C e-mails.

Here are a few of their findings. (The complete report is available at Silverpop’s Web site, with registration.) Of the e-mails sent, 27% were opened � with no significant difference between B2B and B2C e-mails.

Messages that included the company name or brand in the subject line had significantly higher open rates � as much as a 12-point increase.

Images are not always more compelling than text. Silverpop found that B2B e-mail messages that were mostly text or had an equal amount of text and images generated higher click-through rates than image-heavy e-mails.

Silverpop classified messages into seven different format categories.

  • One column


  • Two or more columns of equal size


  • Two or more columns of varied size


  • Letter


  • Newsletter


  • Varied cell blocks


  • Postcard


The data clearly show that consumers prefer the newsletter format, and businesses prefer the postcard or varied block format.

The take-away message from the study is that small changes to creative elements of an e-mail message can make a significant difference to its success. With spam and e-mail filters making e-mail marketing increasingly challenging, fine tweaks and regular testing of different formats and design elements are necessary elements to any long-term e-marketing strategy.

For more information and analysis on e-mail marketing, read the eMarketer report E-Mail and Word-of-Mouth: Connect with Your Best Customers.

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