Email Trends For 2007 As our email inboxes get more and more cluttered with promotional advertising messages, marketers are finding it increasingly challenging to get their email to stand out in the crowd. Instead of getting discouraged, smart email marketers are using it as an opportunity to improve their communications and get noticed. We've identified several trends that will raise the likelihood of your recipients to open, read, and take the appropriate action with your email. Follow these five rules to ensure the success of your email marketing campaigns.

  • Use unambiguous "From" and "Subject" lines. By making it clear to your audience who the email is from and what it is about, you dramatically increase the probability of it being opened. It is best to put your business name in the "From" line instead of the name of the employee who distributes the email campaign. Your "Subject" line should be specific, engaging, and indicative of the email's contents. Since they are the gateway to your emails, the idea is to make your "From" and "Subject" lines compelling but in no way misleading.

  • Make sure your promotions and brand are viewable in the preview pane. Email platforms like Outlook are increasingly giving users the option to read a portion of their email messages in a preview pane without actually opening the email. This is why it is important to put your promotional offers at the top left of your email, where they are most likely to be seen. Be sure to include the promotional product, service, benefit, and offer at the top along with a clear call to action. You can move other, less critical information further down in the email.

  • In addition to HTML, produce text-only versions of your email marketing campaigns. These days, busy professionals, parents, students, and consumers are taking their email to go. The popularity of handheld devices like the Blackberry and Treo is at an all time high. In order to keep your email compatible, you must create text versions of your email in addition to your HTML versions. Keep text-only readers in mind when you write your campaign and make sure your message isn't dependent upon elaborate graphics that will not be supported by PDAs.

  • Creative: What's old is new again. With the advanced technologies email marketers have at their disposal, it is tempting to create eye-catching, rich media emails. However, email is becoming even more conservative with developments like "image blocking," and more advanced technologies are often not supported. So what's old is actually new again when it comes to email creative. Make sure the HTML versions of your email look good and get your point across even without the images.

  • Emails should be clear, concise, and not too salesy. With the average person receiving over 300 emails per week, emails are more often scanned for useful information and offers instead of actually read. Recipients don't want to have to work to figure out what your email is about. If you force them to do so, odds are your email will end up in their Trash folder. In addition, today's savvy consumers are above the hard sell. For best results, keep your message fun, informative, and useful.

Despite the short attention spans of recipients and technological limitations of email platforms, email marketing is far from dead. In fact, quite the opposite is true. Studies show that email marketing remains the most cost-effective way to market to consumers. Want to profit from your campaigns in 2007? Keep them smart, simple, up-front and informative.

This article was written by Tim Brown, Email Marketing and Affiliate Manager at Active Web Group.