Think of a single-line e-mail marketing e-mail as the part of the movie when the hero or princess decides the leave home and start the quest. You, the e-mail writer, are the magical object that takes her on the first step of the journey. You don’t want to overstate your intentions, only say just enough to cause enough curiosity to lead to a click-through.
The e-mail links to the landing page or website that contains the main content. Expect your reader to spend 5 seconds looking at the e-mail and perhaps a half second deciding to click. The e-mail design should be visually striking, professional, and not distract from the words. It should in some way be reflective of your brand.
Some single-line e-mail examples:
- “Are you happy with your [last item purchased]?” [Graphics: a YES and NO button]. Since you aren’t digging for a compliment — but for her honest opinion — she may click because most Millenial customers like engaging with companies by leaving a review.
- “[Name], we haven’t seen you around [the message board] lately.” Graphic: a cute, forlorn, lonely-looking, humorous version of your logo — especially if it’s a cat, sheep, or other animal the Internet has deemed trendy. Since the user was previously a high-level poster, and only had been gone a few weeks, the company has reason to believe that the user only needs to be reminded that he enjoyed the site in the past.
- “What would you do if you lost your wallet?” “When was the last time you updated your will?” These are practical concerns that people think about and would like the Internet to make easier to solve. When Turbo Tax made doing taxes as simple as entering a few numbers into the web, people flocked to the site, despite the $25 fee for filing state taxes (free if done by paper-and-pencil). Use graphical elements to show that your business or service has the ability to take care of common life worries, at a low cost, reliably, and consistently.
Formatting for Simplicity
When you have few words on the screen, you may be tempted to fill the space with more images. Resist the urge to over-decorate. Allow minimalist style to draw the eye to your words. Think of a greeting card — when you open it, all you see inside is the message. An arresting use of color and a simplistic pattern looks classy and expensive if you use CSS to select an elegant layout. If your e-mail marketing software doesn’t offer the template you want, you can use color tools from the web to pick the right look. Consider hiring a graphic artist to create a few templates to have on hand.