We hosted a live Q&A at the end of our webcast Anatomy of a Marketing Email and though I may be biased because I love the content so much, I would say it was the best Q&A session we’ve ever hosted. We had a great group of attendees who brought their A-game–so much that we couldn’t get to all of the questions asked.

Our resident marketing email master Erik Ault and I teamed up to answer a handful of those questions below.

Would you say there is a maximum number of words a subject should have?

Our Delivery Team recommends that for delivery purposes, your subject line should never exceed 15 words, but our Data Science team took it one step further and found that subject lines with 3 words perform the best for open rates (think engagement).

Do you have suggestions about how often to send marketing emails?

Frequency of sending should be based off of your specific marketing campaign and how your recipients respond to your emails. We recommend testing different frequencies and watching your open and click rates–your subscribers may appreciate a breather with only one email per week or they could be thirsty for more content and open your emails every day!

Where should a CTA should live?

The CTA should live in the top 30-40% of your email template. This will help to ensure it is visible in most preview panes and mobile viewing. Placing your main CTA as close to the top of the template as possible helps to reinforce what exactly you want your users to do with the email.

I’ve been sending emails that look like personal letters without fancy templates. Is that still okay? They’re designed to look like they’re sent by an individual, rather than a company.

If you’ve found that works best for your business, that’s great! Just make sure that you’re still including an unsubscribe and physical address at the bottom of your emails to ensure you’re CAN-SPAM compliant.

Is it an issue (in regards of spam rating) if my images are not pointing exactly to the same domain? E.g. the images point to www.mydomain.com/image/myimage.jpg, while the email is coming from services.mydomain.com.

The source of your images and the hosting environment should not impact your spam rating or deliverability. You do want to make sure that if the image is clickable, and drives the customer to an online location, that it matches with the sending domain. If you’re sending customers to domains other than your company website, you will want to ensure that the domains are not on any blacklists or have poor domain reputations. Sending customers to bad domains from your email will get you into deliverability and spam trouble.

Is it better to send a complete newsletter or provide a simpler email with a link to our quarterly newsletter?

You’ll want to consider the overall length of your email and decide if it is a reasonable amount of content for a user to scan and engage within a short time (typically 5-7 seconds). If it will take a user longer than a few seconds to view all of the content and make the decision of whether they’re interested in engaging, consider consolidating the content in the email with short, concise content, and direct CTAs. Then move the majority of your content to the website where they are more likely to spend more time engaging and converting.

If you’d like to watch the full webcast (with the Q&A at the end) it’s available for on-demand viewing here.

Kate Schmeisser
When Kate isn't trying to teach herself the ukelele, make it through the mountain of books on her nightstand, or figure out if they are actually being serious about suggested serving sizes on ice cream, she is the Creative Content Manager.