From what colors attract the most readers to where a person’s eyes go while reading an e-mail, communication technology experts are constantly studying how to best capture and maintain interest. Here are eight tips, backed up by new research, that can help you make your electronic communications even more effective.
Best color for a Web site: beige.
Why? Researchers agree that colors greatly influence the human state of mind. Colors from nature, such as earth tones, are emotionally pleasing. Artificial colors—such as bright greens, blues, and reds—can cause eye fatigue, thus chasing visitors away. -Select no more than four colors for your site’s overall color scheme. (Smashing Magazine)
Best day to send an e-mail: Monday or Tuesday.
Why? For e-mails to members, including your association e-newsletter, it’s best to send early in the week, giving members the rest of the week to digest and respond. Personal e-mail is best sent on Friday, when work obligations are more likely to have been met and the recipient will feel free to respond at his or her leisure. (Red Spot Marketing Blog)
Best font for your e-mail: Arial.
Why? Virtually all computers come equipped with this font. Even though serif fonts, such as Times, form a visual guide (or train) to help the reader’s eye follow the type, this time-tested theory for printed material doesn’t hold true for on-screen reading. (Microsoft Office’s User Guide)
Best number of links in an e-mail: six to ten.
Why? Although it’s tempting to load e-mails (especially e-newsletters) with links, research shows that e-mails with six to ten links generate the highest number of clicks. Adding more links actually deteriorates click-through results. (Silverpop)
Best Web site feature: about Us.
Why? Those who land on your “About Us” page show clear intent to get in touch with you. Providing robust contact information here ensures that you capture as many would-be members and contacts as possible. (Pole Position Marketing)
Best social media plan: Give to get . . . eventually.
The basic tenet of successful social media involvement is that you need to give before you can receive. With that in mind, your first goal of social media participation should be to listen, build community, and provide solid information. Do that, and the boost in membership volunteerism or class registrations is all but guaranteed. (Lee Odden, Online Marketing Blog)
Best performance by an e-mail newsletter: the benchmark.
The average e-mail newsletter achieves 88 percent deliverability, a 20 percent open rate, and a 9.5 percent click-through rate. (Jupiter Research, 2009)
Best time to send an e-mail: 6:30 a.m.
Why? Most people go online within minutes of waking up to check their messages.
An early-morning e-mail is more likely to get read, especially before the day’s messages pile on. (What Americans Really Want.Really, by Dr. Frank Luntz)
Finally, there’s one thing we don’t need research or experts to tell us: Electronic communications are never “finished.” In order to be successful in communicating our message, we need to constantly evaluate what’s working—and what’s not—and use what we’ve learned to keep improving the way we get our message out to members.
Melynn Sight is president of nSight Marketing (www.nsightmarketing.com). As a marketing adviser and consultant, she has dedicated her business to real estate associations.