Best practises for email marketing headers

With a higher ROI than most other marketing channels, the enduring value of email marketing is self-evident. Yet, in an age where around 333.2 billion emails are sent daily, it’s never been more difficult to make email marketing stand out.

Email marketing headers that provide an immediate first impression to overloaded consumers are the best way to ensure that people keep reading for long enough to convert. In this article, we’ll consider what email marketing headers are, what they include, and the best practices for ensuring that they work for you. 

What is an email header?

Email headers are the top section of any email, and are the first thing that recipients see. Also known as slightly less interesting ‘email metadata documents’, headers will broadly contain all of the data that relates to the email in question. 

At their most basic, marketing email headers serve practical purposes, including letting a consumer know who sent the email, and briefly what the email is about. Creative and well-thought email headers also have the benefit of providing additional information, immediate hooks, and verifiability. 

Why are marketing email headers important?

With email marketing becoming more competitive, the importance of marketing email headers is relatively obvious – this is an opportunity for brands to create a unique, immediately viewable selling point for their emails. 

With email cybercrimes like phishing scams at an all-time high, email headers that include easily visible and verifiable sender email addresses are also crucial for putting consumers at ease. Even once recipients know who they’re dealing with (and how reliable that source is), a high-quality email header can boost sales by – 

  • Incorporating personalisation
  • Highlighting catchy subject lines
  • Outlining tone of voice

Like any first impression, your marketing email headers can make a huge difference to how consumers view your brand, your content, and ultimately your products. In other words, the most comprehensive answer to why marketing email headers are important is simply – because they create sales. 

What does an email campaign header include? 

We’ve briefly touched on some of what email campaign headers should include. But, it’s worth considering exactly what you should be placing in your header to pull people in. After all, missing crucial information here could result in lost interest or even faltering faith that you are who you say you are. On the flip side of that, packing too much into a header is guaranteed to see people clicking away.

To avoid either of those negative outcomes, remember that email marketing headers should ultimately include – 

  1. Sender and receiver information
  2. Date and time stamps
  3. Subject line
  4. Header content (logo banner, contact information, etc.)

This seems like a simple list because it is, but it also covers all the key elements of what makes a ‘good’ email header, including a basic understanding of who you are and what you’re selling. That really is all that you need to do here. If you manage to hook people with the basic stuff, the rest of your email content can get to work.

Email marketing header best practices

Now we know the basics, it’s time to think about the email marketing header best practices that are ultimately going to spell the difference between your emails and those from Joe at the tackle store down the way. After all, even the smallest of businesses understand a little something about the need to create the right first impressions with their emails. 

What they won’t understand, but what you should, is best header practices that include –

#1 – Make it interesting

While email headers technically tackle all of the boring stuff about an email, they also provide you with an invaluable opportunity to catch consumer interest. This is especially true of your subject line, which will be enough in itself for as many as 47% of consumers to open and interact with your email. Equally, eye-catching designs, including the addition of a punchy logo that reflects your brand, can make your emails so much more intriguing than just a standard blank page document. 

# 2 – Put yourself out there

As mentioned, letting recipients know who you are is one of the primary purposes of any header. To be effective, though, a header needs to do a bit more than just show your email address. After all, consumers have shorter attention spans now than ever, and if you make them work to understand what you’re doing, then they’re unlikely to stick around. Instead, you should include both your logo and your company name in your header, and you should make sure that these take centre stage with the use of an email banner or something similar. 

# 3 – Add interactive menus

Menus might be something we more commonly associate with a web store, but placing menus directly below your header logo/banner can provide ‘impulse-style’ click-throughs before consumers have even started to scroll down your emails. Functional menus that provide categories linking directly to your website make it easier for consumers to shop with you, as well as provide a generally professional look that’s sure to serve well.

# 4 – Prioritise versatility

It’ll be difficult to keep consumer attention with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ header design that you use on all email marketing. While you can’t completely redesign your logo for every email you send (and nor would you want to consider the importance of continuity!), versatile designs that can be adjusted slightly for each campaign/email focus can be incredibly effective. Something as simple as drawing a little seasonal addition onto your banner, or changing your colour schemes slightly depending on time of year, will set your emails apart, and show that you have something new to say.

Email marketing headers can make or break email designs. In Instiller’s easy-to-use email designer, perfecting the look of email marketing headers that are always versatile and eye-catching couldn’t be easier. Book your free trial to finally ensure that your emails are making the right first impression every time!

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