Here's another email that I love to get, but usually don't do anything with! This is the Downtown Indianapolis, Amazingly New Email.
I stay subscribed because I hope that a new design comes forth – the information to promote downtown Indianapolis is all there, but the design makes the email unreadable and unusable. Here's why:
- There's no main link in the head information to the actual website for Indy Downtown Inc. Maybe that's an oversight, but I think it really needs it.
- The images in the header are tiny and useless – I can't even make them out. My guess is that whomever designed the email has a much smaller resolution than I do so perhaps they look bigger. They're taking up valuable space ‘above the fold'… the space that people actually can see when they open the email in their client.
- The first paragraph on the left, A Word from IDI, is a poor title and uncompelling. Maybe folks don't even know what an IDI is?
- The font size is tiny, unreadable, and has no paragraph breaks or bullets to allow my eyes to skim the content. As a result, I didn't read it! The image was a great call out, though!
- The calendar events are probably the best thing about this email, but there's no call to action on the events… provide me with a link to buy tickets and get more information on each event so I can go! I'm not going to see an event here and go try to search it on Google. I don't have time for that!
- The content is smashed and squished into thin columns unnecessarily. People are on much larger monitors now with wider resolutions… move to an 800 to 1000 pixel wide format. Since your calendar is a right sidebar, the user won't mind scrolling horizontally to reach the sidebar and then read it.
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- There needs to be at least one overwhelming call to action to the email. Do you want me to visit the City Market? Buy a concert ticket? Give me one unique call to action rather than a choice of 40. Tell me more about one thing than all the others that will drive me there.
- Incorporate landing pages and excerpts if you're worried about room. Write a short excerpt with a link to the ‘full story' that brings me to a page with some breathing room and additional information.
- Where are the pictures of people? Not having smiling photos of people in this email makes me feel like I'm reading a brochure or news article. Photos of people enjoying these events and locations in downtown Indy will connect with me.
- What happened last week? How about a great recap of an event or business that you promoted on the email with some comments from the readers about how fantastic a time they had. Make it personal!
My point isn't to slam this email. As I said, it's packed with great information… perhaps too much! It's evident that the folks that wrote the copy did their homework – it just needs better presentation so that readers can consume and act on it.