Lucrative Link Strategies

Dear Email Diva,

One of my clients is looking to revamp their outbound emails once their new store launches. They do not want to produce a full-fledged newsletter, but instead use their email list to announce new products as they are added to the store. They've already got high % delivery , but would welcome some input on how to highlight/emphasize the product and drive more traffic to the site in terms of number of links to the site, placement in the email, etc.

Looking forward,

John Ross

Dear John,

Many of the Email Diva's thoughts on links can be found in two of her articles: "What I've Learned About Links," Parts One and Two. You will learn even more if you look at how your readers' clicks are allocated among the options offered. To do this, capture your email (Snag-It by Techsmith is the perfect tool; take advantage of the company's free trial) and show the percentage of clicks/total clicks next to each link.



This will reveal a lot about your readers' interest in, and response to, the copy, placement and graphic treatment of your links. You may find that readers don't realize your green text is a link, for example. You won't be able to tell, however, what users expect to be able to click on but couldn't, such as your logo and your product images and headlines. Do some usability testing or, after pondering your link activity, develop some theories and split-test them.

Consider how the reader's eye moves along the page. With your creative, eye movement stops at the large product shot. Test a version with smaller images in a vertical column. In direct mail, the rule of thumb is to use graphics to guide the user's eye through the important copy points. Some of your best sales copy, the enthusiastic endorsements from professional musicians, is buried at the bottom of the page.

Make sure your most compelling message is visible in the preview pane with images blocked. Your tale of the travels of a professional musician is not it, and may discourage amateurs from feeling that they qualify as legitimate owners of your product. Amateurs may, however, want the same case that the pros have, so the testimonials are important. Just don't make non-pros with money for nice toys feel like poseurs. Make them feel part of the great family of guitar players.

Don't forget the offer. Another solid-gold direct-response principle is that your offer will have the greatest impact on response (after list, but that doesn't apply here). What little extra can you include to make your readers feel they'll miss out if they don't act now? It's not always a discount that cuts into your bottom line. It could be a gift with purchase, such as a guitar picks or a polishing cloth. Test to find the one that delivers the best ROI.

Good luck!

The Email Diva

Send your questions or submit your email for critique to Melinda Krueger, the Email Diva, at All submissions may be published; please indicate if you would like your name or company name withheld.

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