We know the next big thing, other then social media, keeping us marketers up at night, is that 6 letter word: Mobile. Mobile devices are not the flip phone bricks of the '90s. There is a growing use of smart phones that support HTML rendering, and a number of tablet devices that are setting a new bar in mobile computing. In any case, sending a simple html email or focusing on how the text-based version renders can help drive response rates.
By default, Eloqua emails are created and rendered in HTML, however, all emails have a text-only component that is generated automatically should the reading device require text-only.
However, testing for your buyer's aptitude for a simpler, text based email is important, and can find you additional uplift in your email effective rates. We have suggested three strategies to help gain more results.
Simplify your HTML Emails
Start simple and focus on how complex your HTML emails look. On mobile devices, viewable real estate, even for those that render HTML emails, is very limited. While we all like large images and colorful displays to promote our message, keeping it simple can generate more.
See how our own attempts to simplify our newsletter "The Conversation" experienced a sizable return on increased effectiveness rates.
Make your Text Versions Look Great
Eloqua will render a text version automatically, however, when rendering from HTML, the editor does not always do a great job accounting for the lack of images and embedded hyperlinks to your downloadable or online content.
As such, it may be worth your time making your text versions look great.
Since you cannot use bold or italics for emphasis, try using the plus sign or equal sign to draw attention to your main call to action. It is best practice to remove the links from the square brackets because in certain cases, like MS Outlook, the email client will not render them as clickable.
Edit plain text from the editor window. In E10 it appears in the top navigation. In E9 you will see this from the drop down next to the check box titled "Plain text will be system-generated."
You should already have text, simply start editing by unchecking the box "Plain text will be system-generated. In E9 you may need to refresh what was added by pressing "Insert Plain Text Based on HTML Version".
Remember, when looking for improvements from modifying text only emails, you will not see uplift in opens as open tracking requires a tiny image that only renders in an HTML email. Pay attention to your click-through rate when looking for improvements.
Preparing a Text-only Email
The need to send a pure text-only email are rare. However, it may be worth to target very specific audiences in this manner. In our experience, typical audiences where a plain text email is most appropriate include high ranking decision makers, such as C-Level associates, where communications are already highly personalised and have a specific call to action.
In E10 this is controlled from the Email Settings, found under the Gear menu.
In E9 you can set an entire audience to always receive only the text version. Only Advance Marketing Users or Customer Administrators have the rights to be able to manage these settings. If you do not see these setting, please speak to your internal administrators or power users to help you out.
Step 1: Create a Contact Group for this audience
Step 2: From within the group, you will see a button 'Show Advanced Options'.
Step 3: Select the option "Allow only Text emails to group members".
Step 4: To finalise this setting, press "Apply Advanced Options".
When you send to this audience, you must ensure you have a text version created or auto-generated, otherwise you run the risk of sending them a blank email. As mentioned, normally the checkbox is automatically selected to 'Auto Generate' but it is always best to test your emails before you officially send them.
How to Test a Text-only Email
From either 'Email Details' in E9 or the Gear menu in E10 select 'Test' / 'Test Content & Deliverability'. This will open the 'Test Centre' with the email.
Follow the steps, but on Step 4, ensure you pick Text as the option to test.
Like we did with our newsletter, I hope you too will find some further success from employing any one or all of these strategies. Remember, the only true measure of success is based on what results you can shift from your own base line. Document your initial results, make changes, and then compare.