A simple but important principle of email marketing has emerged from recommendations we are developing with a client. This principle is one of those fundamental techniques that everybody knows but few put into practice. That principle is: Don’t boil the ocean. Allow each element to have one, and only one, purpose.
The purpose of the subject line of the email is not to explain all the benefits of your offer, not to describe your company’s competitive advantage, and not to cement your new tag line into the readers’ memories. The subject line does one thing: it compels recipients to open the email.
The purpose of the headline is to get readers to read the copy below it. The purpose of the copy is to compel readers to follow your call to action. The purpose of the landing page is to give readers a clear understanding of what they can expect from your offer. And so forth.
Moreover, each email should have one, and only one, call to action. Prospects will appreciate the clarity and directness of a singular idea that’s easy to understand, decide upon, and act upon.
There are dozens, maybe hundreds of articles and blog posts counting the rules of email marketing. But I think of the “One Purpose per Element” rule to be the Golden Rule, from which all the other rules follow.