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How do you design an e-mail so people will read to the very end?

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Everyone is crunched for time and facing a bulging inbox. Marketers can respond to this challenge by being concise and compelling in their e-mail marketing design. There are three ways to do this:

1) Design your e-mail so the copy is on a single screen above the “fold.”

2) Take longer sections of copy and hyperlink to them on separate pages. Begin enough of a paragraph to hook the reader and then link to the rest of the story. People will be curious and click to read more. Separating copy visually into sections makes it easier to read.

3) Have a strong call to action in the e-mail subject line that also shows up in the preview pane. In the content body, also include a hyperlink to the call to action.

Including three to five hyperlinks within the body of each e-mail keeps the message concise and provides multiple tracking mechanisms to determine how engaged the audience really is.

Variety is the key to effective hyperlinks. No one wants to see the same message repeatedly, and the same is true for your hyperlinks. Mix them up: Try linking to different documents, Web sites, social media or other sources. Always work to make the links relevant to the message and make sure they are content-driven to spur qualified leads coming into your site. The most thoroughly read e-mails are those that are most compelling to your audience.

Carissa Newton is director of marketing at Delivra (www.delivra.com), a provider of e-mail marketing software and services.

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