My campaigns are mostly postcard graphics. What can I do to help boost results without changing the design?

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Make sure you have an engaging and clickable system text preheader (the area above, or a part of, the header region) at the top of every e-mail.

Many e-mail marketers use this very top real estate to highlight options for adding to one’s safe sender list or what to do if images are blocked. Both are definitely top e-mail best practices, but truth be told, both generally have a minimal impact on the bottom line.

What can make a huge impact, though, is to use this same real estate and incorporate an engaging system text teaser statement with a clearly clickable call to action.

The painful truth is that about half the time, your images are being blocked. Chances are you rely heavily on the postcard graphic format. Competition in the inbox becomes fiercer every day. As marketers, we have to do everything we can to make it as easy as possible for people to identify, engage and act upon our messages.

If images are blocked and your e-mail recipient is unable with a quick scan to identify who you are, what you want and why they should proceed, chances are your e-mail may not get read and acted upon.

To prevent this, you must incorporate some system text clearly above the fold. No matter what your design, chances are you can easily add an engaging teaser statement at the very top that summarizes your message, highlights a key offer and showcases an urgency statement.

Finally, don’t forget to include at least one related system text call to action. You got their attention; they are ready to act. Don’t make them search for a link. By making it as easy as possible, you will likely see this one link capture 10% of your click if not more.

Always remember: E-mail is just a stepping stone to a Web page. If recipients are ready to take the leap based on the information provided in your engaging preheader, you did your job as an e-mail marketer successfully.

Julian S. Scott is senior director, creative and campaign services, at e-mail service provider Responsys (

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