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A good test of an effective marketing email is whether or not the email generates immediate sales or moves people closer to a purchase decision. In short, your email should invite action and decision making. Actions in emails usually involve clicking on links, which may include text links, images, buttons, and other graphics. This section of the course explains how to get the most out of the links in your emails. Email links come in two varieties, external web links and internal navigation links. External links open up a browser window so the person who clicks on the link is directed to a webpage.
You can also create links to files stored on a server and links can open up an email program installed on your subscriber's computer. Emails received on a mobile device could also interpret a phone number or an address as a link. Phone numbers in the text of your email dial the phone number when touched and addresses can automatically link to an online map or a map application. There is no need to program these types of links. Mobile devices can detect them automatically. Internal links, also known as anchor links, point to content within the email.
Use internal links to help the person reading your emails to skip to content below the screen from the top of the email and to skip back to the top of the email from the bottom. You can also use groups of internal links like a Table of Contents to list the articles or sections of your email and allow someone to quickly jump to that section of your email without scrolling. When creating text links, the best practice is to avoid using the phrase Click Here as the link. Instead use an action word or a phrase as the link. For example, a link to add an item to an online shopping cart should say Buy this item, instead of To buy this item click here.
The more descriptive you can make your text links, the better chance you have of inviting a click. For example, a link that reads More information isn't as descriptive as a link that reads Download the 50 page catalog. When creating image links, the best practice is to include some text in the image inviting the click and explaining what the image link points to. Some images are intuitive as links so text isn't necessary. Examples include pictures of products that link to more information about the product, company logos pointing to the homepage of a website, audio icons such as a Play button that looks like a speaker, or screenshots of videos pointing to a streaming video file.
Speaking of videos in other files, use links to deliver files and videos to your email subscribers. Never attach videos, pictures, documents, or other files to your emails, because email filters and blockers are notorious for stripping attachments, bouncing emails with attachments, and filtering emails with attachments to a junk folder. Creating links and including them in your email is an important step toward making your emails actionable, but links all by themselves won't be too inviting to your email subscribers. That's why the next section of the course shows you how to include valuable and relevant email content to go along with the links in your emails.
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