Exactly, what is usability?
For your email marketing campaign, usability is how effectively, and quite frankly, how easy your subscribers are able to navigate around your email.
Usability directly correlates to subscriber experience. If your email is not user-friendly, then your subscriber's experience with your email plummets. What does that mean? Well, if your email is that hard to navigate, then you've not only lost a potential sale but a customer.
Fundamentally, navigation in your email is critical to subscribers' experience, which, of course, translates into subscriber action. What is navigation for an email? Simply, whatever you want your subscribers to do is your navigation. Is your call to action clear? Is it easy for subscribers to move around your email or do they have to slog through content?
Oh boy! Usability extends beyond just the functionality of your email. Content is key to a positive subscriber experience, and with poorly written or poorly laid out content drives down usability. Essentially, if your message is lost in poorly constructed sentences and bad grammar, what do you think your subscribers' will do? Delete! Unsubscribe! Great content drives sales, action, and conversion. Don't make your subscribers work to understand what you're trying to say. For example, use attention-grabbing headlines if you're including article blurbs.
Along with navigation is the complete user-friendliness of your email. Is your email designed that it is easy to read on any screen size? Are you designing an email with a dark background with lightly colored fonts? Will a quick glance at your email push your point? Is your email loaded with graphics and videos? The bottom line is that the design of your email translates into not only subscriber interaction but also how frustrated they'll be with you. If you've overloaded your email with flashy graphics and videos, it takes longer for it to load. The longer it takes to fully load, the greater is the chance of deletion. Simplify!
Links must link to existing pages. Sure, that sounds funny and slightly absurd, but according to a recent industry study, links that point to nowhere is a regular complaint of email subscribers. Again, usability defines the user experience. If you've placed a juicy teaser article with a jump to the complete page and the page doesn't exist. Subscriber experience goes right down the toilet. It seems simple and obvious, but ensure that the landing pages tied to the links in your email actually go somewhere. Check and then, check again.
- Email Options
Is it easy for your subscribers to update their accounts? Is it clear in your email where they can do that? Moreover, any option that is beyond your sales push or content also needs to be easy and simple. From unsubscribing to Tweeting your content, have you made it simple to do so? Usability extends to all nooks and corners of your email. Though these options are secondary to your content or promotion, they're imperative to round out a positive user experience.