How to quickly learn which e-mail copy and creative points may be suppressing response.
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You aren't looking at a local weather map or an old-fashion sonogram. It's an eyetracking heatmap for an email. With this one image, I can tell what copy and creative people are looking at and reading. More important, I can quickly understand which copy and creative points could be suppressing response. According to my latest findings, about 60 percent of people who read an email only see or read 50 percent of the message.
It's vital, then, to ensure the part of the message that is read is clear, action-oriented, and powerful and drives response.
What Is Heatmapping?
Heatmapping isn't the newest whiz-bang email technology. It's inexpensive and quick to do. And works on more than email.
A few months ago, I was introduced to heatmapping by Eyetools. As a director of email marketing practice, I constantly search for new technologies, innovative email applications, and ways to optimize our email marketing process. Like you, I'm always challenged and restricted by email realities. Things like the wait for IT resources, lack of ability to integrate with homegrown systems, and funding challenges. I get really excited when I find something that can be implemented in a virtually barrier-free manner and can drive return on investment (ROI). This time, it's heatmapping.
Heatmapping records where people look at a specific document, how much time they spend looking at a particular element, and the order in which they look at the items. Eye tracking (how Eyetools generates its signature heatmaps) is a simple, effective process.
Six Reasons Why I Like Heatmapping
I've used heatmapping for a number of clients, both business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C). Each time, the findings drive increased response. Here are the top reasons I remain a fan:
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Though heatmapping doesn't displace the fundamentals of effective email marketing, it is a phenomenal way to glean insights and validate best practices. In many cases, when our clients and account teams see the heatmaps, they see clearly how "common sense" the corrective actions can be. Without heatmaps, we often overlook common sense. Such failures can result in suboptimal response.
Some exciting learnings identified from recent heatmapping tests:
If you have questions about heatmapping or learnings for a specific scenario, send them to me. If there's interest, I'll share answers in the next column.
Jeanniey Mullen is the vice president of marketing at NOOK by Barnes and Noble, focused on business growth and customer acquisition.
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December 2, 2015
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