The success of your email marketing campaign depends on putting the right information in front of your subscribers using the right format in order to solicit engagement. And while mainstream testing plays an essential role in determining what form that information should take, there’s another option you should consider, one that could take your marketing effectiveness to a new level: heat map analysis.

What is Heat Map Analysis?

Heat map analysis uses eye-tracking software to determine what areas of the page viewers tend to look at most. Heat map studies enable you to more accurately determine where the most important elements of your email creative should be placed in order to attract user engagement. If your call to action is hanging out in a low-visibility corner, for instance, a heat map can not only point out the problem, but also show you where to place that call to action for better results.

What Can You Learn From Heat Map Analysis?

You can use heat maps to test the design of each individual email, demonstrating whether your links are placed effectively, whether graphics or copy attract the most viewers, and whether your critical information is garnering the attention it should. You’ll also begin to notice trends such as the following that will help you with future design options:

  • Invest in the right real estate

Most heat map studies indicate that the upper left quadrant of the page receives the most attention. Make the most of this essential real estate by placing critical messages and visual anchors here.

  • Don’t design based on assumptions

We’ve all been guilty of designing emails based on a best practice list somewhere rather than taking the time to test. Heat map analysis challenges some common recommendations such as:

– Keep copy to a minimum. Relevant, engaging copy can actually generate more clicks than graphic elements. Graphic elements can also be used to direct attention to copy rather than competing with written content.

– Don’t include navigation tools. Adding a navigation bar at the bottom of your email can pick up clicks from subscribers who didn’t find anything else in the email interesting enough to click on.

  • Word placement matters

The first word of any headline receives the most viewing time, so make sure it communicates. Don’t waste this valuable position on words that aren’t relevant to your overall message.

At eConnect Email – a full service email marketing agency, we offer a variety of design tools and testing options to help you create the most effective email design for every campaign. Monitor your click-through rates with our analytics feature as you experiment with heat map analysis and other testing options to take your design strategy to the next level.

Have you ever build a campaign based on heat mapping analysis?  Is so, please share your experience with us by commenting below.

About johnny:
Creative Director and all around cool guy. In his free time you will find him jamming in the local music scene around Austin, TX with his band, With An Orange. You can also follow him on twitter @eConnectEmail