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BizReport : Email Marketing : August 12, 2008

Johnson Box a useful email marketing tactic

The Johnson Box may be a relic of the good old days of direct mail, but it’s just as effective today for use in email marketing campaigns.

by Helen Leggatt

As most direct marketers know, a Johnson Box, popularized by copywriter Frank H Johnson in the 1950’s, is a technique used to highlight a USP, brand or offer and entice the recipient to continue reading.

Placed “above the fold”, highlighted and contained within a box, it was the first message a direct mail recipient would encounter.

Email marketers can also benefit from the exact same practice. With many email users employing preview panes, those first few lines of your email message need to work hard at catching their eye and averting their finger from the delete button.

As well as including key messages and hooks, a Johnson Box tactic that is unique to email might be to add a link to view the email content online or to prompt the recipient to add the sender address to their contact list.

But do Johnson Boxes work via email? According to a case study reported in ClickZ, an email campaign saw a 220% rise in response rate to emails that contained a Johnson Box versus a control.

Tags: email marketing, response rate

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