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BizReport : Email Marketing : May 21, 2009

Study: Nav bars in email drive clicks

According to new research from Smith-Harmon, navigation bars in email communications are a key driver of clicks, sometimes more so than the email content itself.

by Helen Leggatt

Over half (62%) of email marketers that use navigation bars in email communications find them to be more effective than, or as effective as, the main email content when it comes to driving clicks. Such were the findings of eROI's latest "Elements of Email" survey.

New data from Smith-Harmon, via their Retail Email Blog, also demonstrates the popularity of navigation in email. It showed that 93% of the top online retailers tracked placed navigation bars at the top of their email communications.

While 38% of email marketers matched their email navigation bars with their website versions, many used different formats. For instance, horizontal navigation bars were most commonly used, particularly in the majority of cases where they were placed at the top of emails. This allows recipients to view the navigation bar when using a preview pane.

Email navigation bars often contain less links than their website counterparts, found Smith-Harmon's research. This is primarily because consumers spend less time with email than on websites so only the most important and relevant links need to be displayed.

"I recommend picking your top five or six performing site destinations and including those in your email navigation bar," advised Aaron Smith, co-founder and principal of Smith-Harmon.

Tags: clicks, email, nav bar, navigation bar, Smith-Harmon

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