Email footers… The forgotten depths of your marketing communications. They’re the neighbor you’ve never taken the time to know because they live six floors down. If they play their music loudly, you’ve never heard it, and you know your heavy footfalls aren’t keeping them awake, so it’s an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ type situation. We have a different way of viewing them, however. They’re not the bottom, they’re supports. There in the lower part of the email, they hold everything up. However, when sticking to default footer protocols, it’s easy to miss simple problems that may be occurring right under your nose. Let’s go through some best practices to make sure your footer is living its best footer life.

Limit Your Socials

We love social media icons. We love multiple avenues for which prospects can learn more about us and what we can do for them.

However, if you’re not careful, you may be overdoing it. If you’re including more than two or three social media links in the footer then you may have too many. Prioritizing your social media and deciding which are the most important will be hugely beneficial for you. There’s a decent chance that you update some more than others, and those are the channels that should have representational icons in your messaging. Don't link a YouTube channel you haven’t updated in two years. If a prospect sees a long span of time since your last update, it looks like you have nothing to say. It’s bad for optics. You can also opt out of including social media links completely, as it can help improve spam rates and get your links more focused, but social media can be powerful, so only consider this option in dire circumstances.

Unsubscribe Links

If you have an unsubscribe link in your footer, you should amend that at your earliest convenience. Get it outta there. Instead, update it to a link that goes to a page where the prospect can manage their email preferences. Email bots are known to click through links in an email to check for spam, and if you have an unsubscribe link, it could lead to prospects being unsubscribed who didn’t want to be. Don’t let the machines win. “Manage Preferences” is your friend.

Prioritize The Copy

If the text you have in your footer is as long as the rest of the email, We’re gonna call your mom and tell her what you’ve done. The footer is not a place to wax poetic about your industry.

Keep your relevant information in the body of the message, and keep the copy in your footer to a minimum. You can include an organization’s address, a copyright year, and a tagline, but that’s really all you need. This keeps your footer a footer, and not some awkward, additional article for prospects to read.

Pro-Tip: Account Engagement (Pardot) makes keeping your copyright year up to date easy. Merely replace the copyright year with the merge tag or dynamic tag %%current_year_YYYY%% or {{current_year_YYYY}}. This will continually update the copyright year automatically. No problemo.

Create Hierarchy

When it comes to the design of the footer, make sure that the most important information is first and the most visible. For example if the order of importance for information is: social media, tagline, address, and copyright, then the footer should also reflect that.

Including the social media and tagline first, then the address, and finally the copyright and manage preferences link. Obviously this isn’t going to be a universal arrangement for every organization, and you’ll need to feel it out for yourself, but it’s a nice starting point!

Text vs. HTML Footers

When sending both plain text emails and HTML emails, you don’t have to use the same footer. In fact, if you’re trying to convey a relaxed, more personal vibe with a plain text email, it’s actually recommended to avoid the overly-designed corporate footer.

Use a more simple text footer instead that includes a more concise version of the information that’s in the HTML footer. It’s going to look and feel much more clean.

Email footers can be an essential building block of email professionalism and practicality. Knowing the points where you can improve and knowing the mistakes to avoid keep that building block from being a hindrance to the information that your organization is trying to convey. Don’t neglect it. Embrace it and all it can do for you!

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