Designing a marketing email is a creative exercise and one that can be very fulfilling. With the quality of current email marketing templates there is not even the daunting prospect of the blank white screen at the start. Whilst the templates are simplicity itself to complete, there are some things to bear in mind.
1/ Keep It Succinct
Research has shown that the shorter the marketing email the better the returns. In essence it means that you should include just enough to encourage readers to click the call to action. Everything else is an irrelevance and, more dangerously, a distraction.
If you believe that more information might well convince those who are undecided, then include a hot-link to a landing page with full details, although include calls to action.
2/ Target Them
Hopefully, regular readers will know that they should split their email marketing lists and design emails specific to each grouping. Some subscribers might prefer a little more information on the email proper so ensure their preferences are serviced.
Most email marketing templates will ignore self indulgence and be without superfluous design. There is always a temptation to add design features because you think it would look nice. But the email has a purpose and the appearance should not overwhelm this. It has to sell so take this into consideration at all times.
4/ Above The Fold
If your subscribers might be using a preview pane then give them sufficient information to encourage them to open the email proper. Include a call to action, as you never know, but initially aim to excite their interest.
My brother can cross his eyes one at a time. A fascinating trick, but hardly relevant to this article. Keep focused and ensure that every item helps the sale. Only text and images that are directed towards completion should be included.
6/ Vary The Calls To Action
Repetition can work but a little variation can work wonders. Have calls to action all the way through the email, so one is present at every window, but change the wording. Buy Now can work wonders. But then, why not have one which says: Click here for the lowest offer price ever. One later could read: Do you want the best product you can buy?
If your alterations from your norm are radical, or even just substantial, test the marketing email on a non-stakeholder group, made up of those whose opinions have proved valuable in the past. Then perhaps test on a shortened list of subscribers. The speed of returns to your email marketing software will show you if you have made a mistake depressingly quickly.
8/ Consider All Results
Do not just consider open rates and clickthroughs. Find out which links were clicked and use the results in your next campaign. For instance, if a substantial number of subscribers clicked for further information, then find something common to them, put those and similar subscribers in a list for your next campaign and include a little more information in the email proper.
This is an overview of email design. We will go into more details on each facet in later articles.