Do you feel like you're running out of ideas and that your marketing emails are coming over as a bit – well – uninspired? If so, it might be time for a refresh – Katrina Bell suggests 5 design rules to help ramp up your engagement.
Once the mechanisms of gathering email addresses from your various customer interactions into a vibrant database are established, it‘s easy to imagine that your regular communications will have a fair-to-good chance of being read. Think again.
Bad design choices or ignoring the prevailing 'netiquette' of promotional emails could get you consigned to the spam folder, or even earn you a swift unsubscribe if you break too many of the rules. Follow these 5 trends to attract those vital inbox eyeballs.
1. PERSONALISATION WORKS
That means not just in terms of specific content that is tailored to subsets of your database, but also making sure that your emails don’t come from a generic address such as 'marketing@' or worse still, shows up the mailer software you use such as Mailchimp. Just simply putting the recipient’s name in a bolder typeface and a bright colour will instantly remind them on a subliminal level that this content is more worthy than generic promotional emails.
2. THE SUBJECT LINE IS KEY
If your targets aren’t intrigued by your subject line, then what hope have you of getting them to stop to read? Instead of June Update or This Month’s News From Us, ask yourself what do they really want from this communication? Is it a deep dive into new trends or an offer on purchases? Then tell them exactly that in the subject. You are much more interested in what you are doing than they are, so put yourself in their shoes. All consumers want to know is: What’s in it for them?
3. SHORT AND SWEET
Nobody has time to scroll, so making use of the limited real estate in the upper quadrant with punchy headlines is a good first step. Write the copy you want and then find out how to prune it by two thirds. That way you allow for a generous amount of room for eye-catching images and empty space.
4. RESPONSES COME FROM RESPONSIVENESS
Using an email template that is responsive – i.e, one that can be viewed on any type of screen in its optimum state – is a non-negotiable requirement. The last thing you want is for your images to appear fuzzy or your 'call to action' button getting lost in the footer area because your design is static.
The experience of checking your marketing emails doesn’t have to be the work of an experienced coder or designer – there are multiple free templates with easy to use prompts to get your communications into shape. Head over to Stripo to try out free-to-use html templates that automatically show you how your content will render depending on your device. Using this A/B test will make sure the design you choose highlights your goals the best.
You can also search by type, such as 'abandoned cart prompt emails', or by industry.
Alternatively your auto mailer software such as Mailchimp, MailterLite or HubSpot have baked-in templates that are ready to go and require very little technical ability to use.
Just remember, most mainstream mail apps like Apple’s Mail and GMail have a handy unsubscribe feature these days, which requires zero effort on the part of the consumer. Sender beware!