Determining what a good email is and what one could look for in a great campaign is not something that has a straightforward answer. This question can have as many answers as are industries. And with email marketing being as fruitful as it is:
It’s no secret that email marketing is something all marketers invest in to increase website conversion, boost their authority and remain top of mind when it comes to their target audience’s preferences.
- How to respond to a sales rejection email template?
- How to respond to an unhappy customer email template?
- How to create the best email newsletter template?
- How to reach out to influencers’ email templates?
- But how is an email template going to help marketers do that?
- And could you achieve the ROI of your dreams through the perfect email template?
Let’s try and answer these questions.
In Email Templates, Less Is More
The above statement is no secret. However, with such a plethora of flashing colors and bold typography, marketers sometimes forget how inviting, and effective a more straightforward email template format could be.
Not to mention that, as a brand, you’ll be sending various email campaigns, and flashy templates can be counterintuitive, as customers can grow out of them pretty easily. Of course, this has to do with your clientele and the way you present your brand before anything, so make sure to analyze your data before making any decision.
So, you need flashy and bold to attract people, but you need simplicity and a straightforward email template design to keep people interested. The best way to achieve this is to research email template building tools that will help you build the perfect template. You could either build this template from scratch or provide you with an email template gallery to give you some much-needed inspiration. Especially if you’re not really into design.
Picking a versatile tool to support both bold and subtle moves will give you room to adapt and evolve. Not to mention how easy it will be to create emails that will show across all clients and devices.
After all, according to the KISS principle:
So, creating something too complicated could make your email template seem like it’s trying too hard. Simple is better when you need your subscribers’ focus on your message and not just your email template design.
Email templates that are not personalized have less of a chance of boosting your conversion and ROI rates. Just take a look:
You wouldn’t want to miss out on a 75% increase of your CTR, would you? However, creating a personalized email goes way beyond “Hey, [First Name]” nowadays. You’ll have to study your audience and create segments that will help you create a tailor-made, hyper-relevant message that will resonate with the recipient.
Here is where you need to be smart and invest in an email marketing platform that will allow you to segment and personalize on an almost one-on-one basis through the power of AI and machine learning. These elements can distinguish between the smallest of patterns and allow hyper-personalization.
Content, Context and Being Dynamic
Of course, hyper-personalization is fantastic, but it needs to be used correctly to bring back the results promised. This is where content that means something to the recipient and changes accordingly comes into play.
So, we’re talking about content that is contextually appropriate and can change dynamically. These three elements have become super popular, especially now that online sales are paramount to a brand’s sales strategy and taking the sheer volume of emails sent out every single day into account.
Contextually appropriate content – or contextual email marketing – is a new technique that allows emails to provide a level of engagement that is personal and makes sense to the recipient. Here’s what I mean:
If you don’t use Spotify, you have no idea how genius this email was and the “Wrapped” action. There were in-app quizzes and a personalized experience that could both roast and make the recipient say “Aw” simultaneously – at least this happened to me.
So, sending out personalized mass emails would never work in that day and age if you’re going for a larger-scale email marketing campaign. The objective is to produce content that seems to have been created by a dedicated agent for the specific person receiving the email. This keeps people excited, engaged, and happy.
Dynamic content is the type of content that can change according to the recipient. This type is more appealing to subscribers, as it provides a tailor-made option without you trying too hard. To be able to do it, though, you will have to, again, invest in an email marketing tool that can give you this ability.
Creating Accessible Emails
If you take a good look at your audience, you will see that it consists of people with their strengths, weaknesses, and specific needs. And, as a brand, your first job is to work with those needs and not against them.
In a world where more than 2.2 billion people have some form of visual impairment, while millions of others are faced with auditory or other forms of challenges, your emails need to be accessible to everyone. So the chances are that a good chunk of your subscribers will need to receive accessible emails.
Here are some things you can do to make sure your email marketing campaign and your email templates as a whole serve your purpose by collaborating with your audience:
- Use contrast that won’t be difficult to read. According to the research of ARVO (The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology), “There is an ongoing reduction in the age-standardized prevalence of blindness […] yet the growth and aging [sic] of the world’s population is causing a substantial increase in a number of people affected.” This statement serves as proof that a good part of your audience will be affected. Contrasting colors are important.
- The same goes for your font’s size. Don’t be too large, and always use enough whitespace to give the eyes some much-needed rest.
- Be mindful of the ALT-text you use for your email’s images. People who use screen readers need it to understand your content and the idea behind your email marketing campaign – and, of course, the template you’re using. Using captions is also a great idea when it comes to creating your email marketing template and using visual elements – even GIFs and videos.
- Grab attention with your copy and with colors. That way, color-blind people taking action through your email will know if they’re doing something wrong. Apply the same principle to your CTA. It should stand out both because of the colors used and because of your copy.
Of course, none of the above come with a manual. The best way to make sure you’re heading in the right direction would be to always A/B test and ask users what they want through online surveys, social media posts, and polls.
Subject Lines and Preheaders
The email template you’re going to use doesn’t have a subject line in the subject – that’s why it’s mentioned so far in the message – but it’s a vital element that will allow you to open more emails. And a higher number of email openings gives a higher chance of a high CTR, and so on.
A great email subject line can be personalized, engaging, super-relevant with the prospect’s needs and what your offer is, but it can also be dull, uninspired, and spammy.
To make sure you avoid that, you can use various AI tools, like Moosend’s Refine, the free subject line tester that allows users to see how their subject line would fair against the industry standard and provides suggestions that will boost performance.
There are some things, though, that AI can’t really tell you.
- A shorter email subject line will perform better than a longer one. As email opens increase on mobile devices, fewer characters seem to be more efficient. After all, a mobile screen is smaller than a desktop one, which means that you risk your subject line getting cut off. And a prospect’s time is pretty valuable to open every single email.
- Emojis in a subject line can showcase what your content will be like. However, as charming as they may be, emojis are not always the way to go. Not all email clients support them, and you don’t want to send an email with broken elements. Always A/B test your ideas, not just to make sure your audience loves them but also to make sure they work for you on all devices and providers.
- Your preheader text can be just as important as your subject line. It’s the part of your email that is right next to your subject line and can give – or hint at – more information about your email template’s body copy. Make sure that you keep this short and use this space to showcase why recipients should open your email and see what’s inside.
- Use power words and FOMO right off the bat when it comes to your email’s subject line. Your audience will respond better to that and will be compelled and curious enough to open the email and see what you have to say. Avoid too many exclamation points, capital letters, and phrases like “SAVE $$$ ON THIS LIMITED TIME OFFER.” If this looks like a spammy message to you, imagine what SPAM filters think of it.
Your subject line might not be a design element, but it’s just as important as your email template, its body copy, and its visual aspects when it comes to creating the perfect email for your campaign.
Of course, personalization goes without saying. As mentioned before, gone are the days of “Hi, [First Name].” Make sure to segment your list and find something unique that your recipient would love to know more about and has to do with your current offers, promotions, or news and powerful customer reviews that you’d love to share in your newsletter.
Designing the perfect email marketing template that will engage and entice your subscribers is not too simple, but it’s not too difficult either.
It would help if you had imagination, perfect segmentation, and personalization options, and cater to individual needs by creating accessible emails or using dynamic and contextual content that will “speak” directly to them.
Remember that every recipient is unique, and with the help of a great email newsletter tool, each of your emails can be just as unique without you trying too hard.
Téa Liarokapi is a Senior Content Writer for Moosend, an email marketing and marketing automation platform, and an obsessive writer in general. In her free time, she tries to find new ways to stuff more books in her bookcase and content ideas – and cats – to play with.