Will Readers Dig Your Design?


by  Dave Bender It’s no secret that email marketers are obsessed with metrics.  After all, understanding user behavior and making data...


It’s no secret that email marketers are obsessed with metrics.  After all, understanding user behavior and making data-driven decisions are the cornerstones of any successful email campaign. Email design is an often overlooked part of this equation.
Open rate is undoubtedly one of the most important marketing metrics to keep tabs on. This is due to its simplicity and the implications of a reader opening an email. It means your message resonated with readers at a glance and they trusted you enough to open it.
However, it’s what happens next that ultimately makes or breaks your campaign.
Unfortunately, many marketers get so caught up in crafting a killer subject line that they ignore the big picture of a truly effective email body.
Whether you’re trying to convey a warm welcome or sell a product, it’s perhaps the small details of your email bodies that can have the biggest impact on your CTR. Although what makes a “good” click rate may vary from industry to industry, there are minor tweaks that just about any marketer can make to get the most out of their campaigns.
Before your next blast, consider this five-point email design checklist, detailing common design flaws that may be plaguing the body of your emails.

#1.  Don’t Make Any Assumptions

We naturally want to assume the best of our outreach recipients; however, you can’t afford to make any assumptions about your list. For example, never assume that…
  • Recipients are 100% familiar with your product, brand or message: they may require a refresher that they’ve opted in to your list, or some personalized message to remind them who you are
  • Your users have email images turned on, especially in the modern age of AdBlock where readers want to protect themselves from potential spam; therefore, have a backup plan in case your email body relies on imagery
  • Any time is a good time to send out your blast: understanding your subscriber’s habits can lead to better open and click-throughs based on the message of your email body

#2. Make Your CTA Crystal Clear

Your emails will be DOA without a clear call to action; however, the act of crafting a killer CTA is two-fold.
For starters, you need a dynamic message to grab your reader’s’ attention, relying on tried-and-tested action words to encourage user response. Perhaps even more important is that your CTA draws your readers in from a design standpoint.
For example, consider this heat map which illustrates how users’ attention and clicks are drawn to a bold, clearly-defined CTA accompanied by a brightly colored button.

Remember: conversions are not only impacted by copy but also through color scheme and font choice.

#3. Avoid Spam Signals

Although avoiding a spammy subject line is crucial, the spam signals within the body are equally important. Such signals include:
  • Misspelled or spammy copy (think: something a sleazy salesman would say, coupled with “$$$” and ALL CAPS)
  • Low-quality coding and messy format, including blank lines, giant fonts and over-sized images
  • Suspicious links, including links generated from URL-shorteners and outbound links to multiple domains
The solution to avoiding most of these signals is to keep your messages simple, straightforward and concise. Likewise, you can keep your users’ spam senses from going off by establishing personalization through a second subject line (the preview snippet immediately following the subject line) to help ease the mind of your recipients (“Bill, I just wanted to follow up…”)

#4. Stay Congruent and Consistent

In short, the design of your email should be congruent with the copy, color scheme and marketing message of your website and current social media campaigns. Although this may seem like a no-brainer, failing to do maintain congruency can be incredibly jarring for recipients.
Think about it. Congruency and consistency represent a subtle means of breaking down the trust barrier, allowing readers to become more receptive to your brand. Imagine: your brand’s color scheme is gold and navy blue but you send an offer email schemed red and black. At a glance, your recipient wouldn’t recognize the branding and perhaps bounce as a result.
On a similar note, make sure that your deals and copy don’t vary wildly from platform to platform. For example, you wouldn’t run an “exclusive” email offer of 20% and then run Facebook ads offering 30% off the same deal, would you?
For this reason, segmenting your email lists can help you keep track of opt-ins who are familiar with brand and deals versus newcomers to your list. Remember: the more interaction users have with your brand and message, the more likely they are to engage your emails.

#5. Optimize for Mobile Readers

Given that approximately two-thirds of emails are read on mobile devices, optimizing your emails for smartphones and tablets isn’t optional: it’s an absolute must-do.
Therefore, apply the aforementioned principles of design and ensure that your emails look equally sharp on mobile devices. The modern wave of mobile users deters marketers from sending emails that are too image-heavy.  Instead, this mobile-centric world encourages smarter simpler designs. Again, test your draft campaign across all platforms before hitting “send.”

Although our marketing messages may vary from business to business, these five elements apply to almost any email campaign. Getting into the inbox of your readers is only half the battle. Consider how the design of your email body will determine whether or not you get the clicks you need.

What Now?

So now you know how to craft effective emails. The last piece of the puzzle you need is a top notch email software. This will allow you to organize your message and build your advertising campaigns. Luckily for you Sendlane™ is currently offering a free trial of our email marketing software!

What techniques have helped you build up your list engagement so far? How do you create value for your subscribers? Feel free to share in the comments below!
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#DIGITAL: Will Readers Dig Your Design?
Will Readers Dig Your Design?
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