Designing a solid email template that maximises reader engagement and click through rates, can be daunting.
If you do not have the required HTML skills and design flair then using pre-designed templates from email marketing providers such as MailChimp and SendGrid is a good start.
However, there are a lot of factors to consider when creating yours, so here are our top tips to boost your CTR’s and help you get the most out of email marketing.
Establish a theme
When it comes to the use of colours, tone of voice and words used in your email, consistency is key.
Ensure they reflect the ethos of your brand because when aligned with your company values, you will not only create a sense of familiarity with promoters of your brand, but it will maximise engagement with new subscribers too.
Keep it simple, stupid
KISS is a term that has been around for an age, and for good reason! Simple design can be beautiful, so minimise load times by avoiding pixel heavy images and stick with widely recognised typefaces such as Times New Roman, Calibri and Arial.
This will prevent a messy visual display. Designing your template for mobile is also becoming more and more important with nearly 68% of all emails being opened on a mobile device in the third quarter of 2016.
Check how your images and text render on a smaller screen, are they readable? Also, ensure your template is no wider than 600 pixels, which helps scalability across operating systems, browsers and email providers.
Avoid CSS & JS
Embedding CSS and Scripts into your email is a big no-no when it comes to email structure and design. Yes, you will need to use some media queries for responsiveness, but relying on CSS to do the hard work for you will only create more complications.
Stick to old school HTML such as tables, using minimal inline CSS and always check how your email displays across all major providers such as Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo.
If this type of coding falls outside of your remit, then there are a huge amount of free templates available online.
Above the fold
The top most section of your template is the first thing a reader will see when they open up an email from you, so it cannot be overlooked.
It is within this 500-600 pixels of content nirvana that must contain your company logo, an incentive-led header, preferably with an image, as well as a call to action to prompt a response and get that click.
First impressions really matter and they will have made a decision within a few seconds on whether they are going to continue reading or not, so make it count.
Create space for your content
It is a fact that readers will quickly skim your email in an ‘F’ formation, so it should be easy to do so with lots of space between images and text.
Make sure any images you do use are crisp, with simple, bulleted lists of text and short paragraphs. Your most important information should fall within the first two blocks of text and as your audience will rarely read it in its entirety, use as few words as possible to get your message across quickly.
Do not hide the unsubscribe
In the UK it is against the law to hide or omit the unsubscribe button on all you email marketing activity, with serious consequences for those who breach it.
Most email marketing services such as MailChimp, will not allow you to even send your campaign without one. So despite it being a legal requirement, it makes your reader fell more secure that the email communications provided are law abiding.
Econsultancy recently published a study that found that emails containing 3 or more social sharing buttons were likely to get a 55% higher click through rate.
These buttons should form a critical part of your template structure and optimal placement will depend on the content in the email, so it will be wise to undertake some simple A/B testing.
Ensure you give your customers an incentive to share because generally speaking, they only care about the immediate value to them.
Small steps, big results
No matter what your current email marketing strategy is, it is worth taking a look at how you can tweak and optimise what you currently have to improve the viability of your campaigns and boost performance.
Relevant, well written content, correctly positioned call to action and sharing buttons will facilitate engagement and massively improve your bottom line.
Do not expect changes overnight, it takes time and energy to refine and perfect the email marketing process.
For support with your email marketing strategy, contact EpicGeek today.