The dos and don’ts of an email marketing template

All articles | Email Marketing
Published Jun 01, 2012 | Written by Jeremy Knight

Well managed email marketing is one of the most powerful online tools your business has to reach customers and increase conversion rates. But to maximise the effectiveness of your eNewsletters, updates and other email communications you must ensure that all of your email marketing templates have a coherent identity. That is, one which is attractive to the eye, easy to use, and which reinforces the values you are trying to get across in your branding.

The best way to do this by creating email marketing templates which are customised for your company and designed to appeal to the relevant personnel in the companies you are attempting to reach. Don’t just use generic downloaded templates, unless you want your brand to come across as generic and dull.  With this in mind, here are a few key dos and don’ts to consider when creating an email marketing template.

Do make both HTML and plain text versions of your email marketing templates - You want your communications to be read by as many people as possible, so make sure that you’re not alienating anyone who can’t, or would prefer not to, open emails in HTML format.

Don’t overdo it - If you want your email marketing template to engage people’s attention and make them act, it’s important to make sure you don’t distract or confuse them. By all means use images, videos and other goodies in your emails, but don’t bombard the recipient. As representatives of other businesses, your prospects won’t have time to waste.

Do give your email templates a distinct identity - A subtle yet distinct logo and a consistent colour scheme are just two ways of ensuring that people know instantly that the email has come from your company.

Don’t make people scroll down to find your point - It’s easier to hit the back button on the browser than it is to scroll down, so make sure that the ‘meat’ of your content is displayed as soon as the email is opened.

Do personalise your email templates - It’s a simple thing, but a ‘Hi Joe Bloggs’ can be much more effective than a ‘Dear user’. Be wary of becoming too casual in your email communications though as this can be an even bigger turn off.

Don’t use images as links on their own - People need textual links and buttons with those images, and images may not always be displayed, depending on the user’s email settings.

Do test your email marketing templates - Your emails may display differently across different email clients, so test your template on as wide a variety as possible.

Don’t make it look like spam – To avoid getting filtered into junkmail folders, make sure your email campaign does not look like spam. The rules for this are sadly not hard and fast, but as a general rule avoid all-caps subject headers (or all-caps anything for that matter), low text to image ratios and unsolicited attachments.

Do make it easy for people to contact you / find out more - Never forget that the reason you’re sending out emails is to encourage people to check out your company  and its services further. Make sure that your contact details and any pertinent links are clear and easy to find. Your contacts will need information fast so don’t make them dig for details.

Find out more about setting up well managed email marketing campaigns by downloading our Email Marketing Whitepaper below.

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Unsung Heroes of Marketing

Published by Jeremy Knight June 1, 2012
Jeremy Knight