Email Marketing 101: How to design a high converting email marketing template

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Email marketing templates that convert

The holy grail of email marketing is the high converting email template. It would be wonderful if there were one template that converted every time. Still, there are an infinite array of variables that will pertain to your industry, customer, location and product or service that will impact the rates and patterns of conversion behaviour for your contacts. That is not to say that there are not crucial elements to consider to create a winning formula for your business. 

Define Success

In email marketing, as in any sort of marketing, it is essential first to define the win; what does success look like for your business. It is easy to assume that success is a sale, but that is not necessarily the case for all businesses or companies. You do not necessarily need an exhaustive marketing strategy and plan before you start email marketing. You do, however, need to take some time to consider what success looks like for your email marketing campaign. Here are some essential things to consider when defining success;

  • Be realistic about open, click-through and conversion rates; they are often lower than you may expect. Mailchimp has analysed conversion rates of their users by industry showing click-through rates of between 1 and 4%; other sources estimate average newsletter style emails to have a conversion rate of around 1%. 
  • Make sure your website is ready. Excellent email marketing will not convert if the website that the client clicks to is not optimised. Ensure your website is not letting your email marketing down.
  • How big is your email list? With conversion rates of 1%, it may be worth spending more time building your list to ensure that your email marketing reaches enough inboxes to create an impact. 

Interesting Copy

As I mentioned in a previous article Email Marketing 101: How do I use email marketing to generate leads? email marketing is about building a relationship and having a conversation with your customer. When planning your emails, make sure that you have something of value to say. Create copy that is relevant, engaging or interesting for your customer. 

One of the emails that I get regularly and almost always open is one from my favourite stationery shop. Once a month, I get a discount coupon or gift with purchase as a VIP member because I have bought a particular planner diary in the past. Each week, alongside their new products or current promotions, they provide me with productivity hints and tips. Whilst I only purchase from the company every few months, they ensure that they stay front of mind by providing me with relevant and engaging content. 

Create engaging CTA’s

Calls to Action (CTA’s) should be clear and relevant; not audacious and obnoxious. There is nothing wrong in asking for action, in fact, you need to tell people how to act next, but make sure it is appropriate. “Browse our Collection”, “Find Out More” and “Read More” are all subtle but effective CTA’s that encourage without coercion. 

Email Subject Line is critical

I always spend a significant amount of time crafting an email subject line as this is an often overlooked but potent tool in email marketing. As an email marketer, you have 41 characters (give or take a few) to compel a contact to open your email; use every character wisely. There is argument as to whether Emoticons and Emojis increase open rates; I would suggest that they do when used appropriately. For example, if you are a Funeral Plan company, I would not recommend putting a skull and cross bone emoji in your subject line, but a heart when you are sending an email about estate planning may be appropriate. 

Use caution when it comes to words such as win, free and sample as these can be spam triggers. It is also vital to use capitalisation and exclamation points sparingly for the same reason; also, if capitalisation is like shouting, no one wants to be shouted at over their morning coffee. Email subject lines are all about tone and message; you need to have the right tone and an engaging message. If your email list is large enough and your email marketing platforms allows this, consider sending an A/B test email to a portion of your email contacts to test which subject line works best for opens. 

There is no one winning formula for the highest converting email template; however, it is possible, if you follow the above guidelines, to create an email template that has the best chance for success. As you send emails, it is imperative to gauge the success of each campaign by actively investigating the analytics and using the results to influence the design of your next campaign. The goal is to continually refine and optimise the design of your email template to get the best results.

The team at Email Expert are here to provide you with advice and news about email marketing and how to create emails that will grow your business. Take a closer look at the email marketing news from the email experts here.

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