A lot of what you read on this blog offers advice and guidance for brands that have been around the block at least once when it comes to email marketing. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it might be a little hard to get you into the flow of things if this is your first time setting up an email marketing campaign. Once you’re in gear and up to speed with the latest trends and best practices, you’ll be able to really pull some value out of the rest of the content. For now, here’s a few quick tips that will help you skip the learning curve and make a great email template for your first run of marketed messages.
Simple Coding is the Way to Go
To start, let’s talk about the meat and potatoes of your template – the coding. While you might be a web design whiz who can turn random strings of characters into a beautiful webpage, that talent’s better suited for places outside of the email. Because of the varying platforms and coding accommodations of the different mail providers, simple coding that keeps things clean and tidy is your best bet. This means sticking to the basic tags and fonts, as well as testing out your emails in a “what you see is what you get” (sometimes referred to by the acronym WYSIWYG) setting. By following this line of thought, you’ll never have to hear back from potential customers who wanted to check out your latest email offers, but couldn’t because your message looked more like a bowl of alphabet soup than a potent marketing message.
Go Easy on the Vids and the Visuals
Keeping up with this theme is the concept of cutting down on the videos and images found in your email messages. Much like complex coding, these additions can look great when viewed on certain platforms, but can also go the other way and bog down an otherwise powerful message. Additionally, plenty of email users already have images turned off by default, so all they’ll be seeing is big empty spaces that could otherwise showcase some great text. To circumvent this dilemma and still get some solid use out of these visuals, drop them on your landing pages and social sites so that viewers who like what you’re offering in the email wind up seeing this content anyways.
Don’t Forget the Mobile Viewers
Another key technical feature you can’t forget about when prepping your first email template is that plenty of your audience is going to check out these messages on a smartphone or tablet. Naturally, these mobile viewers need a little extra attention to ensure they can actually view the message. This means taking into account the reduced screen sizes in your scaling coding and going light on the graphics and visuals as mentioned in the previous part of this post. Additionally, mobile landing pages are a must if you go this way to guarantee you can move these viewers from the inbox to your online store.
Keep These Words out of the Mix
Aside from the more techy stuff that goes in your template, the actual wording of your template makes a big difference as well. Some words might seem like a must in your message, but the reality of the situation is that all they do is turn your viewers off pretty quickly. “Final,” “donation,” “don’t,” and “tempting” all bring up some seriously negative responses in your audience. While getting your message across does require some strong wording at times, making the reader feel rushed or compelled to do something is not a smart marketing strategy. Keep it friendly and let your deals and offers speak for themselves.
Think Big Picture
The final point isn’t necessarily a “do or a don’t,” but rather a philosophy that can extend beyond marketed emails and into any outreach with customers and others in your industry. When building a template for communication, keeping the “Big Picture” in view should always be your top priority. While focusing on the coding and technical aspects of your message definitely opens up a pretty powerful channel to spread your message, if the message isn’t good, you’re not really accomplishing anything at all.
As you build your template and the accompanying message, try to look at it as if you were the audience. Does the message make sense? Do you understand what’s being offered and what you need to do to redeem this discount? If either of these questions have answers that are anything but an emphatic “yes,” it might be time to go back to the drawing board and rethink your approach. Although this doesn’t sound like much fun, you’ll be enjoying it later as you watch open and redemption rates go through the roof with a message that’s supported by a great email template.