The world of email marketing has undergone some transformations as of late. While sending out solicited email blasts to scores of contacts may have been an effective practice in the past, it’s a sure-fire way of getting you in the spam box now.
Instead, list segmentation and email personalization have become common practices in the inbound marketing industry, resulting in improved email open and click rates.
So as you can imagine, the way we lay out emails has also changed quite a bit. However, often times coming up with your own email template is both overwhelming, time consuming, and frustrating. This section details how to go about creating the perfect email template, and what to include to ensure higher click and open rates.
Creating the Perfect Email Template
While this isn’t related to your email template, the first and most important element that we have to begin with is permission. As long as you have permission to send out that email, then you can go ahead and send it. However, if you have come across some random email address that someone did not give you willingly, you should not use it. For one, you’ll look like a pesky spammer. But even worse, if you “spam” too many people on a particular ISP, that ISP will go right ahead and block your emails from reaching anyone on their ISP.
Now that’s a huge blow to business.
As for what to include in your template, MarketingSherpa has recently released a study showing 9 elements which play a major role in just how successful your email campaign will be as long as you use those 9 elements.
While a lot of these things may seem obvious, you’ll be surprised by just how many businesses do this part all wrong. Let’s start with the first thing that your leads will see – the subject line.
Without a subject line, your leads won’t have a clue what your email is about. But there are other things to consider too, like the length and the content of your subject line. Keep it short, keep it simple, but make sure it highlights what’s in the email. If you are giving away an eBook, briefly say what the eBook is about (i.e. email marketing eBook) and don’t go too into detail. That’s what your email and blog/website is for.
You want to have an appropriate opening and closing, and great email marketing software programs like that which HubSpot offers will even input your leads first name in the “Hello” line, and then interject it throughout the content of the email.
The body of the email also has to be catchy. Don’t use your emails as a way to throw a ton of facts and important information at your leads – that’s what your website is for. Keep it short, keep it catchy, and provide links to any additional resources that they may be interested in. The longer your email is, the more likely it’ll end up in the “Deleted” email folder.
Your call-to-action has to be clear. You need to have a clear and very visual purpose when you create an email. Repeat the call-to-action several times, and make sure that it is visible in the preview pane of an email inbox. The call-to-action should also be placed at least once above the fold of the email.
Your layouts can range anywhere from incredibly simple to incredibly complex. This really depends on what you want to include in your email, and how you prefer your email template to appear. As a common practice however, make sure that you leave sufficient amounts of white space in the content so it doesn’t appear bunched up, make bullet points, and don’t throw in too many images. The goal is to have the layout be in such a way that the text and call-to-action are prominently displayed.