Email Marketing – Graphic Design Tips to Increase Your Response Rate, Part 2
The success of your email marketing campaign depends on more than a great message. Your graphic designer must follow industry best practices to help get your message opened and read. From avoiding spam-like formatting to playing up your call to action, there’s an art and science to creating an email that gets results.
Here are some of the important ways you can design more effective email marketing campaigns and increase your response rate:
- Use the sidebar to highlight special content Like the email subject line, the sidebar is important real estate in your email. Especially when images are blocked, the sidebar gives you a visual way to highlight significant points, links or a call to action. Be sure your sidebar content appears “above the fold,” meaning on the first screen where it’s immediately seen. You never know if people will take the time to scroll down.
- Steer clear of the spam filters Don’t let your hard work end up stuck in recipients’ junk folders. These gimmicks are used by spammers so back away from them:
- red type
- ALL CAPITALS
- multiple exclamation points
- suspicious phrases with common spam words, such as “mortgage,” “Viagra” or “free”
- repetitive use of keywords
- large font
- Test your open rates Most email service providers provide a method for you to check where your customers clicked or how they responded. This provides valuable marketing feedback for strategy testing. Compare and make adjustments to subject lines, email topics and click-through offers to see what brings you the most success.
- Experiment with a balance of graphics to images Email marketing allows you to do market research and see immediate results. For example, design one email based on a big fat visual metaphor. Then, create a second version, adding a juicy headline beside the graphic. Split your email list and test the two versions against one another. By changing just one element, it’s easy to measure which approach prompts more action from your reader.
- Construct direct, informational subject lines OK, it’s not technically a design tip, but a straightforward subject line is critical to your success. In fact, it helps you avoid being labeled as spam and earns your readers’ appreciation. Cute, clever and overly emphatic subject lines work against you. You’ll get better open rates with “How to Create an E-Newsletter” than with a vague or hype-filled statement such as “Free tips inside!! Open now!!”
- Always, always, always include a prominent call to action Your message is not complete until you ask readers to take the next step. Make sure your design calls out exactly how they can take advantage of your offer. Sign up for your newsletter. Download the white paper. Order the product. And whenever it’s appropriate, incorporate time sensitivity and urgency in your call to action. After all, who doesn’t move quicker when there’s a deadline? So don’t be afraid to ask potential customers to respond, because “sale ends Friday.”
Email marketing is a great tool for staying in touch with your customers and driving traffic to your website. Make the most of your email campaigns with graphic design tips that can make all the difference in your results.