Why beautiful email marketing templates are a waste of time

Posted by Sara Hawthorn
Email marketing examples

When was the last time you admired the beauty of an email template? Or took a moment to appreciate the design and colour palette?

Say an email reaches your inbox. It’s ‘Important information about X’ according to the subject line.

You open the email expecting important information only to see a blank space. A space which is meant to be filled with an image, maybe a branded header. Did you read on? Probably not because we don’t open those emails. We delete those emails. We are far too busy for those emails. We are annoyed by those emails.

Here’s the truth:

When it comes to creating an email campaign it doesn’t matter how it looks, what matters is how effective it is. No-one claims branding isn’t an important aspect of marketing but if we want to know who an email is from we are more likely to check the from name or domain of the sender rather than look for it in a pretty header image or the colours of its background.

Remember, your email marketing efforts need to do three things:

  1. Get past the spam filter and into the recipient’s inbox
  2. Stand out from the inbox enough to be opened by its intended recipient
  3. Succeed in getting the intended recipient to click on the call to action link(s)

So much time is spent crafting a beautiful branded template or writing a novella of clever copy that seeks to wow your customer but which lacks the fundamentals that will drive people towards actions. And that, of course, is your ultimate goal.

Tips to help you increase click through rates

  • Emails are not read, they are scanned by busy people so it’s smart to design the email in an “F-Line format” with a strong title, succinct copy, or even bullet points and clear call to action links which take them to specific pages.
  • When reading a bullet point list, the first and last bullet makes the most impact so consider the order carefully. When scanning we register numerals more distinctly than words so use them to break up the copy and attract the eye.
  • Images contribute to the spam score of the email and 80% of recipients don’t scroll down to see what content is below what they can instantly see on the screen in front of them, so don’t waste valuable space with a big header image. Many servers and mail clients block the images, as do data-plan conscious smart phone users. Would you rather the intended recipient see your logo or read your content and action it?

For more valuable insights on email marketing contact us about attending one of our workshops, we cover everything from the content to the technical bits through to measurement and what to do with your results.