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How do you future-proof your email templates?

Future-email-editor

Visual identity is an important part of what makes a brand recognisable and unique. As marketers, we care deeply about our brand’s logo, colours, fonts and style. Although the email environment is more restrictive than web in terms of rendering, that shouldn’t be an excuse for ignoring the way we approach email design and the reflection of our brand in email communications.

Creating an email campaign entirely from scratch every time is foolish and wasteful, but is there a way templates can help with consistency without hindering creativity? Yes. The answer is modular templates. By creating a mega-template that includes all the possible sections (or modules) that you need on a day-to-day basis, creating a new campaign is a bit like looking in the cupboard for the ingredients you need for each recipe and taking only the ones you need out.

When you couple a well-planned template approach with a robust email editor that makes it dead easy to use those templates to their best advantage, the rewards are closer than you think. It’s not just me saying this is a good idea; these results from companies who have tried it should convince you too.

Future reduced their campaign creation time to 10 minutes

When they needed a template for the PC Gamer Weekender event, Future gave modular templates a go. They went beyond the regular confines of a 600-pixel width to using background images, and even inexperienced HTML users were able to choose, repeat and edit the modules they needed in the Adestra Email Editor. Result? 500% increase in click-throughs and emails out the door in as little as 10 minutes.

Sending emails from your stand at a show? Yes, you can!

In the case of Media 10, their marketing team previously relied on an in-house design studio to create bespoke designs which took a long time to brief and create. When they realised how many event attendees open email on the go, they quickly saw the potential in a new approach to enable more timely communications. The Clerkenwell Design Week team took to editing their own modular emails like ducks to water and they now send emails live at events, improving attendee engagement.

cdw-email-editor-preview

Consistent branding styles every time to increase subscriber engagement

Before Last Word adopted modular templates, they had a whole host of problems: inconsistent branding with emails always created on the fly, no mobile-friendly design, no text versions and errors during creation time. With their new templates and our Email Editor, the new emails included locked down sections that would keep branding consistent across campaigns and the team were able to edit them quickly, and correctly, freeing up time that used to be spent fixing errors for other, more strategic activities.

Old email template example

Last Media old email design

New email template example

Last Word Media new email template

Not willing to compromise on beautiful visuals? No problem

As a lifestyle brand, incredible visuals are non-negotiable for Crabtree & Evelyn. But the company was not happy with way their existing visual templates were compromising the usability experience of their email subscribers. Over 80 percent of opens were coming from mobile, and large image-only designs were a considerable barrier to conversion. After adopting modular templates, their open rate increased by 11 percent in just five months and campaign creation time was reduced just like in the other examples. The campaigns are just as beautiful by making use of background images to increase rendering of the key message even in the clunkiest email clients.

Old email template example

crabtree-evelyn-before-redesign

How the email displayed with images turned off and on mobile device before redesign

New email template example

crabtree-evelyn-after-redesign

How the same email displays with images turned off and on mobile after the redesign

UBM easily segment visitor and exhibitor campaigns for targeted communications 

Sending relevant content is crucial when you have very different key audiences, as is often the case with events. And as the time before and after an event can be quite hectic, getting those emails launched quickly and efficiently can be a massive help. UBM experienced that when they trialled modular templates for the Ecobuild event. They were so thrilled with the 30-minute campaign creation (down from a whole day in some cases), that they now segment even more and they’re rolling it out to more events.

I said at the beginning of this post that modular templates present you with everything you need for regular campaigns: that’s not to say emails that step out of that mould are dead. On the contrary, adopting a modular design approach will give you the time you need to carefully plan the visuals and content for those one-off campaigns that really dazzle your subscribers.

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