In this two part blog series, I want to let you all in on a couple of secrets that really will improve your email campaigns and increase those customer click through rates that every email marketer wants to see!
Let me start by talking to you about branding. Branding is one of the most important parts of any successful business – small or large. It is a continuous and on-going exercise in positioning your product or services in such a way that people instantly recognise and engage with it. I catch a glance of an apple with a bite out of it”¦ and I instantly think of Apple products. It’s this quick association that grabs my attention as an Apple fan and makes me stop, look and listen.
It is this powerful relationship between seeing something you recognise which makes you read the content of the message that is important. If your recipients are not engaged and encouraged to read the message, then you’re not going to get the click through rates you desire.
The first secret I’m about to tell you may seem pretty obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses ignore it”¦ and that secret is to ensure your email campaigns reflect the brand of your company, your printed materials and your website. Especially in the busy run up to Christmas, this couldn’t be more important to ensure you’re at the forefront of everyone’s mind – especially if you are a retail business.
All too often I’ve received bland, colourless emails or ones that bear no resemblance to the other materials the company has sent to me in the past. Having experience of working client-side in a design capacity, I usually put this down to one of three things:
- The company treat their email campaigns as a way to ‘try something new’ in terms of design
- The company has no time or resources to produce engaging content and has a ‘That’ll do’ attitude so that they can get something sent out’
- The company knows they should be involved in email marketing, but see it as a burden or a nice-to-have, rather than a necessity – they have a lack of understanding as to how email marketing can boost their business
If you spend a lot of time, money and effort on your brand producing extremely professional, glossy brochures, print adverts and amazing websites that wow your potential customers, then why do your emails not receive the same courtesy? No recipient is going to click through on a bland email that doesn’t engage them to interact. To them it could look boring, text heavy and unprofessional – none of which is the lasting impression you want to be sending out!
As a minimum:
- Ensure your emails contain your company logo at the top of the email where recipients are going to see it straight away
- Include titles and ALT text for images so that the recipient knows what it is if they don’t automatically have images set to download
- Ensure that your company colours are used in the email design to allow customers to associate them with your brand
If you’re stuck on where to start your design, take a look at your website and strip out the content in the middle, leaving your header and footer to give you an idea of how your email template could potentially look. This will make it recognisable to anyone who has visited your website prior to receiving your emails. Rio Tinto below have done a great job in ensuring their emails are on-brand and reflect the corporate colours, the feel of the website and ultimately engage with the user by giving them something recognisable.
Remember, email marketing is a great brand building exercise for your business and above all else, consistency is the key to building that trust with your recipients. Don’t regularly or drastically change the design of your emails or people won’t come to recognise your business. It’s easy to get bored when you and your colleagues see your template day-in day-out. However, the outside world seldom sees it for 5 – 10 seconds on a monthly or weekly basis.
Get improving those campaigns immediately!
If your email marketing is simply lacking in-house expertise when it comes to designing your emails, our Production Services can work with you to create flexible HTML templates based on your brand guidelines.
Why not take the time to review a couple of your previous campaigns and apply a few of the ideas outlined in this blog? Is your brand strong in the emails you send? Can something more be done to enforce it or make it easily recognisable?
By honestly answering these types of questions, you will certainly be helping put your future campaigns in a stronger position, giving you increased opens and clicks that ultimately every email marketer wants to see.
Keep your eyes peeled for Part 2 where I divulge yet another secret to improving those campaign click throughs… featuring the use of a cake!