E-maily Post: Do's and Don'ts of Email Design

So, you've decided it's time! Whether you are undertaking an email campaign to drive traffic to your website and generate leads, build brand loyalty or obtain new customers, I say, good for you! Email Marketing is an incredibly effective medium to be successful at all of these goals.

Freakin' Genius Marketing is regularly retained to develop email campaigns from design to execution, but if you are a DIY'er or just trying it on for size, here are a few important tips to avoid the "water" hazards on the course to reaching and making an impression on your recipients.

1. Let your Brand Shine Through!

When your readers open your email, your brand should be clearly visible at first glance. Make sure your template includes your logo and tagline if you have one. If you don't, consider creating one. Brand recognition will make your email subscribers more apt to open and read your emails going forward. Synchronize the colors and fonts with your website, too. Keep it all consistent so your readers get used to seeing what comes from you looking a certain way. It fosters a relationship which is the foundation of all successful sales efforts.

2. Let them jump ship if they want to!

Opting out must be clear and easy. Losing subscribers isn't a warm fuzzy, but giving them the option to opt-out is one key to fostering that relationship I talked about in the last paragraph. It also reduces the risk of having them report you as SPAM (You definitely don’t want to get blacklisted, as a newbie or otherwise). Other alternatives such as an opt-out page, giving your subscriber the opportunity to receive your mailings 1X a month or quarterly instead of more often. Now, instead of losing your subscriber completely, you can still relay a message to them at their preferred frequency.

3. Write it right!

Don't waste time on fluff. Don't bury the lead. Get to the good stuff right away. Include a call to action or a link to a call to action. Don't send out communication that doesn't go anywhere. Your frequency and length should have an inverse relationship. Short and often! Or, if you are sending a monthly email, like a newsletter, make sure it is chock full of value-added information as opposed to having a goal of multiple lengthy articles to keep them engaged.

4. Don't leave anyone out!

An often overlooked aspect when designing an email is making sure there is an option of reading the email in basic HTML or alternative formats. This is imperative because if the email is unreadable (as is often the case on a mobile device) you risk losing them as a subscriber. Additionally, they won't be able to click on links or buy anything from your website. On that note, links are also important as they help to engage the audience, drive traffic to your website, and promote click-throughs (which is most often the analytic you will follow to estimate success of the campaign).

5. Be Consistent!

This sets expectations for the future and allows your reader to easily navigate your emails out of familiarity. They will know where to look to be able to find promotions, articles or favorite sections they've come to expect. Keep your emails clean and easy to read. This can be done by using white spaces between paragraphs, table borders, graphics, columns and sections to compartmentalize materials. No reverse type either. Maintaining a high contrast between font and background colors allows your words to pop from the screen, but reverse type doesn't translate well to screen viewing and certainly not to printing.

A good email design goes a long way! Test Test Test until you have something that you get the results from. The more you test, the easier it will become to create an email that represents you and your company in the best possible way.

If you follow these simple techniques, you will find that it will help optimize your open and click-through rates, reduce SPAM reports, and help you build your customer base. If you would like more help in designing or executing your email campaigns, contact Freakin’ Genius Marketing by emailing us at info@freakingeniusmarketing.


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