How successful are your email template designs? Do they consistently get the click, generate sales, and maximize your return on investment (ROI)? Check out these email-marketing design tips that are key for making an email template that works.
Tips for How to Create Email Templates That Drive Conversions
What makes an email template great? A combination of email strategy and design elements that motivate action and optimize the customer’s experience with every send. Here are some of our top email-marketing tips for how to make HTML email templates that encourage your subscribers to click and convert.
- Use responsive email design for all of your branded email templates. As this recent study showed, 54% of emails are now opened in mobile email clients. That means that you need to be sure that your email-marketing templates are optimized for reading on mobile devices. In addition to using responsive email design, another way to optimize your email templates for your mobile subscribers includes using single-column layouts, as well as fonts and calls to action that are large enough to read and react to on a small screen.For more information about using responsive email design for all of your email-marketing templates, be sure to check out the following FulcrumTech NewsLever feature articles:
- Avoid having too many images in your email-marketing templates. An image-heavy email template takes a long time to load, which may end up frustrating many of your customers to the point of abandoning your email before the download is complete. In addition, email-marketing templates that have too many images are more likely to be flagged as spam. For example, the anti-spam platform, SpamAssassin, recommends a minimum of 60% text and a maximum of 40% images, with at least 400 characters of text (whereas MailChimp recently recommended a ratio of 80% text to 20% images).
But because different spam filters use different criteria for what defines a proper graphics-to-text balance, be sure to test your email campaign designs before hitting the Send button. In addition, recent research indicates that about 40% of email users are not seeing images because many email clients block images by default and only about 5% of users change the provider’s default settings.
That’s why it’s so important to include descriptive and styled alternative text to help get your message across to recipients who don’t download the images. This is especially important if the images contain text that is vital to the email message. Also, as you choose the images to use in your email templates, be sure that they support your primary email campaign message rather than detract from it.
- Design an eye path that grabs recipients’ attention and effectively leads them to the call to action. Start with a clean, eye-catching, branded header that spans the full width of the email template yet isn’t too tall (e.g., fewer than 150 pixels). If appropriate, also include a navigation bar that highlights your company’s most popular product and services categories. And keep in mind that the left corner of your email template is prime real estate to highlight important information, such as your business logo. Then, use email content and images to quickly guide recipients’ attention to the call to action.
- Ensure that your call-to-action button can’t be missed. All great email templates have call-to-action buttons that can’t be missed. Not only do size and location play an important role in the success of a call to action, but the color of the call-to-action button does as well. For 8 best practices to help you design calls to actions that convert, click here.
- Make your email content easy to skim. Email templates that are dense with copy tend to overwhelm readers to the point that they lose interest without converting. Instead, keep your email templates simple and the content easy to read and digest. This would include using short sentences and paragraphs, plenty of white space, bullets, and bolded text.
- Keep important information above the fold. The best marketing emails have all of the relevant information visible when recipients open the email—especially the call to action—without them having to scroll down.
- Provide a link to an HTML or web version of the email. This is for recipients who can’t view your email formats in their email client, as well those who want to share your marketing email content.
- Include “connect with” social media icons in your email templates. This is one of the easiest ways to let your subscribers know that they can connect with you on such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn. In addition, including social media icons in your email-marketing templates can help increase engagement with subscribers. For example, a study showed that emails with social media icons had 158% higher click-through rates than emails that didn’t.
- Use HTML editing programs. Are you building your own customizable email templates? Then consider using an HTML editing program, such as Dreamweaver. In addition to helping create beautiful HTML email templates, HTML editing programs can show you previews as you build your custom email templates and help you find any errors in the HTML design.
- As you consider how to code email templates, be sure to avoid using Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). Many email service providers (ESPs) strip CSS from sections of marketing email templates, such as the <head> and <body> sections. That’s one reason why using <font> and <p> tags in email templates results in more consistent designs. But if you do use CSS for coding certain presentation elements, make sure that it’s inline CSS.
- Always test your marketing email templates in a variety of email clients. Different ESPs (e.g., Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook) may vary in the way they render your email code template. So, test your HTML email template design across all email clients to be sure that your promotional email template not only looks great for all your subscribers, but also lands in the inbox rather than the junk or spam folder.
Looking for Free HTML Email Templates?
If you’re looking for free HTML newsletter templates, responsive email templates, email flyers templates, and other marketing email template examples, here are a few of our favorite resources and tools from which to choose:
- Litmus — for a wide variety of free templates for emails
- 99designs — for free responsive marketing email HTML templates
- Zurb Ink — for free responsive marketing email templates
- Antwort — for free publisher newsletter templates with responsive email layouts.
Designing email templates that work for your brand may seem challenging. But once you have an email template that consistently drives clicks and conversions, you can use it again and again.
Do you need help designing cool emails that will effectively increase your sales and email-marketing ROI for 2018? Contact the email-marketing experts at FulcrumTech today and we’ll help your marketing team design, implement, and optimize email templates that build your email-marketing business success.