Like choosing your own style…contemporary…country…modern…or mixed, pick a design for your email marketing that describes you…immediately and continuously…to your reader.
Your emails are your business image. They need a consistent and professional business image that matches what you’re marketing. Your brand identity tells your readers what they’re getting is from a trustworthy and familiar source.
To have the positive affect you’re looking for, your emails should be easily scannable. Most people don’t read all of the text, but even for those who do, they will first scan the document for important points before deciding to read more. If the message doesn’t scan quickly, they won’t pay attention for a long enough period to understand your message…let alone take action.
Pick a format that matches your message…is it a newsletter or an invitation? Then, put your content in a visually pleasing arrangement. To design your email for easy scannability and identity, you’ll want to work in HTML. You can hire an HTML programmer if you’re not familiar with HTML and have them build a template for you. There are any number of good-quality template design services available.
You can also start with an email template from your ESP (internet service provider), with a newsletter or promotion format, then customize it with your own layout and design elements before inserting your content. Some ESP’s have customizable templates for a variety of formats.
If you’re designing a newsletter, the standard layout has one, two, or three columns. Because we’re used to reading news items in a manner similar to the newspaper, it is customary…and expected by your readers…that your format will match.
Promotions generally have one or more offers and are generally arranged in one column, or sometimes two. Announcements and greetings are arranged in a single column.
Matching your content to the proper format is how you convey to your audience the main idea of your message. This helps the reader decide quickly how to interact.
For an email newsletter format, your content will most likely meet one or more of the following criteria:
- multiple calls to action
- is informational rather than promotional
- is sent on a regular basis to provide informational updates
- needs a consistent look in order to tie multiple themes together
- contains multiple headlines and messages targeted to multiple audiences
If you are sending a promotional email, your main focus…important for design elements…is to ask the reader to take a certain course of action.
You can choose from a wide variety of promotional e-mail templates, but whichever you choose, ensure the links, text, headlines and images all focus on the main call to action. The content, as well, must all be related to the main topic and written to help the reader make the decision to act.
Promotional emails generally contain the following:
- one main theme asking for action…either to purchase or make a commitment of some kind
- design elements centered around the actions your message is promoting
- a sales promotion delivered regularly or driven by an event such as a holiday sale, inventory reduction, overstock or some other event to which the promotion is tied
Whether you’re working on a newsletter, promotion, invitation, or other communication, keep the design and content scannable, usable, and memorable. Let it represent you and your business in a friendly, professional manner that fits the email format and works well for your customers and you.