Email is the King! Even after its inception 4 decades ago, email marketing is still the most popular medium of communication for marketers to build meaningful relations with their customers. If you take apart the layers, the core of a successful email campaign is a well-designed and attractive email template.
The quest for creating a flawless email experience is so high that the monthly search volume for email templates is a whopping 8100. This is an indication that many email marketers wish to break away from the default email templates that ESPs offer in their template library. We at Senseforweb, understand your pain and this article is an honest effort to answer all the questions and troubleshoot the hassles involved in creating an email template in the year 2020.
INTRODUCTION TO PLAIN TEXT EMAIL
Before the integration of HTML coding in the early 1990s, emails were plain text emails available only in Unicode formatting (i.e. Unicode font and left-aligned text only). Even after HTML was widely adopted, plain text emails still hold its own importance, and to date, ESPs send a plain text version along with their HTML counterpart. Also, many email marketers make it a point to create a plain text version, as emails risk getting into spam folders. Also, some people are considered to prefer plain text emails to HTML.
The advantage of using plain text emails are:
To supersede the spam filters of certain email clients, like Outlook and Gmail, as they require the plain text versions of HTML emails.
Some email clients do not support HTML versions, which means that your HTML letters risk getting into spam folders.
There are people who prefer plain text emails to HTML.
Although plain text emails are getting better open rates than HTML versions, it lacks the luster of HTML emails and so has to rely on strong email copy to improve the click rates.
HTML EMAILS AND ITS VARIATIONS
Coming to the second type of emails, HTML emails are the feature-rich version of plain text emails. Irrespective of using or, HTML emails have a structure, which can be manipulated to create an attractive email.
The advantage of using HTML emails are:
When the best practices are followed, even HTML emails can avoid spam filters.
Most brands like to create a seamless experience across their website, emails and even landing page and HTML helps in achieving it.
Different hyperlinks can be linked to different buttons in an aesthetic way.
A picture, as you know, speaks many times more than words can describe, and image support in HTML helps in conversing better.
WHICH TYPE OF EMAIL WILL IT BE? WHAT GOALS WILL IT SATIATE?
In the buyer journey of an email subscriber, there is a minimum of 5 (or 6, if you are an e-commerce brand) email types you need to send them.
Welcome Email: An email thanking the subscriber for subscribing. The email copy should introduce your brand and the call-to-action should prompt the subscriber to complete their profile or update their preferences.
Newsletter Email: This periodic email educates and informs the subscribers about your brand and its products/services. Such emails should make your subscribers interested to make a purchase from your brand.
Sale Promotion / Announcement Email: The email that converts an email subscriber into a customer. This email will be purely marketing in tone and should make the subscriber believe that this purchase will solve the problem ‘get the job done’ that brought them to your brand in the first place.
Order receipt Email: An email to confirm the purchase made by the subscriber. This email should be triggered when a subscriber makes a purchase and can be used to promote other relevant products but the ratio needs to be 80% transactional and 20% promotional.
Re-engagement Email: Not all subscribers are going to stay active and keep opening your emails. This email will give a little nudge to such dormant subscribers and may bring them back to your sales cycle.
(For eCommerce) Cart Abandonment Email: Owing to many reasons, a well-nurtured subscriber may abandon their purchase mid-way. It is toxic to your business and this email will try to draw such abandoners back and re-unites them with their carts. A must-have email for e-commerce emails.
Now depending on the industry your brand belongs to, there will be more emails that you are going to need such as birthday/anniversary emails, survey/review emails, re-order emails to name a few.
What Will The Email Copy Contain?
While email design shall visually allure your subscriber, email copy is where they get to know about the message your email wants to communicate. Do you know, your email copy actually works the magic well before the email is even opened? Well, we are talking about ‘subject lines’.
An email copy essentially contains the following elements:
Pre-header and Subject line: This is the first thing that your subscribers are going to see. 80% of email opens depend on your subject line. Your subject line should hint what your email copy is about i.e. the purpose needs to be communicated here. Make sure it is not misleading.
Body Copy: The meat of your email is the body copy. The conversation started by the subject line needs to be continued here. Your email needs to provide vital information and drive the subscriber to a landing page for more information. So, your body copy needs to be short and crisp.
CTA copy: The point where the effectiveness of your body copy is tested, the CTA button also needs to have an effective copy. The CTA copy needs to be actionable such as ‘Start my free trial’ or ‘Download my copy’.
Before you sign off: The footer copy or your email signature is where you sign off but most email marketers don’t utilize it the proper way. The email signature is a real estate where a small amount of marketing can be effective.
Formatting and text alignment is as important as the email copy as it helps subscribers to scan through your email with ease. Yet your email copy has a better chance of converting when you include…
PERSONALIZATION IN EMAIL
Approximately 60% of people have shared of unsubscribing owing to irrelevant content. Personalization by addressing your subscriber by their first name is a great step but only the first step to winning their hearts and trust. Any subscriber shares their email address in exchange of engaging content that is based on their preferences instead what you want them to read. Observe their online behavior and the stage of their buyers journey, to customize the content as per their requirement.