Email Best Practices

Ecommerce email marketing design tips to increase sales

Learn how to boost your ecommerce sales with email marketing. Discover effective design tips that will make a difference in your email marketing campaigns.

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Email marketing is one of the lowest cost investments in digital marketing, but how do you get it to pay off? Understanding HTML/text-based structures and incorporating a few key techniques proven for success can help increase your company’s sales numbers through email outreach. Here are some design tips to get you well on your way towards a high ROI on your next email marketing campaign.

Email design is the unconditional perfect practice of imperfection. You can ask 10 designers what their trick for email success is and you’ll get back 10 different answers. The thing is, there just isn’t any single approach that’s best for email marketing. There are so many ideas to keep in mind during the process of template development, such as fonts, image rendering, video data, etc., that the entire operation can become troublesome.

Emails are however an exceptionally compelling way to reel in customers. Especially when in the business of ecommerce sales and online transactions, these online messages can really penetrate niche markets that usually would be left unseen. Wouldn’t you want your company to be in the best position possible to tackle these opportunities that will undoubtedly lead to more sales and conversions?

Which type of email is best?

Often unrecognized as a formidable strategy, email marketing goes as being one of the best approaches in engaging with potential new customers and getting them to make a purchase. It is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter and it generates $38 in ROI for every $1 spent .

First spawned in the mid-1970’s, (prehistoric in modern computing terms) emails are continuously being upgraded in the items they can deliver, thanks to new software and technologies. Nowadays emails can include heaps of HTML rich goodness, including eye-popping gifs, beautifully designed headers and call-to-action buttons, videos, infographics… The list goes on!

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Nevertheless, the good old-fashioned plain text emails can actually engage as well depending on your key objective. Typography can be used in these instances to draw the eye to call-of-actions to lead the readers into conversion. If all else fails, text is the one thing that is consistent between platforms and can easily deliver the message conveyed by your brand. As far as how effective HTML can be with email marketing, the discussion is still up for debate. A study performed by HubSpot found that increasing your email’s amount of HTML content lowered the number of times a consumer would open it by 23%. The cause for this? Well actually there are a few:

  • Filters that flag commercial (high HTML-based) messages. Gmail automatically sifts out certain mails that seem like spam to enhance user experience.

  • Option features that hide too many images from sent messages.

  • Accessibility problems; messages don’t always render the same for every email receiver.

Now, alongside all the hate and spam classifying problems HTML messages are faced with, there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel. If the structures in an email remain easy to materialize and accessible to a greater range of people, HTML can be a fantastic way to visually present a class of products to a potential audience. This can be a lot to process and may seem a little difficult to achieve at first without a guided direction.

If you’re looking for some support, leveraging an email editor tool such as Mailjet’s Passport can help alleviate many common problems. With a drag-and-drop editor and a gallery of pre-made templates, their service provides intuitive solutions with responsive layout.

To help understand the mystery behind what works and what doesn’t, let’s check out a few proven design tips that will take your brand and sale levels to the stratosphere:

Get your brand into the mailboxes of your consumers

Email marketing is your brand’s one shot in delivering an effective voice. That voice should be creative in saying: “Hey! Buy these products!” all the while maintaining a consistent level of transparency. The biggest mistake your business can make is forgetting to clearly identify yourself in way that equally attracts your demographic. According to digital marketing agency Aumcore: If there is no risk, then there will be no reward. Users are now more than ever bombarded by a constant stream of content from various sources. It is completely necessary to create something that will separate you from everyone else.

An email is both an introduction and an attention grabber; evening out both in the process will prove to be profitable. How do you grab the bull by the horns?

Subject lines are key

Email subject lines are imperative for messaging campaigns to work. Making sure they’re catered towards the needs of your consumers is crucial, mostly because personalizing subject lines is extremely important in increasing ROI. Keep in mind, no one is going to have an appetite for reading an email or purchasing an item from your brand with an unappealing title. Rather, this can actually put a bad taste in the mouth of the consumer with other forms of marketing your brand is trying to push. Offering a consumer benefit in the subject line such as a discount or promotion can also help to increase sales.

Get those creative juices flowing

Innovation and originality can thrust your design efforts in the direction of success. Incorporating color schemes, highlighted product selections, and attention capturing headlines are all highly encouraged styles to consider when building email templates. Keeping a favorable balance between HTML structures and text based content is immensely important, because remember you want to appeal to the masses.

In some cases, showing product or service pricing can provoke immediate responses from mail list users. Design is also important in increasing brand awareness with visually appealing photography or well made clipart images that can boost purchases immediately or for the future when your brand image continues to resonate with viewers. A call to action button instead of a text-based link can can also increase conversion rates for a burst of sales; so exploring nice visuals to use in your design is a great way to ensure your campaign ends with favorable results.

Think mobile

Yes, the world is going mobile. With the ongoing hardware/software updates from Apple and Android smartphones (not to mention their tablet counterparts) and the fact that Google is now making their search engine index mobile-first, this thought is evidently now a reality.

This means that your business has an obligation to meet the needs of smartphone display dimensions. According to Nick Rojas: “Before sending out the campaign to all your subscribers, it’s important to test, retest, and test it again. See how it appears on multiple devices to ensure all the pictures are loading properly and the format is as you designed it.”

Emails that can’t be seen to their full extent on a mobile device are essentially trash bin material. Make sure your design is responsive to make the most from both desktop and mobile conversions.

The takeaways

Building sales figures for an ecommerce business can be a tough task to undertake. Through email lists and inventive  design, consumers will not only want to open the messages you send them, but will also feel a sense of urgency to interconnect with who you are as a company. Thinking outside the box will allow you to triumph over your competitors.

Now go out there and send some emails!


This post was written by Jacob Smart, a creative content writer at Aumcore.

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