There is a lot of conflicting information on the internet about email layout and design: Use HTML (No! Text-only). Add emojis to your subject line (NEVER add emojis!). Send long-copy emails (Less is more!).
You can weigh in on the debate or follow the advice of your favorite digital marketer or…you can ask the experts! Who are they?
Who better qualified to decide what will appeal to your audience than your audience?
There are some email design rules and tips that apply generally, to all emails – no matter who the audience is, or what product is being promoted. These include: adding a clear call-to-action; keeping your subject lines short and descriptive; making sure the email looks great on mobile etc.
But remember: your audience is unique. They have distinct likes, dislikes, pain points, and motivations – so what might work for one digital marketer’s audience might not work for yours.
Your demographic might be older. They may appreciate larger, more legible text versus cool interactive features. Or, your audience might be stressed and on the verge of burnout. They would find a soothing color palette more appealing than a loud, busy email with an embedded video and headlines that shout at them.
So, how can you find out what your audience likes? Split testing! Also called A/B testing, split testing is a method of testing where two versions of an email are sent to a test audience to determine which performs better.
For example, you can split test emails A and B. ‘Email A’ has an embedded video and ‘Email B’ doesn’t. The email that gets the most click-throughs ‘wins’ and you can send it to the rest of your list. The winner also provides you with valuable information about your audience, for example, that they prefer to receive information via video, not text.
Most email marketing platforms have split testing capabilities and will walk you through it, step by step. All platforms are unique, but this is roughly the process you will go through:
How to Get Started
Test a few elements of an email you’ve already created to see what gets the most traction. Most platforms will recommend the best variable to test based on the goal you choose, but don’t be afraid to branch out and test other elements. Every test you run will provide you with valuable insight into your customers – so testing is never a waste of time!
Your target audience is unique. Find out what motivates them and appeals to them by putting it to the test.