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  • Writer's pictureolena severyn

Email marketing templates that convert: myths and reality.

Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Email marketing, if done right, is capable of bringing at least 30% of additional revenue to your business. And your emails don't have to have outstanding designs or poetic copy - all you need are the right layouts and relevant content. In this article, I will go through some myths about emails, followed by bulletproof tactics that will help you craft emails that convert.


Myths about email design

1. If an email is aesthetically pleasing it will convert.

A common mistake is to think that a beautiful email means compelling, but more often than not, this is very far from true. The main rule of email marketing is to send the right message to the right person at the right time, and that means meeting the person where they are in their customer journey and giving them great service and relevant message on that particular stage your customers are at. That said, the first and foremost thing you need to determine is Who and Why you are sending your message, and only then you can decide on What exactly (copy or design). You can send the most gorgeous email, but if it doesn't resonate with your customer - it won't convert.


2. A great email provides detailed information about the subject.

What makes you want to binge-watch your favorite TV show? When you are so excited to learn what's going to happen next that you click the watch next button even knowing you probably shouldn't. It's a cliffhanger that captivates our attention. So why not use this effective strategy in your emails too?

Leave some excitement behind that CTA button, something that evokes curiosity and makes the customers wonder what's on the other side. Create the best experience on the other side of the CTA and make your email a vehicle to deliver that experience.


Image: Great example of intriguing email - what's that perfect product behind the CTA?


3. You have to have lots of expensive design resources to create emails that convert.

Not at all! Good news, right? Simply using the best practices for email layout and design will allow you to save a fortune on the designer's software and copywriting resources. Instead of being "fancy" focus on providing massive value through clear messaging. Instead of focusing on design, focus on the customer.

Who is your subscriber?

What problems or needs are your customers facing?

What solution do you have for them as a business owner?

What did they benefit from before?

What do they want to hear from you about at their current relationship with your company?

This would make your email marketing customer-centric, and this is the exact message that converts.



What to include in the email content?


Let's go back to the concept of customer-centric email marketing - the key is personalization To personalize your customer experience, try categorizing your customers into segments and distributing relevant content. For example, you can place customers into different groups based on the frequency or volume of their purchases, and then send targeted communications to each group. The chart below shows different variations on how to focus on your customer experience based on where they are with your business. Almost all of those can be turned into segments in Klaviyo.


After you know the specific audience the email is going to, the goal of the email, and the value that they will receive - you can get into copywriting and design.


The 9 constitutes of a great email layout

1. Put the most important info above the fold.

With people's attention spans getting shorter and shorter, we must make sure that our message is as concise as possible. Ideally, all the important info must be included above the fold - meaning that they don't need to scroll to get to the point of your email. (Remember, 90% of people check their emails from the phone, so we need to make sure they get the clear message at the first sight).

You want to make it as easy as possible for the customer to figure out what the message is all about.


Image: All the most important info above the fold when looking on mobile. And I love that little arrow directing subscribers' eyes to the CTA.


2. Always include a clear Call-to-Action

Clear CTA is the key to getting clicks and conversions. People need to understand what is it exactly they are being asked to do. Make sure the size of the CTA is between 44-57 pixels high, so it is easy to click with a thumb on mobile


3. Create a visual hierarchy

Allow the flow of text and imagery to tell a story and lead the customer's sight directly to the CTA. Choose text size and imagery that helps you explain what the message is all about:

- highlight the product name with the largest font.

- "New Product Alert" - smaller, so that the customer gets the idea of what the message is about without reading any other text.

- discount - smaller font.

- body text - even smaller.


Image: This is a very long email, but from the first block you can see what the email is all about, and a CTA right away that would lead to the landing page with the info about products. You can notice the visual hierarchy in the first block - product name, what about it, body text, all in a different font, and the color is used to highlight the most important copy.


This will make email scannable, allowing people to get to the message quickly.


4. Embrace white space around the CTA, so that eyes are naturally drawn to the button.

5. Maintain brand consistency.

No need to say that all your emails should be consistent with your branding - the brand colors, fonts, font sizes, logos, etc.

Other tips to help with consistency:

- limit the number of fonts you use to 2.

- choose designated font sizes and follow them.

- have solid email design guidelines and follow them - to make your emails recognizable.

- create templates, clone them, and modify them for each email you send.

- style social media icons to match your brand (Klaviyo's feature).


Image: Staying on brand for Pangaia means a longer format copy, but that's exactly what their customers want - to know what's in the clothing they are wearing. Their emails are always clean, informative, and caring towards the world and their customers.


6. Create a clear concise copy

The copy should reflect the customer-centric concept described above. It must be beneficial to them in some way - funny, educational, problem-solving. It must be scannable, easy to understand, and written in the shortest way possible to get the idea across. Moreover, the tone of voice should match the rest of your branding. Also, consider who you are sending your message to - your loyal customers might be interested in a longer copy, while window shoppers or discount shoppers just need a good promotion to convert.

- avoid long body text;

- use copy to describe what images can not

- make it about your reader, not about your brand

- consider the audience

- stay true to your brand voice.


7. Use persuasive language that converts

Effective persuasion is not manipulating people to make a sale but demonstrating to your customers how a purchase is in their best interests. It is providing all the facts and benefits so your customers can make the best decision for themselves. It is easy when you know you have an awesome product that will make your customers' lives better. Some general tactics:

- providing fewer choices to customers will increase conversions;

- if giving out something for free - always state value;

- using sensory words activates the sensory areas of the brain, meaning that those are more likely to be memorable and impactful;

- using scarcity and urgency vocabulary: the less of something there is, the more people tend to want it. To increase interest in your product or service, you may benefit from reducing its availability: Back in Stock, Almost Sold Out, Limited Edition...;

- create an information gap that evokes curiosity.


8. Utilize user-generated content

We trust other customers more than we trust brands. Show off your customers’ photos and videos using the product, including customer testimonials and reviews, and utilize survey results - people will never admit it, but social proof works! We want what others also want. And when it comes to making purchase decisions, 97% of people will turn to other consumers to determine whether a product or service is worth the investment.

Image: Pepper utilizes UGC so well! Almost all their emails come with images of customers using the products which makes you relate to the brand so much more. And notice how they use sensory tactics as well.


9. Don't stop A/B testing

Aesthetically pleasing emails don't always perform better, so what looks awesome to you, might not always give you the desired result. A/B test an element with every campaign you send:

- subject lines

- copy length

- CTA color, copy or placement

- header image vs no header image

- GIF vs images

- the number of products

A/B testing is the only way to find out what truly works for your brand.


All roads lead to CTA...

CTA is the most important part of your email because without clicks there are no conversions. Below are 3 most widely used design layouts to make clicking CTA buttons intuitive for your subscribers:

1. Inverted pyramid:

It consists of 4 main elements:

- relevant header image that tells a story

- large direct headline

- some body text

- clear CTA

Together they create an inverted pyramid shape which, like an arrow, directs the customer's eyes to the CTA button.


2. Zig Zag


This is a great choice when you have multiple products. You want to start with the main product/main CTA in the top block and zig-zag down with less important sections.


Image: Straightforward email highlighting various products of the same color in a zig-zag pattern.


3. Single column


In this layout the imagery takes the lead - there is very little information and a powerful visual impact. It is perfect for products or new color launches.


Image: A very simple campaign example - the image does all the work with relevant body copy giving off inspiring spring vibes. Feels good to be reminded of spring being around the corner!


Take your email marketing to the next level

With these tactics for designing emails that convert, you should be able to design and deliver emails that generate higher click rates and inspire more subscribers to take action. And remember - great performance requires ongoing testing. You will receive the desired result only this way.

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