Determining which type of template to use for any given email requires marketers to understand both the goals of the email or campaign as well as their readers.
If you’re looking for some guidelines when it comes to template design, or wondering which style of email performs best for certain types of messaging, check out a few of the email examples below.
Are you trying to get people interested in attending a conference or event? Event emails need to be informative, to-the-point, and easy to skim. Research has shown that people scan emails in an “F” shaped pattern. Keep this in mind when creating your templates. Important information should be at the top, including your company logo, your call to action, and any key points that you’d like readers to take away from your email (such as event name, date, and time information).
Advances in marketing automation technology have made it possible to include more interactive elements within an email, such as promo videos or countdown timers. This gives you the opportunity to be more creative in creating excitement around your event.
Best Practice Tip: Use colors to draw your reader’s eye and pull them further into the email. Your header image is the perfect place to do this. These days, you can even include more interactive elements in your email — from gifs and video to clocks and countdowns.
TRAINING EVENTS EMAIL
Do you have several upcoming events you want to share with your audience? Use an email template that provides the exact information your clients, customers, and prospects are looking for — without all of the fluff that can make emails lengthy, intimidating, and difficult to read. Focus on creating a design that is simple, appealing, and easy to scan.
Don’t forget your mobile audience. Make sure your template is optimized for an audience on-the-go, and use CTAs that are prominent, clear, and easy to tap on a mobile device. In today’s day and age, your readers are often just going to be skimming your emails for important, relevant points. Calls to action need to stand out and should be emphasized by either color, placement, size, or a border.
Best Practice Tip: Consider creating a sidebar in your email template if you have important information that you’d like to set apart. Think of it like this: if your readers can only read one part of your email, which section would you want them to read? This is the type of information that would be great to display separately for readers who love to scan.
CUSTOMER FEEDBACK EMAIL
Any time you ask customers for a favor — such as to provide feedback — you should make it as easy as possible for them to take action. Use a template that breaks content into easy-to-read sections and drives attention to your calls-to-action. Make sure CTAs are clear and direct, such as “Take the survey” or “Leave a review.”
These types of emails should make it easy for your customers to engage with you in the way they most prefer. So don’t forget to include a “Contact us” option and social media links. The “Contact Us” section and social share buttons are often neglected during email template design. It’s important that your email recipients can contact you with any questions or comments. Missing either of these elements can hinder communication between your clients and company, your clients and potential clients, or your prospects and company (depending on the type of email).
Best Practice Tip: Make sure your call to action is featured at the top of your email (it can also be sprinkled throughout the rest of your email, but the most important place for it to appear is at the top). Many people don’t bother scrolling all the way to the bottom of emails, so calls to action placed at the end of an email could end up being overlooked.
WEBINAR FOLLOW-UP EMAIL
Follow-up emails — such as one for a webinar someone has just attended — are a prime opportunity to boost engagement with your audience. Based on their past actions, you already know that types of content and resources they are likely to be interested in. Use this opportunity to follow up with related articles, e-books, or other resources.
Best Practice Tip: If you know your readers’ interests, send them content that’s specifically related to those interests. Don’t just send a thank you email — add value by including additional content that your recipients might find useful based on the recipient’s past actions
NURTURE JOURNEY EMAIL
Nurture journeys are the bread-and-butter of email marketing. They help you connect with and get to know your customers, so you can grow relationships over time.
Focus on providing value to your reader. This is where the powerful personalization capabilities of marketing automation really take the stage. Tailor the content you send based on their individual interests and past behaviors. And keep individual emails limited to the most important content your audience wants to see and read. You can always link them out to more resources. If you are sending emails to prospects who are in the early stages of the buying cycle, keep your content light and educational. Focus on thought leadership articles and blog posts instead of promoting late-stage sales collateral like buyers guides, white papers, and recorded webinars.
Finally, make sure to optimize your send times, so your emails are hitting your reader’s inbox at the right moment.
Best Practice Tip: Do your best to ensure that your emails appear to be one-to-one communications. Keep them informal and conversational while still including a value proposition, and send them from a specific person at your company, like a sales rep. Remember, while HTML is the go-to for most marketing emails, some nurture campaigns can be especially successful when they use a rich text format and appear as true one-to-one communications.
The holidays offer the perfect opportunity to show off your brand’s personality and culture. Use these occasional email sends to focus on your brand’s voice and personality. Your readers want to feel like they’re hearing from a human, not a robot. Use the opportunity to focus on your relationships with your customers rather than selling specific products or services.
Whether your brand’s main traits are genuine and helpful, formal and knowledgeable, or a little bit edgy, the holiday season is a chance to reconnect with your customers and thank them for their business. Using a template that keeps your design clean and simple is usually the best way to achieve this, since it will allow your brand’s voice and personality to shine through.
Learn more about building trust with today’s shoppers in The New Retail Playbook.
Best Practice Tip: Use bullets to make it easier for your readers to scan through important points. Long paragraphs can scare your readers away before they even get to the real meat of your email.
Want to learn more about planning and sending effective, personalized emails? Check out these 7 Inspiring Email Templates.
This blog post was originally written and posted by Jenna Hanington in 2013, and updated September 2020 by Jozi Hall.