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The anatomy of a well-designed e-mail campaign

According to a recent study by VentureBeat, e-mail marketing still continues to enjoy the highest ROI of all marketing channels available. It is estimated that for every $1 spent, an e-blast generates an average of $44 in return. One in five businesses show an estimated ROI of over 70:1.

However, it is conversely true that if you don’t design your campaigns for engagement and conversion, you will most certainly miss out on your goal of generating more clicks, more sales, more word-of-mouth, and more revenue.

In this post, we’ve put together our 10 top tips to designing a better-performing e-mail campaign. Put them to work for you on your next effort to see your results grow!

1) Start with your brand in mind.

Your e-mail marketing efforts should be treated as an extension of your overall brand. Clients interact with you across a number of different platforms and it’s an important trust-building trigger to align your e-mail campaigns with some of the visual and verbal cues you’ve built into your brand. Pay attention to fonts, colors, and photographic style so your clients know the communication is credible and coming from you.

Extra bonus points: Set up a custom header and footer to all your e-mail campaigns and use it consistently.

Well-Branded eblast

(NOTE: In the above example, MD Aesthetica’s Cinco De Mayo Event e-blast provides a similar branded experience to their website, Facebook page, and print collateral.)

2) Design for “scanners” and easy reading.

Research shows that the average adult attention span is eight seconds! Assume most readers aren’t going to read your e-blast from start to finish. Rather, they’ll scan for relevant information that pertains to them. If you structure you e-blast to help draw the reader into the content using bite-sized chunks, you’ll ramp up your engagement. Start with succinct headlines, followed by core content, eye-catching visuals, and a call to action–and think about the “stacking” of these element like the shape of an inverted pyramid.

3) Design for a great mobile experience.

Research shows that approximately 63% of your customers will view your e-blast on their phone. Make sure the experience has been optimized to look great for this medium first.

Eblasts optimized for mobile phone

4) Use relevant visual cues that connect with your audience.

Speak directly the reader with carefully selected photography, graphics, illustrations, and prompts to support the message or offer. Strive to connect on an emotional level, create desirability, and a logical “next step.”

Visual prompts for eblast design

(NOTE: In this example, Dr. Larrabee is speaking directly to his male patients with suitable photography. The e-blast clearly walks them through the steps to his recommended skin care regimen with desirable product photography and a call to action to reserve a set today.)

5) If you have multiple offers, organize and segment them into clearly distinguished sections for easy in readership.

When you have more than one offer in the same e-blast, we recommend dividing sections into easy to read “sound-bytes” to aid in scanning and to give the reader “resting points.”

Segment and organize eblasts well

(NOTE: Back to our MD Aesthetica example, this monthly e-blast had three clear sections: an invitation to an event, a skin care product “swap day,” and an offer for grads and their families. Each was clearly defined by it’s own section, it’s own inverted pyramid strategy, and a separate and clear call to action.)

6) Encourage more engagement by including video and before and after photography leading to your gallery.

The use of videos and before and after photos dramatically increases e-blast click through rates. Make sure the video assets point to either your website, YouTube, Vimeo, or other social media properties.

7) Show CLEAR calls to action (CTAs).

What you want to convert on is what you should highlight with the most emphasis. Want your readers to RSVP to an event? Want them to schedule a free consultation? Whatever your goal is, designate a clearly defined area for your CTA and draw focus and attention to that area.

clear call to action in eblast design

(NOTE: In this e-blast for patientNOW, it is clear what they want the reader to do… REGISTER for their course.)

8) Create a sense of urgency.

Encourage your subscribers to act through your writing and design. Place urgency prompts adjacent to your CTAs to encourage views to “act now.” Setting deadlines, using timely wording, or informing of product scarcity are all great tools to use to promote urgency. Limited time only…while supplies last…only 10 seats available…for the first 20 callers only, etc.

9) Leverage your e-blast across other platforms to increase reach and performance.

At Pinpoint, all our e-mail packages come with a printed asset that looks as great on paper as the e-blast looks on phones. In this way, your promotion is not only in your patient’s in-box, it’s on display in your practice, in treatment rooms, and in patient take-home folders. We also repurpose those same assets and optimize them for visual impact on social media. Be sure to leverage the valuable time and resources you put into planning your e-blast campaign across other platforms.

Create print and social assets from your eblast design

(NOTE: An e-blast campaign leveraged across print and social media.)

10) Always check your analytics to gain insight on what worked great and what may need improvement.

E-blasts are highly measurable and your analytic data holds great insight into how your campaigns have performed to a very granular level. Learn from your efforts and incorporate the things that work for you and your audience into your future campaigns to maximize the potential of this marketing platform.

For more information on how Pinpoint can help you grow your conversions and ROI with your e-mail marketing, please give us a shout!


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