A beautiful design in your email campaigns is essential. According to the Campaign Monitor, a good design that includes inspiring and quality visuals can increase your click-through rate by 127%. There are many aspects you have to consider when you plan to engage in email marketing. When designing emails, you have to go beyond considering what will it look like on different electronic devices. Your emails have to capture attention within seconds, build interest, and motivate readers to click on the link and check out the website. The emails don’t have to be complex or explicit in their information. All you need to do is include a good visual that will make viewers remember your brand. Here are some of the ways you can improve your email marketing, surpass the competitors and increase sales:
1. Beautiful Visuals
2. Animated Videos
3. Animated GIFs
4. Call-to-action buttons
5. User-Generated Context
1. Beautiful Visuals
Our brains are wired to process visuals 60 times faster than text. Today, images are not just optional elements, instead, they are key fixtures for many marketing strategies. According to NNgroup, newsletter recipients expect the same quality visuals as they see on the web. Participants commented that images that are clean and relevant were the easiest and more appealing to the eye. On the contrary, small images that overcrowd that page are considered outdated and unprofessional.
What’s more, subscribers expect the images to be helpful, interesting and customized to the content. The keyword here is relevance! For an example of what not to do, American Airlines sent out an email advertising it offers to New Zealand, in which it included a photo depicting a surfer.
© American Airlines
Most clients who received that email found the photo completely irrelevant since surfing is not specific to New Zealand and could be done in many other destinations. Furthermore, some even found the image disappointing, saying that although they never initially showed interest in traveling to New Zealand, now they felt repelled by the idea because of the photo.
So now that you understand how crucial good visuals are in your marketing strategy, here are the things you need to keep in mind:
Use images that are relevant and consistent with the context
Use quality and aesthetically appealing images
Don’t use too many distracting images
Don’t use cliche images
Determine the image style from the beginning
At Meero, we’re experts at providing you with high-quality photography. As the largest photography company in the world that raised over $230 million in funds, we pair your brand with the best-suited photographer near you. At Meero, we partner with 58,000 photographers in more than 100 countries. While a 60-minute shoot takes a photographer on average four hours of post-production work, Meero’s AI is able to complete the same work in seconds.
Thanks to its adaptable and scalable solutions, at Meero, we can provide photography that reflects the identity of your brand, while delivering the final product in less than 24 hours.
2. Animated Videos
Videos are always engaging when it comes to product promotion. According to Campaign Monitor, including a video in an email can increase the rate of up to 6%. Furthermore, including videos in your email marketing has been proven to:
Videos help your email to stand out from the crowd, and the customers will be more likely to open the email knowing that there’s a video. Ruairi Galavan, content manager at Intercom, explains how videos give personality to your emails, and users are more likely to click on them rather than read the text. People are much more likely to watch a 60-second video than read a few paragraphs about your offer. In addition, mentioning the word ‘video’ in the subject line can boost click-through rates by 200-300%.
Experts recommend sending a video with a thumbnail as an easier solution rather than embedding it which requires coding. Once your potential client clicks on the ‘play’ button, they will be taken directly to your website, increasing your chances of making a sale, like in this Patagonia email:
3. Animated GIFs
GIF, which stands for Graphics Interchange Format, is an image format developed in 1987 by CompuServe. Animated GIFs let users preview your video without having it embedded in the email. Usually, it’s recommended to use them for product demos and action screenshots. They can also be useful when your brand wants to introduce new features and upgrades. GIFs can be easily made and tailored to different brand needs, just take a look at the website Giphy. Use one GIF per email and keep it under 125kb to make sure it’s actually delivered into inboxes. Today, 56.6% of email marketers claim that they’re using animated GIFs in their emails to spark customers’ interest.
Despite the debate on how to actually pronounce ‘GIF,’ most marketers find it to be an excellent tool. Let’s take an example of women’s clothing store, Ann Taylor LOFT, which included a GIF that helped to create a sense of intrigue and encouraged subscribers to click on it and ‘unwrap the present.’
GIFs can be used for more than just getting attention and clicks. They can also be used to explain and inform clients. Email service provider, MailChimp, uses GIFs to explain its redesigned interface. The GIF showed how the new application works, leaving many clients without confusion and happy with the new experience.
Animated GIFs are extremely useful as they can combine entertainment and educational functions in one. However, despite all the benefits, there are a number of drawbacks to using GIFs. First of all, not all emails will display GIFs, including Outlook 2007, 2010 and 2013. On top of that, there are a number of you need to keep in mind when including a GIF:
Don’t overuse them
Check all potential accessibility issues
Keep the file size to a minimum
4. Call-to-Action Buttons
Even if you’re including great images, writing catchy subject lines and structuring your emails for scanners, you still might lack sufficient sales results. One of the reasons for that might be a bad call-to-action button. Here are a few tips to create a perfect call-to-action button that will, according to marketing experts, increase your click-through rate by at least 28%:
Size- the button catches the users’ attention because it stands out from the text
Design- design elements, such as shadows and color gradations, often allow CTA buttons to stand out
Color- since buttons have a different color than the text, they tend to draw the attention better than the text
Whitespace- the whitespace around the button can create a space of distraction, calling in the readers
Call-to-action campaigns can help you to build trust with your potential clients. Once they are redirected to your website, they’ll want to know more about the company. After your brand gets to know the interests of the clients a little better, you can start customizing the CTAs. Just take a look at Netflix and their CTAs; Netflix chose to go along with their custom red, a color that attracts the eye. According to the Huffington Post, red is associated with ‘warmth’ and can easily attract the attention of the viewers.
Another example is Charity Water, they start with a CTA that lands the users directly on the page that introduces the organization to the customers. Don’t forget to focus your email content around the CTA button. In addition to that, make sure that your information is clear and lets the users understand the goal of your email.
5. User-Generated Content
According to a recent eMarketer report, email marketing raises a median ROI of 122%, which is four times higher than from the likes of social media. User-generated content is often used on social media, helping brands like Instagram increase their conversions. The same principles could be applied to email marketing! Campaign Monitor discovered a few patterns when it comes to user-generated content and email marketing:
UGC increases email-engagement rates and prompts the readers to take action
Builds trust and loyalty with the customers
Converts subscribers into customers
That being said, you can still keep your current email strategy, but just tweak it a little by adding UGC into the mix. In addition to that, you can add hashtags to your emails, encouraging the buyers to check out your social media. A perfect example of this is a brand called La Brea.
© LA BREA
Buyers post photos on social media in their outfits bought from the La Brea and tag the posts with the hashtag #LaBrea. Afterward, photos of the clients wearing the clothes are displayed; this way, not only does the brand make the customers feel better about themselves and build confidence, but it also builds trust.