Beyond the subject line—design for openers.
At the end of each year, our inboxes are often filled with email appeals for donations. It’s a good time to take note of which emails you read and the ones you skip past.
Every day, email campaigns keep people informed, nurture existing relationships, and help organizations tell their stories. Emails designed with care and emotional impact receive more attention.
Images Help Bring Your Story to Life
When it comes to email marketing, less is more. Readers scanning emails are looking for something to grab their attention, and large chunks of text can deter readers from taking action.
Including appealing and relevant graphics help highlight the main idea of an email while simultaneously capturing readers’ interest. Using a photo, logo, or even interactive media such as a gif, differentiates your email from the hundreds of others in a person’s inbox. Just a modest amount of text gets your idea across and encourages readers to explore the email further.
New Futures, a nonprofit that provides assistance to young adults pursuing secondary education, tells the stories of several people who have benefited from their scholarship programs. Each email leads off with a portrait of a student and then a short story about the challenges they faced leading to their first career. These portraits naturally draw people into learning more about their work.
Drive People to Your Website
Providing minimal text in an email campaign doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice the amount of content you provide to readers. By making appropriate use of hyperlinks within your email, you can guide your audience to your website, social media sites, or white papers. Graphics or buttons provide links without interfering with your message. Hyperlinks create organic connections from email to website, and will boost site and social media traffic.
Take Advantage of Color
Email marketing doesn’t have to be boring – using colorful graphic elements will draw in more readers. Think about your organization, your audience, and your email’s message when considering a color palette. What emotions do you want to invoke? What actions do you want your readers to take? A cohesive color palette for email campaigns can tie together both the campaign and an organization as a whole, extending your brand identity.
Whole Foods does a great job of creating emails with color and visual cues that lead to their special offers. Even though they’re a for-profit company, the grocery chain’s approach can be adapted to other types of organizations.
Professional Consultation Can Save Time, Boost Your Brand
Design professionals have mastered email distribution tools such as Constant Contact and Mail Chimp to customize templates and provide unique email designs for organizations. At OmniStudio, we are often asked to “tweak” or develop original formats for content that does not quite fit the standard templates that come with these popular programs. Once a template is designed, clients can easily manage future emails.
In today’s competitive marketplace, plain emails often lack the brand and conversion power for a successful marketing campaign. By spending time on the design, you can transform an ordinary email into a powerful marketing tool and boost audience interaction through a variety of channels.
OmniStudio has extensive experience with designing effective email campaigns. If you’re interested in how design can improve your outreach, please get in touch with us!
(Note: the feature image at the top of this article is from an eye-catching email we received from the Smithsonian Associates.)