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MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table

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MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table


Email has long been one of the most reliable marketing channels for getting your messaging in front of your customers. Whether it’s content in the form of a weekly newsletter, a personalized promotion or an important account update, marketers need to trust that their message will be delivered and that they’ve optimized those messages to get maximum engagement. That is why the team at MarTech have created this Email Marketing Periodic Table that tells you everything to know about sending emails that your customers want to receive and that inboxes won’t block.

Because email is one of the most complex ways you can communicate with customers and prospects – through different mail clients, different ISPs, mobile and desktop, etc. – there are a lot of obstacles that can get between you and your intended recipients. 

Each element in this table represents a factor that you need to consider to be successful in email. The elements are gathered into categories based on their relationships to one another, and the categories are designated as related to either Optimization or Deliverability. Further down on the table, you’ll see Toxins, a category for practices that can poison your email marketing efforts, and Traps, which you’ll want to be aware of falling into.

This updated Email Marketing Periodic table adds a few new elements and a new category, Compliance, that addresses recent and ongoing developments tied to state laws, inclusion and more. We have also changed our language to refer to safelists and blocklists, terms that are inclusive and respectful to all.

Like the previous version, each element in this Periodic Table also includes the following information:

  • An Element symbol
  • A short description of the element
  • a label showing what category it belongs to
  • A correlation symbol that shows whether it is a positive or negative contributor to optimization or deliverability
email marketing as a periodic table element

Below you will find the complete Email Marketing Periodic Table, broken into the following:

And if you would a copy you could save or print out for your teams, click here to download the high-res version.

email marketing periodic table

Compliance

Compliance has emerged as one of the most essential factors to consider in your email marketing strategy, especially in the face of growing privacy and accessibility concerns.

For starters, before you send emails you must ensure that your audience has given you Permission (P) to send emails to them. Permission means that the recipient has given you explicit and informed consent to send messages to them. This happens when your subscribers Opt-in (In) through a sign-up form.

The first thing that your email system should trigger is a Double opt-in (In2) email. The double opt-in requires the subscriber to confirm that they sincerely want to receive emails from you or your brand. This can be executed as a “welcome” email.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Compliance elements
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Compliance elements

The second agreement from the subscriber is critical. It stops people and bots that put in email addresses that don’t belong to them. Legally, under the United States’ CAN-SPAM Act, you must share your Physical address (Ph). You are also required to own the sender domain that your emails come from and include an Opt-out (Oo) for subscribers who want to stop receiving your emails.

Another critical component of email law is compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (Ac). To meet basic accessibility requirements, your emails must maintain a logical reading order; this includes using heading elements in code and proper color contrast between your text, other content and the background you choose..

It is absolutely critical to understand the Laws (La) when you are collecting information from your subscribers. Laws include the California Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL). In the United States alone, 16 different states are currently trying to create privacy laws as of May 2021.

Trust

Last year trust and compliance were grouped together but this year we decided to pull out these crucial elements related to how much trust affects email deliverability.

trust elements of email marketing
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Trust elements

Landing on Safelists (Si) is one of the best ways to ensure your messages are getting to your subscriber’s inbox. It is also one of the most important strategies for building a positive Sender Reputation (Sr). Sender reputation refers to the reputation of your email-sending IP address that signals to email inbox providers whether or not you’re a spammer. Depending on your email service provider (ESP), monitoring your sender reputation may require investment in additional software.

Infrastructure

Emails don’t just get sent on their own. In fact, there is a robust list of elements you need to consider in order to have an effective email marketing infrastructure.

For starters, there’s the Domain Name System (Dn), known as the phonebook of the internet. The DNS maps a domain name to the IP (Ip) address hosting the website and the IP sending mail for a particular entity with a different domain name.

A Mail Transfer Agent (Mt) is the software that transfers electronic messages from one user to another by using a SMTP server (Ss) which enables outbound email. A Mail User Agent (UA) is the software that enables emails to be sent and received. These two separate pieces are key to getting emails through to your customers and prospects.

A Sender Policy Framework (Sf) is also required as an email authentication method that detects forged sender addresses during the delivery of your email. On the other end, the user’s inbox uses a POP3 Server (P3). When subscribers complain, Feedback Loops (Fl) ensure that these complaints are routed to the sender so they can be acted upon.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Infrastructure elements
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Infrastructure elements

Typically, your IP address will be associated with a domain name or a subdomain through the Domain Name System. Subdomains (Sd) help your customers recognize your brand’s name through the top-level domain; this prevents phishing attempts.

If you are considering adding BIMI (see the Experimental section below), two critical steps come first. Logo Trademark Ownership (Lt) is a key element that is necessary for implementing BIMI. You also need to apply for a Verified Mark Certificate (Vc). Lastly, for the brand’s logo to be displayed, the email must pass DMARC (Dm) authentication checks, ensuring that the organization’s domain has not been impersonated.


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Audience

Building a positive relationship with your audience is another important component of email marketing; these relationships are critical for reaching your subscribers’ Inbox (I). A valid email address (E) is one of the most valuable pieces of information you can receive from your customers. Email addresses are typically uploaded by marketers as Lists (L) in the email service provider or database.

From here, you should be employing Segmentation (Sg) based on each subscriber’s level of Engagement (Eg). This includes Opens (O) and Clicks (Ck) on specific links within your email. Understanding what this data means about your audience will help drive strategic decisions in your email marketing program. For example, knowing what inbox providers your audience members are using will give you insight into how they view and interact with your messages and what tactics work best to help you meet your email marketing goals.

Send time (T) is another element that can assist you in reaching your audience; if your subscribers aren’t opening emails sent first thing in the morning, try sending in the afternoon or evening. Finding the optimal send time can be challenging, but is certainly worth the investment of your time to determine what is best.

audience elements of email marketing
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Audience elements

Personalization (Me) is a strategy that involves creating content specifically for the individual subscriber. It requires knowing about your audience (the actual people behind the email addresses) and how they prefer to consume your content. Providing a subscriber Preference Center (Pc) gives your audience a portal to update their communication preferences; it allows subscribers to choose what types of emails they want to receive, how often they want to receive them and the opportunity to opt-out from your messages.

Send frequency (Sq) should be based on gauging how frequently your audience interacts with your emails. If you are sending too frequently, you may see a drop in your open rates. There is such a thing as sending too many emails, and your subscribers may not want to regularly receive messages that aren’t directly relevant to them.

Content

The content provided within the email is just as important as the infrastructure and strategy behind it. From creating compelling Subject Lines (Sj) that drive opens to using Responsive designs (Rs) that adjust to all devices — mobile, desktop, etc. — the content of your email will be the main driver of results.

The Structure (St) of your email, whether HTML or plain text, should be scannable and easy to read. Readability (Rd) is a critical element to consider when building your emails, but have you evaluated whether the content is relevant to your audience? Relevance (R) is a key element to consider before sending an email. If your audience doesn’t care about the content you deliver, they won’t be opening your emails very often.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Content elements
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Content elements

When it comes to relevance, having an email marketing Calendar (Cl) will help create a strategic schedule for your email campaigns. Use your data to determine what days and times have the highest engagement rates to build out your calendar.

Most email service providers have new, innovative capabilities in their toolbox. Interactive (Iv) emails can drive increased engagement from subscribers. Emojis (Mj) are another element that can make your message more relatable. But knowing your audience should be the driving force behind whether you implement emojis in your subject lines and emails.

Transactional (Tr) emails do not require the recipient to opt-in as they are confirmation emails triggered by a user’s action. These emails provide an opportunity to gain new subscribers with a simple call-to-action.

Toxins

Now that we’ve shown you what good elements can do for email optimization and deliverability, now it’s time to look at the elements your marketing team should stay away from, starting with the Toxins.

There are several toxic elements that you need to be aware of before creating and sending your email. Hard bounces (Hb) are permanent delivery failures that indicate an email address is invalid; removing these email addresses will significantly improve your deliverability. Soft bounces (Sb) are caused by full mailboxes or vacation responders. While these aren’t as detrimental as hard bounces, it is important to keep an eye on these email addresses as some may need to be removed if they continue to result in soft bounces.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Toxins
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Toxins

Using a No-reply (Nr) email address will typically send your emails directly to the junk folder. Use a “reply to” address instead, and reap the benefits of higher delivery rates and brand awareness by including your brand’s domain in your sending address. When your recipient marks an email as spam, it is considered a Complaint (Cm). Too many complaints will hurt your deliverability rate and sender reputation.

Legally, you are allowed to buy or rent email addresses, and the law does not require consent from the recipient. but using a Purchased List (Pl) is one of the quickest ways to end up on a blocklist.

Your email content can also contain toxic elements. URL Shorteners (S) are commonly used in phishing attempts, and inbox providers flag shortened URLs as spam. Image Heavy (Ih) emails that take a long time to load will aggravate subscribers who may mark your email as spam or simply unsubscribe from your email program.

Traps

Finally, while Toxins may be detrimental to your email marketing, Traps will hurt your efforts even further. There are several types of traps, usually configured by a company’s IT department, that will ensure your messages are never seen by the intended recipient. Corporate Filters (Cf) are an unforgiving filter for corporate email servers.

Desktop Filters (Df) are filters that your subscribers set up in their own inboxes. Consistently relevant content can help you stay in the inbox, but falling into too many spam folders will significantly impact your
sender reputation and delivery rates.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Traps
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Traps

If you land on a Blocklist (Bl), a list of unreputable and untrustworthy senders, you’ll run into a lot of trouble trying to get your emails to your subscribers.

Internet service providers (ISPs) also have traps that can hurt your email deliverability. Grey Spam Traps (Gt) are set up by ISPs using recycled email addresses to flag spammers. Pristine Traps (Pt), on the other hand, are fake email addresses created by either corporate IT departments or the ISPs themselves to identify and redirect spammers to the Spam Filter (Sf).

Experimental

Now that we’ve shown your the good and the bad when it comes to email marketing elements, now come a few elements that are experimental today and likely transformational for tomorrow.

For example, everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence (Ai) right now. AI is rapidly evolving and will likely be
part of nearly every business process in the future. For email, strategies including segmentation, personalization and messaging will be quick-wins in the near future for implementing artificial intelligence in an email marketing program.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (Am), also known as AMP for Email, are dynamic emails that allow email marketers to embed interactive features — rotating carousel images, confirmation buttons and even direct-purchase calls-to-action. While many brands are experimenting with the different atoms of AMP elements, the ultimate goal is to drive customer conversions (purchases) directly in the body of the email without ever visiting the website.

MarTech's Email Marketing Periodic Table - Experimental elements
MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table – Experimental elements

Brand Indicator for Messaging Identification (Bm), known also as BIMI, is an experimental element that brands have been buzzing about since the concept was first introduced several years ago. The idea is that with the combination and proper configuration of elements from the Trust and Infrastructure families, brands will be able
to display their logos next to the sender name in the inbox.

BIMI is one element you need to start investing your time in to properly configure everything necessary for implementation. This includes DMARC, VMC, and ensuring that your organization owns the trademark to your logos.

Voice Assistants (V) are everywhere, taking commands from mobile users and repeating information back to people regularly. Have you considered how your subject line or your email will read aloud to your audience using voice assistance? Use too much text, and your subscriber will probably lose interest seconds in. Too little text and your message will be easily forgettable. Finding the right balance will take practice, but with more emerging voice-enabled devices coming to the marketplace, Voice is an element worth experimenting with.

That’s it. We hope you find MarTech’s Email Marketing Period Table valuable and encourage you to please download the high-res, beautifully designed version to share with your teams.

Digital marketing is indeed an art, but it is also a science. We hope this tool serves as an essential reference for your experiments.


Everything you need to know about email marketing deliverability that your customers want and that inboxes won’t block. Get MarTech’s Email Marketing Periodic Table.

Click here to download!



About The Author

Henry Powderly is vice president of content for Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than a decade in editorial leadership positions, he is responsible for content strategy and event programming for the organization.



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Promote | DigitalMarketer

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Promote | DigitalMarketer

Up until now, any “promotion” your customers have done has been passive. But in the promotion stage, your customers actively spread the word about your brands, products, and services. They tell stories, make recommendations, and share your offers because they truly believe in them.

Active promotion may be an affiliate or commission relationship—or just a free offer for sending some new customers your way. The point is, it’s a win-win for both of you.

One thing worth mentioning before we dive in; Happy customers don’t promote, SUCCESSFUL customers do. 

Our biggest question in the Promote stage is: How are you going to turn your BEST customers into your marketing partners? 

If you don’t have a referral program, an affiliate program, or a valued reseller program … who is willing to drive your message to the organization you need to build out these programs? This is word of mouth marketing, and it is very important so start thinking about how you want to build this. 

Look to your most successful customers, they’re going to be the people who actively promote for you. But then, let’s think about our customers who already have our prospects but are offering a different product or service. 

At DigitalMarketer we are a training and certification company, we are not a services based company. What that means is we don’t compete with agencies or consultants. This also means that there is an opportunity for us to work with agencies and consultants. 

When we realized this we decided to launch our Certified Partner Program, which you can learn more about at DigitalMarketer.Com/Partner. This program lets us work with the largest segments of our customer base, who have customers that we want but they’re providing a solution that we’re not providing. 

When we train our customers, they are able to use our company frameworks to work with their clients. If their clients want to learn to do their marketing themselves? We’re the first education company they see.

So who is that for you? Remember, it’s not the happy clients that refer, it’s the successful clients. If you want to create more promoters, make sure that you’re doing everything that you can as a marketer to ensure that you’re marketing great products so you can see great results. 

How can our example companies accomplish this?

For Hazel & Hems, they can add an ambassador program to grow their instagram following and increase credibility with viral posts. 

Ambassadors can earn affiliate commissions, additional boutique reward points, and get the chance to build a greater following by leveraging the Hazel & Hems brand.

For Cyrus & Clark, they can offer discounted rates to their existing clients if those clients are willing to refer them to their strategic partners. 

For construction companies, this could be a home builder recommending Cyrus & Clark services to the landscapers, real estate developers, and interior designers that they work with to serve their customers.



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11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue

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11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue

When you think about what factors and processes are needed to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you might consider these first: more sophisticated personalization, leveraging first-party data more effectively, or more precise targeting and timing. 

While those are all important, there’s another more fundamental aspect of email marketing that’s just as critical to success: email design. 

With more than 333 billion emails sent and received every day, and adults logging more screen time than ever before, it’s never been more crucial to have well-designed emails that can quickly cut through the overflowing inbox clutter, capture recipients’ attention and compel them to take the desired action. 

Whether you’re looking to supercharge your email newsletter or inject new life into your lifecycle email campaign strategy, here are 11 email design tips and examples that can drive site traffic, purchase intent, conversions and revenue.

“All aspects of email design – including accessibility, readability, layout and responsiveness – have a huge impact on open rates and conversions. In reality, email marketing design is the gatekeeper to campaign success.”

Samantha McGrady, Tinuiti Strategist, Lifecycle Marketing

 

Essential Elements of an Email

 
You might not consider all these quote-unquote “design” components, but they all play a central role in how an email is perceived and consumed. 

  • Subject line
  • Pre-header text
  • Header/headline
  • Logo
  • Color scheme
  • Images
  • Body copy
  • CTA(s)
  • Signature and footer
  • Unsubscribe button

 

The Eleven Keys to Effective Email Design

 
All elements of an email come together to create an overall design. Whether that design is cohesive or advances the objectives of the email depends on how well the individual elements are executed. Here are 11 tips for making email design work for you.
 

1. Responsive Designs Pay Off

 
Mobile-friendly email design is a must. While the exact percentage of emails opened on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets vary by source, it’s estimated that over half of all emails are accessed on mobile. That means ensuring an email displays correctly and can be read easily across devices, screens and resolutions are essential. If an email displays poorly, it’s likely to be deleted in under three seconds

Utilizing a responsive email template will automatically adjust your email to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Most drag-and-drop email builders feature built-in responsive design templates, but you’ll also want to keep mobile formatting in mind when considering image size and the length of copy blocks within the email.  
 

2. Keep Accessibility Top-of-Mind

 
One key aspect of email design that goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness is accessibility. Accessibility refers to an email’s ability to be received and understood by persons with disabilities or using assistive devices. So just as responsive design ensures that emails can be accessed across device formats, good accessibility practices preserve an email’s usability regardless of the recipient’s circumstances.

An accessible email will have a logical flow and high readability in terms of descriptive subject lines, links and headers, and larger and well-spaced typefaces. It will also use high color contrast and utilize alt-text liberally. Perhaps most importantly, an accessible email will not lean too heavily on visuals or hide information in images, as adaptive tools like screen readers can struggle to convert them.  

Keeping accessibility top-of-mind is important for reaching the maximum percentage of your subscribers or target audiences and contributes to good overall email marketing usability.
 

3. Customize Your Pre-Header Text

 
Pre-header text used to be an afterthought, and many marketers defaulted to the first few words of email body copy. Now, because of the way emails are displayed in mobile and desktop inboxes, pre-headers are widely recognized as the second-most important text element after the subject line. Pre-header text indicates to the reader what the email is about; it’s essentially a visible meta-description of the email. 

As such, the pre-header text should complement the subject line and reinforce the critical call-to-action within the email. It should, like the subject line, entice the recipient to open the email and keep reading while also reading while offering an informative preview of the email itself. And it needs to accomplish all of this concisely in an abbreviated space. 

Crafting a compelling subject and pre-header pair can feel like writing poetry, but getting it right can significantly impact open rates and conversions. 
 

4. Use an Effective Layout

 
The layout is the most recognizable aspect of email design and likely what most people think of first when considering the design elements of an email. Layout determines the flow of your content and the order in which your readers consume information. The most basic principles of email layout are maintaining organization and logical consistency, capturing attention through aesthetics, and manipulating the recipient’s eye where you want it to go.

  • Organization: In essence, this means establishing a clear visual hierarchy. Try to display the most important information and convey essential details early on (higher) in the email.
  • Aesthetics: incorporate white space to give your content breathing room and lend a more elevated look. Clutter and “walls” of text are difficult to read and lead to email abandonment. Instead, utilize negative space to accentuate key points and keep the recipient reading. 
  • Guiding the eye: Use directional cues to draw attention to the most essential part of your email. Effective layout templates leverage natural reading and eye movement patterns to focus the recipient on desired email elements. 

 
Many email templates use the following common layout patterns, each of which guides the reader’s attention in specific ways:

  • Z-pattern layouts place a zig-zag of content within the reader’s typical sight line, starting at the upper left corner. 
  • F-pattern layouts emphasize the left side of the email, inviting readers to return their eyes to that side for most information. 
  • Inverted pyramid layouts, perhaps the most familiar layout, load critical information at the top and create a visual funnel toward a CTA at the bottom.

 
These principles are laid out in the following two wireframe examples of common email layouts. Notice how both lean on the reading path of the human eye while maintaining a recognizable hierarchy and putting vital information up top:

two examples of email design template wireframes

Remember to rotate your design layout to avoid using the same framework repeatedly – otherwise, your emails will be perceived as stale by your subscribers.

 

5. Choose Colors Strategically

 
Color scheme is an essential element in any design, and emails are no exception. The right combination of colors – or the strategic limitation of a color palette – can elicit emotion, direct attention to important content, reinforce brand image or distinguish a single email from a series or campaign. 

There is plenty of room for experimentation with color in email marketing. Still, good general rules of thumb are to avoid clashing colors or using too wide a variety of colors, use bright colors sparingly, and stay consistent with color usage across branded marketing assets. And as with accessibility and responsiveness, it’s also important to consider how an email is being viewed; for example, if being read on a mobile device in “dark” mode, pure black text can appear illegible. 

It’s important to remember that color isn’t limited to graphical elements or iconography in the email; the text color used and dominant color in embedded images or photographs should also be considered. These colors should work in harmony to support your content, brand and the purpose of the email.
 

6. Use Clean and Clear Text

 
An organized layout and strategic use of color will go a long way toward making an email readable and effective. Ultimately, though, the information you want to communicate stems from the email copy itself. One hard and fast rule for text in an email is to be clear and concise

Remember the 333 billion emails sent and received last year? Your target audience received some of those, and they almost certainly didn’t read every word of every email they received. So many of those emails were probably never opened, thanks to poor subject lines.

Emails should draw the eye with an attractive design but be easy to skim. Get to the point quickly, or risk ending up in the trash.

 

example of clear and concise email marketing design from Hyperikon

 

When in doubt, follow these guidelines:

  • Maintain a good text-to-image ratio
  • Keep the headline to two lines or less
  • Keep text on a simple background so that it’s easy to read
  • Bold or highlight keywords or phrases

 

“Reduce the cognitive load. We really want to create our emails to be clean and concise.”

Sammi Nutsongtat, Klaviyo Design Specialist

Portrait of Sammi Nutsongtat
 

7. Treat Email as a Brand Opportunity

 
Of all the potential touchpoints a recipient might have with your brand, the email you just sent them is unlikely to be their first. That makes it very important to keep email design consistent with your overall brand design. 

Incorporating strong branding – not just a logo or a tagline, but brand-specific colors, imagery, typography and content tone – helps email recipients identify the message’s source and provides a more cohesive experience from the inbox to the landing page. That can reduce your bounce rate as users interact with your brand across different channels.

A good branding evaluation question to ask: If I removed our logo from these email designs, would our subscribers identify our company?

 

example of good branding in email design from Bryan Anthonys and Diff

 

Your brand’s identity tells your story, so it’s important to be conscious of your email branding. Branding should remain consistent across all channels, whether email-to-email or email-to-website. 
 

8. Your Typography Style Matters

 
Using a consistent typeface in email design can reinforce your brand image and identity, though, like color, there is some opportunity for experimentation. The most important thing to remember about typography is that it should be easy to read at a skimming pace and shouldn’t detract or add confusion to the message.

Emails can also contain more than one kind of typeface, for example, one font that looks better at a larger size for headers and another that looks cleaner for entire sentences of body copy. That said, too many different fonts in an email can make it hard to read. A limit of three fonts per email is a good common-sense rule. Again, a drag-and-drop email builder usually has several typeface options and suggestions for specific email elements or sections. 
 

9. Personalize Elements of Your Emails

 
Personalization is one of the dominant themes across the marketing and advertising industries right now, as technological advancements and the rise in importance of zero- and first-party customer data have made true one-to-one, brand-to-customer engagement possible. Email marketing, which was perhaps the first marketing vector to make widespread use of basic personalization (think mail merge and auto-filled salutation lines), can also incorporate more sophisticated personalization techniques – and should. 

The goal of personalization should be to make an email meaningful and valuable to the recipient. That means incorporating bespoke, custom content blocks based on customer data, including insights like purchase history or position in the customer lifecycle or buying journey. Narrow segmentation can help target specific customers, and personal touches like incorporating profile information or preferences can help humanize your brand and create stronger relationships.

In short, you should seize every opportunity to include more personalized elements in your emails.
 

10. Always Use a CTA

 
This might seem like email marketing 101, but no list of email marketing optimization tips would be complete without addressing calls to action or CTAs. Usually rendered graphically as a button, a good CTA should concisely describe the exact action the email reader can expect upon clicking and be placed at a point in the layout where the next step is logically implied. 

Effective CTAs typically appear at the bottom of a section in a contrasting color to the email’s overall color scheme. Multiple CTAs can be used – some research suggests that having more than one CTA increases click-through rates – but only where the natural progression of the content suggests they appear. As with many of the design tips presented here, CTAs should be used in a cohesive, consistent manner. 
 

11. Avoid Abrupt Design Changes

 
Consistency isn’t just important within an email; it’s also important across campaigns. Design shock, or suddenly presenting drastically different creative to an existing audience like your subscriber base, can impact the success of an individual email or an entire campaign.

When updating your email designs, consider rolling out the changes in an iterative fashion or testing the new creative out on a small group of subscribers before rolling it out to your entire audience.

 

example of avoiding email design shock from Ritual

 

As the example above illustrates, gradually transitioning to a new layout while keeping many other design elements consistent helps minimize the effect of design shock. Keep this in mind as you embark on new email campaigns or make universal changes to your email marketing approach.
 

How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Email Design

 
 You can put as much thought and preparation into email design as possible, and the email might still fall short of performance expectations. The only way to ensure a successful campaign and maximize conversions is to engage in A/B testing by sending slightly different versions of an email to distinct segments of your audience. It’s a straightforward process that many email platforms support, but sadly, nearly  42.9% of marketers don’t know what to test.

When assessing an email design’s impact on an audience, there are various things you can test to help drive higher clicks, conversions, or overall performance. These include:

  • Call to action button styling
  • Overall layout
  • Number of products featured
  • Lifestyle vs. product imagery
  • Cheeky vs. simple copy
  • Animation vs. static

 

Once you know what to test for and have identified what you’re trying to prove, run a few test emails to sample groups, isolating one variable at a time over a series of weeks. Evaluate which works best for reaching, resonating with, and converting the most recipients, and you’ll gradually improve your conversion rates.
 

Resources & Tools to Improve Your Email Design Game

 
There is no shortage of email design tools available to help you get the most out of your email marketing strategy. Some are full-service email-building platforms, while others are helpful stock image sites or graphics libraries. Here are a few of our favorites:
 

Klaviyo 

 
Klayvio is a well-established, full-service email marketing platform optimized for ecommerce and featuring sophisticated personalization tools. Klaviyo’s robust library of customizable, responsive templates, support for A/B testing, and dynamic content capabilities can help users of all levels put email design optimization tips into action.
 

Tinuiti Performance Creative 

 
Need a more comprehensive and data-driven approach to email and lifecycle marketing? Our own Performance Creative offering is based on moments that matter and features integration with multiple channels and touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
 

Adobe Stock

 
It’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the biggest names in design software also has one of the most robust stock image catalogs available. Adobe Stock allows users to search for specific image types or browse by category, ensuring you’ll find the perfect photos or images for your email campaign.
 

Figma

 
Any design process – including email design – can be collaborative. Figma provides a platform to facilitate that collaboration that includes several email-specific features, including a library of visual assets teams can build themselves.
 

Final Thoughts

 
Design is a central aspect of email marketing performance, and getting it right can be the difference between a positive ROI campaign and a forgettable brand encounter. You can probably think of several marketing emails in your inbox that slapped a basic template together with uninspiring (and uninspired!) copy and called it a day. Or maybe not, because you deleted them without getting past the subject line. 

Your email campaigns can help solidify customer relationships and prospects through accessible designs that embrace solid layout principles, on-brand typography and images, a concise and catchy subject and pre-header, logical CTAs and compelling copy.  You’ll ultimately generate more opens, leads, conversions and revenue for your company, too.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in August 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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How to choose a content marketing automation platform

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How to choose a content marketing automation platform



A 1917 poster says in bold capital letters: “I WANT YOU FOR THE U.S. ARMY,” along with the famous image of Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer.

In 1917, most advertising was blunt and direct, but in the following 100+ years, consumers have become desensitized to typical marketing strategies. As a result, companies have turned to new forms of marketing to reach their audience.

One of these forms of marketing is content marketing: an indirect type of advertising that delivers blog posts, podcasts, and other forms of content to indirectly market a brand to consumers. Today, businesses can automate many aspects of content marketing, and choosing the right platform for content marketing automation unlocks new efficiencies and return on investment for companies.

Key takeaways:

  • Content marketing is a powerful way to reach customers by providing value through content.
  • Automation makes content marketing efficient and convenient.
  • Optimizely can help you take your content management to the next level.

What is content marketing?

Content marketing is a new strategy for reaching potential customers by delivering content they want to consume. Content marketing improves the brand’s image by providing useful or entertaining content which builds goodwill and brand recognition among potential customers.

Content marketing takes many forms: podcasts, digital video, webinars, articles, infographics and more. Creating and delivering quality content is difficult because it must deliver on multiple levels: it must be useful, entertaining and informative, but it must also inspire confidence and credibility. In other words, quality content marketing must be both good content and marketing material.

Why would a company spend its marketing dollars on content marketing instead of more direct forms of advertising? There are several reasons content marketing is a good choice for companies:

  • Content marketing improves organic reach by delivering content that customers want to consume. This can range from entertainment like TikTok videos or online quizzes to more serious informative content like how-to guides and video conferences.
  • Content marketing inspires confidence in your brand by establishing your company as an expert and key player in your industry.
  • Content marketing improves goodwill by delivering personable, relatable content that meets customers where they’re at. Rather than trying to make customers interested in your company directly, content marketing capitalizes on the things your customer is already interested in.

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How to automate content marketing

AI can’t host a podcast or present a webinar (at least not yet), but automation plays an important role in content marketing.

Social media

Social media is one of the largest opportunities for marketers. Social media is the second largest market within the world of digital advertising, second only to search marketing. Content marketing is uniquely poised to cover both categories as it can optimize content for organic search results and social media sharing.

This is where automation comes into the picture: automation can’t take over your social media presence for you, but it can take on some of the most tedious and error-prone aspects of your digital presence. Some key ways you can automate your social media content marketing are by scheduling posts, connecting various social media platforms to publish content on multiple platforms at once, regularly sharing your content, automatically promoting content and more.

Recently, AI has taken significant steps forward in Natural Language Processing (NLP), which makes AI chatbots a powerful way to connect with users on social media platforms (as well as on your platform).

 

Email marketing

A fan of the television show Arrested Development would finish the phrase “The money is in the…” with “banana stand,” but experienced marketers know that the right answer is “the money is in the list.”

This popular phrase refers to the fact that email marketing is one of the most important aspects of a marketing plan, and a longer list of quality leads is one of the most reliable ways to grow sales. Email newsletters are one of the most popular forms of content marketing but sending email after email is a tedious and treacherous process as it creates limitless opportunities for human error.

Automation revolutionizes email marketing by automatically sending emails. With a customer relationship management platform, email automation can automatically send emails based on milestones and timelines and personalize emails based on the customer’s name and history. This level of personalization is difficult for small businesses and impossible for large ones, but with automation, it’s straightforward and convenient.

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Tracking performance 

One of the keys to marketing automation is tracking marketing communication performance. Marketers should be performing A/B testing to see which campaigns perform the best and merit further expansion, but tangibly measuring the outcome of these tests is difficult without the right tools.

Automation helps companies track the performance of their content marketing by collecting data from various platforms, bringing it all into one convenient place and providing metrics about the traffic and conversions coming from each piece of content. 

Features of the right content marketing platform

Harnessing the value of these powerful automation options requires a quality content marketing platform. The right platform should include some qualities that maximize its usefulness.

  • Flexibility. One of the essential functions of automation is the ability to share content on multiple platforms simultaneously. While this is already a powerful option, it becomes more powerful with a headless API that empowers you to deliver content on various platforms.
  • Personalization. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% become frustrated when companies don’t personalize their communications. The right content marketing platform makes personalization second nature with robust personalization tools that go beyond copy-and-pasting names. Content marketing platforms like Optimizely target personalized digital experiences to dynamic customer segments.
  • Capacity. Your business has unique needs, and your content platform shouldn’t hold you back. Rather than making your job harder, the right content marketing platform makes your job easier by offering a wide range of options and high-capacity storage for all your needs.

When it comes to content management, Optimizely is an industry leader. Optimizely’s advanced tools range from A/B testing, e-commerce support and headless digital experience management.

To learn how Optimizely can help you harness the power of automation and revolutionize your content marketing, request a meeting today to start the next chapter of your marketing journey.


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