Determining the Email Goals of Your Template
Perhaps you've read about what makes an email marketing template successful, and you said, "Really, I don't need to worry about all of those metrics because my email template doesn't need to do a lot of those things." That may be true. In fact, before you incorporate the design elements discussed in the previous article, you should take a moment to determine what your email goals are and which design elements are most important to your success.
Is Brand Awareness One of Your Email Goals?
It's entirely possible that your email doesn't have any user-activity related elements to it at all. If you're sending newsletters or marketing emails that are only designed to give value to your subscribers in the form of useful or entertaining content that then develops their relationship with your brand, then you don't need to worry about metrics and success factors such as click through rates or end-revenue. However, you do need to worry about the following:
Open Rate: Which ensures that both your content and subject line are engaging as well as ensures that your email is delivered to the inbox instead of the junk or spam folder.
Unsubscribe Requests and Spam Complaints: Which is related to content, content positioning, and frequency of send.
You don't need to worry as much about visibility of links, number of links, or even over-using images. If the purpose of your email is simply as a branding activity, then your email template can take a great deal more freedom with the elements that it incorporates.
Is Driving Traffic and Impressions to Your Website One of Your Email Goals?
It's possible that your business model isn't based on sales or revenue transactions but is instead based on the number of impressions that your website gets. For example, if you sell click-based or impression-based online advertising deals, your revenue is generated by the raw number of views that each page on your website gets. That would mean that the goal of your email or newsletter is to drive as many click-through actions as possible from the email to your website.
If the goal of your email is to drive impressions and views to your website, then the most important design element and metric that you need to worry about is click-through from the email to the website. Of course, open rate, unsubscribe requests, and spam complaints are still important to developing the health of your email program. However, the metric that you need to be most concerned about is click-through rate.
You'll want to pay extra attention to the design, placement, and number of links in email. You'll want to make sure that they are prominent, text-based, and have strong calls-to-action around them. You'll also want to make sure that you have a high number of links appearing above-the-fold of the email.
Is Driving a Revenue Generating Event One of Your Email Goals?
However, if you're like most businesses, then the goal of your email marketing or newsletter program is ultimately to drive a revenue generating event. If that's the case, then you'll need to be concerned with all of the elements discussed in the previous article. After all, you need to get people to open an email in order to get them to click-through an email. And you need to get people to click-through an email in order to get them onto your website where they can enact your revenue generating event. And, of course, you also need to be sure that people stay on your email list so that you continue to have people to market to! Yes, making the end goal of your newsletter or email marketing program a revenue generating event means that you'll need to take a great deal more into account when designing your email template.
The remainder of this chapter will walk you through all of the key points that you'll need to know to create an email template that delivers results from the time that you send it until the time that you generate a receipt for your revenue generating transaction!