Key Things to Consider When Designing Emails in Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Even with the rise of social media and other online platforms, email is still one of the most important ways to communicate online. When you are in the process of developing an email marketing campaign, there are some email marketing best practices to keep in mind. Email marketing is a top priority for companies, so it’s important to know how to build a campaign from the very first step. In this article, you’ll get a good, clean list of some email marketing best practices to help you better connect with your customers. 

How Design Affects Your Email

The design of your email is more than just making it look pretty. It should resonate with your audience, create engagement, and provide valuable information that can drive conversions. The strength of the design will determine whether people read through your message and engage with it, as well as whether they open your emails in the future. 

You can improve your email marketing metrics by making sure your copy is easy to read, your images are thoughtful, and your layout is intuitive. In addition to that, email is an important customer acquisition and retention tool, so spending the time to refine and design emails in accordance with what your recipients are looking for will help you maximize the return on your email campaigns.

 Get the Basics of Email Marketing Right

As a first step, let’s discuss the content of your emails before we look at email design best practices. Every email you send should serve a purpose for your business and the recipient, regardless of whether it’s to onboard a new subscriber, strive for engagement or try to make a sale. Listed below are four ways you can improve your email marketing campaign.

Identify and set your voice and tone.

Although you do not have to stay with the same tone and voice across all platforms. it is important to determine how you will sound when communicating with your email audience. Be sure to keep in mind your brand and demographic when choosing a tone and voice that matches the style of your company.

The key to creating a loyal customer base for your brand is to keep it consistent in your messaging. For example, if you suddenly switch from light and witty to uncharacteristically serious for no apparent reason, you'll confuse your readers at best, and you could lose them. You want loyal customers to feel connected to your brand. To build – and maintain – this connection, consistency is key.

Write a Catchy Subject Line

You want your subject line to reflect the content in the email so that your audience is enticed to open your message. The most effective subject lines should reflect the content of the email so that your audience is enticed to open your message.

A few examples of possible subject line strategies include using numbers and statistics, creating a sense of mystery, so readers have to open the message to find out an answer to a question or details about the promotion, and creating urgency in the subject line. You may also want to consider using emojis if they are in your style; they can make your subject lines more interesting and eye-catching as long as you don't go overboard with them or they will appear spammy.

If you want to find out what works best for your email subscribers, you can A/B test different subject lines and combinations. You can use different emotions (such as urgency or curiosity), different word choices, and personalization to find out. You should also vary and test your subject line lengths based on how your users typically access your email — desktops versus smartphones, email services, etc.

Next, create some truly outstanding content.

There are many popular email-based media businesses that specialize in crafting their email campaigns. Many of these companies have teams of writers dedicated to crafting each email. Content is king, but in this case, email is queen. It’s not a deal-breaker for you to hire a team of writers if you do not have the budget, but you do want a knowledgeable writer (or two) who is able to nail your voice and deliver solid, customer-centric content for your emails.

If you possess copywriting skills, that's another extra advantage. Once you grab your reader with a subject line and well-written content, you will be able to entertain, inform, and, ideally, do both at the same time.

Be time-sensitive with your messaging.

When it comes to the best times for email marketing, early morning and early evening are generally regarded as the best times. As for the days, the middle of the week is generally regarded as the best time. However, like all other aspects of marketing, be sure to research and test the timing with your target audience. Using A/B testing to determine when to send emails can be very helpful for determining when you will receive the most opens and click-throughs from your audience.

A good way to figure out the best time to send an email is to use artificial intelligence. There is a win-win situation when you send emails via email platforms with artificial intelligence: your recipients receive the email at a time that is best for them to open it, and your email open rate increases as a result. These platforms use machine learning and 90 days of engagement data to determine the best time to send a message within the next 24 hours to each contact.

The Essentials Of Designing 

Choose contrasting colors and complementary font styles.

Test drive different versions of your email template before you send your first one. If you wish to make your email easier to read, you can incorporate the colors of your brand and use them for recognition. However, a clean, simple template is essential for readability. It would be a good idea to use dark text on a white background for the body of an email, and white text on a darker color for the CTA button, to emphasize the point.

Make sure you choose complementary, yet contrasting colors for your text and background. Secondly, use web-safe fonts that work across multiple devices and the web — such as Arial, Tahoma, Helvetica, and Times New Roman — which are usually rendered correctly across different devices.

Choose your visual components carefully.

A good way to make your email engaging is to include graphics, photos, or other visuals. You can also make your email interesting for your readers by including animated GIFs. Make sure, however, that your emails do not contain auto-play audio elements or animated GIFs.

Your reader should not be overwhelmed or distracted by your message, nor should you add too many moving parts to the email so it doesn't load slowly or complicate it by adding too many moving parts (literally). Your business will not benefit from an email that is unable to display properly, contains sections of its copy that have been cut off, or otherwise might get flagged as spam which is not a good way to market your business.

Make sure that the visual elements of your email are inserted correctly, and then send it to a variety of dummy accounts to make sure it renders perfectly. If you need to see how your message renders in a variety of apps and devices, you should use email preview tools. This is the most important step in creating an email and making sure that the message you are sending the recipient sees it in the way you intended it.

Your call-to-action button should be prominently visible.

Make sure that your email contains a clear call to action (CTA) that stands out. CTA buttons can be included more than once, or the same CTA can be included more than once. Use different options to see what text, color, and location of the CTA buttons affect your click-through rate. You must make sure that your CTA button stands out from the other copy in your message as well as being 44 pixels wide and 44 pixels tall for a mobile-friendly design.

Use a mobile-first strategy.

An email must be visible to readers on mobile devices and must be accessible to readers on mobile devices. If your text, images, and offers aren’t visible or legible, especially on smaller devices, you risk alienating people. Make sure to test the design of your text to ensure it loads and displays correctly on mobile devices. Test your email’s design on a variety of devices and browsers, and work to ensure that all graphics are properly sized. Once tested you can email your potential customers to ensure the overall effectiveness of your email campaign.

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