What makes an email good? We have always asked this question to find, but never got a concrete answer. Though, we all always have some best practices floating around but still there isn’t any set of hard and fast rules for creating a good email template. Hence, it’s only us who could figure out this secret set of rules.
We sat with our data science team to seek their help and nail down what is the difference does visual design can make to the email campaign performance. We dug into some of the accounts that were consistently having high-performing campaigns to see if they are any common design elements in whatever they share.
So, we started with the accounts that were consistently doing the campaigns that got delivered and had responses through SalezShark marketing automation tool. After shortlisting, we looked into and analyzed the elements like layouts, ratio of text to images, color usage, fonts etc.
So, here’s the observation in greater detail:
Let’s start with the 3 things common in the emails shared by the accounts that send really good email
- Simple layouts
- Concise copies
Over the years, we’ve seen that a simple 1 column layout gets used the most often, with 48% of sent campaigns utilizing it.
We don’t have an exact reason as to why this is, but we think simplicity is often tied to the idea that something will be easier to understand. Internet is already a pretty noisy place with everyone fighting for the subscribers’ attention; it thus makes sense to keep things simple to help subscribers focus on what you want to show them.
There was one more thing that seemed to appeal to this idea of simplicity and led to higher engagement: Keeping the amount of copy per image lower seemed to result in higher click rates.
In fact, around 85% of our high-performing accounts sent campaigns around 100-200 words per image. Thus, we think it is like the fewer the words you use; more likely are people to click on things.
So while 100-200 words per image tend to be a pretty good indicator of campaign success, it is not set in stone. Under the right circumstances, using more words than the above-mentioned can also be the right move.
Test, Test, Test
Here comes the most interesting part of our research, A/B testing. The entire point of A/B testing is to optimize the campaign and get better results. Hence, not so much to our surprise, we found that campaigns were A/B tested consistently led to better engagement.
Looking at campaigns sent by the high performing accounts, we observed that A/B tested campaigns did better with open rates and click rates than regular campaigns. Not only you get to learn from testing campaigns, but you also get to see massive, immediate payoff.
We have seen this trend and have also found that it results in 17% higher click rates.
From everything we observed, testing seemed to be the most consistent indicator of high performance.
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