Might be time to change your email template!
Change is hard! With email, change can even be more overwhelming because what you are doing now is likely something with which you are comfortable. However, isn’t it time to leave that comfort zone? We tend to lose sight over the impact that small changes to our email program can have. We test subject lines and day of week, the length of the email, text vs. image, and the frequency in which a subscriber should be mailed, etc. The list of what you can test goes on and on. Testing is great because it provides us good insight into how we should be engaging with our subscribers. However, one of the things I don’t see happening often is a change in the creative template. Both with my clients and what I see as a consumer (and yes, I get tons of emails) I see the same template time and time again.
I understand that changing your email template is probably the last thing you want to think about. This is why for many brands we see the same template for years. I completely understand why that is and I do believe that using the same template over and over has its advantages. Your subscribers know exactly where to look when they open the email but can a change in template increase results?
After all, changing your email template can be the most resource intensive use of your team. What if changing your template could significantly increase engagement rates and that increase in engagement rates led to an increase in revenue and reengaged lapsed customers?
If that could happen, wouldn’t this make the template change worthwhile?
Things to Think about with your email template
The metric I most like to use when thinking of creative is the Click to Open Rate. Have you been looking at this metric and started seeing a gradual decline or even just remaining static? Have you reviewed heat mapping of your current template and started to see that certain content areas just don’t seem to get any traction? Have you tested a template with navigation at the top? Keep in mind that people are always short on time and they get tons of email. Do you have enough space for personalized content? We all know that consumers are looking for a very personalized experience and your email template should allow for this to be fairly seamless. Do you have too much text in your emails or not enough? While most email clients have images enabled by default, have you seen what your template looks like when images are disabled? Can your subscribers see the content?
One Small Change Resulting in Big Engagement
I’ve had the conversation about email templates with many clients over the years. Sometimes we believe that if something isn’t really broken why fix it. That is likely what many of us think when it comes to our email templates. If we see the good results, why change something? What if we could turn the good results into GREAT results?
Recently, we partnered with one of our clients and their creative branding agency to develop a new email template. The existing template was heavy on images and all copy was within the images. In some cases, the email was one big image so there was no way to tell what content was engaging people. Don’t get me wrong, the email looked pretty but it wasn’t functional. We wanted to create something that would allow for more promotion by utilizing smaller imagery with copy outside of the image.
The new template generated engagement rates that were 40% higher than the previous campaigns. By increasing the engagement rates, revenue also increased by 37%. What was most impressive was that of those who purchased from the new template, 18% had previously been considered lapsed because they hadn’t purchased in more than 90 days. Our goal had been to increase the engagement rates thus increasing revenue. However, we didn’t anticipate that this would also allow us to win back customers-but it did!
Now are you thinking about trying a new email template? I would say test this during the holidays but really let’s put this on the 2018 to do list. Changing your template even just slightly would be a great way to start off the new year. So please think about adding this to the list of email resolutions for 2018.