We don’t like HTML e-mails because research has shown that a good number of people won’t open them. That defeats the whole purpose of sending an e-mail. Anything that cuts down the opening rate wastes your time and money.
However, once people do open your HTML e-mails, you have another chance to entertain, educate and entice them to buy from you.
So if you choose a few templates and test them, these are the questions you should ask:
1. Are Your Subscribers Opening Your E-mail?
Most e-mail marketing and newsletter providers include e-mail open rate tracking as part of the standard metrics package for your e-mail program.
Open rate numbers are not totally accurate due to the image pixel method of tracking e-mail opens (not all e-mail service providers load images automatically, so not all opens are automatically tracked).
If your e-mail is not being opened at a rate you feel is adequate, then you should examine the following elements of your e-mail template design:
Spam Content and Coding: Is your e-mail template well designed to get into your subscribers’ inboxes, or are you going to the spam or junk folder?
Before you assume that users don’t want to open your e-mail, be sure that they are actually receiving it.
Value of Your Content to Your Subscribers: Make sure your content is well written and the type of content your subscribers actually want, not what you think they want.
Quality of Your Database List: The quality of the names and addresses in your e-mail database may also be an issue. Make sure your list is up-to-date, fully opted-in, and optimally pruned and cleaned regularly.
Time and Date You Send E-mail: The day of week and the time of day that you send your e-mail can also impact how many subscribers open it. Knowing how to choose the best day to send e-mail can easily turn your e-mail campaign from good to great.
Open rate is the single most, important metric related to your e-mail marketing campaign. When dealing with your e-mail template design, you’ll want to keep the first two elements — content and coding — in mind as they relate to spam, deliverability and open-rate.
2. Are Your Subscribers Staying Subscribed?
Your e-mail template design and your e-mail program are successful if your subscribers neither unsubscribe from nor mark as spam your e-mail messages.
3. Are Subscribers Clicking from the E-mail to Your Landing Pages?
Similar to the idea that your e-mail is only successful if subscribers actually open it, your e-mail template design is ultimately only successful if users then click from the e-mail to your landing page.
If your e-mails are opened but no one is taking action from it, consider the following:
Are Links to Your Site Clear and Easy to Find? You might be surprised how many times people aren’t clicking through to your website simply because they don’t see or recognize your links.
While a slick design is nice, links that people recognize because they are blue and underlined can often be more effective. Worse, if your links in each e-mail are in the form of image-based buttons, users may never see them if their e-mail service provider does not load e-mail images.
Are There Enough Places in Your E-mail to Click? You may also simply not have enough places for a user to click from your e-mail to your site.
You don’t want too many links in your e-mail because it may make you appear to be spam to e-mail service providers. You also don’t want your subscribers to have to work too hard to find a link. You want them to be able to click through to your site as quickly as possible when they are inspired to do so.
Is Contact Information Clear? In case there is a problem with your site, make sure your company contact information is clear in your e-mail. Make sure you don’t lose any business by not making those options clear and visible in your e-mail template design.
4. Are Your Subscribers Buying the Offers You Promote?
What really matters the most to you is if users are buying the products or offers you promote.
If their response to offers or product promotions is not what you had hoped that it would be, consider the following:
Are Offers and Promotions Easy to Find? Are your offers and promotions above the fold or in an easy-to-see location in your e-mail? Do you reference them in the subject line?
Is your entire offer or promotion trapped in an image that many subscribers might not see? Make sure subscribers know where to look and can easily find the offers and promotions in your e-mails.
Is The Purchase Process Clear? Have you presented a great offer, but then the click-through to the landing page or to contact your company is hard to find?
Be sure subscribers can not only find your offers, they can also easily understand how to buy them. Your e-mail marketing is only successful if it increases customer loyalty, retention, activity, and revenue. You need to test different templates to find out which one is the best e-mail marketing template for you.
Roy Preece has been teaching online sales techniques successfully for more than 10 years. Roy successfully trains people in e-mail marketing, web marketing, article writing, affiliate marketing and joint ventures. For more information, visit http://emailmarketingbuddy.com