If you’re feeling like your emails are falling flat or just not popping off the screen — don’t worry. You aren't alone, and we can help!
It’s still the beginning of the new year, the season isn't in full swing for most seasonal businesses, so it’s definitely not too late to vamp up your email design.
Today we'll focus on the power of:
- matching color schemes
- image types like illustrations vs GIFs
- and CTA buttons or images
But First: Why Prioritize Email?
In 2020, email marketing is still one of the most powerful forms of marketing. Studies show that it remains more effective than SEO (or search engine optimization), PPC (paid ads), and content marketing (blogging), so now is a great time to get inspired.
So what does it take to draw in customers’ attention and get them to actually open their emails, read them, and then want to patronize your business?
The answer is adding a little design pizzazz—and a little will go a long way! Let's get started with some quick ideas for spicing up the visual appeal of the emails for your course or club.
Creative Tip 1: Consistently Eye-Catching Colors & Fonts
It’s important to ensure that color and text themes you use in your email design are consistent, and that they are in line with the things you want to highlight or maintain, such as your company's logo, website, or brand.
For example, the design on the foreUP website uses white text with three complimentary blue tones that are consistent across the whole site. On our home page you see our main blue, a teal blue, and the mint accent color.
Our emails, in turn, maintain these colors, fonts, and styles.
On occasion, we throw in a bright contrasting color like red or orange to draw attention to the fact that something is different; like the Black Friday Deal email we sent last fall. We kept the fonts the same, but the orange/red color was unique.
Usually, however, consistent color and font schemes are a smart method that actually affects people’s perception and makes them more likely to trust (and buy from) you.
Plus, you're creating a familiar look and style that people will begin to associate with your business!
Creative Tip 2: Including Video Content
Images are a great way to generate engagement, but video is taking it a step further—a giant, effective step.
Inserting a video as the top-of-page feature for your newsletter is a sure way to entice people to scroll down the page and then check out your business.
Take a look at how Chicago Golf Club has done just that:
This video is called a “golf club drone tour” which shows an overview of their beautiful golf course in Wheaton, Illinois.
Displaying a video for a golf club marketing email is a great opportunity to actually tell your customers visually why they would be missing out if they don't book a tee time, host an event, or renew their club membership this year.
Creative Tip 3: Experimenting with Image Types
Play around and try out different kinds of visual designs. Animated images are a fun way to change it up and add that bit of flair.
There are many free tools, like Canva, that allow you to create images of all types—including short animated images that are eye catching and quick to throw together.
For example, a member of our marketing team who has very little design skill created this GIF in Canva in about 3 minutes.
Ask yourself questions such as: What type of visual design attracts more for my unique readers? Is it a GIF, or is an illustration that most engages your audience? Try different image styles, and then pay attention to which ones generate more attention from your readers. Only you will know, once you start playing around.
Creative Tip 4: Sleek Calls to Action
A Call to Action (or CTA for short) is the term for any LINK (whether it's a line of text, a "button", or an image) that someone can click on to take an action for your business, product, services, etc. Calls to action are most commonly found on your website or in emails.
For example, your site or email may include buttons or links that say things like:
"Reserve a Tee Time", which takes you to the online tee sheet when you click on it. Alternatively, this CTA may just be a phone # link that calls your pro shop.
"Shop the Sale" might take the viewer to your online store.
Even just "Contact Us" is a call to action, which may direct them to a form they can fill out, a page with contact information, or act as a clickable phone number.
Below you see that Arizona's Biltmore Golf Club has multiple calls to action the moment you see their website.
- "Book a Tee Time" is a button CTA on the top right.
- "Book a Tee Time" widget pops in on the bottom right.
- Social icons (top right) are image-style CTAs to visit Biltmore's social media pages.
- Even just the text "Sign up to receive special offers" on the top left is a CTA, trying to get someone to take action by signing up for email communication.
All these things are calls to action because they are enabling someone to DO something by following a link. Call to actions can bring a distinct visual branding to your business; they don't need to be fancy to work, but changing them up makes them more eye catching.
In the case of our own foreUP marketing, we use a variety of calls to action. Our emails feature many button and image-style links, because they are more eye catching.
The Black Friday email features a "Get the Deal" button CTA. When readers clicked the button, it took them to a page where they could schedule a demo of our business software.
This image is a call to action to download a free guide we created. When the image is clicked, it takes readers to a page where they can find the download.
On the right hand side of this blog page are more CTAs just like this; images that will send you to pages where you can find more information. We have a designer who creates the majority of our image and calls to action, but even these types of images are simple with free tools like Canva.
Not only do image CTAs look great, they make it incredibly simple for someone to find the information they are looking for without searching. All you need to do is create the image, button, or strand of text and click the "link" button in your email editor to add the URL destination of your choice.
So what’s the takeaway?
Using creative design elements in your emails that are simple yet appealing to the eye will not only reignite the connection with loyal customers, but it will do a better job of getting the attention of customers who haven’t thought of you in awhile (or maybe ever!)