Healthcare marketers often set their expectations for email design too low, overlooking design as a potential tool to drive engagement. As a result, email design remains, for the most part, stuck in the past.
Looking beyond the outmoded technology of yesterday's marketing can take your email campaign to new heights. Today, marketers can use dazzling design techniques in email that were formerly reserved for Web design. Leveraging these design elements can help you catch the attention of your subscribers and connect with them more effectively.
Optimizing and Testing Email's Creative Elements for Improved Campaign ROI
The creative elements of email include colors, layout, images, fonts, and placement of calls to action placement. Email allows you to recognize the elements to which your audience is responding. You can then take the successful design elements and apply them across other marketing channels, including banner ads, social media, and direct mail.
The benefit to ROI of experimenting with design elements in email is that it costs very little to change out elements that aren't resonating with your readers. Email is an ideal medium to figure out what your readers' preferences are on the cheap. You can also quickly modify email messages, based on the results of your creative testing, giving your campaign unprecedented agility.
Responsive Design Starts with Functionality for Maximum Readability
Arguably the biggest problem with email design today is that healthcare marketers haven't changed their approach to starting with copy that functions properly. In other words, they continue to take a top-down approach to the following when they would see better engagement by doing the reverse.
Starting with functionality in design means optimizing elements, including columns, screen size, images, and pixel size, to ensure that the email appears on the healthcare professional's (HCP's) screen as intended. This directly affects ROI, as emails that are effortless to read with easily clickable buttons encourage more engagement, benefitting the campaign as a whole.
In focusing on functionality, remember to include alt text. That way, if an image doesn't render properly on an HCP's screen, the alt text will appear, rather than a blank space with a small red "x." For instance, if an HCP has email set not to render images, alt text will ensure that something will appear in the images’ place. Similarly, try to make your call to action (CTA) a link rather than an image. When you use an image CTA, you risk having the image not render properly, in which case the reader won't be able to click the link.
Here are a few more tips to ensure that your design is as functional as it is captivating:
- Focus on the design "rule of three." The smallest and most prevalent screen for email is the iPhone, which means have you about three inches of space – and three seconds of time – to get the HCP's attention.
- Readability is everything with fonts. Try to avoid using more than four font variations in one message.
- Use images judiciously. Images can help your email stand out, but remember to keep the image-to-text ratio lower than 30 percent for lower spam ratings.
Email design has advanced by leaps and bounds; yet, marketers continue to drag their feet in using its full potential. Including functional, compelling design elements in your email pushes engagement to new levels.