7 rules of creating mailing concentrated on conversion

30 September 2018

Many marketers focuses on making sure their mailing creations are pretty. Today we will talk about the most important rules on how to create conversion focused design, especially mailings and newsletters to maximize conversion. All those rules take into account how human brain works. To be more specific – how to engage it in a way that makes sure your recipient won’t have to wonder if he really wants to click what you want him to click.

Let’s talk about conversion focused design structure. According to it every communication should be based on 7 rules:

  • attention
  • context
  • clarity
  • congruence
  • credibility
  • closing
  • continuance

Unfortunately most marketers still think that mailing creations should only be pretty or they chase the new things in the marketing world completely forgetting about the basics. Effects of e-mail marketing are not great if that happens, and marketers decide to stop using this form of communication. They think it doesn’t work. They are wrong. If you build e-mail communication based on the aforementioned rules it has a chance of giving you the highest conversion and ROI. Let’s talk a bit more about the rules of conversion focused design.

1. Attention

In marketing everything starts with attracting attention. It’s similar with e-mail marketing – the most important thing is to make sure the person who opens your e-mail isn’t distracted with what they see and to make sure they know what your goal is. It comes down to simple communication – we know what we have to click and why. In a perfect world of e-mail marketing one e-mail has one goal (one Call To Action). Unfortunately often newsletters contain a lot more information.

The problem starts when a marketer throws dozens of informations into one e-mail and the recipient is so overwhelmed by it that he doesn’t know what to focus on. The result is his brain telling him “better leave it be” – it’s better to not make a decision than to make the wrong one. That’s why when you create a newsletter make sure you separate informations that contain a Call To Action if there’s more than one of them.

Perfectly your newsletter contains one major information and a few additional ones. It’s important to make sure the main information is visibly separated from others. If you have additional, complementary information make sure there’s not too much of it. Our brains can’t remember too many information in one sitting. Our short term memory is only capable of holding only up to 4 informations at a time. That’s why you should make sure your newsletter doesn’t exceed four elements and every one of them has a maximum of four elements in it – that will increase your chances at conversion.

2. Context

Before anyone sees your creation he first has to open an e-mail from you. There’s a few factors that influence it: the time you send the e-mail, the subject and who sends it. The most important thing is to make sure the sender is easily identified for the recipient (so he doesn’t have to think too long about who is writing to him and if the message is safe).

The next thing a recipient looks at is the title of the message – it should inform him what the e-mail contains. Using a subject like “Newsletter 1/201x” doesn’t make the user want to open the message and doesn’t tell him what it says. Conversion focused design requires you to clearly state what the e-mail is about.

Right after the subject many recipient will see a preheader – the first sentence of your e-mail. It’s good to make sure the three communicates are consistent and say what the e-mail is about. If you write in the subject that your store has a shoe sale, the first news should be about that. It seems obvious – unfortunately many marketers doesn’t remember about it and places information about the promo lower than other information. It’s a big mistake.

3. Clarity

Let’s go back to creating messages – remember that it has to be clear and contain as little distractions as possible. Think if all the information you send to your recipients are important to them. They are surely important for you – not so much for your recipient. Remember that in marketing less is often more.

Make sure your messages have the right hierarchy. Things that are more important should be written with a bigger font then things that aren’t. Make sure the sentences you use are simple and talk about the advantages of what you offer. Remember that the most important part of your communication is a Call To Action button. Remember that the button has to be a button, not a “read more” with a link.

4. Congruence

That’s one of the elements of conversion focused design people tend to underestimate the most. Your communication with a recipient, especially if you use e-mail marketing should be congruent – in images as well as language and offer.

Many marketers forget to make an e-mail consistent with a landing page. It partly comes down to the fact that good e-mail systems offer beautiful templates for free – unfortunately marketers often forget to make them consistent with their website.

Another important thing to remember is the fact that e-mail communication is deeply personal and direct. That’s why if you decide for a less formal communication you have to be consistent throughout the e-mail as well as on the website.

The last – and most important thing – in connection to congruence is the fact that sending an e-mail with prices means you have to make sure customers will see the same exact price on the website. Unfortunately it often doesn’t happen.

Remember that most mailing systems allows you to personalize the content of your e-mail as well as links – if you make it right you can personalize the content of the website for the person who clicks the link.

5. Credibility

Humans are herd animals – that’s why most of us likes to do things others have done before. It’s good to remember that in your e-mail communication. You can start with building a subscription form – make sure you add the information about how many people have already subscribed. Of course, I don’t mean the exact value but an approximation, for example “more than 300,000 people have already subscribed! Join them to get all the important information first!”. It will make people more eager to leave you their e-mail address.

You can use a similar thing in your newsletter communication – especially if you can say how many products you’ve already sold or how many people have downloaded your e-book already. Those numbers will make you look more credible for new subscribers. It gets even better if you can show them positive reviews in e-mails or on your website.

6. Closing

When you create conversion focused design communication, you have to constantly think about the bigger picture – you have to pair it with the website you want the customer to visit. It’s there that a person makes the decision about buying product or a service. Make sure the place you direct your customer to doesn’t distract him from the main goal and allows him to easily convert. Registration should be as simple as possible, use Facebook login or make sure they can purchase products without needing to create an account. Make sure the time they need to buy something is as short as possible.

Of course this can be used outside of e-mail marketing sales context. Often e-mail marketing is user as lead nurturing. Their goal is to educate. Many marketers create different reports for this purpose, studies or e-books they later place on their website and treat them as a bait to get an e-mail address. They often send the information about such publications to their subscribers – and they have to subscribe to the newsletter again which doesn’t make sense. They are already subscribed! It’s better to just send them a link to download the file. This way you’ll not only shorten the conversion time, but also tell them you know your recipient well, and that can help you change them into customers in the future.

7. Continuance

This part is about communication. Remember that e-mail marketing is not a one-time communication but a long lasting relation. Most marketers communicate with their recipients at least twice a month. Make sure the content you send them as well ass remarketing communication are consistent and create a story. There’s nothing worse than sending information about a sale for a certain product to a person who already bought it or encouraging someone to download a file they already have.

Unfortunately it’s hard to create conversion focused design that includes all the elements. That’s why I think you shouldn’t try to do it all at once. Instead focus on analyzing data you get on your users and create good strategies based on it.

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