Templates matter. And those who approach e-mail marketing seriously, know it.
However, companies still think that their newsletter templates can be created by programmers with little experience in e-mail marketing.
The DIY approach is remarkable, and creating your own template is pretty easy if you know some basic HTML, or your company has some designers. However, there is a lot more to email templates than meets the eye, and in a lot of cases it is cheaper to buy a suitable template, rather than to learn design fundamentals from the get-go.
Professional e-mail templates are a great investment
Each and every subscriber counts, and, as e-mail marketing is based on trust and brand awareness… you don’t want to risk your reputation with poor-looking e-mails. Templates put the emphasis on the things you want to highlight (links, content, or advertisements–it’s your call), so you can gain more from templates.
Imagine this: you have 10,000 subscribers, and a fraction of them – let’s say 10% – unsubscribes because the e-mails are unreadable or plain ugly.
Although it’s a small number, the 10% add up quickly. As the average value of an e-mail address is about $14 (according to the DMA survey), the seemingly few 10% add up to a whopping $14,000 if you lost 1000 of your 10,000 subscribers.
A professional template doesn’t cost much (think below a $100), and you’ll be able to use one for a very long time.
Templates have to work for different email platforms
For example, Gmail skips all images by default, and templates with images will fail miserably when sent to Gmail accounts. Text-based templates and e-mail marketing offer a way to deal with this: professional templates are often made to have an emphasis on the text, not the images, and newsletter software can send different newsletter versions to different e-mail accounts.
You can send a text-oriented version of an e-mail to Gmail accounts and image-laced emails to AOL accounts. A professional template is a template which supports added images, but also looks great in pure text–which means that the emails will look great in webmail and in desktop clients like Outlook and Thunderbird.
All in all, you don’t really have to buy templates, but they can and will make your emails easier to read, and more appealing to the eye. You want to be liked by your customers, don’t you?
A few tips for finding the right e-mail template:
- CSS-styled and contemporary looking templates should be used for sending e-mail
- Templates should look at least remotely similar to your website
- Templates must have vertical rhythm for increased readability
- Advertisements (if you plan using them) should be easily implemented in templates and shouldn’t stand out too much.