Emails and landing pages are the time-tested champions in the world of digital marketing. They drive conversions, build up your brand, and get results. Creating and reusing these templates is a great way to save time and ensure consistency across your marketing channels. A slick email template that drives to a coordinated landing page with pithy copy and a compelling offer is a surefire way to capture that lead and eventually, make that sale.
Even if you have years of experience creating landing pages and email marketing campaigns, you may still be making some costly design mistakes. In fact, even experts can get stuck in a rut and continue to execute the same mistakes (despite an ever-evolving market). If you aren’t seeing the results you want, it may be time to update your templates and look at your design habits with fresh eyes.
Here are few best practices that can improve your email and landing page templates:
Create One Focal Point
The longer websites are live, the more they tend to get cluttered with additional calls to action, sidebar menus, social media buttons and other design elements that are all vying for attention. The truth is, you can’t have a page where everything “pops.” There has to be one clear focal point. The rest of the page should simply act as supporting material that visitors can explore.
Potential customers have made their way to your landing page or chosen to subscribe to your email list for a very specific reason. Don’t lose sight of how you were able to attract those visitors in the first place. Make that the focal point of your page. If you try to do too much with a page, people won’t hesitate to click away to the next website. Readers don’t want to have to search a site to locate information; they want a guided experience.
Offer Clear Incentives
The key to getting new subscribers and capitalizing on first-time visitors is to offer incentives. Include coupons, discounts, free gifts with purchase, giveaway entries, and any other bonuses in order to entice people to subscribe to email lists and return to your page. Incentives can also be a great way of encouraging people to share your page with their friends. Everyone loves a good deal, and to feel like their patronage is valued.
Some businesses do a great job of including incentives in their emails, but fail to do the same for landing pages. If you are struggling to decide what would serve as the best focal point for your page, an incentive provides a clear choice. Highlight a great offer and then provide examples of products or services.
Don’t Forget about the Fold
Sure, your page may look great. Maybe you have spent days tweaking every little design detail and creating a stellar page that you are completely confident about publishing and promoting. While it may look flawless, if you have put the call to action or incentive below the fold, you may be disappointed by the results.
Don’t get carried away with design and forget the viewer’s experience. Make sure that you put the most important information above the fold. Hopefully, every visitor is interested enough to continue to scroll below the fold and browse through your entire page, but be careful about assuming that they will.
If you do design a page that goes well beyond the fold, try to design that page so that the fold acts as a natural split. Use this imaginary line as a design element so that is doesn’t interrupt the natural flow of your page.
Connect Ads to Landing Pages and Emails
If visitors have arrived on your page or subscribed to your email after clicking on an advertisement, then you want to make sure that the first headline they see has a direct connection to the ad or email they clicked. The landing page should reinforce that idea that was first planted by the initial message. If a customer clicks an ad and is directed to a page that is only loosely related to the ad, then they’re more likely to click away from your page,, possibly because they question whether they landed on the correct page. Make sure that everything you do works to form a coherent message, that different form factors remain consistent, and that you set – and fulfill – a specific expectation.
If you aren’t consistent about conducting A/B testing for landing pages and email campaigns, you may be selling your business short. Depending on your industry and your audience, longer form emails that go below the fold may perform better. In other cases, customers may be looking for a quick message that can be captured above the fold. You won’t know which they prefer unless you create different templates and conduct testing.
When it comes to email templates, it’s also important to test subject lines and the balance between text and images. Your audience may be looking for more informational emails that answer specific questions, so your focus will have to be on quality written content. If readers are already familiar with your industry, they may respond better to images of new products. Use testing to get to know your audience and work towards creating an arsenal of solid templates that you know you can call on to perform.
Use Contrasting, Complementary Colors
One surefire way to ruin a good landing page is to include too many colors. This goes back to the whole idea of creating a central focus and avoiding clutter. In general, three colors is a good standard.
Be consistent with how you use your color scheme. All headings should be the same color and the same rule applies to subheadings, buttons and other areas. This helps create certain pattern that the reader can quickly identify and it helps them navigate through your page. Not to mention that it is just plain easy on the eyes. Learn more about choosing the right colors for your emails and landing pages.
Make Everything Fully Responsive
Research shows that the majority of people view emails and webpages on their phones or tablets. They check email to kill time while waiting in line, riding the bus to work, waiting for a meeting to start. This means that you have to create templates that will look good on those small screens as well as the 23″ monitor of a personal computers as well as many other devices. It’s an absolute must if you want to stay competitive in today’s market.
Fortunately, the right marketing automation platform does make it a lot easier to create responsive email and landing page templates. If you’re waiting for the right time to update your old templates, wait no longer. The amount of money you lose by not having a responsive design far outpaces the amount it will take to make your templates responsive.
Ask for Feedback and Learn how to Take Criticism
While you may have heard these tips before, it never hurts to have a reminder. Sometimes you can inadvertently fall into a design trap simply by getting caught up in day-to-day tasks of running a company. Try to take a step back, go through this list of tips, and see if you have gotten off track with your template designs.
If you are still having trouble looking at your work with a fresh perspective, then enlist the help of outsiders. Friends and family can provide you with valuable feedback concerning the user experience of any template. The trick is to not get defensive when you receive a critique. Stay current with design best practices and don’t be afraid to incorporate suggestions. Continually adjusting your templates can have a significant impact on the overall success of your business.
Interested in learning how to get more conversions from your landing pages? Read this eBook and learn how to turn every visit to your site into a lead – and a sale.