Design to Click: 5 Email Marketing Tips to Captivate Your Audience

Design to Click: 5 Email Marketing Tips to Captivate Your Audience

Look around your living room or kitchen – chances are you have tactfully and creatively placed each piece of furniture and decorative item. You have matched accent colors to background or foundational colors to create an overall comforting mood and positive feel within your space.

If transpose those Martha Stewart HGTV inspired design tips over to email marketing, you’ll have a recipe for success in conveying your brand in a creative and desirable way.

The way you design your home can relate to the way you build the visual pillars that comprise your brand over the evolving channel of email marketing. Marketing automation software has completely revolutionized how email and digital marketing is conducted. Today’s prospective students are time sensitive and need something to quickly grab their attention or the interest is lost. The less words you throw at them and the brighter the colors and imagery – the better.

Email marketing is one of the best lead generation and retention methods a continuing, professional, or online program can use to reach and potentially influence students. It can also be a difficult channel to fully tap in to. Even the best email marketers will have the occasional low open rate or click-through rate on emails (ultimately leading to fewer conversions).

The key to producing strong email engagement rates is to create and develop a visually compelling email.  Think of your digital design space as though you are designing a home. Each room in your home tells a story and works to compliment one room to the next – just like the elements of a good promotional, value-packed email.

Typically, in designing or decorating a room, you want a main focal point to build your symmetry, color, accents, and spacing around. Let’s break these five basic principles down a bit further:

Focal point: Your email CTA is the single most important element of your email design.

A room’s focal point is the eye-grabber that grounds the space. This focal point is the main course and everything else is the appetizers and desserts. The focal point of your email is your main call-to-action (CTA) – the central message you are trying to convey to your prospect. This email focal point could be your header image with enticing messaging, or most commonly, a click-savvy button prompting your prospect to either learn more or act now.

Symmetry: The flow of your email design should be a reflection from one side to the other.

Creating and defining symmetry within a room generates appeal and a path for your eyes to follow. Establishing a balance within your email design is especially important so your viewers do not become confused with the flow of your content and layout. If you have heavy imagery on the right-hand side of your email and most text on the left, the imbalance will feel unfamiliar to the human mind.

Color: Use branded colors with complimentary accents to establish brand recoginition and create a fresh, modern feel.   

The element of color plays such an important role in our daily lives – more than we consciously realize. Colors can illicit certain feelings and evoke a particular mood. Marketing to one’s pathos, or sense of emotion, through the design element of color is a very easy and skillful way to make a marketing email pop. Using branded colors blended with complementary colors will establish brand recognition and grab the viewer’s attention for longer than average. A black and white text-heavy email is not the way to a viewer’s heart, but more so the quickest way to their trash folder! Experiment with different color options within your emails whether it be a border, background color, footer, or splashes of accent color.

Accents: You have only a few seconds or less to grab your viewer’s attention – make your entire email visually stimulating.

Perhaps the most whimsical aspect of design is accentuating a space to support your overarching theme or mood. Accent pieces compliment and coincide with your foundation and dress up the overall appearance of a room. The smallest addition to a room, such as a bright yellow throw pillow on a neutral beige couch, can speak volumes. Accents are used to break up the space and subtly mask an otherwise drab appearance. Think of your marketing email the same way – will your prospects respond more positively to creative imagery and varying design layout as opposed to overcrowded verbiage with nowhere for the eye to rest? Absolutely! Start off bold and strong with an engaging header or hero image and sprinkle a few other smaller images or blocks of color throughout the body of your email.

Spacing: Allow for enough white space in your email so the reader isn’t overwhelmed.

A cluttered room is an unhappy room. On the flip side, an empty room with too much negative space is also an unhappy room. Finding a balance between negative and positive space is what allows for full functionality and “feng shui” of that room. Allowing for enough white space in an email is very important to not overwhelm your viewer. You don’t want too much white space either, because that means you are lacking content. Use your best judgement as to what is too much and what is not enough. Use your negative space wisely such as to highlight another prominent feature in your email design or an important selling point.

I like to approach every project I am involved with, either personal or professional, with a design eye. I like to first build the scene in my mind and envision the outcome. I encourage you to exercise the right side of your brain with creativity while also analyzing with the left.

Take these five basic design elements to help guide your email marketing day-to-day tasks or at least when browsing through the décor isle on your next retail therapy shopping trip!


How I lived, saw or experienced one of MindMax’s values this month

Get Results – Learn Always – Align to Mission – Build Meaningful Relationships – Ask for Help.

Learn always is a very important and relatable facet to any business or individual. We are always learning in multiple ways every day. We learn from our past mistakes and bring that information forward to teach others and share new ideas. At MindMax, I am learning new marketing techniques every day from the help of coworkers. We learn from each other as a way to overcome the challenges presented before us.  For example, when coming up with a new lead generation platform to promote a program or enhance enrollment numbers, our team fires ideas back and forth then intentionally iterates on those ideas to find the best path forward.