Simple email marketing campaign compared to a complex version

Five Reasons Why Simple Email Marketing Wins

Does writing the “perfect” email ever feel daunting? The odds can feel stacked against you, especially since Hubspot’s study shows that readers open less than 24% of all promotional emails. So how do you steer new subscribers to open your email and click through to your landing page? 

Constant communication isn’t exactly the answer. But simpler email marketing can be. While there are many email marketing tools and software, each claiming to be the key to your email problems, the real solution is much simpler. But simple email marketing doesn't mean easy or lazy email marketing.

Whether you’re an enterprise, startup, or small business, and whether you have an established marketing strategy or you’re still browsing for free plans, the answer to crafting the best email you can is simplicity. We’ll review how you can simplify your email, from strategy to coding, to boost your marketing metrics.

5 ways to create simple email marketing campaigns

Good email marketing starts with end-to-end planning. We’ve identified five ways to simplify your emails and optimize your email marketing strategy:

  1. Simplify your email strategy.
  2. Simplify your email layout.
  3. Simplify your email design.
  4. Simplify your code.
  5. Simplify your copy.

Let’s dig into each of these below.

1. Simplify your email strategy

Think back to the last great email campaign you read. Was it long-winded, with paragraph upon paragraph of creative vocabulary and thematic layers that you eagerly read through in order to discover the vague reasoning for the email in the final paragraph? Didn’t think so.

Successful email copy should focus on one. One goal. One audience. This singular focus is known as the Rule of One. It will allow you to help your readers hone in on your call-to-action (CTA) in the 8.25 seconds you have to make an impression and guide your readers to your online store. Blame social media, if you want, but we all have the attention span of a goldfish these days!

When sending an email to your subscribers, you should always have a goal in mind. Whether your goal is to remind the reader of an item in their shopping cart, confirm a purchase with a transactional email, engage with your subscribers through an email newsletter, or send a simple welcome email, every element should support this goal. Address your goal right off the bat to quickly engage your reader.

No matter how niche your market may be, you inarguably have different customers with differing needs. In your copy, you want to speak to the individual and not the crowd. Leverage email list segmentation or dynamic content to personalize your email for your readers at scale. After all, audience segmentation enables you to address different individuals with similar characteristics all in one go.

2. Simplify your email layout

You have a lot of things to say to your reader – we get it. But following the trend for simplicity, we recommend streamlining your email layout. Sidebars and menus are great for cramming in more information, but sometimes less is more. Create a one-column layout that’s good for both mobile devices with smaller screens as well as laptops. Besides simplicity, this has the added benefit of added accessibility.

Studies show that email readers generally scan an email and skip the introductory sections. Create a layout that makes it intuitive for your readers to skim and identify key information and actionable points. Increased subscriber engagement means more lead generation.

3. Simplify your design

Now that we’re getting down to it, size does matter after all. What do we mean?

Some inbox service providers (ISPs), like Gmail, will clip your email if your message is too long. This means your readers will only see the first part of your email in their inbox. They’ll have to follow a link provided by their email client to see the remainder of your message. The more clicks it takes to funnel a customer towards a purchase, the more likely you’ll lose that customer along the way. Keep your emails short to share all the necessary information upfront.

In addition, remember to optimize your images to keep them small. First, large images take a long time to load – you don’t want to lose your reader’s attention while your beautiful image is waiting to render! Second, large images or long emails might trigger spam filters, often flag large emails as spammy or malicious. Don’t let your legitimate email get caught by spam traps! This negatively affects your email deliverability rates and prevents you from reaching as many customers as you’d like.

To sum it up: size down when you can to improve your deliverability.

4. Simplify your code

Work with your email development team to ensure they simplify their code. Code bloat contributes to slow email load times. You don’t want to lose your reader while they’re waiting for your message to render.

We’ll leave the coding up to your devs, but just to recap, here are four basic coding principles:

  • DRY (Don’t Repeat Yourself): Tidy up repetitive code to keep the code shorter and simpler.
  • KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid): Write code as simple as possible. This helps the code render faster and makes it easier to maintain.
  • Modularity: Break code down into small, reusable chunks.
  • Refactoring: Refactor code to tidy it up before deploying.

5. Simplify your copy

As we’ve covered, readers want valuable information, and they want it now. This means that readers have little to no desire or time to be taken on a linguistic odyssey. Turning a prospect into a customer requires you to address them in familiar, relevant language consistent with your brand’s voice.

This starts with the subject line. Keep your subject line short and on-brand to boost your email open rates.

After you’ve snagged that open, ensure your message is easy to understand. A Boomerang study found compelling evidence for this point as well, showing that emails written at a third-grade reading level have the highest response rate. While this is by no means a call to “dumb-down” your email correspondences, it does provide proof that simplified, informal copy has a 17% higher response rate than copy written at a high-school reading level.

Overall, it’s essential to keep it simple in email copywriting and most things in life. Establishing a single, clear-cut purpose for a targeted audience will give your email the power to increase open and click-through rates. (Remember: the Rule of One.)

Trimming your email copy to be as concise and engaging as possible provides higher response rates and allows readers more time to convert into customers. Writing plainly and directly also saves your readers’ brain power and clearly demonstrates the value your company provides. Save yourself time flipping through the thesaurus by simplifying your copy and seeing incredible results.

What’s next?

So you’ve simplified your email. What’s next?

First, you can use an email marketing service to optimize your email design. Whether you’re building your email from scratch or looking for an HTML email template that you can customize with a drag-and-drop editor, our team has your back regarding email marketing services, features, and solutions. We’ve got something for you, whatever your pricing level. Check out Mailjet’s email marketing platform to take your marketing automation workflows to the next level. Use Mailjet’s email editor functionality to superpower your email design.

Next, you can A/B test different versions of your email amongst segments of your contact list. Use a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool to keep track of email analytics. This way, you can measure your email’s performance and iterate on the more successful version.

Wrapping up

After all of your marketing efforts in crafting a conversion-driven e-commerce campaign, it would be a shame if it looked crappy in your reader’s inbox. If you want to ensure your email renders well across the board, try us free for 7 days and get unlimited email, image, and spam testing! As always, our customer support is available to meet your email needs. Don’t guess with your emails: test!

This article was updated on September 9, 2022. It was first published in April of 2016.

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