Content and personalisation win over overt branding and aesthetics.
There’s no doubt about it – there are some really beautifully designed email templates out there. Ravishing pictures, short impactful copy, personalised (sometimes even in the subject field if you delivery system is that functional) and smothered in branding.
You nod proudly as your survey your own template. Problem is, your open and click thru rates seem to be on the wane.
Polished though they are, and deeply appealing to our heightened sense of the aesthetic, personal for me will always win over polished.
Ask yourself what has greater impact on you – a well-designed birthday card bought in a shop, or one, perhaps not quite so professional, that a friend or family member has made just for you.
Do you feel more special when you read a comment a friend has posted on their FaceBook wall or when they send an email just to you?
I do a bit of B2B work for marketing service providers looking to target companies in the travel and tourism industry and I wouldn’t dream of sending out a templated email – it’s always a well-researched, personalised email from their Outlook account.
At the very least I’d suggest that some email communications to your very best clients and prospects are personally composed, individually tailored and sent from Outlook – even if this dovetails with other, more mainstream communications they are receiving.
You may lose some trackability, but the enhanced relationship with the client (and hopefully extra business opportunities) will more than compensate.