There seems to be a fair bit of truth behind the idea that an item which is free is often treated with less care than one that is paid for. Evidence of this can be found in the way people use free email marketing templates.
The fact that they are free should not distract from the amount of work required to produce them. They will save you no end of time when planning an email marketing campaign but it must be remembered that it is an off-the-peg solution to a task that requires bespoke.
An email marketing template takes away time-consuming routine work leaving you to add the few finishing touches to bring it to perfection. These tweaks are critical but thankfully most of the work required is done by your subscribers to your email marketing lists.
You’ve probably guessed already that to get the best out of templates you have to test minor, but important, variations. There are some accepted best practices for marketing emails, the most frequently quoted being a 4:1 ratio of copy to images. We all know, though, that there are no authorities in email marketing. You should test everything, especially received wisdom.
When deciding where to put the first image of the item you are offering, it is all too easy to just drop it into the slot in the template. This might well be optimum as the designer would have followed accepted practices, but it does not go for every email nor every subscriber.
The image is there to grab the attention as well as identify a selling point. For a holiday in the Algarve, a view of a whitewashed village might be enough for a certain demographic. However, someone who is not familiar with southern Portugal might need a heading to explain the location.
It goes with all aspects of the template. Positioning, proportions, the number and locations of click-throughs and colour all can affect completions. Test on a segregated email marketing list and then check the returns according to the demographics. The subscribers do most of the work for you. All you have to do is move things about a bit.