Some years ago, before email marketing took up all my time, I indulged my inner nerd and created a fanzine website. The number of visitors would be seen as a disaster nowadays, but then it was bandwidth threatening.
I learnt a costly lesson when I changed my web-authoring software. I took the opportunity to fundamentally change the appearance of the site. I lost about 40% of my regulars in two months.
People, I’d discovered, like things to remain the same. They feel reassured by the familiar. Whilst they are open to change, it has to be completed with a lot of care and even more planning.
It doesn’t only go for websites. Those on your email marketing lists might feel unsettled by a dramatic alteration in the appearance of your emails. We need some degree of variation to keep them focused but continual changes will cause customers to drift away.
The same limitation applies to text as well as design. Using free email marketing templates helps to a great extent. Once you have settled on a layout for a particular segmented email marketing list you can replicate the essentials for each campaign. The same size text blocks with the same type face will give the reassurance they desire.
Unfortunately, there is a catch. The content needs to change to suit the particular product. A spa hotel in the middle of nowhere needs a different treatment to one in the middle of a busy city. Don’t go wild. A change in tone of ‘voice’ can be more than enough: bouncier for the latter, laid back and cool for the former.
As always, you need to test.
Sooner or later you will feel the need to change the design and appearance of your website and have your email marketing campaigns reflect this. Prepare your audience by using your enewsletter and campaigns to show examples.
One way to get a subscriber onside is to have a special offer to celebrate the new corporate style. Break them in via the Subject Line.
The best way of going forward is to ensure that you do not shock. Customers respond to reassurance.