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10 Design Hacks for More Engaging eCommerce Emails in 2021

Cillian McGillycuddy 1 June 2021 • Email Marketing, Guides • 11 min read

Nowadays, businesses need to do everything in their power to stand out from the crowd. You need to make sure you’re reaching your target audience efficiently and effectively. This is something you can achieve with email marketing.

This post specifically deals with the design of your emails, you can also check out our blogs on email marketing tips for 2021, why email is still so effective, and how you can grow your email list.

Below, we will take a look at 10 of the different design hacks you can make the most of to create more engaging emails in 2021. 


What to Do if Your Emails Are Going to Spam

Do you find that a lot of your emails are ending up in people’s spam folders? Don’t worry too much. Almost 45% of emails end up in spam folders.

Unfortunately, this is an issue that many businesses face today, especially when they are sending a large volume of similar emails consistently. 

If you are encountering this issue, you need to deal with the mechanical elements of your business before you can even think about the design. 

Now, let’s take a look at some of the different ways to fix the mechanical element of your email that may not be working and resulting in your emails ending up in the spam folder. 

Spam and email delivery checking

The first step that we recommend is spam verifying your email accounts.

Next, you should consider using automated delivery checks, which means you’ll be informed as to whether your email messages have been delivered or not. 

There are also small checks that you can do yourself and you should test and check before sending.

For example, why not send an email to your account so that you can discover where it shows up and what it looks like?

Don’t buy your audience, grow it

One mistake that we see a lot of people make is buying their audience. Cutting corners rarely works in marketing. 

Building an email audience from scratch is the best way to do so because you know that the leads are organic and relevant to your business. 

Go slow and steady when growing your email list. Rushing it can end up hurting your email campaign efforts. You should also focus on your email list management even in the early stages.

Make new subscribers opt-in twice

You have two options when it comes to opt-ins for subscribers. You can get people to opt-in once, or you can get them to opt-in twice. You may think that the latter approach is undesirable because you make people take two steps instead of one. 

However, several benefits are associated with making new subscribers opt-in twice. Double opt-in is when a subscriber will sign-up through your subscription form, and then they will receive an email with a link that they will need to click on to verify their account.

We’re sure you’ve experienced this yourself, but there’s a reason it’s so prevalent.

Double opt-in is beneficial because you will have a more engaged list. As subscribers have to confirm, you know that the individuals on your list are there because they want to be. 

That should ensure that your emails are more responsive, meaning people will be more likely to open and click on the email.


Using Design Hacks to Increase Engagement

Now that we have spoken about some of the mechanical elements that you can fix with your emails, we will look at the 10 design hacks you can use to boost email engagement.

1. Use evidence-based content

Your emails should use a lot of evidence-based content, meaning your email content should be created around the person you’re sending it to.

This means that you can send specific content to specific users, depending on the segment they belong to. This will make your emails much more efficient because you know that they are optimized for each group. 

You should also look for different ways to make your emails sound more personalized. For example, you can use CRM-driven specific solutions and customized subject lines to ensure that this is the case. 

Business owners today also have a great assortment of email automation software tools to choose from. These tools enable you to measure different engagement metrics so you can understand how people interact with the emails you send. 

2. Use personal message videos from the business owner or CEO

Image Source: Really Good Emails

Have the owner or CEO record a video, and include it in your email. This is beneficial because it is incredibly personal; it puts a face, name, and voice to your brand. 

It is also quite effective in boosting the value of engagement metrics, as you will be able to see how much of a video the person has watched. 

The trouble with a lot of businesses today is that they can seem cold and distant. By incorporating a personal video message from the owner or CEO, you have an effective way of bridging this gap. 

As a result, customers will feel closer to your business than ever before. 

3. Use eye-catching CTAs

Image Source: Really Good Emails 

Call To Actions (CTAs) need to be included in every email. They are imperative because they help to boost conversions and persuade consumers to take action when receiving emails like abandoned carts email. In addition, they make it clear and obvious what the next steps are.

The trouble is that a lot of CTAs used in emails today are very uninspiring. They don’t create a sense of urgency, and they don’t wow customers in terms of design either.

There are a lot of different ways that you can make your CTAs look better, including custom typography, on-brand designs, and GIFs. But, of course, the more visually appealing your email is, the more likely it will be read through entirely.

Just don’t overdo it. 

Your visual communication needs to be straightforward and reflect your overall brand mission statement. 

But, first, think about what would compel you to click on a CTA if you received an email from a company you have subscribed to. 

4. Offer to unsubscribe, boldly

While you might not want to, it’s also essential to make sure that the ‘unsubscribe’ button is part of your email design.

Yes, the last thing you want is for people to unsubscribe from your email. However, offering this option is imperative, as all people have the right to unsubscribe from your email list if they want.

This is their legal right as well. Therefore, offering the ability to unsubscribe in bold writing is essential.

There is another benefit to consider as well. If someone wants to unsubscribe from your email, you should let them go. It is better to focus on people that want to know more about your products and services than to cause further irritation to someone who does not wish to receive your emails anymore. It will impact your open and click-through rates and result in less optimized campaign.

5. Use popups

Image Source: The Rugged Mill

Another way to make your email campaigns more effective is by using popups. A popup will give your signup forms a massive boost in terms of visibility.

Analysis carried out with heatmaps shows that most website users do not scroll to the bottom of a web page.

This is significant because the vast majority of companies simply choose to embed their email subscription form at the bottom of their webpage. 

Instead, you can ensure that your email subscription form is bolder and makes a more significant statement by using a pop-up.

6. Optimize your headline

The headline is one of the most critical elements of your email design. 

You need to ensure that you capture people’s attention with the headline that you choose. If you select a headline that looks spammy or generic, there is a very high chance that people will put the email in the bin before they even consider opening it. 

For example, “How’s it going?” stands out in the inbox. Think about what would encourage you to open an email, and go with that.

One of the best ways to get people to open up is by offering them a special offer or discount. After all, who doesn’t love a great deal? So, of course, make sure that there is a fantastic offer inside when you do this.

7. Use interactive, dynamic content

Behavioral analytics capabilities, such as with MailChimp, can help you understand what people are looking at. 

This will help you make better decisions regarding what sort of content will suit your target audience. 

Icons, emojis, QR Codes, and interactive content that’s customized for the segment and the individual via data you have in the CRM can make a massive difference. 

It is all about making your emails more visually attractive, but doing it in a way that is going to compel people to engage with your emails. 

8. Create a visual hierarchy

Make your emails skimmable by creating a visual hierarchy. The user should understand how to interact with the email intuitively, without needing to read. It should all come instinctively to them like it should when they are browsing your website. 

After all, the Internet is all about convenience. 

People check their emails while they are on the go or while they are busy doing something else, so you need to make sure your emails give people the ability to quickly and easily digest the information that is contained within them. 

9. Use modern style and design trends

Image Source: Really Good Emails

In addition to the different design hacks that we have mentioned above, it’s good to incorporate modern style and design trends into your email. 

Several different design trends are popular currently, including retro typography, flat icons, and neomorphism. 

But do keep in mind that design trends are changing all the time, so you need to make sure that you stay up-to-date with the latest industry news to keep your emails relevant.

Also, make sure that the design is not only modern but that it fits in with your brand as well. 

10. Talk to them like friends

It is good to change the email name to “first_name from company” format or use the full name, with no company name, and without the no-reply. 

This is an excellent way for you to bridge the gap and speak with your email recipients like a friend.

Or you could go even bolder! Throw out everything else, and write a text-only, super short, badly formatted email (as if your buddy composed it on their phone in the real world).

Of course, whether or not this approach will be right for you all depends on the sort of business you have. 

For a trendy clothing store, for example, this approach would work very well. Other benefits come with it as well…

This approach even beats Google’s important and promotion inbox algorithms, so Google thinks it’s sent by someone who knows you!

This will help you get by the spam restrictions in place, making it a lot easier to reach people with your email campaign.


Need Help with Your Email Campaigns?

Did you know that NitroSell can create and send your email campaigns for you?

With intricate knowledge of how ecommerce email campaigns perform and how they should be optimized, our marketing services team can help you fully unlock a new revenue stream.

Find out more about what marketing services we offer or get in touch to start creating customer-focused email campaigns.


Wrapping Up

So there you have it: 10 different design and content hacks that you can use to create more engaging emails. There is no denying that email marketing is one of the best ways for you to reach people today. 

However, for your email marketing efforts to be a real success, you need to consider the design carefully, as it is true that many emails end up in the trash. 

However, if you follow the tips mentioned above, you can turn your email account into another revenue stream.

Here’s some related articles about email marketing:

Email Marketing for Retail: 11 Tips for 2021

Why Email Is Still One of the Best Ways to Acquire Customers

15 Ways E-commerce Brands Can Grow Their Email List


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