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Content and Design For Email Marketing

Outsource the copywriting or write it yourself ?


Good copywriters who understand your business well enough to independently write on it could be expensive. Inexpensive generalist copywriters may craft messages that are inferior to what you or people in your business could do on your own.


Depending on your budgets and copywriting skills within the business, you could take a call on doing it yourself or outsourcing it. Even if you outsource it, you will still need to spend considerable effort in providing the copywriter with sufficient inputs and reference material for him to be able to turn out a job to your satisfaction. If you outsource, our recommendation would be that you do the content structure, and actual content draft yourself, and then turn it over to a copy writer to polish the communication.



How much content ?


The objectives of your campaign will largely determine the amount of content. If you are educating a customer, you will probably have a lot of content. However if you are just looking to have him renew a service or subscription - your message will probably be briefer. Content will also depend on how layered the communication is designed to be. If your email campaign's objective is to just interest the customer, and then lead him onto your website for more detailed content - your email content will have to be brief and get attention effectively.


Just keep your customer in mind while deciding on the type and amount of content. How much ever content you put in - brief or detailed, the communication should be interesting and compelling to your customer. That’s the only thing that matters in making an email campaign effective or useless.

How about the design ?


Excepting for those into the design business or large organizations it is unlikely that you will have HTML programmers and graphic designers in-house. If you have them in-house, they do the job for you. If not - you have to outsource. Design costs can vary, and it's not necessary that the most expensive delivers the best.


If you are outsourcing the design job, have your final content (copy in place). If you wish to use photographs or other visuals, get them organized in one place for easy access. Put in place a design brief (elegant, colorful, snazzy or whatever other terms you wish to use). Most designers will ask you for sample content that you think is good design. This gives them a feel for the kind of design you are looking for. Research the web and other materials and keep a set of references in place for the designer. Once you your content, design brief and reference material in place, post your job onto Elance or other freelance job portals. If you are outsourcing this even to an agency offline, it is best to follow the same process of pre-preparation before discussing a job with your design agency.


Design considerations


We recommend a standard template to be developed for use in all your email communications. This serves like a Newspaper Masthead and promotes instant recognition of the communication being identified with your business. It also saves on design costs, design time as well as design complications as you progress into your multiple email campaigns. With a well developed template, you could also be in a position to design your future email newsletters on your own.


Do not get too focused on spending an inordinate amount of time on getting the best possible design. You will be executing multiple campaigns, and there will be learning at the end of each one. So long as you have a clean design that is acceptable, start with the design and refine it as you go along. Protracted and agonized decision making on designs only serve to confuse, and often ends up in a bad design being chose. Trust your judgment or assign the decision making to someone whose decision you trust. No single design is a make or break decision when it comes to email campaigns.

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