Updating Your Email Look? Keep These Tips In Mind

We’ve talked about a lot of marketing trends this spring, from whitespace to long scrolling ads to other trends that are catching on.

Maybe you’re ready for a complete overhaul of your emails by now. But don’t jump in full-force just yet. It’s polite to give your readers a heads-up first that things are going to change so they don’t feel disoriented.

Here are two quick tips to keep in mind before freshening up your look.

Sprucing Up Your Content?

When concert venue Union Transfer revamped their concert updates, they let subscribers in on their plan that includes a fresh layout and more engaging content.

This email is great for a few reasons:

First, asking for feedback makes readers feel more in control. If they don’t like the design or find it harder to read, they have a better option that simply unsubscribing from emails they liked.

Second, it gets people excited! Who doesn’t look forward to cool, new features and surprises in their inboxes?

Third, it engages people on multiple channels. Union Transfer gets to learn about their readers as they invite feedback on Facebook.

In your own campaign…
Be aware that your readers might be startled by a drastic visual change. Make it something they’ll look forward to, and get them involved with feedback.

Adjusting Your Frequency?

ModCloth announced their Weekly Wow with a special header detailing their new frequency so subscribers know what to expect.

Frequency changes are tricky – it gets into what you promised your readers from the beginning and what they’re expecting from you now. That doesn’t mean you can’t make a change, though.

ModCloth handled their update perfectly by giving their readers a heads up and telling them how they can change their email preferences if they want.

Not all email services offer the “preference center” ModCloth mentions. If yours doesn’t, you can still give your readers frequency options, following steps outlined in this post.

In Your Own Campaign
Let your readers choose, especially if you’re making a change that breaks their original expectations. When you give people options, they’ll feel better about the change you’re making.

Freshening Your Look?

Have you freshened up your campaign? How did you alert your subscribers? Share your stories below!


  1. Randall Magwood

    4/30/2013 1:35 pm

    I’m mostly a “plain text” email marketer. I worry if I did try to use HTML emails or change the format of my emails… conversion rates would drop. But it’s certainly something worth digging into and testing.

  2. ME

    4/30/2013 3:39 pm

    Unfortunately, we’ve discovered that readers prefer to lurk when it comes to email newsletters. We’ve explored all kinds of ways to include them in the process — whether it was asking questions, answering questions, doing quick surveys, etc. — they just don’t want to respond. I think part of it is that there are too many opportunities for interaction (social media) that we limit it to the more important ones.

    Yes, even if you focus on WIIFM for readers and offer a bribe … err … prize or freebie.

  3. Padraig King

    5/1/2013 1:20 am

    Good advice and timely as I plan to overhaul in the near future

  4. Jessica Satterfield-Reyna

    5/2/2013 1:26 pm

    Good point about driving readers to another channel like Facebook. I always tell my clients that the more cross promotion they do, the better. In this case it would save them from a potential unsubscribe while also increasing engagement in another channel. A win-win.