How to Create Visually Appealing Email Campaigns That Convert


When you skim through your email inbox, what’s the deciding factor when deleting an email or reading through it? Is it the way it’s designed? The eye-grabbing subject line? Or maybe the sale at the top of the page? Whatever it is, email campaigns are a powerhouse marketing strategy and one of the top ways companies reach new clients and grow relationships with existing ones.

According to a Marketo study, did you know that an estimated 58% of humans check their email first thing in the morning? That means you have the advantage of reaching thousands of people before they even take that first sip of coffee. Obviously, email is a major platform and one of the best marketing tactics out there. But, it’s easy to get lost among the hundreds of other emails consumers receive daily.

There’s nothing more frustrating than spending 8 hours putting together an email campaign, only to see that it was unopened by most of the people it was sent to. Well, I’m happy to say that there are visual ways to design emails that are not only intriguing, but can help increase your conversion rate with just one click.

Here are my top tips when designing visually appealing email campaigns!

Play on Words

Email subject lines are like making a positive first impression at a networking event. When you turn on the charm, people are interested in what you have to offer. But, if you share an awkward story right away and then spill wine on your white dress shirt, people may run in the opposite direction.

An email subject line is extremely similar – it’s the first impression and ultimately, what convinces people to click on your email.

When crafting a subject line, think of 5-7 words that sum up what your email is about. This may seem a little tricky at first, that’s why it’s best to draft several options. Make sure to include action-packed words that pique interest, such as “Discover” or “Exclusive Sneak Peek”.  The best subject lines entice the reader to click on the email because they crave to learn more.

Above the Fold

Editors of major newspapers have embedded this concept into their brains: To put the most important content on the front page, above the fold. So, what does that mean to you? Above the fold, when referring to the digital world, means the section of the email that is first seen – without any scrolling. In email design, that means about 350 pixels high and 650 pixels wide.

It doesn’t matter if you are trying to offer a sale or launch a new service, if the most critical information isn’t towards the top, then 9 out of 10 times, it won’t be seen by the audience.

The Content Pyramid

Jumping off the last point, it’s absolutely necessary to strategically place the most important content towards the top, so your subscribers will know what they are looking at right away.

According to a Nielsen Norman Group study, internet users spend 80% of their time reading above the fold, following an “F” pattern when reading internet content. This F-shaped pattern is characterized by fixations concentrated at the top and the left side of the page (Nielsen Norman Group). When designing your email, make sure your value proposition and call-to-action are the first things readers see!

Let’s Get Visual

They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and that couldn’t be more accurate! Not only does the text in your email matter, but the imagery or graphics you use matter just as much, if not more! By using visuals, your emails become more engaging and appealing to viewers.

Make sure the imagery you use is high quality and matches the content of the email. If you select random imagery because it looks pretty and has nothing to do with your message, consumers could become distracted. A general rule of thumb is to include 2-3 visuals per email. If your design includes a collage of pixelated photos, people may not take you or your business seriously. This is not your college dorm room, after all, it’s your brand’s image! Take the time to make it look polished.

Entice the Click

Lastly, the “Call to Action” – a button or phrase placed strategically throughout your email that encourages readers to continue down the marketing funnel. Here are examples of my go-to CTAs:

  • Show me More
  • Try for Free
  • Grow my Traffic

Here are a few other examples that stuck out to me!

How SAGE Can Help?

So glad you asked!

Let’s face it, not everyone is a graphic designer, that’s why SAGE offers ready-to-send email campaigns, already populated with themed promotional products that link directly to your SAGE Website.

Either choose a pre-designed email template or choose to create your very own! With SAGE Email Campaigns, you can boost your sales, drive traffic to your website, and stay in front of clients and prospects.

Want to know more?

  • Each month, we create two predesigned emails for you to choose from, which you can decide if you want to send out or save for another time.
  • If you’re creating your own email, drag and drop promotional products directly from the SAGE database or add your own products!
  • Add your logo, banner image, text, social media icons, and more. You can also save a default template, so you don’t need to add this information again.
  • Your products automatically link to your SAGE Website, where your customers can continue their shopping.

Track your success with a real-time report on the number of opens and bounces. Wait, what?!

We’ll even handle your unsubscribes automatically. You can also view details like what time the recipient opened the email and which products they clicked on.

Ready to make the most out of your email marketing?! Start generating leads today – learn more about SAGE Email Campaigns.

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  1. I would like to learn more about this...and SEO also

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