The marketing game has changed a lot in recent years, but so hasn’t EdTech? A lot of marketing trends come and go, but email marketing is stronger than ever. Students, teachers and administrators are checking their email during their day on phones, tablets and desktops. That’s why it’s important to create custom responsive email templates to engage your whole audience.
Step 1: Scrap the freebie templates
Free email templates are great for your wallet! But they’re not so great at getting skeptical customers to click through to your website. These freebies don’t do a good job engaging busy administrators who are trashing other free templated emails all day.
Read more on why it’s important to scrap free email templates in our blog post Why Free Email Templates Kill Open and Click-through Rates.
Step 2: Organize and prioritize your content
It’s easy to find the content you want on a big screen. A math teacher can quickly spot the free math handout you’re offering in the bottom of the email. But what if this teacher opened the same email on mobile? Chances are the handout is buried underneath content that is irrelevant, and off to the junk folder it goes. Learn what your customers are looking for the most, and put them on the top.
Step 3: Design with flexibility and limits in mind
- Create short and clear statements and avoid lengthy descriptions. Design is as much about communication as it is the look and feel.
- Make your call-to-action buttons look like eye candy so they are enticing to click and large enough to click on mobile devices. Use vibrant or contrasting colors with clear action driving text.
- Use high quality images and graphics. We all look at a lot of emails every day, make sure yours stand out from the rest.
- Design at least two variations of your email content layouts. One optimized for smaller mobile devices with screen sizes 340px to 400px wide, and one for medium to large devices 400px wide and larger. Prevent the layout from exceeding 600px wide to ensure the email won’t get cut-off.
To learn more about how to display your email content download our free Responsive Email Design Worksheet.
Step 4: Code carefully
HTML email has been around a while. Unlike modern day web browsers, email HTML is stuck in the 90’s. Some basic things to know are:
- It’s safe to use: static table-based layouts, HTML tables and nested tables, maximum template width of 600px-800px, simple inline CSS, web-safe fonts
To learn more about best practices for coding emails check out MailChimp’s Limits of HTML Email page.
Step 5: Test, test, and test some more
- There are over 40 email clients and browsers that your emails are viewed on (not even including the thousands of different device screens out there). Testing across these platforms helps you fine-tune the design and code to ensure a consistent and optimized experience. Have an experienced web developer use a service called Litmus to test your marketing email templates in a preview pane with images on and off, and produce a preview of how it displays in the 40+ variables so you know what your customers will see when they click open. Refine the code or design, test, repeat. You can’t make your email look identical across the board, but you can optimize it for most situations.
The bottom line
By organizing and prioritizing your content, designing a great experience for your vast mobile audience (within the limitations of basic HTML), and careful coding and testing, you can improve your EdTech’s brand image, dramatically increase your click-through rates and create new leads to drive sales.