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I don’t know about you, but I’m a visual learner.

I can read about great copywriting techniques and microcopy all day long, but one of the ways I learn best is by seeing something in action.

Apparently I’m not alone either, with approximately 65% of people being visual learners.

So we thought we’d start a new series on this blog, where we get marketing experts to critique email campaigns and provide suggestions on how they could be improved.

For this first post, we got Neil Patel, co-founder of analytics companies KISSmetrics & CrazyEgg and founder of marketing blog Quicksprout, to critique some email campaigns from our email design gallery.

1. Glyphish

Glyphish

What they did well

  • Glyphish has done a great job of clearly explaining what they are offering in the opening sentence. With just a quick glance, I know what value they are offering.

Suggestions for A/B Testing

  • I would suggest testing the different types of calls to action. In the email, there are both calls to action to ‘Buy now’ and ‘See full preview’, and I think by focusing on the preview CTA they’ll drive more people to the site and subsequently make more sales.
  • Test call to action buttons that are higher in contrast, particularly the preview button. A higher contrast button draws the readers attention and increases the chance they’ll click-through.
  • Also consider adding a call to action at the bottom of the email (click here to see the full email) so it’s right there when people finish reading. This prevents people from having to search for the button and increases the chance they’ll click-through.
  • Consider adding a testimonial to the email. This form of social proof reduces people’s anxiety around the offer and encourages further click-throughs.

2. InVision

Invision

What they did well

  • The animated image describes the service very clearly and is highly appealing to their target market of designers.
  • They made the email copy short and concise, instead relying on the animated image to do the storytelling. Considering their target audience is designers, this works well and shows they know how to appeal to their potential customers.

Suggestions for A/B Testing

  • I would test removing the Dribbble and Twitter links. These extra elements can distract the user from the main call to action and removing them may cause more people to click on the main call to action button.
  • I would test the microcopy on the call to action button, maybe something related to getting more information, seeing a video demo (considering the link leads to a video) or taking it for a spin.
  • I’d also test adding a call to action higher up within the email, as the current placement of the button means a user has to scroll down the email to find it.
  • I would also test adding more information about the new feature to the email. Although it may cause less people to click through, those that do are likely more educated about the feature, are more convinced it’s right for them and are therefore more likely to use it. So instead of optimizing for click-throughs on this one, optimize for feature usage.

3. Freshbooks

Freshbooks

What they did well

  • Freshbooks do a great job of explaining the benefit of the product in this email. Every headline is focused on a benefit, and the reader really gets a sense of how this product is going to make their life easier.
  • The use of the testimonial was great. It’s aligned with the main benefits presented in the email copy and the use of the photo combined with his full name, position and company makes it highly credible.
  • Focusing on how the service is easy to use is always a good thing to do.

Suggestions for A/B Testing

  • I would test a much shorter email with the goal of getting people to click-through to the site and learn more information there. Owing to the nature of this test, however, success should be measured by actual feature usage rather than click-through rates to see the real impact.
  • Consider testing a text-based email or reducing the images a little bit. Although they are well designed and complimentary to the text, they do draw the readers attention away from the text and may have a negative effect on people’s comprehension of the benefits, which could be reducing click-throughs.
  • Instead of having the copy as a straight product pitch, I would test taking a customer success tone in which the email language and copy is focused on helping people solve their problem versus pitching a product.

In conclusion

All of the emails above are great campaigns, and the idea was never to tear them down. Instead, the hope of this critique is that you might be able to learn a few things about what makes a product announcement email convert and apply those learnings to your next campaign.

So in your next product announcement email, select the A/B test option and apply some of Neil’s wisdom to make your campaign even more successful.

What are your thoughts? Are there any other elements you’d test in these various campaigns? We’d love you to share your knowledge and experiences in the comments below!

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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