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October 2014
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5 Reasons to Not Use Pre-made Email Marketing Templates

Remember way back when we outlined the various reasons why you should consider using predesigned email templates? Well, not to confuse you or anything…

That’s right, while predesigned email templates have their excellent uses, there are certain circumstances where they might not be exactly ideal. We’re not contradicting ourselves at all; we’re just fair and balanced.

Here are five reasons you might want to rethink using predesigned email templates as a part of your marketing strategy.

You might not need them.

That’s right… you might not need an email template at all. Think about the content you send. Would you be helped by putting it in a very design-forward, email-y format, or would the information be more eagerly received in a plain text option? If you are basically just sending a letter, then having a very formal and heavily designed email might not be your best bet.

We like our emails tailored to fit our needs. If a marketing email looks like it was sent en masse, we’re tempted to send it directly to the “junk” folder, and we often do.

Consumers have become largely impervious to clear marketing devices; we’ve learned to tune out commercials on television and “mute” integrated video marketing. When we see an obvious email promotion, we just might dismiss it — and this is particularly true if the email isn’t personalized. Let’s face it — we’re more likely to actually read an email that is fairly understated and appears to have been drafted just for us. An email that is pulsating with graphics and images just seems like what it is: an ad.

They aren’t necessarily content-focused.

Content is king, as Matt Cutts is so fond of saying. Predesigned templates aren’t that great at content-focus; users are so concerned with the graphic layout and plugging in images that they’re ignoring the most important part of any email marketing strategy — the specific message your want to deliver.

They can be quite ignorable.

Now, your customer base is, without a doubt, used to receiving marketing emails. When you use a predesigned email template that your customers have seen again and again from different organizations, they are far more likely to discard it without clicking your links.

They’re free.

Hang on… isn’t free a good thing? Well, it depends. If you are just starting out and have a very limited budget, using an email template could help you achieve a presence that is more sophisticated than what you would otherwise be able to afford. However, if your company has been around for awhile, or you have a precise aesthetic you want to transfer to your email marketing endeavors, it is a better idea to design something unique to your brand.

They can be difficult to customize

This is largely for the business owner who insists upon tinkering with the template structure, but who doesn’t have the coding or design skills to pull it off. Trust us — you’ll only make it worse, and you might upset the image ratios and cause your emails to be routed to spam folders. If you need a highly specific email format that you can’t find in one of the thousands of free templates floating around, just hire a designer and spare yourself the endless fussing.

Basically, once you’ve ironed out your email marketing goals and techniques, you should know whether predesigned email templates are right for you. There really isn’t a black or white answer to whether or not to use these free templates, just remember what you are trying to achieve at this stage in your entire marketing plan. And whatever you do, don’t misspell the recipient’s name; the best email design in the world can’t overcome that gaffe.

Twitter vs Facebook – Where to Start Your Company’s Social Media Presence

Most marketing experts feel that failing to have a social media account is almost as retrograde as taping flyers with phone number tabs to telephone poles as the primary marketing strategy. In other words, only the most backwards businesses don’t do Facebook.

But is Facebook the optimal solution, or would a Twitter account yield more… Continue reading

It’s Not You, It’s Me – 4 Reasons out of Your Control Why People Don’t Click on Emails

You might have implemented every best practice with regard to your email marketing strategy, but you still have a smattering of customers who just aren’t responding the way you think they should. First of all: congratulations! Most of your leads have been hooked! Secondly, relax; there could be any number of reasons you don’t have 100 percent return… Continue reading

5 Reasons to Use Pre-made Email Marketing Templates

The concept of “predesigned” anything can fill many marketing departments with apprehension.  After all, every marketing expert scoffs at the prospect of using free stock photos (that picture of smiling, beautiful and diverse young professionals?  They don’t work for you — they’re on at least 100 different websites!  Ha, Ha!), and free Web design templates (what — no Web support?… Continue reading

If You Build It, They Will Come – 4 Important Roles Landing Pages Play in Email Marketing

Without a well constructed landing page, email marketing is just about as useful as delivering your brand message by carrier pigeon. The entire point of email marketing is the conversion of leads, and if your landing page is sub-par, your efforts will have been utterly wasted. After all — your email is meant to direct consumers to your… Continue reading

Are Your Email Campaigns Too Graphic?

If your email marketing strategies are graphic in the sense of being illicit, then you can rest assured that they will be nestled snugly in your recipient’s junk mail folder. However, if your email campaigns are graphic in the sense of containing a huge number of images (however G-rated), they can still be funneled into the spam folder… Continue reading

Myth – Any Facebook Presence Is Better than No Facebook Presence

In the second decade of the 21st century, it seems as though not having a Facebook page is as unheard of as travelling by wagon train. Most businesses, in an effort to appear relevant and enhance their search engine rankings, feel the need to maintain multiple social media channels regardless of how well those channels serve their overall… Continue reading

SEO in Email Marketing – No We Didn’t Confuse Our Marketing Methodology

To some poor, ignorant souls, email campaigns might seem like the last shriek on the marketing retreat. After all – haven’t we generally accepted that social media engagement, video uploads, and systematic new content creation are the pillars of search engine optimization and overall online marketing? Well, perhaps, but email marketing has a solid place in the promotional… Continue reading

Why Click the Cow When You Can Get the Milk for Free?

As any best-selling relationship guidebook will tell you, explicitly detailing every single goal with regard to your ideal connection on the very first date is generally a bad idea; immediately assuming a partnership and a future with marriage, children and a mortgage will send any potential paramour running for the restaurant door. People like to be charmed, and… Continue reading

Don’t Email Customers about a Red Hot Sale Right after Their Houses Catch on Fire

Automatic email scheduling is an efficient tool — you can make sure your email blitzes run unimpeded and in a well-organized manner, just as planned, even when they aren’t being actively monitored. However, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t keep a close eye on your automatic marketing strategies, particularly when an event of massive importance just transpired. Don’t… Continue reading