How to make Outlook-style emails a part of your strategy

Here at CommuniGator, we often talk about how Outlook-style templates win over design-led newsletter style emails. As a marketer from a B2C background, it can be hard to admit that this is the most engaging style to adopt for our email campaigns.

So, I decided I would test our campaigns to see if there was any truth behind the Outlook vs. Graphic Design Debate

As it turned out…Outlook won. While our customers said they wanted bold, design-led emails, these emails got 25% fewer opens than the Outlook-style email. Now this could have been down to being read in the preview pane or the images not being downloaded (both of which affect open rates), but we also saw higher click-through rates on the Outlook email too.

Why did Outlook-style emails win?

Well when we surveyed our clients, the overwhelming response was that they had believed the Outlook-style email was a personal email sent just to them. The design-led newsletter, on the other hand, screamed mass batch-and-blast send. In a world where everything is customised to the end user, I guess it’s not such a surprise to see that super-personalised emails are performing better.

What campaigns really work for this?

Well, really Outlook-style emails work for any campaign. Our new biz marketing team already use them for prospects and website visitors. My test proved that Outlook-style works for customers as well. Of course, there will be some campaigns that will be best suited for design-led campaigns. For example, product-related email campaigns where you need to show visuals of the product.

If you’re in doubt, like I was, I’d recommend split testing your content. That way you’ll know for your own audience and own campaign what works best.

Before I go, just a few tips on how to make Outlook-style emails work for you!

You might want to prove that design-led is still best, but you’ve got to give Outlook-style a proper chance. Otherwise, you’re not making the most out of your campaign! So my final tips are:

Personalise your sender details

Avoid sending from a company account such as info@. It seems impersonal straight off the bat. If you don’t have a personal sender account within your company, try creating an alias. That way, it will seem like a certain person is trying to connect with your prospects/customers.

Make your tone of voice human 

If you really want to connect with your email reader, you need to make your email sound like a personal 1-2-1 conversation. Keep your tone of voice human and friendly. You might be in B2B but at the end of the day, at the end of each email is just two people trying to talk to each other.

Use blue underlined links instead of buttons 

Because of search engines like Google, we’ve been conditioned to think of blue underlined links as credible sources. So using these for your CTA instead of buttons is often a good subconscious way of getting them to click on your content. At least, that’s what I found!

For any other tips when it comes to creating a pioneering email campaign for your company, why don’t you take a look at this performance marketing guide we wrote? It’s free of charge you’ve got nothing to lose!


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