Effective Email Copy and Design

effective email design and content

Summary: Email marketing is the most cost-efficient sales channel. However, the copy and design of the emails does seriously affect click-thru. This article list a few rules of thumbs for good copy and design. But most importantly, A/B testing is the key.

When it comes to effectiveness of copywriting and design, gut feeling is guaranteed not adequate. Try guessing which version of the below converts better.


email-layoutproduced by Hyland Software, Inc

Emphasis on 1st Article

email2produced by BrightTalk

Choice of Anchor Text

email3produced by RedEye

Perception – Reminder or Just Another E-newsletter

Philips-VersionAlgproduced by Philips


Lesson Learnt

  1. Make the e-mail less like an advertisement, e.g. in the form of a reminder
  2. Personalized contents or just a list without any editorial preference so that each viewer will choose the ones most interested
  3. Choices of words are important, “click here” is still a web convention for urging viewers to click
  4. Action items should be put in a prominent position
  5. Tailor the layout for comfortable reading on a variety of devices, i.e. responsive design or put the most important part on the upper right corner
  6. Most important of all, use A/B split tests to confirm hyphothesis

Here Comes the Answers

Layout – Version A converted 11% better.
Emphasis on 1st Article – Version A increased clicks by 75% and online registrations by 400%.
Choice of Anchor Text – ‘Click Here for More Info’ got 97% more clicks, plus 16% more site page views
Perception – Version A converted 1617% better.


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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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