by Lauren Barrett

It’s super simple to jump onto an email marketing platform like Klaviyo, create a template and start sending emails instantly. The question is. how do you know if your subscribers will respond well to your design? The short answer is you don’t, but here’s how you can find out.

In this blog, we’ll be using Klaviyo’s best practices alongside our own knowledge and experience of A/B Testing to talk you through a strategic plan to really find out what your subscribers like.

Set up

Before you start designing your email, it’s a good idea to double-check you have your basics set up first.

Adding your branding through the Setup Wizard allows Klaviyo to pre-build templates with your logo, links, colors, and fonts. This is going to save time in the long run and also ensure all your emails have the same structure and branding. Here’s a great video below from Klaviyo on how to get started.

9 Steps to Getting Started with Klaviyo – Klaviyo - Help Center

9 Steps to Getting Started with Klaviyo - Klaviyo - Help Center

From and Reply-to-address

You’ll want to ensure your ‘From’ and ‘Reply-to’ address is from someone within your business and from a business email as this is what your subscribers will see. For example, all of Blend’s emails are From Blend Commerce and our Reply-to-address is always from hello@blendcommerce.com.

From and Reply-to-address

This means before a subscriber even opens the email they know exactly who the email is from and can see there is a legitimate email address they can respond to if needed. Therefore it’s unlikely to be marked as spam.

Subject Line and Preview Text

Your subject line and preview text is a necessity. This is what’s going to get your subscribers to open your emails. A good starting point is to keep your information on-topic and to the point. Stay clear of anything that sounds too spammy or simply isn’t true as this could put people off.

If open rate becomes a concern with your emails this the first place you should start A/B testing. A/B testing is a randomized experiment with two variants, typically named A and B. On Klaviyo you can perform an A/B test which takes a random sample of subscribers and sends both variations over a specified time. You select the objective you are looking for, in this case, we want to see the difference in open rate. Klaviyo then sends this out to the sample and the variation that has the best open rate is the email that will then be sent to the rest of your mailing list.

Subject Line and Preview Text

Here are a few things you could test to see if it improves your open rate:

  • A Statement vs a Question. For example: “Get free shipping today” or “Would you like free shipping?” 
  • Intriguing vs Straight Foward. For example: “Have you seen this?” or “Our new t-shirt is here.”
  • If appropriate you could test variations in the text like Caps Lock and Emojis.

You’re never going to know what your subscribers like until you test variations. What’s important is to make a note of your tests so you know what they like and can then avoid what they don’t like.

Header, Link and Logo Bar

A good email template size is 600px wide. This allows you to show your content clearly in your emails but not to the point but where it’s too wide to display properly on desktop or mobile.

This means when it comes to your logo, you’ll want this to be around 200px in size so it can be present on the email but isn’t overwhelming.

You don’t need to include Header Links in your emails (and this is definitely something you can A/B Test) but if you do include them, stick to around 3 or 4 that are relevant to your navigation or are reflected on your website. For example, if the main products you sell are t-shirts, dresses, and accessories, these should be used in your Header Links.

Header Links can be really good for getting a CTA (Call to Action) high up in an email as a subscriber can immediately see what you want them to do. However, do be careful that these links don’t detract from your main CTA especially if you have a goal of getting them to go to a particular page on your website.

Header, Link and Logo Bar

This is why at Blend, we keep our Header Links smaller and use a grey color so that the green in our Headline and CTA catches your attention first, before these extra links.

Content

The content of your email is where you have the most freedom to be creative. A general strategy most marketers use is:

  • A striking Headline
  • A Hero Image
  • Body of Text
  • An obvious CTA

By sticking to this basic structure you can immediately tell your subscribers what the email is about without them needing to scroll.

It’s important here to also think about how your emails will look like on mobile. One of the most common issues on mobile is the stacking of text and images. It can look clean and crisp on desktop but when you look at it on mobile your Header Links can be out of proportion to your Logo and multiple images can stack on top of each other making the email too long and therefore losing your text and CTA which can reduce click rate.

On Klaviyo they have a great design system in place which allows you to see how your email looks on mobile. You can also make certain blocks appear on desktop only, mobile only or on both. For example, if you wanted to include three product recommendations but didn’t want them to stack on mobile, you could create a block of three for desktop and a separate block of one for mobile.

Your content is what’s going to get your subscribers to click and they’ll usually click the CTA. That’s why if click rate is your concern, this is a great place for A/B testing on both mobile and desktop. Here’s what you could test:

  • Changing the shape, size, color, and location of your CTA.
  • Try text heavy vs image heavy content
  • A personalized greeting vs generic greeting 
  • A Direct CTA vs a Creative CTA.

Content

Here’s an example of an A/B test Blend did to find out if removing our main image helped improve click rate in our emails.

When you are A/B testing here, remember to always keep your email coherent to your branding. You may want to try a completely different color for your CTA, but just make sure you’re happy for this color to be associated with your brand.

If you test a variation where you can see an obvious increase in click rate then make sure you test it on another email. This would be an excellent way to optimize all your email flows. If you have a variation that proves it improves click rate in multiple emails then implement this in all your emails as it’s obvious your subscribers like it.

Social and Footer

When it comes to your Footer there are a few ways you can go about this. It’s most common for e-commerce brands to use links to their relevant social media channels but it’s not uncommon to see bigger brands add a full navigation experience just like on their website.

For Blend, we prefer to show our subscribers our partners. As a B2B, our subscribers prefer to see who our partners are in the e-commerce world rather than links to our social media as this information is more valuable to them.

For our clients, we also like to include Trust Icons in the footer as this adds coherency with the website and also gives the subscriber extra indications of trust that may encourage them to click.

Social and Footer

It’s also extra important and required by law to include easy to use unsubscribe and manage preference pages in your footer so that subscribers can easily change what marketing they see. Double-check your Klaviyo preference pages to make sure these are on brand and ready to go.

Key Takeaways

When designing your first email, remember to keep the user experience at the forefront of your mind. When they see your email they need to easily identify it’s from your business. The content needs to be on-brand with the website and key elements like your CTA should be visible without having to scroll.

Having these key points in place is likely to improve the open rate and click rate of your emails before you do any A/B Testing.

When it comes to A/B Testing, make sure you focus on changing one area at a time. It wouldn’t make sense to change the subject line and CTA in your emails as you wouldn’t know which one actually improved your click rate.

By testing one variation at a time and recording results you’ll be able to easily see how your A/B test affects the performance of your email. If open rate is a concern start by testing variations of the subject line. Or if you want to work on click rate try changing up your CTA and see what impact this has.

Another great way for you to analyze the performance of your email is by comparing it to key benchmarks outlined by Klaviyo. At Blend, we offer an Email Marketing Flow Audit and Strategy plan that analyses current performance and recommends key changes and tests you can do to enhance your email marketing. If you’d like to find out more about this contact one of the Blend team here.

Lauren Barrett
Lauren Barrett

Lauren works closely with Adam on the creation of marketing strategy and content for Blend clients. Having honed her skills within a ecommerce and B2B business, Lauren is well versed in the marketing needs of businesses in a competitive workplace.

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