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The Art of a High-Converting Email Campaign



I didn’t get your typical start in marketing. Believe or not, this content creator was originally seeking a BFA in illustration. But, like many fledgling college students, based on the input of a couple very pragmatic parents, I decided to switch my major to advertising; the best decision I have ever made. 

However, I will admit that I still miss the constant feel of charcoal wedged under my fingernails and the sense of pride i felt when hanging up one of my pieces for critique. But most of all, I miss the overall creative process. Or at least I thought I did. That is until I realized that when it comes right down to it, creating an effective email campaign, or any piece of content for that matter, is indeed a work of art. 

In the case of an email campaign, I prefer to think of it as a commissioned painting. You want your customer to be happy with the piece (a high ROI for your client). In order to achieve this result, you need to know what style of art he likes, what mediums he prefers, the location of the work of art, and even who the audience is that will be viewing it. Similarly, to achieve an effective email campaign, you must consider the brand’s target audience, what type of subject line will pull them in, what kind of design will effectively draw them in, and of course the meat of the email: the content. You have to do this all while keeping your client satisfied and comfortable throughout the process. 

There are many working parts, but just like one simple brush stroke can make or break a painting, so can one missing element of your campaign. The following are four rules that must be followed when trying to create a masterpiece, or in this case, a beautiful click-through rate.


  1. Make sure they can see the big picture. Similar to a piece of art, often it's the tiny details that get overlooked. Your audience usually only scans from a distance without actually reading your email word for word. This means that you MUST structure our email content accordingly. And we're not just talking about text. This includes literally every image, logo and design element in your email. They must all work together to guide the reader's eye toward your end goal—that gorgeous CTA.

  2. Keep a consistent style. Style is huge for artists. It's your signature, your calling card. It's how people recognize your work, and it's no different when you are creating a successful email for a brand. Email most likely isn't the only touch point where your prospects are meeting you. They've probably been to your website and social accounts and are likely already in tune with your brand's overall look and feel. Take advantage of this and continue the same colors, branding, and design aesthetic. It will only build more trust and more credibility when it comes to the persuasion of the click-through!

  3. Create custom pieces. So they subscribed. They obviously like your offering, or your style so to speak, but if you don't segment your audience you will quickly lose relevance to them. They will feel like they're just getting a print of something instead of an original work. Dividing your subscribers into groups is absolutely key to keeping them interested. Whether it's by gender, location, previous spend amount, or purchase history, it's never a bad idea to create unique and relevant content and offers for each specific group.

  4. Make it easy for them. This isn't the renaissance anymore. It's actually extremely uncommon for an artist not to have an easily accessible website with their portfolio. Their work is generally easy to find with their contact info front and center. Your email campaigns should also make it as easy as possible for your subscribers to get to that final CTA. This means making sure all your links work correctly and that your email is formatted for mobile. Oh, and nothing is worse than that button being too small. Make sure size is taken into consideration for the sake of everyone's sanity.  

There you have it, the four golden rules for creating a high-converting email campaign (not to be confused with Phidias' commonly used golden ratio). As I have been pleased to discover, fine art and the world of content marketing have more in common than one might think. 

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