Email marketing is huge right now. Oberlo reports that there are 3.9 billion email users globally and for every $1 a company spends on email marketing, they can expect to see a return of $42.
That makes marketing automation tools like Pardot a strong, and sound financial investment. Companies like Audaxium have seen as much as a 34% open rate increase when utilizing Pardot email templates.
But success depends on proper execution. Email templates in particular can be a challenge for many businesses.
How many images should you include?
What fonts and color palettes perform best?
These are the questions that many Marketers ask themselves and our team. Answering them correctly can make the difference between a high performing email, and a bad one.
Today, we’re sharing the top mistakes marketers make with their Pardot email templates so that you can avoid them and increase your open rates, click-throughs, and conversions.
Pardot Email Templates Are Efficient. These 7 Mistakes Are Not.
Mistake #1 Not Using a Mobile-Responsive Template
More and more users are opening their emails on their mobile devices today. The latest research numbers from Campaign Monitor show that more than 80% of email users prefer to use their mobile devices to open emails.
For this reason, it is recommended that you choose a Pardot HTML email design template that is mobile-ready.
Alternatively, if you’re making your own templates or having a designer create them for you, it’s important to use a single-column layout that is no wider than 500-600 pixels so that they’re easy to read on mobile phones.
Mistake #2 Using the Wrong Subject Line
Subject lines can make or break your open rates and the wrong one can quickly frustrate your target audience and cause unsubscribes to occur. The very best thing you can do is to A/B test your subject lines, but beyond that, here are few other pointers to keep in mind when choosing a sticky subject line.
- Keep subject lines short and to the point.
- Use personalization tokens. There were previously referred to as “Variable Tags” in Pardot but are now called HML (Handlebar Merge Language) in Pardot.
- Don’t use click-bait or make false promises in the subject line.
- Use the subject line to give a sneak peek into what’s inside.
- Utilize action verbs.
- Create an incentive for the reader, or pose a compelling question.
- Use numbers.
- Don’t use all CAPS or overuse exclamation points.
- Challenger statements work, but don’t be offensive.
Mistake #3 Losing Reader Attention on an Oversized Header
The header is an important piece of the Pardot template, but it’s also a delicate balance between being eye-catching and drawing too much attention. It is recommended that your header be no more than 150 pixels wide.
That way, the body of the email will be the main focus for the reader, which tends to boost engagement as the details and CTA are all contained within this section.
Mistake #4 Not Personalizing Your Emails
Using customized content creates a more personalized experience and adds relevancy to readers. It’s commonly used in emails, landing pages, and other web content to boost engagement.
The best way to incorporate this strategy in your Salesforce Pardot email clients is to utilize variable tags that consist of contact information. There are tons of variable tags to choose from.
An example could be including the readers first name in the subject line as a way to personalize the email and entice the reader to open.
Additionally, it’s worth noting that if you’re going to use personalization tags, make sure your data is cleaned up first. No one wants to receive an email that says “Hi MELISSA” or “Hi Mickey Mouse.”
Mistake #5 Missing Follow Up Opportunities
To get the most out of your Pardot email templates, and ultimately, your email marketing efforts, you must ensure that you are nurturing your leads at every stage of the funnel with a customized engagement program.
With Pardot’s engagement studio, your content marketing team can build intelligent, automated email programs that engage prospects at every stage of the buyer journey.
Additionally, when prospects have reached the point of becoming a marketing qualified lead, Pardot users should have an automation rule set up to send those leads to the sales team to work.
Mistake #6 Not Tracking After the Email is Sent
If you want to ensure your templates are successful, you have to track and measure them after they’re sent. Otherwise, how will you know? Checking for open rates and click-through rates are extremely important as a bar for success. Rates differ between industries, and you may not know what your success rate is if you’ve never measured before. According to Campaign Monitor, averages benchmarks for all industries in 2020 include:
- Average open rate: 17.8%
- Average click-through rate: 2.6%
- Average click-to-open rate: 14.3%
- Average unsubscribe rate: 0.1%
- Average bounce rate: 0.7%
Mistake #7 Not QAing and Testing
By far, the biggest mistake we see is clients not testing their emails. To prevent this huge mistake, we always recommend a pre-flight checklist for email sends so that our clients and employees remember what to look for each time. Some of our requirements include:
- Testing links
- Reviewing copy/spelling/grammar
- Reviewing format
- If you’re copying from a word doc and pasting into Pardot, this adds all kinds of unwanted formatting issues.
- Testing on mobile
- Testing the SPAM score of the email
- Checking that the TO/FROM names/emails are accurate
Bonus Tips to Ensure Success
To make sure you really get the most benefit from your Pardot email templates, we’ve also compiled a few extra tips for you to keep in mind.
- Don’t expect emails to be coded like a website. Email design is its own beast. Be sure that if you’re making changes in HTML, that you format the text version to make sure everything looks good. For help, you can use a tool to help you convert HTML to text.
- Emails display differently in different email service providers (ESP). An email will not look the same in Gmail as it will in Outlook. So, it’s best to keep your designs simple and concise to have the best chance that it will look good for your readers.
- Keep a clean naming convention so it’s easy to find them in Pardot. We’ve wasted a lot of time trying to track down emails and other contact information.
- Pay attention to the sender reputation. If you don’t, your emails can get disabled.
Don’t Strike Out With Your Pardot Email Templates
If you’d like a helping hand in designing winning email templates that convert readers. Interrupt Media can help! We specialize in email marketing, templates, as well as any other marketing automation implementation help you might need for your Pardot account.
We can help you quickly and efficiently implement Pardot templates that convert and help you to utilize reporting features, such as email reports, to help you see how your templates are performing and where they can be improved.
To learn more about how Interrupt Media can help you reach your content marketing goals, reach out to us today!