Courtney Eckerle

How Dell Simplified Email Template Design to Improve Engagement

November 18th, 2016

“Our main focus [in email marketing] is making sure we’re saying the right thing at the right time to the right person,” said Jessica Vogel, Global Marketing Consultant, Dell.

Having an efficient and effective direct marketing vehicle such as email is critical for the success of Dell’s sizeable direct business. Jessica is part of a team that continuously focuses on email user experience and channel optimization through efforts like responsive design, dynamic content and engaging content integration.

As the email vehicle has evolved into a complex and highly automated direct marketing medium, the team audited its email program (including customers’ mobile and desktop preview-pane experience) and discovered a key challenge to email engagement — its legacy email template.

“We had an opportunity when we were switching our email service providers to take a step back and take a look at our templates,” she said. “We really started thinking — were they really best practices, [or] were there ways to optimize and maybe change the legacy template that we’d had for so long to drive better performance with email.”

Jessica and her team took the work of transferring over to a new email service provider, which could have been marketing drudgery, and made it into an opportunity to better communicate with customers.

“I think with a work effort that big, it’s good to find those golden nuggets that you can really capitalize on,” she said. “It was the perfect time to re-evaluate some things that had just been going a certain way for quite some time.”

Historically, she added, Dell had included navigation in the top that aligned with the site with the goal of a seamless email to site experience.

The team’s hypothesis was that if they removed the header and kept that navigation in the footer, it would serve as more of a recovery module. Instead of distracting traffic, it would capitalize on those clicks by taking them farther down within the purchase funnel.

“It would really get them into the targeted message of the campaign and ultimately drive higher conversion,” she said.

“There are so many great things that are always coming out, but we need to remember to not forget about the basics,” Jessica said. “There are some very basic things to remember that should be something you’re looking, at at least every few years, to make sure that it truly is what’s best for your organization.”

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Courtney Eckerle

About Courtney Eckerle

With a focus on aspirational, customer-first marketing, Courtney’s goal has been to produce clear, interesting and actionable external content for MarketingSherpa readers. This has included writing over 300 case studies, moderating live event interviews, and producing video content. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Mass Communications and Film Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Ind., and was a correspondent for USA Today College prior to joining MECLABS Institute.

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