Digital design isn’t print design
We’ve had a couple of projects lately where the designs have come from our clients’ direct marketing or advertising agencies. We’ve then been tasked with building and/or broadcasting the campaign. The problem is that we suspect they have been designed by print designers, because as websites and emails they just don’t work. I’m not just saying they don’t work because we didn’t design them but because designing, building and analysing emails every day you get a good idea of what is going to perform how it should.
Print design and digital design are fundamentally different and we recommend always getting the right people to do the job. It’s kind of like giving your faulty laptop to a mechanic because they fix things! As a small agency this is also one of the main reasons why we don’t do print design. The team at Copper are experts in digital, specifically digital engagement and that’s what we know and do every day. I’m not saying that some agencies aren’t good at both print and digital… but the ones that are usually have people that there are experts in specific areas.
In the case of designing emails there are a number of fundamental ‘rules’ which we generally stick to. These cover copy length, calls-to-action, image to text ratios etc. and are based on our experience of how people engage with email, and also what won’t be classed as spam. To us it’s the basics, just like putting an address on a reply envelope is to a traditional DM designer.
The reason we can usually be pretty confident about performance is because with digital everything is so trackable. We can stick tracking links on things, which will give us all sorts of data and analytics to consider and learn from. This helps us report back to clients about what could be improved, but also built up our knowledge to help other clients. As an example, one of the externally designed emails we broadcast for a client was sent to a group that usually gets a 4%+ click rate. When we saw the creative we could tell that it was going to underperform but unfortunately we’re able to make any changes. The result was that the campaign ended up with a 0% clickthrough rate! Surely that’s more than enough reason to get an email designer to design an email?