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Creating Effective E-mail Templates

If your personal video is distributed via e-mail (CRM), the e-mail template is very important to get the viewer on the landing page. An e-mail template consists of the subject line and the mail (design and structure) itself. This article contains a number of useful learnings to optimize your e-mail template. 

1. Subject Lines

Subject lines are extremely important but are often forgotten, while the average consumer receives between 40 and 70 emails per day, your subject line must therefore attract attention. If you don't do this, chances are that your e-mail will be left unread or will end up in the bin. Below are some important tips to keep in mind while writing:

  • Keep it short and sweet
    Short subject lines ensure high open rates. Try to keep it under 40 characters. Every letter counts because most mail clients cut long subject lines. Especially, as the vast majority of e-mails are opened on mobile. Do you want to lose a longer message? Then put it in your pre-header (preview text). Always place the most important message at the front.

  • Write clearly
    When it comes to emails, we have short attention spans. We don’t have time to sit there and read everything carefully. We need to know what’s important and that’s it. Use clear and concise language when writing subject lines. The last thing you want is to write a subject line that requires a double-take just to understand it.

  • Get personal
    Address your subscribers by their name. But only if you think it offers added value. Sometimes it can feel a bit spammy. If you choose to personalize, process the name of the recipient in the subject line, but do this in the shortest possible way. For example, only use the recipient's first name. Do you want to use a surname with salutation? Then choose ‘Dear Mr. <last name>' and not 'Dear Mister <last name>'. Because: every letter counts!

  • Front-load the important words
    People want to know why your email is worth their time, so put all the important, actionable words in the front of your subject line to entice opens. In other words, get to the point! In our experience, changing the structure of the sentence line to front-load the important keywords can increase open rates by 10-20%.

  • Use the words "personal" and "video" 
    This has a positive influence on the open rate. Do you want a purely substantive subject line? Then you can always close with [video].

  • Add urgency
    Always use action-oriented verbs, such as "View" or "Discover". Or create scarcity, by - for instance -  stating your promotion is only temporarily valid. Or make the recipient think with a question as the subject line.

  • Avoid spam-sensitive words
    Avoid exclamation marks !!! And CAPITAL LETTERS. Words like "free" are of course very attractive, but keep in mind that when you place a row of exclamation marks after the word "free", your email may not get through the spam filter. So keep it simple. "Only free shipping today" can be fine, "FREE SHIPPING !!!!!" the spam filter may not come through. 

  • Think about the preheader
    The preheader is the first line at the top of the email. In several e-mail clients, this line is already displayed in the preview. Use this line to attract attention and avoid preheaders such as "View this email in your browser".

  • Test your subject lines
    Whatever subject line you come up with, ultimately the success totally depends on the specific target group. If you want to gain more insight into the effectiveness of your subject rule, then it is advisable to do A/B-testing with a couple of your best subject lines. A small effort, but the result is often great!

Some Best Practices

Subject Line




<First Name>, looking forward to your study <Name Program> ?




Step-by-step plan for registration of <Course Name>




Thanks, <Salutation><Last Name>! [Video]




Watch your personal video, <Salutation><Last Name>




Here you go <First name>, a personal video!




<First name>, your personal welcome video




2. Structure

An e-mail template for personalized video consists of the following parts, from top to bottom:

  • Personalized salutation

  • A line of text
    A catchy sentence as an introduction. 

  • The personalized gif or still image with a video player overlay
    Personalized image is the biggest draw to the landing page. Our advice is to process the image in a prominent place in the e-mail. The image must, in any case, be immediately visible, that is: above the fold, regardless of the device. The gif or still image is provided with an overlay, which makes it look like a video player. The still is clickable and links to the landing page. In addition, it is wise to include a button in the e-mail as a backup that again refers to the landing page.

  • (Possible) E-mail body text 

  • Button to the landing page
    Also place an eye-catching button, with a clear call to action in it. If the recipient skips the personalized image, the button can still attract his attention.

  • Opt-out
    Remember that with mass mailing it is required by law to process an opt-out in the e-mail template.

An example of an effective e-mail structure

3. Design

The e-mail template has one purpose: to ensure that people click through to the landing page. Because then they come into contact with the power of the personal video and can convert on the spot. With this in mind, there are a number of important learnings for the design of the e-mail template:

  • Keep it stupid simple, according to the KISS principle
    Keep the e-mail template as simple as possible. Don't make the design too busy, because that only distracts from what really matters.

  • There is only one call to action
    Do not confuse the recipient with multiple calls to actions. And tune the links in the e-mail accordingly. From the mail, you can ideally only go to the landing page. The more options for clicking, the more people you guide yourself away from the content that you want to serve the recipient.

  • The gif/still of the video player stands out
    Make sure that the video player does not merge or fall away in the header of the mail. The recipient should not think that it's 'just an image' that he scrolls past to get to the text. The solution is simple: put the salutation or a short introduction text above the gif or still image of the player.

  • Keep the text short and functional.
    Ensure that the email template isn't full of text. A few lines of text are more than enough to lead people to the video.

  • Think mobile, think multiscreen
    Make sure that the e-mail template is responsive and the content is suitable for all potential screens, whether it is a smartphone, tablet or desktop. You do this by starting from "mobile-first". Because content made for small screens works great on a large screen, but content made for a large screen is often unsuitable for smartphones. So: start with mobile and work your way up!

4. Examples

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