Stylesheet design – achieving the ultimate performance! Before starting SwiftERM, I had the privilege of being in an enviable place for over a decade, as a consultant for marketing and advertising for some extremely prestigious companies. Some of the world’s best creatives walked through the doors of clients: Liberty, NEXT, The White Company, Fatface, Snow & Rock and a host of others. Highly professional marketing companies each vied to ply their trade, determined to out-perform, and best their peers. Some of these people becoming stars of their respective disciplines, be they film directors, art directors, graphic designers, etc and many other top commercial talents too.
The stylesheet design of each email was carefully thought through over the years, with considerable time spent on the most finite issues to achieve the greatest response. The rank and file graduates of today aspire to emulate these people, many of whom have become household names, like BBH, JWT, Saatchis, McCann, Grey, etc top of the empires over which they reign. Their time was not wasted; often the sales, as a direct result of their efforts, were phenomenal for respective clients. We are talking billions of pounds of revenue.
Today’s A – B testing of stylesheet design and layout often regurgitate the thousands of designs we had to good fortune to test, and better test across the calendar, hour, product and sometimes client alike. Across our desk came the stats by which egos came and went. “Tomorrow’s child” was always perceived as the ‘new great hope’, and on many occasions it was, but for an all too short a while.
Our company perhaps has an unfair advantage, being in the right place at the right time. It has been able to use millions of pounds worth of work and effort by people, at the top of their profession, for one purpose. There was one email design that out-performed all rivals for its ability to deliver the greatest possible return. Whenever it was used, in whatever guise, it won, nothing came close. Indeed it’s next nearest rival only performed half as well, if it was lucky, over ten years of testing.
It is this stylesheet which, as ambrosia to the email industry, has it’s heritage firmly established in the bluest of blue-blooded culture. There is of course always a grain of sand to irritate, which is perhaps the catalyst to this most beautiful pearl. Each retailer respectively, without exception, and on multiple occasions simply didn’t like it, or thought their customers wouldn’t. “It’s not our house style” “it needs to be campaign linked”, or “it’s not in keeping with our corporate image” etc. As it turned out, that couldn’t be further from the truth, if the truth is measured in sales. We appreciate that this matter can be truly precious sometimes, so would reassure you that all the content is taken from your website, which should offer significant comfort.
It uses a personalised address name, headline, lead item big photo, 6 x displays, classifieds, and thinking outside the box further – 3 “like” products with client logo at the end. “Surely it needs beefing-up, or refreshing in someway”, would come the plea, and this common cry would set the wheels in motion, and off we went again, on another round, only to eventually compare the results from the young pretender against our stalwart champion. All too often the newby fell at the first. The stats simply showed what did and what didn’t deliver. That cruellest of lessons, the champion survived. Never without irritation though.
No one knows exactly why it always won, but we have a good idea. Whether it’s the simplicity of the design, the ease by which the human eye glides across it, or the exact visual impact to product content, no one knows for sure. But inevitably CEOs, Marketing Directors and eCommerce Managers alike, in turn, stuck to what delivered them the highest sales and greatest profitability, indeed some went on to build their careers on it.
Well, what of today? We do allow our customers to greater personalise their stylesheet should they wish. But by far the majority appreciate if someone else has already done this much work, tested and better tested it, and found no greater champion for delivering such massive turnover, from a stylesheet that outperforms everything else, why mess with the perfect solution. Of course the only ones who know for sure, are using it.
We offer a free month’s trial for corroboration to all those contemplating what else they need to do. Whatever it earns in that month is of course a bonus. thereafter it will always stay in profit, and as there is no notice required to quit, has to perpetually perform or we are out. Click here to register for a trial.
If you wish to delve deeper, but only have time to read one other article today, make it one of these: