You may love your email newsletter design, but that’s not a guarantee that your subscribers do. An outdated, uninspired, or unengaging design could be turning off your audience and harming your conversion rates — and you might not even know that the look of your email itself is what’s to blame.

The good news is that a redesign is easy to do, and it can have major implications for how your emails perform. To help you out, we’ve outlined some of the biggest indicators that it’s time for a redesign, plus how you should go about it, so you don’t make the same mistakes twice.

Signs It’s Time For a Change

If your emails aren’t performing like you want them to, your design may be the culprit. Small but impactful design choices like background and font colors, font size, link placements, and use of images (or lack thereof) are surprisingly significant contributors to your email’s performance, regardless of the content on the page.

So what are some indicators that it’s time to mix it up? Be on the lookout for:

  • Increasing opt-out rates
  • Decreasing open rates
  • Lack of click-throughs on links

All of these are signs your emails aren’t connecting with your audience the way you want (and need) them to. And while there’s no way to know for sure that your email’s design is the deciding factor in unimpressive conversions, a design re-boot could be an easy way to amplify your brand’s message and get your readers engaged again.

4 Steps To An Effective Redesign

If you suspect that your email’s design is doing more harm than good, then it’s time to take action. Instead of just tweaking your layout or choosing a new font, take the following steps to ensure that your design changes will make a lasting impact.

1. Do Some Research

Unless you do some digging, you might not know that around 40 percent of marketers are moving to personalized and dynamic content in their emails, or that the inverted pyramid model has proven to be quite effective at drawing eyes in the right direction. As a first step with your redesign, dive into the data around industry email marketing trends, and see what’s working for others in terms of design, formatting, and content. Are videos the way to go in your industry? Are images performing better than text? The answers to questions like these can guide your process and put you on the right track to success.

Equally important: look at what your competitors are doing. Pull up examples from brands whose emails you enjoy and write down what you like about them and what you might want to emulate.

2. Evaluate Your Options

Know what tools you have at your disposal. If you’re not using email marketing software or marketing automation software, now is a great time to make the switch and see all the options they’ll afford you. Pay attention to functionality and features, and look at templates to make sure that you have the freedom — and the resources — to do what you want.

3. Create a Timeline

It’s always best to start with a strategy, so create a plan for how you want to tackle your redesign and assign one team member to oversee progress and performance as you go. Your strategy should include A/B testing on key design features like layout and link style and placement so that you can get a better idea of what your subscribers respond best to.

As for timing, it’s worth taking longer on your design project if it nets you better results. Be realistic with expectations and milestones as you go along, and know that there’s no guarantee (or expectation) you’ll get it right on the first try.

4. Promote and Measure

Once you’ve got a great new design, it’s time to capitalize on it. Dedicate a message to introducing your awesome new look to your audience, and make it easy for people to subscribe to your newsletter by creating pop-ups on your site and a clear way on your homepage to sign up.

Look at your email metrics to see if you’ve hit the mark with your redesign. You should have a pretty good idea of what to expect from your A/B testing efforts, but benchmark your conversion rates with your previous outcomes to really measure performance — especially those that indicated a problem to begin with.

As many great ‘90s movies have taught us: a makeover can work wonders. Whether you need to address some glaring conversion rate issues or just want to freshen things up, an email redesign is an excellent way to revamp your image and get more eyes on your content. Follow the steps above to get a new look and a new opportunity to boost your emails’ success.