Email Creative Brief | Guide + Template

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A lot needs to happen if you wish to create an effective email marketing campaign. But a required first step is to build a creative brief. Learn how to write one in this article or use and customize our tested email brief template in HolaBrief (and save hours of your time).

What is an Email Marketing Brief?

Writing compelling emails is complicated. There are a lot of steps that need to happen in order to create an email (or a sequence of emails) that generates results, from research to design, scheduling, and more.

It gets even more complex if there are interdisciplinary professionals involved. In the process of building an email campaign, a big company usually involves a researcher, a copywriter, a marketer, a designer, and (most likely) a legal team whose job is to avoid getting into unnecessary lawsuits.

The email marketing brief is a document that smoothes out this process by collecting and centralizing all the project’s information in one place, from market research to strategy, who the stakeholders are, the deliverables, milestones, and more. In other words, it’s a tool that puts everyone on the same page and contains all the necessary information for the successful completion of the email campaign.

If it sounds important it’s because it is. After working with dozens of email marketing agencies and freelancers, we’ve realized that teams that include briefs in their processes are considerably more successful and effective with their email campaigns. So, don’t miss out on this great tool and start implementing it right now!

Benefits of Implementing an Email Campaign Brief?

You may have got a glimpse into how relevant implementing a brief into your email marketing process is, now it’s time to dive deeper into the specific benefits of doing so:

  • You’ll have a better grasp of what your client requires: Either if you are an agency hired by an external business or an email marketing manager working for a company, it is imperative to understand what your “client” needs. The majority of the time, interacting via email or impromptu Zoom sessions is not the greatest approach to understanding their issues and needs. Email briefs are the ideal instrument for grasping the business needs that your client is trying to address.

  • Better experience for everyone involved: When a brief is used in the email creation process, clients and stakeholders feel heard, tasks and due dates are specified, and responsibilities are clear. Naturally, the chances of miscommunicating reduce and everyone feels more comfortable working.

  • Reduced feedback loops: If you don’t understand what the new email campaign is trying to accomplish and which tone of voice your client is looking for from the beginning, chances are you’ll have to go back to the drawing board and start all over again. If you implement an email brief where everything is clear and written down, it’ll be very difficult that this scenario takes place.

How to Write a Creative Brief for Email Marketing? A Tested Outline

After going through the benefits of including a brief into your email marketing efforts, you are most likely excited to get started. In this section, you’ll discover how to write one from scratch and which sections are a must-have.

The other option is to use our customizable email brief template in HolaBrief. Go create an account for free and try it for yourself!

1) Project Overview

First and foremost, a good email brief should start with an overview of the project. If you are an agency and it’s your first time working with a client, it’s a good idea to include in this section the company’s background and history to get familiar with their business and what they stand for.

Some questions you can include are:

  • What does the company do?
  • Which are your values?
  • What is the project about?
  • What social email marketing strategies had been tried in the past?
  • Which ones worked? Why?
  • Which ones didn’t? Why?

2) Define an Objective

Every email campaign is built and sent with a goal in mind, so why not write it down? Knowing what you expect from your efforts gives you a benchmark to compare the results to and tells you if you are on the right track or need to change the approach.

Are you trying to increase your e-commerce sales? By how much? Or are you trying to raise awareness of your brand? Perhaps you want to implement an upsell email campaign after a purchase is made. Be clear on your objective and attach a metric to it, you won’t regret it.

3) Target Audience

No matter if you are working on an email marketing or cold outreach campaign, someone will receive it. So, in order for your emails to be effective, they need to speak in the language of the client or prospect; the message must resonate with them.

The best way to accomplish this is to define the target audience and write down their details. How old are they? Where do they live? What are their interests, needs, fears, and desires? What do they value? What keeps them up at night? All of these questions will help you get a clear picture of them, keep it in mind when writing and designing your content.

Did you know that you can use our interactive customer persona exercise in your briefs? Check it out here!

4) Tone of Voice and Key Message

If you check your inbox, not every email sounds the same. Some try to be funny, others inspiring and some of them (most often unintentionally) boring. What does your client what their emails to sound like? Give them the opportunity to write down their ideal tone of voice and style in this section.

Also, every email that is sent should try to communicate one single message. Don’t confuse customers with different value propositions, benefits, and features. Try to single out one per email and see which ones resonate the most.

5) Technical Requirements

Finally, this section contains all the technical requirements that the copywriter, designer, and marketer need to take into account when building the campaign. It includes but it’s not limited to:

  • Number of emails
  • Logic (for example, send email 2 if email 1 was not opened)
  • Sending platform
  • Dates
  • Creative size and format

Extra - Email Design Brief Example

An effective email marketing and design brief example should contain, at least, the 5 sections described above. Anything less puts you in danger of creating an email campaign strategy that will not solve neither your client’s business needs nor their customers’ problems.

Create a HolaBrief account and utilize our template for free to look at a solid email brief sample that you can modify to your needs and specifications. Here is an illustration of what you will receive:

Build and Download Email Brief Samples for Free

It takes a lot of work to create an email creative brief from scratch, and we know it perfectly well. There is also a chance that you might fail to add something crucial, which could affect how well your project performs.

We developed HolaBrief and generated tried-and-true templates for you to use and adapt particularly for this purpose. Simply pick one, edit it by adding or removing exercises, and email it to your client for completion. Create your account for free now!

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Join 1000s of agencies using HolaBrief to set up their projects for success.