The Chocolate in Your Peanut Butter: How to Use ZOOMstudio and ZOOMcatalog to Win at Email

When it comes to the most bang for your buck, email is still one of the best ways to reach your customers. This isn’t a revelation or a closely guarded secret. The real secrets behind email marketing aren’t whys – they’re hows. 

“How do we get people to open our emails?” And, equally important and just as elusive, “How do we get them to engage once they do?”

A quick Googling will bring up thousands of articles proclaiming the answers to these questions, but there are two problems with all those articles. For one, they don’t know what it’s like inside the promotional products industry. For another, they don’t know about the true secret weapons in your email arsenal: ZOOMcatalog’s suite of tools.

Let’s dig into how you can use ZOOMcatalog and ZOOMstudio to enhance your emails, increase your click-throughs, and basically just win at email marketing. Ready? Let’s go.


Everyone is busy all the time. Now, you’d think that would mean that quick, short emails are the key to in-box victory, but opinions and analytic data are actually split right down the middle on this. It’s 50/50 one way or the other, but if you’re as busy as we are, then you probably don’t have time to make long, in-depth emails. So why over-tax yourself when it’s six of one, half-dozen the other?

Keep your messages short and to the point. Trim out all of the excess textual fat and laser focus on the point of your prose. It’s faster for you and faster for your customers. (Fun fact, shorter also reads better on mobile devices.)

PRO TIP #1: Set a Clear Goal
What is the purpose of this email? Are you trying to educate, inform, invite, etc? Once you are sure of what you are trying to accomplish will help you make your email organized and see if you hit your target. 

Give ‘Em the Old Razzle Dazzle

Clear, engaging visuals are the key to keeping your customer’s attention. Again, you want to keep your design simple. Don’t overwhelm your reader with too much information. Think clean and, just like the text of your email, focused.

Sure, it might be temptingly easy to just copy/paste your entire flyer into an email and hit send, but you run the risk of failing to deliver your message that way. Busy, over-complicated design in a marketing email will make your message difficult to read and may even get you flagged as spam.

Plus, it’s incredibly hard to format a flyer to display correctly across mobile and desktop devices. 

Instead, snip out the single best product shot or (even better) lifestyle image. Use that as your hero photo, and include a link to the full ZOOMcatalog flyer, catalog, or lookbook. (All of the content on has a unique, easy-to-share URL, so there’s no need to clutter up your email with visual clutter.

Who Is This For?

Telling you to create one clear, coherent message with a single impressive image is all well and good, but how do you actually do it? 

The answer is, consider your audience. 

Are you a supplier? Then your audience is likely distributors who will take your content and pass it on to their own customers. Make it easy for them to do that by focusing on the customization capabilities of ZOOMstudio. Send them to a customizable catalog or a Smart Layout template that will allow them to create their own personalized versions in minutes (if not faster). 

Are you a distributor? Then you’re going to want to personalize that content like we mentioned above, so go ask your favorite suppliers if they have ZOOMstudio yet…(We’re only sorta joking.) Seriously, though, distributors, you’ll want to focus on getting them to look at a specific product, product line, or collection. Allowing them to browse a digital lookbook not only keeps your customer focused but it also keeps the experience pleasant and more memorable than endless scrolling through another website.

All Roads Lead to Rome

If you’re keeping your copy short and to the point, then all of those points should be pointing in the same direction. Limit yourself to a single call to action. By all means, embed those CTAs in multiple places throughout the email – text links, image links, and buttons – but only direct them to a single location. 

Let’s say you want to sell more products from your seasonal corporate gifting collection. Focusing all of your email links on a single CTA creates cohesion in your message and ensures your customers won’t get lost on their way up the mountain. And if you direct that link to your seasonal ZOOMcatalog, you’ll be sending them to an eye-catching, easily browsable marketing tool. 

Streamlining your outbound links will increase your click-throughs, help you collect important analytical data, keep your audience engaged, and bring them one step closer to closing that deal.

PRO TIP #2: Conquer the Scroll

Just like in journalism, what comes “above the fold” and “below the fold” are still very important decisions. Does someone have to scroll to see your links? If the answer is yes, then sadly, most people will nope right out of that email, and your click-throughs will dwindle. Nowadays, it is perfectly okay to repeat your CTAs, so make sure there’s one at the top of your email and then another at the bottom (so they don’t have to scroll back up either)!

No More Link Salad

“But wait,” we hear you saying. “I’m emailing a customer with my suggestions for their upcoming benefit fundraiser. I have ten products from one supplier, and I need to show them all.”

We also see you about to copy and paste ten different links into that email.

Stop it. Stop it now.

With a tool like ZOOMstudio Smart Layouts, you can quickly create a stunning lookbook or presentation in less than five minutes. Zero design experience required. 

Don’t send your customers a jumbled mess of ugly URLs. Send them a single, elegant, and, best of all – custom – digital lookbook.

A single link to a super-useful digital tool will create a positive experience, which will encourage them to click on the next thing you send them, and the next, and the next, and…you get the idea.

PRO TIP #3: Find the Right Frequency

It is easy to overwhelm your audience with too many emails too close together. A good rule of thumb is no more than once a week. If you need more than that to keep up with demand, watch your open rates. If they stay consistent, your schedule can handle an additional email. If they start to dip, though, you’ll want to pull back. 

Explore More Options

Want to learn how you can enhance your marketing and sales options with ZOOMstudio? Register for the ZOOMstudio Demo Days. Can’t make a demo? Learn more here, or request a 1:1 tour here!