How to Create the Best PowerPoint Presentations [Examples & Templates]

Some presentations are better than others. They may have gorgeous designs. Others have insanely actionable takeaways. Some just give down-to-earth advice. But the best presentations represent all three.

And if you’re looking to get started making your own presentation, why not learn from the best of the best?

To help you kick your own presentations up a notch, we’ve curated 20 awesome PowerPoint and SlideShare decks below.

When you’re clicking through the presentations below, notice how they weave an interesting story through the format, design their slides, and make their presentations interactive with features exclusive to the platform on which they were created.

These are all crucial elements to making an awesome presentation — ones that you can certainly adapt and apply to your own with the right approach.

Even better — you may just learn something new about marketing while you’re at it.

What do good presentations have in common

The best presenters rehearse the material for smooth delivery, use eye contact, and engage their audience. You’ll also find great slides and a strong storyline.

Here are five elements you’ll find in every great presentation.

The presentation is highly relevant to the audience.

The best way to engage your audience is to talk about things that matter to them. By choosing topics that are genuinely interesting, solve their problems, answer their questions, or offer actionable ideas, you’re on the right track for a great presentation.

The icing on the cake? Having great titles. Your slide titles should pique people’s interest and curiosity while clearly stating the topic so your audience can decide if it’s relevant.

The presentation has a clear objective.

People sitting in on a presentation should have a reasonably clear idea of what you’re covering.

Whatever the topic, your slides and commentary should clearly relate to your key takeaways.

The presentation follows an organized storyline.

While closely related to the item above, your slides should tell a story that your audience can follow, with a beginning, a middle, and an end.

By following the key elements of storytelling, it’s much easier to demonstrate the point you’re leading towards.

The audience understands the next steps.

Defining the action you want your audience to take at the conclusion of your presentation and offering a compelling reason to do so helps them understand and follow your ideal course of action.

While this is often a call to action, it can also be a thought-provoking question or a list of key takeaways.

The audiences leave with contact information and/or resources.

Often, your audience wants to dive deeper into your material or topic. Offering contact information or additional resources helps listeners find what they need, whether it’s a conversation with you or a link to more information.

Now that you know what to look for in a great slide deck, let’s dive in and explain how you can create your own. Follow these four guidelines for the best results.

1. Less is more.

Keep your slides simple when delivering a presentation to an audience in-person. You want the focus to be on the message, rather than just the slides themselves. Keep the slides on-topic but simple enough that people can still pay attention to what you’re saying.

Remember, your visuals and text support your message. The true power is in your delivery.

2. Keep text to a minimum.

One way to accomplish the aforementioned simplicity is to reduce the amount of text in your presentation. Too much text can leave your audience overwhelmed. They’ll be preoccupied with reading your slides instead of listening.

Instead of large amounts of text, think about fewer words in a bigger font. This will help your audience up close and in the back of the room read your slides.

3. Rethink visuals.

People recall information better when it’s paired with images (as opposed to text). When you reduce the amount of text in your slides, you’ll need compelling visuals to support the message you’re delivering to your audience.

That doesn’t mean you can just throw some nice-looking photos onto your deck and move on. Like any other content strategy, the visual elements of your presentation need to be strategic and relevant. We’ll discuss different types of visuals, and their best practices, below.


Download 10 PowerPoint Templates for Free

While PowerPoint templates have come a long way since the program was first unveiled to the world, chances are, they’re still commonly used.

To make your presentation unique, choose a theme that your audience hasn’t seen dozens of times before — one that matches your brand and complements the topic you’re speaking about.

Sometimes, it pays to look at presentation platforms other than PowerPoint to find templates, like Prezi.

There are also many visual content design sites that offer customizable templates that you can adapt for your own brand and topic, like Canva. In fact, in addition to templates, Canva also offers its very own platform for building presentations from scratch.

Additionally, you can also take a look at Venngage’s free presentation maker for more professionally designed templates, icons, and high-quality stock photos that you can use right away.

Charts and Graphs

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One of the best ways to support the message you’re delivering in your presentation is by including data and statistics. That’s where charts and graphs come in: They provide a colorful and engaging way to present the details that support your point.

That said, make sure they fit in with the rest of your presentation’s visual theme. Otherwise, your data points can distract the audience from what you’re talking about, rather than enhancing it.

Color Theme

There’s been some research on the way color can influence our emotions, especially when used in marketing.

While the goal of your presentation may not necessarily be to make a sale, you might be trying to invoke certain feelings or impressions, which a strategic use of color can help you do.

Check out Coschedule’s guide on the psychology of color in marketing, which highlights the ways different tones, shades, and combinations can influence purchasing decisions.


When you include text, you want it to be easy to read and interpret. If you include text that’s too small or dense to easily read, participants become too focused on trying to decipher it to pay attention to what you’re saying.

That’s why the designers at Visage recommend choosing Sans Serif fonts that opt for “legibility over fun,” noting that text should not only be big enough for people in the back of the room to read but also presented in the right color to maintain visibility over your background.

Image Quality

Incorporating this fabulous visual content into your presentation will go to waste if the images are low-quality. Make sure your photos and other visual assets are high-resolution enough to be crisp and clear when displayed on a huge presentation screen.

4. Incorporate multimedia.

There’s a reason why we love examples. You can give out the best advice available, but sometimes, in order to believe it, people need to see it in practice.

Multimedia is one way to achieve that — in a manner that can also capture and maintain your audience’s attention.

A simple Google search for “music in presentations” yields enough soundtrack results to suggest that it’s a unique way of engaging your audience, or at least creating a welcoming atmosphere before and after you speak.

Within the presentation itself, video serves as valuable visual content to keep your audience engaged. After all, 43% of people want to see more video content from marketers.

Video helps to illustrate and explain theories in practice in a way that the spoken word or photographs can’t do alone.

Best PowerPoint Presentations

Every item on this list meets the criteria for a great PowerPoint presentation. As you peruse these examples, take inspiration from our favorites and use what you learn to create your best presentation yet.

1. ChatGPT What It Is and How Writers Can Use It by Ads

We all get writer’s block sometimes. You’ll stare at a screen, hoping for inspiration to strike — and for that idea to be amazing. ChatGPT can help with the writing process.

The presentation below explains what ChatGPT is and all of its functionality, all with the goal of making the writing process easy.

What we love: This presentation maintains a limited color palette. The designer makes use of bold white text over a blue background to call out important headings. Key definitions are centered in white space, allowing these sections to naturally catch the viewer’s eye.

2. How Google Works by Eric Schmid

Ever wonder what it’s actually like to work at Google? The presentation below from Eric Schmidt (Alphabet, Inc.’s Executive Chairman and ex-CEO of Google) could clue you in.

This presentation outlines some of the top lessons he and his team have learned from running and hiring at one of the top companies in the world. Besides giving you a peek behind the scenes, Schmidt inspires you to make changes to the way your business runs.

What we love: This presentation has minimalist slides that balance simple illustrations with short text. Viewers can consume information quickly. Just as valuable, Schmidt ends with a thought-provoking question and information about where to go for more information.

3. Fix Your Really Bad PowerPoint by Slide Comet

This presentation has some awesome takeaways we all could learn from. Even if you’re following all the tips in this presentation (inspired by Seth Godin’s ebook), you can surely be inspired by its expert copy and design.

Seth Godin is arguably one of the greatest marketing minds of our time, so a presentation based on his book had to achieve high marks. In addition to the compelling design, the simplicity of the text stands out, making it easy for viewers to follow along.

What we love: This presentation example is best for understanding principles of great design and organization, while simultaneously teaching you how to create better slides.

4. 2022 Women in the Workplace Briefing by McKinsey & Compan

This presentation outlines the key findings from McKinsey’s 2022 research on women in the workplace. Focusing on original data, the slides below use a variety of graphs and visual representations to show how the expectations women face at work have changed over time.

Pro tip: If your presentation focuses on original research, use multiple types of graphs to show your finding. Only using bar graphs or pie charts can be tedious. Using many forms of data analysis will keep your presentation engaging.

5. Email Marketing Trends by Gabriel Blanche

Most marketers are looking to grow, but sometimes they can get stuck making incremental improvements. To help you get unstuck, Gabriel Blanchet shares trends to keep an eye out for.

What we love: These slides use a bright color pallet and use clean flow charts to present information. Best of all, it drives action by explaining each trend and explaining why it works.

6. Digital Strategy 101 by Bud Caddel

Even though this presentation is almost 100 slides long, its content is pure gold. Caddell answers some of the biggest FAQs about digital strategy in a very accessible way.

The reason his slides are so straightforward is because of the way he’s laid them out. He’s really adept at making “animated” slides that explain his story — something we all should learn how to do.

What we love: In the first few slides, Caddell lays out his objective and explains exactly what the presentation will cover. Viewers instantly understand what they’re going to get out of the presentation.

7. A Product Manager’s Job by Josh Elma

Product managers are the backbone of every new initiative. These slides from Josh Elman describe what the role actually entails on a daily basis.

This presentation uses limited text in big font to drive home the highlights of the role. Plus, Elman starts off by discussing brands he’s worked with in the past, giving his presentation credibility.

What we love: Elman’s slides have a consistent color. By adding a blue filter to images, each slide in the presentation feels cohesive.

8. SEO, PPC, and AI in 2023 and Beyond by Lily Ra

Smart designers choose a consistent theme for their presentations. In this presentation, Lily Ray and her co-presenter pull from the world of science fiction.

When discussing AI and the future of marketing, they playfully evoke imagery reminiscent of Blade Runner or Ghost in the Shell.

Pro tip: Picking a theme with cinematic imagery will help you stand out in a sea of corporate clipart.

9. The HubSpot Culture Code by HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Sha

Not to toot our own horn, but this presentation has been one of our most successful. The secret? Dharmesh chooses a central theme, the acronym HEART (Humble, Empathetic, Adaptable, Remarkable, and Transparent).

This simple phrase provides a concise framing of our company’s values, as well as a central message for the presentation. Plus, heart icons in the presentation make the connection clear.

Pro tip: Consider adding a theme or acronym that ties your presentation together.

10. How I Got 2.5 Million Views on SlideShare by Nick Deme

Feeling inspired to create a SlideShare of your own? Make sure you flip through Nick Demey’s presentation first. He shares some tried-and-true tips for creating awesome presentations that rack up tons of views.

Here’s what works: right off the bat, Demey tells you how to get in touch with him. He’s already successful, so if someone wanted to reach out directly to his agency, they don’t have to wait until the end to connect with him.

11. Intro to Azure Data Platform by Karen Lope

Making technical information easy to digest is a formidable challenge, especially in a slide deck. Karen Lopez tackles the challenge in her slide deck. Her presentation makes use of tables and flowcharts — creating clear visual representations of complex technical ideas.

Pro tip: If you’re presenting on a complex process, find ways to explain each step using charts and infographics. A few images can help a greater portion of your audience understand what you do.

12. Insights from the 2022 Legal Trends Report by Clio

From a design perspective, your presentation should have imagery. However, these images don’t need to be photographs of a boring office. Consider something more abstract, like Clio has done below.

Each slide of the presentation includes simple objects, like triangles, rectangles, and circles. These shapes seamlessly integrate with the different charts and graphs in the presentation.

Pro tip: Instead of using cliche visuals, shapes, and patterns can give your presentation an artistic flair.

13. Displaying Data by Bipul Deb Nat

We admire this presentation for its exceptional display of data — now this post will explain how to do the same in your own presentations.

I also love how this presentation is concise and minimal, as it helps communicate a fairly advanced topic in an easy-to-understand way.

What works: This presentation example has a clear objective — showing the audience how to effectively display data. Because of that, the visuals here take center stage, expanding on the meaning of the text, which makes it easy to absorb the key takeaways from the presentation.

14. 2022 GWI’s Social Report by GWI

In this presentation, Leticia Xavier shows the power of a limited color scheme. She uses different shapes of pink and purple to create contrast. All of the graphs, backgrounds, and images use different hues of the same colors.

When she breaks the color scheme, as she does on slide 12, the viewer’s attention is immediately recaptured.

Pro tip: If you’re worried about contrasting visuals, pick one or two colors. You can then choose different hues and tints of these colors to make your slides cohesive.

15. Digital 2023 Global Overview Report

If you’re looking for a dark color scheme to replicate, look no further. This slide deck from DataReportal uses a deep blue background throughout its presentation. Graphs are in bright yellows and greens, while the text is white.

Remember to keep a high level of contrast between your text and your background. This will make your slides easy to read.

Pro tip: If you’re going to present in person, consider your environment when choosing a color scheme. If the lights will be off in the room, a dark background will work for your slides. If everything will be bright, a light background with dark text will be easier to read.

16. How to Turn Wild Opinions into Traffic, Backlinks, and Social Proof by Animalz

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SEO’s changed a lot in the past two decades. Most of us are concerned with keeping up with the latest and greatest changes. This presentation walks through today’s marketing landscape, where everyone has both opinions and ways to express them.

What we love: This presentation uses emojis, a staple of the social media world, as a stand-in for bullet points. Smart presenters match design elements with their subject matter.

17. 5 Killer Ways to Design the Same Slide by Crispy Presentations

While keeping everything consistent can be good for branding, it can also prevent people from noticing the new content you’ve put together. This presentation shows you a few different ways you can design the same slide — all depending on what you want it to accomplish.

What we love: Everyone who sees the title instantly knows what they’re going to learn. It’s short, which makes it easy to consume in very little time.

18. The HubSpot Customer Code by HubSpot CTO Dharmesh Shah

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When it comes to working with a company, it helps to set customer expectations and to clearly lay out your value proposition. HubSpot does both in the slide deck below. Instead of relying solely on product images, this presentation includes drawn images and lively colors.

Pro tip: Use bright colors for different words and phrases that you want to stand out. These will naturally catch your viewers’ eyes.

19. ThinkNow Culture Report 2022 by ThinkNow

Thus far, we’ve seen slides that use neutral backgrounds that contrast with colorful charts and graphs. In this presentation, ThinkNow successfully subverts expectations.

The slides use colorful icons and accent colors in magenta and yellow. Meanwhile, graphs throughout the piece are made in black and white. This works well by creating high-contrast, easy-to-read visual representations.

Pro tip: Don’t be afraid of using classic color schemes like black and white. These simple colors can balance out loud accents.

20. How to Gain a Massive Following on Instagram by Buffer

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When choosing a presentation topic, find ways to hook your audience. For example, this presentation from Buffer makes use of a numbered list. Listeners know exactly what they’ll get from the presentation and how far along in the presentation they are.

Pro tip: Keep your slides simple. Instead of choosing a text-heavy design, Buffer limits text on the slide just to each tip.

The best PowerPoint presentations have gorgeous designs, give insanely actionable takeaways, and provide down-to-earth advice.

Learn from the presentation examples above to create your own that represents all three.

23 Email Marketing Tips to Improve Open & Clickthrough Rates [+HubSpot Blog Data]

Practicing inbound marketing means sending emails to people who actually want to hear from you. You’ve probably Googled “best email marketing tips” so your emails don’t end up getting lost in a customer’s inbox — or worse, their spam folder.

Here are our top email marketing tips that are perfect for small and growing businesses that anyone can embrace. With this advice, you can improve your emails’ open rates, click-through rates, and lead generation potential.

1. Do not buy email addresses.

I know what you’re thinking: In the early stages of an email marketing newsletter, you want to do whatever it takes to get eyeballs on your business. However, you should resist the urge to purchase an email list.

There are many ways to buy an email list, but none of them will benefit your campaign. Why? Since the owners of these email addresses didn’t explicitly agree to receive content from you, there’s no telling how interested they are — or if they’re even a fit for what you have to offer.

A bought email list is also in violation of GDPR (we’ll talk more about this in just a minute).

Purchasing email lists is always a bad idea.

2. Abide by CAN-SPAM rules.

CAN-SPAM (Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing) is an act that was passed in 2003. This law establishes the rules for commercial email and messages.

CAN-SPAM gives recipients the right to have a business stop emailing them, and outlines the penalties incurred for those who violate the law. To be compliant, your email messages must follow these rules, which are available on the FTC’s website. A few highlights:

Include your valid physical postal address in every email you send out.
Give recipients a clear and obvious way to unsubscribe from every email you send. (HubSpot customers: Don’t worry. You can’t save an email template unless it includes this element.)
Use clear “From,” “To,” and “Reply to” language that accurately reflects who you are.
Avoid “no-reply” or similar sender names, which prevent recipients from opting out of an email newsletter if they’d like to.
Avoid selling or transferring any email addresses to another list.

If you have questions about CAN-SPAM compliance, reach out to your business’ legal council.

3. Ensure your opt-in process complies with GDPR.

You’ve probably heard of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a law enacted across Europe in May 2018 to better protect internet users’ personal data.

We don’t expect you to have this long piece of legislation memorized. However, if some of your email recipients live in Europe, there is one key guideline by which you should develop your email marketing campaigns.

When your website users land on a page that solicits their personal information, tradition might tell you to include a pre-checked box that opts the user into an email campaign so they can receive updates and special offers related to your business.

Today, having this box pre-checked violates GDPR. So, to comply with GDPR, make sure your European users and customers are given the clear option to opt into your email newsletter themselves — don’t decide for them.

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This rule might sound like bad news for your email marketing campaign, but it can actually improve your open and click-through rates.

Limiting your subscriber list to just those who specifically asked to join you will ensure only the most interested people are receiving your messages. This maximizes the chances that you’ll convert readers to qualified leads as a result of an email send.

4. Email new contacts within 24 hours.

It’s important to take advantage of the window of opportunity when your brand is at the top of your prospects’ minds.

Send an initial email within the first 24 hours of subscribing to your newsletter, signing up for an offer, and so on. Plus, this is a great opportunity for branding and setting expectations.

If you don’t have any automated email workflows set up, you’re missing out on some major opportunities to nurture and engage your existing contacts.

HubSpot customers can use HubSpot’s Workflows App to create automated email workflows that can get triggered in a number of different ways. That includes when a contact gets added to a list, clicks a link in an email, views a blog post, or becomes a marketing-qualified lead.

5. Send your emails from a real person, not your company.

When you send emails from a real person, your email open rate increases. Plain and simple. Based on past tests we’ve conducted, recipients are typically more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one.

People are so inundated with spam nowadays they often hesitate to open emails from unfamiliar senders. They’re more likely to trust a personalized sender name and email address than a generic one.

At HubSpot, we found that emails sent from “Maggie Georgieva, HubSpot” perform better in terms of open and clickthrough rates than emails sent from just “HubSpot.” So, it may be best to do this…

Sender name: Paul Smith
Sender email address:

Instead of this:

Sender name: Marketing Team
Sender email address:

If you’re a HubSpot customer, learn how to personalize the “From” name and email address.

Note: Our tests showed personalization works, but we’ve also found that a combination of a person’s name and a company name together in the sender name works well, too. A/B test what works best for your brand, as well as what’s ideal for your audience.

6. Pre-set the preview text.

Email clients like the iPhone Mail app, Gmail, and Outlook will display the first few lines of text from the body of your email alongside the subject line. This is a text preview of the content inside the email. The exact amount of text shown depends on the email client and user settings.

Use it to provide a short, to-the-point synopsis of what you’re offering. Keep it to 50 characters or less.

When you don’t set the preview text, the client will automatically pull from the body of your email, which not only looks messy but is also a wasted opportunity to engage your audience.

HubSpot customers can follow these steps to set email preview text.

7. Write clear and clickable subject lines.

Your marketing emails have a lot to compete with in recipients’ inboxes. The best way to stand out is to write compelling, “can’t-help-but-click-on-this” subject lines.

To entice readers to click, be sure your subject lines:

Are super clear and understandable.
Are fewer than 50 characters, so they don’t get cut off, particularly by mobile devices.
Use language and messaging that your target buyer persona is familiar with and excited about.
Include verbs and action-oriented language to create a sense of urgency and excitement.
Include an exclusive value proposition (like 20% off an item or a free ebook) so people know what they’re getting.
Avoid spam triggers like “Cash,” “Quote,” and “Save.”
Are timely, if applicable. (One of my favorite subject lines came from Warby Parker and read: “Uh-oh, your prescription is expiring.”)
Include their first names sometimes (it could increase clickthrough rates), or even add something about their specific location.

You’ll want to do this sparingly, like for your most important offers, rather than overdoing it and being repetitive or intrusive.

Read this blog post for more tips on writing clickable, delightful subject lines.

8. Keep your emails concise.

People prefer short, concise emails with an obvious focus. When your users are scanning through all their emails in a short amount of time, they’re more likely to find the overall message before deciding to take any action.

Another reason to keep your emails short? Too much copy is actually a red flag for spam filters, too.

To keep your emails short and compelling, write your email like you were talking to someone in real life. If your email has to be on the long side, break it up into multiple paragraphs and provide visual breaks. That’ll make skimming it much easier on your reader.

Read this blog post on how to write compelling emails for more tips.

Here’s a great example of a concise email:

9. Include one call-to-action button per email.

Remember when I said a lot of your email recipients will scan your email without reading all the copy? That’s why you want to have a clear call-to-action (CTA) button that’s easy to spot for even the quickest email scanners.

Without a CTA button, you won’t be calling on your recipients to take any action that actually benefits them — and the growth of your business.

You’ll want to place your CTA in a location where it’s easily visible and where it makes sense for someone to click on it. For example, you might put a CTA to download a free ebook in an email that describes new strategies for using your product.

Once you’ve determined where you want to put your CTA, it’s time to create the button itself. Click here to download 50 free CTA button templates to get you started.

HubSpot customers can easily add CTA buttons to emails.

10. Add alt text to your CTA image.

Many email clients block images, including your CTA buttons, by default. That means a good chunk of your audience may not see your beautiful, optimized CTA. Instead, they see this:

When you set an image’s alt text, though, you let recipients who can’t view images in their email know exactly where to click to complete the action.

You can either edit the alt text in your email tool’s rich text editor (just right-click the image and edit away), or you can manually enter it in the HTML editor of your email tool like this:

<a rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”HTTP://YOURLINKHERE.COM”><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR CTA BUTTON IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG” alt-text=”YOUR ALT-TEXT GOES HERE”/></a>

11. Hyperlink your emails’ images.

Your ultimate goal in email marketing is to get people to click through to a web page. One way to increase the clickthrough is to hyperlink the images in your email to the webpage that corresponds with the image’s content.

Let’s say you’re inviting readers to download an ebook, and you have a picture of the ebook included in the email. Don’t just hyperlink the text next to the image telling people to “download it here.” Hyperlink the ebook’s picture, too.

People are drawn to images more commonly than text, and you want to give your email subscribers as many options to get your ebook as you can.

You can simply click on the image and then use your email tool’s “Insert/Edit Link” option, or you can link an image in the HTML editor using the following code:

<a rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”HTTP://YOURLINKHERE.COM”><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG”/></a>

12. Include noticeable text links.

Link to your featured offer in multiple places in addition to the clear and focused call-to-action button.

Having more links increases the opportunity for engagement. You may just convince your reader to click through.

13. Place at least one clickable item above the fold.

One way to increase email engagement? Place one or more of your clickable elements, whether it’s a CTA button, a text link, or a clickable image, near the beginning of your email.

This is especially useful for mobile users. Mobile tends to require a lot of scrolling and sometimes squinting, pinching, and zooming. Giving a recipient something actionable that is seen upon opening can lead to more clicks in this environment.

14. Add alt text to all of your images.

A lot of email clients out there block images by default. Here’s the full list from Campaign Monitor.

In those cases, images won’t load unless the recipient clicks a button to show them or change their default settings.

Adding alt text to your email images helps recipients understand your message, even if they can’t see the images right away.

You might consider making the language in your alt text actionable, such as “Click here to download the ultimate content creation kit.” Actionable alt text will essentially turn every linked image into another CTA.

So, even if someone doesn’t see the snazzy GIF of my latest offer, the alt text will beckon them to click.

15. Avoid background images.

This is especially important if your target buyers tend to use Outlook as an email client.

Microsoft Outlook doesn’t recognize background images, period. Given that Outlook is the fifth most-used email client with 7% of the market share — and that’s in total; your industry might have a lot more — it’s best to avoid using background images altogether.

Instead, use a background color and use images in other ways in your email, as Harry’s did in their email below.

16. Add social sharing buttons.

Increasing the number of people who see your link will increase the number of people who click on it. So, be sure to extend the life of your email by adding social sharing buttons.

Many email tools will come with templates (like HubSpot) that have built-in social sharing buttons that make it easy — just fill in the destination URL, and you’re good to go. If you don’t have built-in capabilities, here’s a cheat sheet for creating your own social sharing buttons.

Note: If you want to increase clicks, you want to add sharing buttons, not follow buttons. The former will allow your email recipients to pass along the offer URL in your email to their followers. The latter will prompt them to add your company’s social media channels.

17. Simplify sharing with ready-made tweets.

People are far more likely to take action if you make it really, really easy for them. For recipients out there who are too lazy to tweet the wonderful content you sent them via email, you can make it easy for them by creating what we call a “lazy tweet.”

One simple way to do this? Using ClickToTweet, a free custom tweet link generator. First, go to ClickToTweet’s basic tweet generator. Then, type in your tweet, desired (trackable) destination URL, and hashtags.

Click “Generate New Link,” and then grab that link. Then you can link it to your Twitter sharing button. Or, if you’re segmenting your list by attributes such as “topic of recent conversion: social media” (you’ll need marketing intelligence software like HubSpot for this), you can even include it in your main email copy.

18. Add an email forwarding option.

Another way to extend the clicks on your email beyond its shelf life is to prompt your audience to forward the offer.

The folks at Litmus found that the most forwarded emails were 13 times more likely than the typical email to include “Share With Your Network” calls to action. By including forward-to-a-friend or social sharing links, you put it in recipients’ minds to share.

You can add a little postscript to the end of your email copy, such as “Not responsible for your company’s social media? Feel free to forward this ebook to a friend or colleague using social media marketing.”

Link the call-to-action to a pre-made email, complete with subject and body text. That way, all someone has to do is enter their associates’ email addresses and hit “Send.”

You can highlight text or an image and add the URL via your email tool’s rich text editor and then enter a mailto:? link. Here’s what this looks like:


You can also create this in your HTML editor. Here’s how to attach a mailto:? link to text:

<a rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”mailto:?subject=Your%20subject%20here%20&body=Your%20email%20body%20text%20here.”>

forward this ebook</a>.

And here’s how to attach your mailto:? link to an image, such as a sleek call-to-action button that says “Email This Offer”:

<a rel=”noopener” target=”_blank” href=”mailto:?subject=Your%20subject%20here%20&body=Your%20email%20body%20text%20here.”><img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”YOUR IMAGE SOURCE HERE.JPG” alt-text=”YOUR ALT-TEXT GOES HERE”/></a>

Just make sure you use the “%20” tag to separate words! Otherwise, your message willreadlikethis (not too appealing, right?).

19. Clean up the plain-text version of your emails.

Not every recipient will see the beautiful, HTML, rich-text version of your email. Some clients don’t support HTML-rich emails, while other times, a person may simply choose to only view messages in plain text.

When you don’t optimize the plain-text version of your email, this is what happens when someone views it.

Scary, isn’t it? People won’t bother to read through this garbled mess.

So, cut out the extra text, replace long tracking URLs with shortened ones, and keep the body simple. Taking five extra minutes to optimize your email’s plain-text version could help you reach more of your target segment and keep you out of the spam folder.

Note: When you’re cleaning up your plain-text emails, don’t change the actual copy, or you’ll risk it getting marked as spam.

20. Optimize your emails for mobile users.

As more and more people use their mobile devices to read email and surf the web, it’s more important than ever that marketers design their emails with mobile users in mind. Otherwise, their user base will be significantly affected.

How? Here’s a visual example of what happens when images aren’t optimized for mobile (first) versus when images are optimized for mobile (second):

Isn’t the second image a much better user experience?

Here are a few ways to optimize your emails for mobile devices:

Reduce your images’ file sizes to make up for mobile devices’ generally slower download speeds. (Images uploaded to HubSpot’s software are automatically compressed. Otherwise, tools like TinyPNG will help you reduce file size.)
Ensure the CTA buttons and links are larger than 45-57 pixels for the best user experience.
Invest in responsive email templates. Creating your own responsive template may be beyond your particular skill set or bandwidth. Sometimes, the most economical solution is to just license or buy email templates from the people who do it best.

21. Preview and test your emails before sending them.

When you’re finally ready to hit “Send” on your email, make a habit of double-checking one last time whether your emails look good. If your email marketing tool lets you, preview what your email looks like in different email clients and devices that are popular with your audience.

HubSpot customers can preview what your emails look like in 30+ email clients, as well as preview what your emails will look like on any device — including desktop, tablet, or mobile devices. Learn how here.

You should also send out a test version of your email before you send out the real deal to ensure it’s working properly for everyone on your email list. Start incorporating these as final steps in your email review process.

22. Don’t be afraid to “clean up” your contact list.

It’s tempting to keep every subscriber you win on an email campaign until they personally choose to opt out.

But just because they haven’t opted out of an email newsletter doesn’t mean they’re still interested. Subscribers who have become inactive can kill your emails’ open and click-through rates.

To make sure you’re only sending emails to the people who want to read them, clean up your email list so that it excludes recipients who haven’t opened a certain amount of emails in the campaign’s recent history.

This ensures your emails’ analytics reflect only your most interested readers, allowing you to collect more effective data on what is and isn’t working in each email you send.

On top of that, a good email list cleaning service removes other email addresses that pose a risk to your inbox placement.

“Invalid, abuse, and temporary emails will affect your sender reputation, so it’s best to weed them out,” says Liviu Tanase, CEO of ZeroBounce. “Your desire to grow your list is only natural, but you can’t afford to expand it at all costs. Emailing only valid and active addresses allows you to connect with people who care about your brand, and that’s what every email marketer wants.”

At HubSpot, lists that add and remove members based on their email behavior are called smart or “active” lists. Learn how to create them in HubSpot Academy.

23. Monitor each email’s performance.

What’s working in your email campaign this month might not work quite as well next month. It’s imperative that you check on your emails’ open and click-through rates for opportunities to improve your copy.

To do this, of course, you’ll need a tool to track your email analytics.

If after a month of email sends, for instance, you find 10 messages are getting double the engagement as the other 20, analyze them.

What did you do differently with the higher performers? Was it the imagery? The subject line? Maybe you have more than one audience segment, and one of them just isn’t as interested in your current email content.

Use your email performance data to run A/B tests that are designed to show you what your email recipients really want out of your newsletters, and steer into the trends that you see to make your email campaigns more desirable.

Leveling Up Your Email Marketing

Email marketing can be tough at times — we’re right there with you.

By sending compelling offers to the right target segments and paying attention to the little details that go into an email, you can increase the opens and clicks in your emails and generate more leads.

15 Essential Media Planning Tools

In today’s day and age, people are consuming marketing and media in more ways than one. Media planning software is essential for those who want to reach their audiences across several channels, including TV, publications, online, and radio.

If you’re ready to get started with media planning, we’ve rounded up a list of the essential media planning tools, software, and templates to use this year to help grow your audience.

The Best 15 Media Planning Tools

1. HubSpot Media Planning Template

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HubSpot’s paid media template can help you track your spending on paid media when your messages are going out and how much revenue you’re generating from each source.

With this media tool, you’ll have access to charts that automatically adjust when you add your spending and ROI information. This resource is free — get your copy now.

What we like: You can use this template to compile monthly data from your media efforts. With this media planning tool, you’ll see which paid media channel works best for your company and produces the best results for your bottom line.

2. Bionic Media Planning Software

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Bionic has some of the best media planning tools. They offer companies flowcharts, IOs and RFPs, trafficking, reporting, and dashboards about clients.

It has an average of 3.1 software updates on a monthly basis, meaning agencies using the software are provided with up-to-date planning tools to run and organize their campaigns.

What we like: Bionic is a cloud-based media planning tool. You can be up and running with this tool in minutes with unlimited training, support, and data backups at no additional cost.

3. Kantar SRDS Media Planning Platform

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The most important tool in media planning is data, and Kantar SRDS offers companies some of the best data-gathering tools. Thanks to their top-notch data-gathering software, you can feel confident promoting your media on all platforms.

What we like: You’ll have access to extensive datasets that showcase audience statistics and demographics. This will help you choose the right platforms and messages to target specific audiences.

4. Media Plan HQ

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Media Plan HQ is a great media planning tool that doesn’t rely on spreadsheets. A real-time interface tracks dates, placements, and budgets without relying on Excel. The organized interface will make it easy for you to share all the data with your team and stakeholders.

What we like: It’s a collaborative tool allowing you to work alongside team members without all the back-and-forth communication in emails.

5. BluHorn

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BluHorn promises companies easy media planning and buying by integrating with Nielsen and Comscore to give you instant access to data insights. Some of the best features that BluHorn offers are a vendor database, data filters, and post-buy.

What we like: BluHorn allows you to use Google Analytics and Facebook for further tracking and seamless digital buying of products. One of the best things about this media planning tool is that you can integrate with Amazon AWS.

6. Quantcast

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When you use Quantcast, you’ll have insights with data from over 100 million websites. The tool uses AI so users can better predict how their media will influence their target audience. Due to the continuous bombardment of ads for products and services, this feature is essential.

What we like: Quantcast is fantastic for understanding your audience’s behavior. It provides real-time insights based on your ads and media to your audience, which can help you better understand them and create ads they’ll appreciate.

7. Basis Technologies

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If you’re looking for the number one demand-side platform, it’s Basis Technologies. Basis Technologies gives you access to 9,000 vendors and over 11,000 publishers and provides them with over 180 data points. You’ll also be able to use the messaging tool to help communicate with your team.

What we like: When running multiple ad campaigns, it can feel chaotic. Basis Technologies allows you to integrate all your ads and media in one location across several platforms.

8. Comscore

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Comscore is for transacting, evaluating, and planning media over various platforms. It’s best known for providing data for social media, television, and film and allows companies to see measurable metrics to promote their products to their audience.

What we like: You can see the real impact of your media and then optimize your plan throughout different media and screens.

9. Nielsen

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Nielsen is a household name in audience measurement. It’s mainly for television metrics, but you can use it for other metrics across platforms. As it analyzes your ads, it provides an all-encompassing view of your audience.

What we like: Nielsen has advanced audience segmentation and competitive intelligence that shows you the total picture of the media landscape. This media planning software can help your brand stand out among your competition.

10. HubSpot Social Media Software

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HubSpot Social Media Software is the best option for those who want to plan media specifically for social media. It allows you to publish any media on Twitter, Instagram, or another social media platform. You can also see how your audience converts from social media to CRM.

What we like: It can be time-consuming to constantly refresh your social media to see how many people have interacted with your ads. This platform will help you save time and effort from continually refreshing your socials.

11. Scarborough from Nielsen

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Scarborough is another name from Nielsen in media planning. It’s a media planning tool that helps you get more hyper-focused on audience insights from locals from your area. It’s perfect for region-specific ads and promotions.

What we like: You’ll be able to profile consumers much more than with standard demographics. You’ll see their shopping behaviors, media consumption, and lifestyle. You can further narrow it down by people who watch specific sports or what they stream on devices.

12. MRI-Simmons

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MRI-Simmons gives a company both national and regional focus. This focus can help you learn more about your audiences and target your media more. Clients who use MRI-Simmons include Spotify, Coca-Cola, Dell, and more.

What we like: MRI-Simmons is a powerful segmentation tool that can help you find new audiences and follow trends. Knowing your new audience can help you anticipate their behavior and attitudes and find the best ways to market your products or services to them.

13. SQAD

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This streamlined and intuitive software is ideal for brands, agencies, and advertisers. With SQAD, you can use transaction-based cost data and analytics reporting from marketing giants Comscore and Nielsen to plan and manage all your media strategies.

What we like: This platform covers all media strategies, including digital channels, local networks, and television. The platform is easy to use, allowing you to analyze your audience data efficiently.


Image Source is an all-encompassing tool that enables you to schedule your media and implement it in the best ways possible for your audience. You can also use the task management features to check off your to-do list.

What we like: It’s an affordable media planning tool. Major companies like Hulu, Canva, and NHL use it, to name a few.

15. Mediatool

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Mediatool is a collaborative marketing platform that can help companies plan media to target whoever they want to. You can leverage actionable insights, collaborate with your team members, and develop impactful ad campaigns to make you stand out.

What we like: There are only four steps to using the platform to plan media. It’s efficient, easy to understand, and easier to use than other media software.

Bonus Resource: HubSpot Academy’s Paid Media Course

HubSpot Academy’s paid media course is a great introduction to media planning software.

It’s perfect for all budgets and can allow you to develop paid media strategies and use media through the consumer’s journey.

Planning Your Media Strategy

With today’s saturated media landscape, planning your media strategy becomes essential.

Decide first which platforms you want to use — from traditional advertising to social media. Then find which of the tools above most aligns with your plan.