Email marketing design is an important element that will determine the success of your email campaign. Think about it. Would you open a message which is displayed completely wrong in your screen or a message in which you can’t find important information because:
a) there’s so much crammed content or
b) there’s no relevant content?
You wouldn’t, so why assume your audience would?
We have gathered a few simple but effective design tips to take your email marketing to the next level. Trust us, you will see the results on open and click rates.
Your email marketing’s width should be around 600 pixels: This is a good standard if your message is mostly opened in desktops (email clients such as Outlook or Thunderbird or webmail). If it’s larger than 600 pixels, you may be risking the need for a horizontal scroll, which is not recommended.
If you’re planning on embracing a mobile strategy, the widths may vary according to the device. 480px is the maximum width that’s commonly used, since it’s the iPhone’s landscape size. You should design your message with your users in mind, so try to give them the best experience regardless of the email client.
Avoid using .PNG images, because some email clients don’t support to this format. Try to use .JPG or .GIF to ensure your images can be seen correctly.
You should also avoid using images as a template’s separation elements. Since many email clients still block images, it is better to avoid this risk.
Just to be on the safe side, you should set your image’s sizes in pixels on your template. This ensures you are not at risk of the images being distorted by an email client.
Always, and we mean always, use alt text for your images.
Use the style “display:block” to avoid that white line between images (seen mostly on Gmail).
When choosing buttons for your call to action, you must bear in mind that people may be opening your message on their tablets or smartphones, so design buttons that are tap-friendly. Also, don’t rely solely on images, since they may be blocked. Try to use HTML buttons instead.
This is a fairly obvious recommendation, but always aim for a balanced design. If you have more than one section in your email, try to leave some white space around the elements. The key here is that your message should be scannable, people should be able to quickly see what your message is about, even if they’re just quickly glancing through it. If it is all clustered, people won’t recognize the relevance to your message and might probably toss it into the Trash.
There are several studies on how colors affect the buying process, or how colors are important to define your branding strategy. If you want to have an impact on your audience, you should care about what colors you are using, as “people make up their minds within 90 seconds of their initial interactions with either people or products. About 62-90 percent of the assessment is based on colors alone”.¹
Should I worry about the “above the fold” content?
To keep your main content above the fold is a rule used mainly by print publications, such as newspapers. Newspapers had to keep their breaking news above the paper fold so as to get the attention of people passing by. This rule has been transported to web design – the fold now being the limit point before you have to scroll. This topic is also hotly discussed in email marketing.
In a way, it is interesting to keep the most important information in a visible, highlighted area. But that shouldn’t come in the way of designing a good, balanced email. A good idea to reinforce your main message and call to action is to show them again towards the end of the message, by the footer.
Here are some resources that can help you with a few of these tasks:
Canva – Canva is an amazing tool to edit and design images and layouts. It has several icons, elements, colors, and styles that can really help you create beautiful images even if you are not used to image editing tools.
Pixlr – Pixlr is a powerful image editing tool that is free and available online.
Unsplash – Unsplash is an amazing website with high quality (and beautiful) photos that are free for several uses.