How to Master Email Design

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It’s no secret that email marketing is important to the growth of your business. Email marketing allows you to establish a database of leads, giving you a group of people to which you can directly market your product. Email composition is important, but email design is arguably the biggest factor in determining the effectiveness of your email marketing.

 

If a recipient isn’t immediately engaged by your email, they’ll be unlikely to open it and read its contents. When your email shows up in your recipient’s inbox, it shows who the email is from, and it shows a subject line. The subject line is very important to the success of your email. When recipients are captivated by the subject line, they will be significantly more likely to open the email than immediately redirect it to their trash or spam folder.

 

The biggest issue we see with subject lines is their length. Most email applications can only display a certain number of characters before the subject line is cut off. If your subject line is an entire sentence, you run the risk of cutting yourself short. Try to keep your subject line between 25 and 40 characters. This should be long enough to catch the attention of your reader, but short enough to fit inside the subject line.

 

Your subject line encourages recipients to open your email, but the email content itself should be the focus of your design. If you decide to include images in your email, optimize the email properly. According to research done by Gmail, about 43 percent of all emails are viewed with images disabled. If you include images in your emails, also include alternative text that will appear if the images are disabled. Emails with images typically perform better than those without, but it’s important to keep those with images disabled in mind when designing your emails.

 

Designing the body of your email is very similar to designing a flyer or webpage. Consider the following when designing your email:

 

  • Alignment: The text in your email should be aligned to the left, if it is written in a language that reads left-to-right. This will make reading the email easier and more natural.
  • Color: The colors in your email should be relevant and tasteful. Select contrasting colors to make important messages stand out, and try to avoid using colors that may impact the color blind.
  • Fonts: Your choice of font will say a lot about who you are as a company. Your font should be easily readable, but don’t be afraid to get creative. Keep in mind that not all inboxes will display all fonts, particularly those that are not standard. Try to use fonts that will appear correctly for all of your recipients.
  • Line height and spacing: Space your sentences so that recipients can easily read your email’s content. Lines that are too close together can be difficult to read, while lines that are too far apart can take up too much space. Find a middle ground that fits your style and doesn’t confuse your reader.
  • Hierarchy: Use different font sizes that correlate with the hierarchy of content in your email. Headings should be of a larger, bolder font, while the body text should be between 15-16px. Adjust the font size of different headings according to their place in the hierarchy.
  • White space: Emails with too much content can appear cluttered and unprofessional. Include plenty of white space in your email. Emails with white space look professional, and your recipients will notice this touch.
  • Avoid clutter: Including plenty of white space will help to reduce clutter in your email, but the content on your page can still cause a problem without the proper spacing. Space each element of your email about 45px apart in order to achieve a professional look.

 

The final design tip we have for your emails is with regard to emphasis. It’s important to emphasize the major focus of your email, but emphasizing every element takes away from the element that should be seen. Try to emphasize only the most important elements, otherwise your readers may have trouble recognizing the reason for your email.

 

What are your tips for email design? How can others improve their email design? Tell us in the comments below!

 

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Author

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. Starting in the early 2000s, Steve achieved eBay Power Seller status which propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens and eyewear retailer. Four years later through a successful exit from that startup, he embarked on his next journey into digital strategy for direct-to-consumer brands.

Currently, Steve is a Senior Merchant Success Manager at Shopify, where he helps brands to identify, navigate and accelerate growth online and in-store.

To maintain his competitive edge, Steve also hosts the top-rated twice-weekly podcast eCommerce Fastlane. He interviews Shopify Partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, that assist Shopify-powered brands to improve efficiencies, profitably grow revenue and to build lifetime customer loyalty.

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