Email Design isn’t All About Vanity: 8 Ways to Design Effective Emails

Promotional emails

Email marketing offers the highest ROI of all marketing channels. But crafting good emails isn’t easy. While most marketers are focused on designing a beautiful email, writing a perfect subject line and a compelling copy, there are still more ways to optimize your emails for functionality, increased engagement and better conversion.

Here’s our 8-point list to designing beautiful emails that most marketers commonly overlook.

1)Mobile-optimized email templates

Stats say 55% of email is now opened on a mobile device than on desktop email clients. (Litmus)

Mobile has become the main touch point in the buyer’s journey. In future, the number of consumers using mobile devices for product research and purchase will go even higher. So, if you’re not optimizing your emails for mobile devices, then you’re losing out in the email marketing game.

Here’re few tips to design mobile-friendly, responsive emails:

Layout – To make the maximum use of your mobile real estate, use a simple, single column layout. It will render properly on all mobile devices and will be easier to read. Though you can also use a 2-column layout but avoid a multi-column layout for the column might stack up against each other, and your customers will need to zoom in too much to check out your email.

CTA – Most emails follow the inverted pyramid model with a header/images on the top, copy in the middle leading to the call to action at the bottom. But, when designing for mobile, make sure to put your CTA at the top of your email, so your customers won’t miss it any cost. And if you’re using secondary CTA’s then you need to ensure that your primary CTA is loud & clear and is placed above the fold. A/B test to see how does one CTA performs as compared to different calls to action.

2) Use animated GIFs in email

Animated GIFs have reinvented the email design. A well-placed GIF can make an email way more visually appealing than static images. Email marketers are using animated GIFs as a storytelling tool, to highlight their catalog, the offer and even as a CTA to drive click-through’s. Just make sure you don’t go overboard with GIFs. Use it sparingly to serve a purpose, rather than just adding frills to the design. According to MarketingLand, GIFs have become a very important marketing trend millennials.

3) Don’t limit your design choices when it comes to fonts & typography

Steve Jobs was well known for his love for fonts & typography. And, ever since, this art form has played a key role in design, including email & web design.

There are a lot of retailers who have managed to use typography to make their emails visually stimulating. Dunhill, Fab, J.Crew, BlueNile, Urban Outfitters are some of the brands who use typography to make their emails stand out.

So, choose your typography elements wisely and ensure it isn’t all about aesthetics but about creating a visual hierarchy too in a quick glance. Use the typeface, font, color and size to highlight your marketing offer and important links in your email. But, Don’t overdo on all the elements else it can be really distracting for your users and can also get your email caught in the spam filter.

Especially for fonts, just make sure it renders well with your email client and is compatible across all devices. Fancy fonts have earned a bad rapport for not rendering properly just like image-heavy emails, back in the days. And as most of the emails are read on mobile devices, choose your font size to make it readable on small screens and choose a single font to make the whole email uniform.

4) Reduce the amount of content in your email messages

Keep your email copy short. Nobody likes to read tons of text in email. Same goes for the subject line. A long subject line will be truncated on both web & mobile devices and won’t convey your message to the subscriber. One important tip to keep your emails short is to personalize your emails to make them more targeted and reader friendly.

5) Avoid too long emails

Many e-commerce companies are guilty of sending too long promotional emails. Whether your email is designed for mobile or desktop, keep it short to make it more engaging. You might have a vast catalog but there’s no need to cramp every single product in your email. Don’t overwhelm your readers with too much information or you will lose their interest.

6) Don’t experiment too much with your email layout for a campaign

If you’re sending regular emails to subscribers, using a template will provide consistency and will establish brand identity. To make them interesting, you can play with colors, themes, use emoticons and experiment with fonts a little bit, but don’t go for a design overhaul too frequently. Besides using a fixed template will also save you time & resources.

7) Simplify your header

Follow the KISS rule in email design too. Don’t crowd your email header with all the product categories and unnecessary links. A bulky header will take up your most premium real estate thus forcing you to push the main content and call to action below the fold. Shorten your navigation menu in the header and include only your most premium categories. Also, Make sure the header remains consistent (the primary elements mainly) to establish your brand identity.

8) Adding Carousel in Email

Carousels have earned a bad name for slowing the site speed. But for email carousels, the future seems promising. Carousels if implemented well can make your emails more engaging and can feature more content above the fold. Few e-commerce brands are replacing their static banners with highly personalized carousels tailored to user behavior.



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