4 Email Marketing Design Mistakes You Might be Making

Design plays a crucial role in determining whether people will read your email or will hit the trash button. If your design is not good, your email doesn’t get read. And with almost every brand doing email marketing, design has become even more important to make your email standout in your customer’s already crowded inbox. Too much of design errors like using loud colors, improper formatting, distorted layout etc. will ruin your brand’s image and also your subscribers’ willingness to open it next time.

Here are few common mistakes which you should avoid when designing your email to make a good impression and to keep your email out of the trash bin.


1. Adding Inept Images in Emails

The main goal of every email marketing campaign should be to enhance the engagement and increase the sales. Compelling imagery plays an important role in doing that. They help you in connecting with your readers and spur them to take action. But, what if your images are not displaying properly?

Be sure to avoid these three mistakes:

  • Using images that are too small or too big

    Use a balanced approach when adding images and choose a proper size to make your email look compelling and professional. If your images are too small they will not succeed in grabbing your subscribers’ attention, and if they are too big they will take away the attention from every other element of your email.

Here are two examples of shopping cart abandonment email to show you the difference:


ModCloth.com has cleverly placed the image in a manner that it looks both clean and compelling. It clearly tells me what I have left behind in the shopping basket to entice me to complete the purchase.

The email below is from Mango.com, even though they’ve included everything, image, size, color and price of the item that I left in their shopping cart, but the size of the image is so small that it doesn’t tempts me to complete my purchase.



  • Using images to deliver your message:

    Images should be used to enhance your message not to deliver it.

  • Using images that are confusing or irrelevant:

    Your image should not confuse or puzzle your readers and should effectively convey your message.


Take a look at this email from Teleflora.com:


They clearly know how to use images to sell their products. They have used simple, clear and captivating images to enhance the overall appeal of the email and increase their conversions.


2. Keeping Too Much or Too Less Space for Content

Every email you send to your subscribers should have a great value proposition. But, it shouldn’t be stuffed with too much information, otherwise your subscriber will be left confused and your email will fail to capture their attention. 

When adding content and images in an email, it’s crucial to find a right balance. You want your subscriber to be able to digest your information with ease. The goal of your email marketing is to keep them informed instead of flooding them with too much information.


3. Burying Your Call To Action (CTA)

The aim of every email marketing campaign is to encourage people to take the next step. Your CTA should be designed in a manner that it clearly tells your subscriber what that next step is. Also, it should be placed strategically so that your audience doesn’t have to hunt for it. It should be easy to find and act on. 

CTA is one of the most important elements in your email and you don’t want it to blend with the other elements of your email, so it should be highlighted in a manner that it stands out in the email. 

Take a look at this email from DKNY.com:


Clean and airy in design, the call to action in this mail is very clear. Also, it’s placed in a manner that it’s impossible to miss it. The size as well as the color combination of this CTA makes it stand out against the rest of the content.


4. Ignoring Small Screen Users

As per research, “Email open rates on mobile devices now stands at 48% across all industries.” If you’re not designing your email keeping your mobile audience in mind then you are leaving a lot of money on the table. So, make sure you to optimize your email campaigns for these small screen users via scalable and responsive design techniques.

No matter what devices your readers are using to read your message it should be easy to read on.


Email marketing when done properly can drive huge revenue for your business but, it’s also easy to go wrong with it. Avoid the aforementioned mistakes when designing your email campaigns to make your emails more engaging for your subscribers and to decrease your unsubscribe rates. After all, a whopping 97% of businesses are using email marketing, and everybody is aiming for the same attention you are.