Better email templates mean better subscriber engagement, increased click-through rates, and most importantly, more sales. Email templates are not limited to enterprise-grade corporate communication. Email templates are the foundation on which a small business communicates with its customers.
You’ve just completed your first Email Design project, and now you’re looking to make some quick improvements to the overall look and feel of the email. You’re not alone, and I’m here to help. In this article, you’ll find a list of best practices for every area of email design — from images to templates to calls-to-action — that will help you design better emails…without being a designer!
Get started with templates
Templates are a great way to get started with email design. They’ll save you time and make your life easier by providing a framework for how your emails should look, but they’re also flexible enough to let you add your own personal touch.
Templates can be downloaded from various sources online, or they can be created as part of your project management system or in-house team. Once you have a template, it’s important to keep it updated as your company changes over time so that it always reflects your current brand and tone.
Make the most of color
In order to make the most of color in your emails, it’s important to know what color represents.
Red: Excitement, passion, love, and danger. Red is a very powerful color that can be used to get attention or as a warning sign.
Orange: Energy and happiness. Orange is a great way to add some energy to your email without making it too bright or distracting.
Yellow: Happiness and cheerfulness. Yellow is a great color for emails that are meant to convey optimism or joyfulness (like birthday wishes).
Green: Nature and growth. Green is a very calming color that can be used effectively when you want to convey information about nature, as well as growth and development (like business proposals).
Use photography sparingly
When you’re designing emails, it’s tempting to rely on photos to add a personal touch. But if you’re not careful, you can wind up with a cluttered and confusing message that just doesn’t work.
The best email designers use photography sparingly—for example, when the image is relevant and adds something to the reader’s understanding of what they’re reading.
If you do decide to use an image in your email design, keep these things in mind:
- Don’t be afraid to go crazy with colors and graphics! The more eye-catching your design is, the more likely it will be to catch someone’s attention.
- Use one or two big images per email; any more will make your message hard to read.
- Make sure that each image relates back to the content of your email—don’t just throw them into a random spot in your layout because they look nice!
Stay away from those stock images
There are a lot of stock images out there, and they’re not all bad. But you should steer clear of them if you want to make a good impression on your audience. Your email design is the first thing that people will see when they open their inboxes, and it’s an opportunity for you to set the tone for your brand. Stock images can convey a generic and impersonal feeling, which is not what you want to convey.
Instead, try using images that are relevant to your brand or messages. If you have a team member who loves dogs and has adopted several rescue pups, why not use an image of that person with their favorite pooch? That kind of authentic connection will help build trust and make people feel like they’re talking directly to someone who cares about them as opposed to just another business trying to sell them something.
Keep it simple
The best emails are simple.
Email is a medium where you have very little time to get your point across. You need to use the space you have wisely, and that means keeping things short and sweet. Don’t be tempted to include too much text in your email. Not only will it make your reader feel overwhelmed, but it’s just plain bad form.
In general, try not to exceed a single screen of content in any email you send out. The exception here is if you’re sending an email newsletter—in this case, feel free to go as long as necessary!
Don’t be afraid of video
Video has been a hot topic in the email design world for a while now. Some people think it’s too much, while others think it’s not enough. But we say: don’t be afraid!
Videos are great because they’re more engaging than text alone and help you tell a story. They also keep your reader’s attention by providing visual and audio stimuli in an otherwise monotonous medium. And finally, they allow you to connect with your reader in a way that is more personal than just simple words on a page—which means you can build trust with them and ultimately convert them into customers.
So don’t be afraid to use video! It can help you engage your customer and turn them into lifelong followers who love what you do and want to come back for more!
Big Buttons and Links
When you’re designing emails, big buttons and links can be a great way to increase the chances of someone clicking on them.
This is because people are more likely to click on buttons that are larger than normal, and links that are in color (rather than just black text).
So, if you want people to click on your links or buy your products or services, consider making them bigger and brighter than usual.
There are several practices to keep in mind when designing email messages for mobile devices:
-Use a single column layout. This will make it easier for people using a smartphone to read your message.
-Use short paragraphs and bulleted lists. People using a smartphone will have less screen real estate to work with than those who are using a desktop computer, so short paragraphs and bullet points will help them navigate more easily through your content.
-Include links to get more information or take action. Links allow people on mobile devices to navigate away from the page they’re currently viewing if they need more information or want to take action on something in the email. This is especially important if you’ve included a link in your signature or footer that takes people directly into another application, like an eCommerce site or an online store where they can buy products.
Inverted Pyramid Layout
The inverted pyramid layout is a copywriting technique that assumes you have a reader who is busy and has limited time to consume information. It’s designed to give the most important information first, then work its way down to less important details.
This layout is popular in news articles, where you need to get people into the story quickly so they can decide whether or not they’re interested in reading more of the article.
The inverted pyramid layout is also common in writing for the web, where you want people to read your content right away and not bounce off your site because they were overwhelmed by too much information at once.
A Narrow Content Width
Content widths should be kept to a reasonable size.
The content width for most emails is between 600 and 700 pixels, depending on the device used to view the email. If you’re using a responsive design, your email will display at 600-700 pixels on desktop computers, but it will be reduced in size when viewed on mobile devices.
Some emails may look great at these widths, but if your message is longer than that, it can be difficult to read on smaller screens or phones. If this happens, the reader will probably scroll down through the content before deciding whether or not to read it all. This can lead to lost engagement and lower click rates.
In short, there is no hard and fast rules for designing emails. If you’ve chosen to use images, you should build your email around that choice. You’ll need to give it some thought to maximize the impact of your design, but overall you can put practically anything into an email and have it work just fine. Use these tips as a starting point and you will be on your way to creating emails that your subscribers can’t wait to open.