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Best Practices For Email Marketing Design

Emailmarketing design is more than pretty colours, nice imagery and amazing typography. Before you can think about the design of your email marketing template, you need to know what your objective is; where do you want to get your business from and how do you plan to measure it? Here’s how you should be planning your email marketing campaign. Once you have the perfect email marketing strategy in place, there are best practices that you should follow. This will improve conversions and also help your reputation as a business.

Email is still the number one spot where customers spend the largest amount of their digital attention for reaching out to customers. According to the study by Radicati group, this is expected to be valued over $200 billion per year in 2021 from an estimated $79 billion in 2015. If you’re reading this blog, I’m going to assume that you’re interested in building an email list for your business, or you already have one but haven’t seen many results.

Use a single-column layout.

Email marketing is not just about getting your message across. It’s also about making sure users can actually read it!

When designing an email for your readers, consider the following:

  • Use a single-column layout. A single column helps keep things simple and makes it easier for readers to scan the content at a glance on mobile devices. Responsive design also helps make sure that emails look good no matter what device they’re opened on (even if it’s their beloved big screen TV). The most important part of this tip is making sure that your email is 600 pixels wide—this allows for maximum impact without sacrificing space or legibility (for example, if you were using multiple columns).
  • Avoid nested tables at all costs! Not only are they confusing to look at; they take up more room in an email than necessary and can lead to some difficult-to-track bugs when trying to resize images on different screens or devices. Instead of using nested tables, try using HTML text instead of images whenever possible so that you don’t have any issues with resizing later down road; alt tags should always be used as well so screen readers know what each image contains even if someone has turned off images altogether

Minimize the use of images.

  • Use images sparingly. Images can make your email difficult to read and slow down the loading of your emails. If you have a good reason for using an image, use it, but keep the number of images per email as low as possible.
  • Make sure that all links are clickable in each email you send out. This is important because unclicked links make it look like there is something wrong with the link or its destination—which may cause customers to not trust future messages from you.*

Use alt tags for all images.

Alt tags should be used to describe the image and deliver value to your users. Alt text should be descriptive, but also concise. You can use alt tags to:

  • Help visually impaired users see your content
  • Describe what’s happening in the image, if it’s relevant to the message of the email
  • Provide additional information about products or services pictured in your email (for example, “The new line of shoes are on sale!”)
  • Helps search engines understand what is contained within images, improving how they rank in search results

A list of alt attributes can be accessed by hovering over any image on an email and clicking Inspect Element > Source Code > Attributes. This will show you what each attribute contains so that you can incorporate them into your design based on their usage!

Don’t rely on images as much as possible – use HTML text instead.

It is important that you use HTML text wherever possible, instead of relying on images. Images take time to download onto a user’s screen and may not appear for some users if their mobile devices block images. This can result in an email that does not look how it should, or even worse, one that looks terrible and makes people unsubscribe from your list.

Use large and easy to read fonts.

Use a font size of at least 14px.

Make sure the font is large enough for people to read easily.

Don’t use more than 3 different fonts in your emails.

Don’t make the font size too large – people don’t like to scroll!

Use call-to-action buttons.

In the world of email marketing design, there are three major rules of thumb:

  • Use call-to-action buttons.
  • Make sure your call to action is clear and concise so that it stands out from the rest of the message.
  • Give people a reason to act by telling them what they’ll get in return for taking that action.

Use bullet points.

Bullet points are the most effective way to present information. They allow you to summarize the key points of your message, while still providing enough detail to make it useful.

Use bullet points sparingly, however—the average reader will lose interest if they see too many lines of text without breaks in between. A good rule of thumb is to only use them for lists of three or fewer items that don’t require more than 10 words. This helps ensure that each item will be concise and descriptive enough for readers to understand what it means immediately upon reading it.

Bullet points can also help break up large chunks of text into smaller pieces that are easier to digest at a glance.

For example:

This is a list item

Include a clear preheader text.

If you have a preheader text, your subscribers will see it first when they open the email. It’s an opportunity to provide context and set expectations for what they will find in the rest of your message. Use this space wisely to guide them through where you want them to go next!

A clear preheader can guide readers through your emails by offering a few key bits of information:

  • The purpose of the email (e.g., “We miss you! We think about how much fun we had last time at our birthday party”)
  • What they should do next (e.g., “Click here to RSVP now!”)

Use an appropriate size for your email – 600 pixels wide is best practice.

The email width is the amount of pixels in your email template. With an appropriate size for your email, you are able to display all of your content without having to scroll or resize the window.

600 pixels wide is best practice. If you are using a background image, make sure it is 600 pixels wide (if not then it will scale down depending on what device it’s being viewed on). The same goes for images within content – they should be at least 600px in height and/or width so that they don’t get cropped when viewed on another screen size (desktop vs mobile).

If you have a newsletter opt-in form, make sure that this box is also 600px wide so that users can easily click “yes” or “no.”

Include basic contact information in your footer (name, address, phone number, etc.).

You’re sending a lot of email marketing messages, but how do your subscribers know who you are?

Don’t leave it to chance. Your footer should include basic contact information (name, address, phone number and email address) that is clear and easy to find. It also needs an unsubscribe link so people can opt out of future emails if they don’t want them anymore. Yes—it’s a legal requirement if you’re sending marketing emails!

Design your email so it can be easily read and acted upon regardless of device

Your email should be readable on mobile devices. That means using large fonts, a single column layout and limiting the use of images.

Your preheader text should include a call to action as well as an alternative option if your reader is having trouble opening your email. A simple “No thank you” or “Let us know if you want more info” will suffice.

It’s always good practice to include alt tags for all images in your email campaigns so that visually impaired users can still understand what they are looking at without being distracted by an image with no text description next to it (i.e., alt=hot dog).


Needless to say, email design is critical for the success of your business. Even if you are not a fan of marketing and advertising, you must have heard about the importance of email design. In fact, a well-designed email can offer higher conversion rates as it creates a positive impact on the minds of the customers. The reason behind this is that people trust what their eyes see. So, why not work on improving your email design? These experts have shared some important best practices for you to follow.

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