5 Guidelines For Stellar Email Design

We live in a world where the avenues of digital communication available to us has exploded. Social media, messaging apps like WhatsApp, the message apps built directly into the phones we all have permanently attached to our bodies — all are competing in a very crowded space that used to belong to email alone.

Even so, email retains its spot as one of the best ways for engaging an audience.
The number of people with email addresses still outweighs the number of people active on social networks by a significant amount, and people also tend to put more trust in communications they receive in their inboxes vs info they stumble across in their social feeds.

However, it’s no longer okay for businesses to send plain-text emails, at least if they want to look professional. An attractive, branded email template is a must in an age where people are accustomed to seeing competent design in almost every aspect of their lives.

Stick around, and I’ll show you a few guidelines for making sure your emails are making a positive impact and reinforcing your relationships instead of damaging them.

Brand It, Baby!

Do you already have branding in place for your business? Great! Time to slap it all over your emails. People who signup to receive emails from you will most likely be familiar with your brand, and when they see it pop up in their inbox they’ll be more inclined to open and read it. Your logo should be prominently placed in the header, and any established color palettes should be used. If your other business collateral is all written in a consistent voice, make sure you extend that voice to your email copy.

The one area where you might want to deviate from your brand is typography. Currently, email support for custom fonts is limited if you want a consistent design regardless of the email client your readers are using. Serving custom fonts to the users who can use them is certainly possible, but you won’t be delivering the same experience to everyone.

Make It Responsive

It’s 2018, y’all. Everything needs to be responsive. Everything. The majority of people using the internet are doing so from a mobile device, and if you aren’t making sure their email experience is good on those devices, they will bounce right off anything you send them. The sections of your email should resize and stack on small screens so that the reading experience is just as pleasant as the one on large screens.

Keep It Simple, Clear and Short

People are busy, and awash in an ocean of content. Keep your emails as simple as possible. Make sure there is plenty of white space, and that your typography is as readable as you can get it. Make sure the sections of your emails (if any) have clear delineations between them, and that the hierarchy of those sections is also clear, so that people can choose to just read “the important stuff” if they need to skim.

The same goes for your copy. No one is going to read a wall of text, so stay concise when you write. Use excerpts for external content and then link to it, instead of including the full version in the email itself. After all, you’re trying to drive people from your emails to the destinations you want them to be!

Bring The Images

Since emails are now just as much about the visuals you deliver as the content you provide, you need to make sure that you include some attractive images alongside that carefully written content. You don’t need to go crazy, just a few large, beautiful pics can go a long way. If you’re only going to use one, stick it in your header so it can impact people right away.

Let Them Take Action

You want the people who read your emails to do something, right? Visit your website, purchase a product, add an event to their calendar — whatever that is for you, make sure you have provided a prominent and clear way for them to take that action. Use a big ol’ button instead of linking directly from the text, make it as clear as you can what will happen when they click that button.

If you’d like your emails to stand out in the crowd, give me a shout, and we can work on making yours super-spiffy together.

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One thought on “5 Guidelines For Stellar Email Design

  1. EXACTLY! Extremes in e-mail communication are from too little text and information (including a phone number just in case a phone call is necessary – or adequate info to tell me who this person even works for), to way too much text and images that make me hit the delete button. Here is a question – How often do you check your SPAM folder? I only recently started this practice and am surprised of missing messages where a client is trying to contact me.

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