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10 Tips to Remember When Designing For Email

January 21, 2013 • By

When it comes to online marketing one of the most used forms is Email marketing. The purpose behind email marketing is often to get a message across, whether this be to promote an offer, serve targeted advertisements or initiate deals. Email marketing is a great way to improve your brand image as well as knowledge of your services.

Often many designers make simple mistakes when creating an email, provided here are 10 tips to create better email designs.

Plain Text Version

This is without a doubt one of the most important things to remember when designing an email, always create a TEXT version of the email. Not all email clients handle HTML too well, some may not render email messages crafted in HTML. Furthermore including a plain text version makes your email more readable on mobile devices.

Keep everything within 500-700px wide

The width of the email should be 500-700px and centered. This is just as important as the tip above, if not even more important. There is nothing worse than receiving an email where you need to scroll from side to side in order to read the whole message. Why? Simply we are creatures of habit, we don’t take the time to read every word in a text we scan it. Since our eyes tend to focus on whats straight ahead of us, the stuff on the sides will get blacked out and ignored by our brains.


Allow Easy Unsubscribing

There is no if/but/maybe about this, it is absolutely essential that your readers can unsubscribe from your email, don’t try to be smart about this by hiding the unsubscribe mail in some obscure place within the email. Unsubscribing should be a painless process that virtually anyone viewing the email should be able to figure out. Remember if the recipient doesn’t want your email they are not going to read it anyways. You might be sending 1,000 emails, but if only 50 are being read then your system is not very effective.



Plan for no images

While you might have just downloaded the perfect image from Shutterstock, please remember that many email clients block images in messages unless the user decides to see them, pretty much that means that often your beautiful images will never get seen. Another problem is if your message is embedded in an image, then the same rule applies most readers will never see your message because your images are blocked.


Test it on-the-go

Just like you would test a website before launching it you should really test an email before sending it out to your final audience, remember that not only should you test these on the most popular clients such as Yahoo, Gmail, Outlook and others but also test to see how it looks on a smartphone or mobile device, If you don’t own a device then grab a friend who has one ask them if you can test your mail on their device!



View in Browser

There should be no reason why you would not allow people to view your email as a Web page. Face it, there are just some people who prefer to look at things in a browser, furthermore not all email clients render HTML as you expected and therefore making it possible for your readers to view your mail in a browser makes everyone happy.


Relevant Subject line

I cannot even begin to state the importance of this, if your subject line screams “I am spam from spam company don’t bother reading” well then guess what your reader isn’t going to read it, furthermore if your subject line is “READ ME I AM FULL OF BS” all in capital letters then they will also move on, or how about the “Make $1,000 in a jiffy!!!!!!!!!!” if nothing else then all the exclamation marks will deter anyone from reading this email, and besides spam filters will most likely mean your readers will never even see these emails.


Call To Action

So you have the best/newest/fastest something and you want to add a CTA, or Call To Action in your email, then make sure it is clear exactly what this action is, if you want your reader to do something then don’t just add a ‘click here’ button instead add something like “click here to…” tell them what will happen when they click here.


Don’t use video

Yes over the past few years there seems to be a video for everything, with sites such as YouTube getting more and more popular there should be no reason why you would include an actual video in your email. If your reader is using a slow internet connection then it will take them forever to load your email. Furthermore more and more email clients are filtering out emails with large file sizes, in other words if you add a video you run the risk of ending up in the Spam folder.

Movie Icon: Email

Make it clear who’s sending the message

Lets face it, if you don’t know the sender of an email you are more likely to just hit the delete button. Just like in real life people are suspicious of strangers and the same goes for email. In other words make sure your sender ID states exactly who you are, furthermore make sure your logo is visible at the top of your email.

Email Envelope on White background

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