Email campaigns still offer one of the most effective marketing tools in existence. Like all marketing tools, though, they only work if you put a lot of thought into their design. At root, a successful email should inspire three things: motivation for action, reduction of anxiety, and convenience for conversion. So what are the most important points to remember when designing your emails?
Make the Essentials Visible in the Viewing Pane
Most people’s decision whether or not to read an email is based on the first glimpse, so that needs to include the things that matter. It’s important to position your main selling point and call to action high up, so the customer will see it in the viewing pane. By all means put it at the bottom, too — and in the middle, if you want — but you’re not going to convert a customer who doesn’t even read the email.
Use Images Effectively
Images are important, of course, especially if you’re selling a physical product, but a little goes a long way. You don’t want to crowd out the one image you really need the customer to see. In any case, many email servers default to hiding images unless the customer opts to see them, so your message could end up with Xs all over it.
Make Your Buttons Easy to Click
The customer shouldn’t be able to miss your call to action button, either from the positioning or the design. If the button appears both at the top and the bottom of the message, it’s easy to reach from either end. Make it big and eye-catching, but avoid using an image-based button — we’ve already seen that an image may not load.
Use Eye-Catching Text
Make your text interesting to look at by using a variety of fonts, colours and bold effects, though italics should be avoided. Any links you include should be formatted to stand out — and, whatever you do, don’t use light text on a dark background. If the email server strips out the background, as they sometimes do, you could be left with white on white.
Use Responsive Design
With more people now checking their emails on mobile devices than traditional computers, and even more innovative technology on its way, responsive design is as vital for emails as for websites. Designing the message in proportions, rather than fixed units, ensures that it’ll be just as easy to navigate on a tablet or smartphone — or even smartglasses. And an email that’s easy for the customer will always have the best chance of conversion.