8 Best Email Design Practices to Consider in 2018

Posted by Guest on March 15, 2018

Each day people and organizations send more than 260 billion email messages. As a marketer or vendor that means you need an edge to stand out from the billions. Before you write one word or spend one second on the email design, identify and study your target audience. You need to know who you’re trying to reach before you begin communicating. Also, use a good email analytics program. You’ll gain important information and feedback like who opened the email piece, when they read it, what they clicked on, how many recipients opened it and what device type they used. This information lets you further optimize your email design.

Following industry best email design practices allows you to standout without gimmicks or expense. You provide quality content presented in an attractive easy to read manner that loads well on any device. You can break that down into eight digestible practices to adhere to that make email creation even easier.

1. Use Email Templates

Start your foray into best email design practices with the most basic clever design tip for any document type. Use a well-designed template. If you find the offerings of Microsoft Word limiting, try searching online.

If you use an e-mail marketing service like Mailchimp, you’ll have access to personalized templates there. Most email marketing services provide you with guidelines on comprising suitable out of office messages offer you the possibility to generate your own templates for each occasion.

If you are using an email client like Mailbird, for example, the option to send out personalized email templates is possible even though it is not integrated or automated. Mailbird, for instance, does not offer access to email templates. This does not mean they can’ t be used. Different email designs or templates can be copied to the compose window after you chose you made your choice. Sending out personalised emails will have to be done manual and one by one. If you want to send out generic bulk emails they can be send out to more than one recipient at once. 

Again, should you be planning to send out bulk emails (personalised or not) it is better to use an email marketing service next to your email client.

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2. Choose the Right Template for the Job

When facing a mind-blowing number of templates, you might waste precious time choosing the right one. There are tens of message types for even more occasions. A single template does not fit all. You should use an email newsletter template for your monthly update; an ad template for your weekly special and a welcome note template for onboarding a new subscriber or employee. Each message goal and type have their own template. Take the time to find the right one for the job. 

3. Use a Balanced Ratio for Text to Images

Shoot for a 60/40 text-to-image ratio. That means your email consists of 60 percent text and 40 percent images. If you need to change things up a little, use more text. Increasing the image ratio can slow down your load time. That makes the recipient click out and stop reading. Craft messages that load quickly and efficiently. Image heavy or image only messages end up caught by the automatic spam recognition of the recipients’ providers. Also, make your text stand out by using bullet points, headers, bold and (occasionally) italics.

4. Use Alt Image Text

Always include alt text for images (except items like divider lines). Many recipients turn off image loading either to protect themselves from viruses or to speed load time. If you leave out alt text, your readers see a blank box. Some of your recipients use screen readers. Without alt text, the screen reader has no information except the email’s text. If you think you can skip this, think again.

Always include alt text for images (except items like divider lines). Many recipients turn off image loading either to protect themselves from viruses or to speed load time. If you leave out alt text, your readers see a blank box. Some of your recipients use screen readers. Without alt text, the screen reader has no information except the email’s text. If you think you can skip this, think again.

5. Design for Mobile Devices

Most people compute on the go now, using cell phones and tablets to remain constantly in touch and on top of things. Less than 15 percent use home computers as a main device now. That means you must design for mobile. Your users/customers use mobile. You must design for it to succeed. Email designs differs from website design. Compile templates that feature large text and simple layouts. It should include buttons that work on touch devices and eschew navigation bars. While images get blocked, color doesn’t. Choose templates with a brand appropriate background color and color scheme. This helps the customer relate to what they visually associate with your brand, even if images like your logo, get blocked.

Email Design
Make sure the email is optimised for all formats. Credit: https://pixabay.com/

6. Design for Wearable Device

The growing number of wearable devices presents another design need. You need to ensure your recipients can easily read your messages on wearables like the Apple Watch. This grows in importance if you have a target audience segment of early adopters or techies. Wearables present text information, so optimizing for a text presentation means you standout.

7. Make Your Unsubscribe Button or Link Obvious and Easy to Find

Make your unsubscribe link easy to spot – profanely easy. It is better for a subscriber to merely unsubscribe than to report you as spam or use block. Services like Mailbird allow you to block email senders. However, if a user blocks you, they will never see your messages again. If they report you as spam, your future messages go directly to their spam folder, get automatically deleted after 30 days and they will never see your messages again. If they simply unsubscribe, they may re-subscribe in the future. You have a second chance by offering up an honest, easy to find unsubscribe button that you don’t get otherwise.

8. Test Your Email Message

Ensure you send out a perfect email every time. Preview and perfect, then test the email. Use the multiple accounts options for testing. Look for an eye-catching presentation using the “Z” pattern. It zigzags content from text to images to create an easy to read layout. You’ll see white space and content. Make sure all alt text shows up. Spellcheck. Grammar check. A great email consists of much more than pretty presentation or raw information. Write tight. Make it clear and concise.

When it reads well, looks great and every link and alt text placement work, your email can enter the world. You’ve made it easy to skim it for the high points and show text descriptions of each image. You can easily reach your customers, build relationships and build your brand via email. You need to integrate these best email design practices into each marketing piece. Use email analytics to learn more from each email piece, then integrate what you learned from that email into the design of the next one.

About the Author:

Richard Schwartz is a tech lover and a productivity addict. He likes spending time on trying the newest technologies on the market and designing websites. He is also an editor for TemplatesAssistant.com, a website that delivers free templates for making everybody’s work easier.


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