Looking to craft that perfect email that will benefit your company and produce the results you’re looking for? To start, you’ll have to accept the fact that there’s no such thing as the “perfect” email. In fact, it’s possible the email you created a month ago might not work today. Circumstances, such as evolving technology, user’s needs and trends, are always changing.
Hope is not lost. You can still build emails that will capture your user’s attention and turn them into leads. Successful emails are sent every day which generate sales and use best practices.
Designing Effective Emails Using Best Practices
Industry leaders are constantly researching and gathering a large amount of data to develop best practices for email marketing. After many years of analyzing how people interact with their emails, there have been some solid suggestions to follow.
To help, we’ve put together a simple list of the most important best practices for email design which will work for all audiences.
Subject Line & Headings
If you’ve already sent out emails and people aren’t opening them, this is definitely the first place to start. It’s a good assumption that people sometimes receive hundreds of emails a day. To stand out, you’ll need a subject line and preview text that captures their attention.Your subject lines and headings are your first impression, so you have to make them count!
Along with an awesome subject line and great headings, you have to make sure your users aren’t marking your emails as spam. Give your users comfort that your emails are coming from a legitimate source. This is easily done by using a friendly “sent from” email address like “firstname.lastname@example.org” as well as making sure the “to” field carries the recipient’s name and not their email address.
Email layout entails everything from how the email should look, its size, the text to be used, the fonts, the colors, etc. Here are a couple of quick layout tips that should be considered:
- An ideal email width is 500 to 650 pixels.
- A vertical layout is the preferred format.
- Use standard web fonts and make sure the font size is large enough for your audience.
- Limit yourself to four or five sections for better visual emphasis and include clear and appealing calls to action.
- There’s also a good chance that your users will read their emails on their phone so make sure everything is responsive.
Visual impact is similar to email layout, but it’s purely focused on the overall look of the email. There’s a good chance your audience is going to know what good design looks like and you need to live up to their expectations. Always make sure there’s enough white space and visuals should be limited to only the ones that will create the most impact.
Avoid squishing or stretching of images in emails by ensuring they’re sized appropriately. If you’re creating images for fluid emails, make sure they can scale up to 600 px. Remember that users scan quickly and images are much more appealing than chunks of copy.
Lastly, if you’re using any calls to action, make sure the buttons are clearly visible and large enough for users to click on their mobile devices.
Content is king—it’s the content that will drive your users where you want them to go. Use short sentences and paragraphs as well as design elements like spacing and dividing lines to separate content sections. Also use bullets to make your content more visible while using web-safe standard fonts like Arial, Verdana, and Times New Roman.
The footer might have the lowest hierarchy on the email layout, but it’s definitely one of the most important parts of the email. The ideal footer should include:
- links to the main segments of your website,
- social sharing icons,
- and a “forward to a friend” button.
Another great tip is to add a “Why are you receiving this email?” line that will help diminish the chances of your emails going to spam folders.
If you start with this small list, you’ll have a great starting point to build a successful email. Remember that this is just a starting point and that there are many more best practices available to follow.