Here is a quick overview of some tips to consider in the design of email templates:
- 1. Design For The Top 600 Pixels by 3 Inches
- 2. Make Links look like Links
- 3. Minimize the use of images
- 4. Minimize Copy and Text
- 5. Be CAN-SPAM Compliant
- 6. Make it easy to Unsubscribe
- 7. Personalize Subject Lines and Content
- 8. Avoid using CSS
- 9. Always Test
You need to make sure that your value proposition, call-to-action, and other key information that will ensure the users keep reading is within the first 600 pixels of length and three inches in depth. This is because the email will first be within an email preview pane which of course, is the first thing the user sees. Eliminate any useless information here and avoid heavy use of email graphics that may not load when designing the email preview section.
Make the links in your email stand out while at the same time looking like links if you want the best click-through possible. At a minimum, the links should always be underlined. Do not use images or buttons to denote a link. If you must do so, make sure there is a corresponding text link close to it.
Though images have visually compelling results, you should know that for the vast majority of your subscriber's email service providers, inbox images do not load. So the more you use images, well, the more blank spaces the majority of your subscribers will see. This is why you should not rely on images alone to sell your product or convey your message. Ensure that critical information is not trapped in an image. Tip: Always use alt and title text behind images to ensure that the text still appears even when the images do not load.
Though Copy and Text is the core of any email, you should not include so much text so as to avoid your mail going into a spam or junk folder. You also do not want to overwhelm users with more text than they should read. Tip: Use shorter text blocks that link back to full articles or product pages on your website, or to landing pages.
Ensure that: your physical mailing address is in the email, users can unsubscribe from your email, and that the email conveys that it is an advertisement. To know more about the CAN-SPAM ACT, click here: CAN-SPAM ACT
Make it easy for users to find a way to unsubscribe from your email so they do not hit the always easy-to-find "spam" button.
Emails perform better when you use a personalization field in the subject line and body of the email. Tip: The One exception is if your company deals in private information where the users may feel uncomfortable seeing their name in the subject line or body of the email.
Your email template design is unlikely to translate across multiple email service providers if you code it using CSS. Tip: If you must use CSS, make it inline.
Always test send your emails to a smaller seed list of recipients before sending them to your entire list. This lets you make sure your design displays appropriately across multiple email service providers and also to ensure your email is delivered to the inbox instead of the spam or junk folder.