A-Z of Good Email Design

When considering an email campaign, there is a few aspects to take into consideration with the ultimate goal often being to create, connect and then convert. However, depending on your business style, it just may be a source of information without further sales i.e. existing clients.

There are a number of essential design principles that you can follow to ensure your email design is both attractive and functional. The four elements of email design:
* Planning
* Content
* Design
* Completion – testing, send and report

So, when planning the email campaign consider how long the email needs to be. If you have a lot of content then consider using landing pages i.e. this blog. Landing pages reduce the overall length of the email and allow you to monitor click-through rates and help you to plan further campaigns or initiate further follow ups. Who is the target audience? When will you send it? Yes, there is actually better times to send various emails i.e. real estate usually send out emails late Thursday but Monday is possibly the worst day to send emails (it’s too busy with other work).

Content considerations are important – clarify the purpose of the email. Is it to inform, educate or promote? And remember don’t sell to get, but give to get so consider what value you can give to your target audience. Most people will open their emails if they know and trust the sender, have previously opened and thought the information was valuable or the subject line was inticing.

When designing the email, try to keep it short and ‘above the fold’ so most readers can see it in a preview pane when skimming their inbox. That’s usually about 400 pixels or less so don’t make your header too large or the content is compromised. Ensure you also include ‘view online’ link. Is the design consistent with your corporate branding?

Add a few graphic images to retain the readers interest so long as they are relevant.

Does the content grab the reader’s attention in the first 3 seconds? If not, you may be waffling on too long. More than 5-6 paragraphs is too long.

Ensure you have a call to action that includes a link close to the top of the email and integrate your email with social media to promote your message.

The email footer should also contain all the required information for spam compliance and best practice so the reaer should be able to unsubscribe or change their subscription and should also be able to clearly see your contact details.

So now you have written your email campaign, send it to several email addresses i.e. company email plus a gmail, hotmail or yahoo address to ensure the formating is correct and the email is readable for everybody. Don’t forget to also test it on your mobile phone – more than 50% of recipients will probably be reading it on their mobile device.

All set?  Schedule the release and send. Wait about 24 hours, then check the report – who really did read your email?