Level Up Your Email Designs, Part 2

Now that we’ve covered how to increase the quality of your email messaging and images, let’s take a closer look at the design.

Here are some basic best practices to follow when designing emails that will ensure your work displays as intended.

  1. Use basic HTML coding and keep it simple
  • This means using a basic HTML editor and inline styles. Do not use Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) or Javascript.
  1. Show your offer information above the “fold”
  • The top 250 pixels are vital since it is prime real estate for the 3-5 seconds a prospect is focused on your email message.
  • Make it useful, readable text that isn’t embedded within an image.
  1. Set your email design to no more than 550-600 pixels
  • Be considerate of screen resolutions and window sizes.
  • The most popular email clients only provide 600 pixels for emails, so make sure your design’s largest table is 600 pixels and any additional styles for smaller designs.
  1. Optimize code and images
  • HTML and graphics should be less than 50-70kb in weight.
  • HTML 10kb or less and images 20kb each or less.
  • If the layout has one large graphic, slice it into smaller pieces and spread it throughout the email.
  1. Use email safe colors and fonts 
  • The most popular fonts used are Arial, Georgia, Helvetica (only native to Apple), and Times New Roman.
  • However, other less used fonts are fine as well: Book Antiqua/Palatino, Courier New, Lucida Console, Tahoma, Trebuchet MS (only native to Microsoft), and Verdana.
  1. Use a minimum font size of 12px for body copy and a maximum headline size of 24px
  • Any larger and you risk your email landing in the junk folder for desktop users since some filters flag larger fonts used in email as spam.
  • Any smaller and you risk recipients not being able to read the email.
  1. Set all text to align to the left 
  • This ensures it appears on the left side of the mobile device where it’s easiest to read.
  • This also prevents text from getting pushed to the center or right of the phone forcing users to scroll in order to read the email.
  1. Be mindful of punctuation and font colors 
  • Excessive use of exclamation points (!) as well as red text are spam triggers, which should be avoided.
  1. Link the banner/logo to a landing page with your offer, not your company home page 
  • This allows them to continue their experience without losing site of your offer or forcing them to hunt through your website to find the offer again.
  1.  Make links and buttons mobile-friendly
  • Anticipate how fingers will navigate the clickable areas of your email on a touch screen.
  • Buttons and icons need to get a little larger and the surrounding areas need to be more padded to accommodate for fingertips in motion (usually 10 pixels around or in- between any clickable area is enough).

Keeping these points in mind will ensure that your recipients see the email you’ve designed properly, and can focus on the content. By engaging with your content, customers are more likely to purchase a product/service and increase your bottom line.


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