6 more things you can do to make your email look awesome!
Once your email is starting to look nice and you have started improving your email by implementing some of the most basic design principals there are a number of things you can do to really make your emails more appealing and effective. You don’t need to be a designer to complete these very simple design tips, you just need to get started!
1. Learn what looks good
Now this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to become a designer, just start becoming conscious of what looks good and what doesn’t.
- Create a folder in your inbox and save every nice email you get.
- If you visit a cool website subscribe to their newsletter it might be nice too.
- Look at your other marketing materials – don’t give email less attention because it costs less. It may cost less but it can produce just as good an outcome for you.
- Design an email then leave it for a few days before you look at it again. Are there things you could improve?
- Bounce ideas off people. But try not to compromise a whole design based on one opinion.
2. Put the right things in their right places
So I’m going to make this one really simple and give you my opinion on the best way to structure an email – take it or leave it.
- View online link is at the top of your page.
- Header comes next and includes a logo on the left and a heading, title or image on the right. Keep it 550pixels wide and less than 200 high.
- Weblinks to essential information and include calls to action. For example: “Subscribe | Send to a friend | Contact us | Buy tickets.” You may wish to place these at the bottom as well.
- Most important thing goes next whether that is an article or a call to action. Make calls to action obvious.
- Footer at the bottom. People need to know where this email came from. So that means company name, contact details and preferably a real street address.
3. Form follows function
Your email design should be honed to achieve your single most important objective. Below are two examples. Both of these emails effectively communicate their main objective and encourage you to act. One thing to note is that having one objective doesn’t mean you can’t include more than one message as with Photojojo you just need to make sure that your main objective is what dominates.
4. Have a personality
If your company has a personality that it is trying to communicate (and most do) brain storm how you can reflect this in design. Here are two examples:
- Large, intelligent, accurate accounting firm: Neat design, corporate colours, sign-off from a known person rather than from the company, formal but understandable language, icons that relate to each topic rather than images and no clutter.
- Kids party planner: theme each email differently to match a type of party, friendly language, lots of colour, photos of actual parties (no stock images),prominent calls to action and encouragement to share the email.
5. Make sure everyone see’s the same thing
So I didn’t name this point ‘test your emails’ because I knew you would not read it. It sounds boring but seriously – why go to all the bother of creating an awesome looking email if it looks all ugly and broken to half of your audience? There is this great tool called Litmus that you can use (it’s also integrated into the Vision6 system) or you can do it the hard way and sign up for 5-10 different email accounts and send it to yourself.
6. Be original and adventurous
Throw the rule book and all of my advice out the window if you get a truly unique and inspired idea that you know will work.
This is not a cop-out tip. I’ve written this point because I believe it and have seen it work. You know your audience!
If you would like some more email design tips my previous blog post 6 things you can do to make your email look awesome! explores fonts, colours and structure. To receive more handy email design tips be sure to sign up to the blog using the ‘subscribe’ box in the top right hand corner.