Email marketing is easily one of the most effective lead conversion strategies used by marketing professionals. And, therefore, it is imperative, especially, for small business owners to ensure that their email is designed in a manner that encourages the users to execute the required action.
Now, imagine having to work on your email designs from the scratch every time you come up with a campaign. Sounds tedious; right?!
It is for this that, designing email templates for your organization’s email marketing campaigns is highly recommended.
Not only will it make your emails appear more professional and effective but, also helps in keeping your emails consistent; thus, enforcing a unique brand identity.
By having an email design template ready, all you need to do is to add the email copy, images, social media links, call-to-action buttons and texts, and other elements, as required; whenever you need to shoot out emails.
However, as stated earlier in this article, it is important for businesses to work on their email template design in order to make them appear fresh and unique.
And, therefore, we bring you some very important dos and don’ts that you must adhere to when designing your own email templates.
In order to create a useful email template design;
DO keep the design simple and crisp – One of the very first things that you need to keep in mind when creating a custom email template design is to keep it simple and to the point.
The objective of the email design is to hold the attention of the user and not distract them away through unnecessary links or other elements. The main message should be loud and clear for the readers.
In fact, the lesser design elements you include in your email the less likely it is to render improperly or trigger a SPAM filter.
DO restrict the width of email to 650 pixels – For the uninitiated, it is normal to not be aware of the screen limitations for reading an email. But, ask any professional designer and they’ll tell you to maintain the width of your emails within 650 pixels.
This is largely to ensure that your emails can be viewed perfectly in Outlook's vertical preview pane; which is the most commonly used platform to open emails.
DO make use of CSS appropriately – This largely applies to the backend feature of your email template design but, is undoubtedly an important part to follow.
Take any of the major email clients such as, Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, etc. and you’ll find one common feature, which is that these clients are all browser-based platforms.
Now, what these browser-based platforms do is, remove tags like DOCTYPE, BODY, HEAD, and other tags causing display issues in emails unless marketers use inline CSS coding.
Therefore, marketers who write full CSS codes can avert this design risk.
DO go easy with the use of multimedia – It is common for marketers to get carried away with the overwhelming use of images and videos in their emails. However, experts recommend that the use of multimedia in emails must be restricted.
For example, when you use images that are larger in size in your emails, they tend to increase the loading time of your email. This may force the user to lose patience and leave the email without reading it.
Therefore, the smaller the image size and the lesser the number of images used in your emails, the better are the chances of your email campaign to succeed.
DO consider using short links – Of course, most of the links used in your email will be hidden behind some or the other anchor text (CTA, etc.). But, what about the links used in a plain-text version of your emails?
In plain-text emails, the URL, especially if it’s a long one, can start to look pretty shabby.
In such cases, URL shortening tools (such as bit.ly, ow.ly, etc.) can make your URLs look organized and customized.
In addition to the discussed dos, you should also ensure that you;
Don’t ignore the importance of alt-texts – Some of you may know the purpose and function of using image alt-texts; to help search engines read images on your website. However, the use of alt texts is not simply limited to SEO purposes.
These also help readers determine which images are incorporated in emails when images fail to load on their inboxes.
Don’t include PNG images – Along with the size of images used in your email template design (as discussed earlier) you also need to take care of the format of your images.
PNG format is not recommended by experts since such images are not supported in many email clients; for example, Lotus Notes.
You can go with “.jpeg” or “.gif” instead.
Don’t use HTML bullet points – Just like your URLs, using fancy HTML bullets in your email template design may not help as such. Bullet points if not loaded properly may appear as unrecognizable special characters. Instead, use a plain text alternative, like dashes (-) or asterisks (*) to ensure readers don't see broken or missing bullets in their email message.
Don’t hide desktop content on mobile – It should not come as a surprise when we mention making your email design mobile-friendly. Having said that, one of the worst things you can do to your template design is hiding the content of your email for the desktop version when used on a mobile phone screen.
Consider this, when a user forwards an email with hidden content, that content will no longer be hidden from the recipient, causing the email to appear broken to them.
Don’t forget to provide an option to unsubscribe – This may sound absurd to a lot of you but, adding an option of unsubscribe link in your email design is of great importance. It mainly evokes assurance and trust towards your business that you care about the choices of your target audience and, helps your emails become CAN-SPAM compliant.
Also, it’s the law!
Of course, you may find several resources for free email template designs online. However, creating your own unique email design goes a long way in creating a solid brand identity.
If you are looking for professional support with your email template design, we can help. Get in touch with us at email@example.com to learn more.