Why design is important
A well-designed email is essential to your success. A high-quality design will highlight your calls to action, prioritise your content and ensure you are instantly recognised in the inbox. All of this makes it easy for your subscribers to open, engage and click and so ensure your email campaign is a success. Read on for our best practice tips for making the most of your emails.
7 steps make sure your design is a success
An email newsletter template should be designed to be consistent but flexible. This allows you to use it over and over again sending different content each time and with minimal effort and maximum effect.
When working with your designer consider these points to make certain you get the most out of your design:
1. Keep it simple to focus attention and interactions
Designing for email is quite different than designing for the web, print or any other medium. Emails aren't like complex websites or graphic heavy posters; they should be nicely designed but somewhat basic. This makes it easy for your subscribers to read, interact with and respond to your content.2. Ensure your subscribers instantly recognise your brand
Your newsletter template should match existing branding and other online marketing material. This creates a seamless experience for your customers and also promotes trust, increasing the chances of engagement. The easiest way to make sure you stay true to your brand is to use the template banner to maximum effect. A well-designed banner will provide instant recognition in the inbox - and invite opens every time. River Medical's newsletter template is an excellent example of this (left to right: website and newsletter template).
3. Don't rely solely on images to convey your message
It is important to note the almost 50% of email recipients won't see images automatically. This is because the default in many email clients is to block images. Do use images in your emails; simply make sure your design of the email still makes sense when images are block. Think about which areas of the email could use live text instead of images and always supply alternative text for images. (The images below illustrate what an email with one large image looks like when images are turned off in an email.)
4. Prioritise content to make sure important information is seen first
Many subscribers will view your email only in the preview pane of their email client. Consider this when deciding where to put important information. Put your main message or call to action close to the top, however don't be tempted to cram everything in at the top. Instead, use this area to introduce content and persuade readers to read more or scroll down. An effective way to do this is to use a table of contents.
5. Organise your content to encourage multiple clicks
Your readers are most likely to scan your newsletter and not read every word. If you have lots of content the design should be broken up using section headings and sub headings. 3-4 sentence summaries for articles with a "Read More" link allows you to keep your email short while still allowing for multiple messages.
6. Make use of back pages for your newsletter
Design back page templates for your newsletter so you can place the full story of your article or embed rich media such as videos within your within a newsletter template. This microsite functionality is an automatic part of the Newsweaver system.
7. Ensure the design renders well across email clients
Identify the platforms your subscribers use to view your email, such as Outlook, Lotus Notes or Hotmail. Your designed template should be render-tested so that the design holds up in a variety of inboxes. This is one of the most important steps in creating your email. If you don’t know which email clients your recipients are using it is important to test your email thoroughly on all major clients. This will ensure all your efforts in design are viewed as intended.