The basics of email design.
Email is an essential way to communicate with an audience. But it’s crucial to get the design right. Almost 40% of emails are viewed for about eight seconds orless, so make it quick and easy for readers to see what’s important about your message.
Email design tips and best practices.
Increase click-through rates and inspire action through compelling email design. Make it clear to the reader what you want them to do with strategically structured email content.
Aim for clarity and be concise.
Make sure your emails are easy to read for a busy audience. Use designs that developers can build with html and carefully curate content to ensure that it shows up well on multiple email clients. Text should be broken down into larger headlines and smaller digestible chunks. White space or areas empty except for a simple background colour, ensures your content doesn’t feel crowded or overwhelming and helps emphasize important elements.
Focus on one main call-to-action.
Be clear about where the reader will go when they click. If the email requires multiple calls-to-action (also called CTAs or action buttons), organise them in a hierarchy. Use colours that pop to signify which action is most urgent. Your main CTA should be higher up in your email, with secondary CTAs coming later. Text-link CTAs or buttons with a simple outline can be effective secondary CTAs.
Don’t break the inbox with your images.
Use web-optimised images that load quickly. Images for emails rarely need to be wider than 800 pixels. Include descriptive alt text in case images break or your reader is using a programme for the visually impaired. Animated GIFs can add intrigue to your message, but note that too much movement can create loading issues. Look for on-brand images that fit with your brand identity as well as the overall colour scheme of your email.
Use a design that guides the eyes downward.
Your email layout should encourage the viewer to keep reading. Build a wireframe to plan out the visual elements of your email to ensure there’s a downward flow. An inverted triangle works well for a simple notification email, a zigzag shape for a stylish e-commerce email and a neat and tidy column for an information-packed email newsletter.