Nuts & Bolts - Email: 2 Tips to Improve Email Design

The following is an excerpt from the recent DirectMarketingIQ report, The Ultimate Guide to Email Marketing.

Email continues to be a powerful online marketing performer, but it is becoming increasingly critical to develop 
effective email design that showcases compelling content. That’s because email subscribers and the tools they use for reading email are becoming increasingly sophisticated. Plus, ISPs are focusing more closely on subscriber/email interactions to gauge the legitimacy of email senders.

Following are best practices email marketers can use to create email messages that produce the best results possible.

1. Use images and graphics wisely and ensure your design renders well across major ESPs. Many email clients block images by default. So unless recipients specifically turn images on, they’ll see empty boxes where your images should be. You don’t need to eliminate graphics, but blocked images are a fact of email life. When reviewing email layouts, ask the designer to show two versions—one with images visible and one with the images blocked. Both need to work equally well.

2. Make the call-to-action easy to find—and compelling. Because your email graphics may not be seen, it is vital to refrain from placing calls-to-action into a graphic. Instead, make them stand out using text-based HTML that’s tricked out with fonts, borders, colors or even background images to pull the reader’s eye. Use graphics to reinforce messaging, not for messaging itself.

Blaine Mathieu is the CMO of Lyris.

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  • Mike

    The use of background images is not recommended as Outlook will not display them.