Email Design Best Practices
When it comes to email marketing, the industry is always changing. With the growing presence of smartphones and the mobile web, it's easy to get lost in the shuffle. To help you keep up with the herd while maintaining a positive user experience, Responsys outlined new best practices regarding HTML, mobile and text email design in its new whitepaper, Email Design & Coding Recommendations.
Every HTML email has standard elements — preheader text, header, message and footer. With more and more email providers blocking images and mobile email use on the rise, your HTML emails need to stand out. Here are some best practices to help, broken down by each section of the email.
- Include a message that sums up the email's primary call to action.
- Eschew an "add to address book" link unless you're sending a welcome message.
- Add a link giving recipients the ability to view the message on a mobile device.
- Include a "view with images" link so subscribers can view a web-hosted version of the email.
Header and navigation bars:
- Place your company logo in the top left-hand corner of the email because people read from left to right, top to bottom.
- Put a navigation bar either below or to the right of your logo.
- Use HTML text for navigation bar links.
- Monitor the height of the preheader, header and navigation bars. A good percentage of subscribers view emails in a preview pane, which limits how much content can be seen.
- A single-column format works best.
- Use strong headlines that stand out.
- Bullet points are a great way to highlight benefits, product features and other important information quickly.
- Avoid small font sizes.
- Use HTML text when possible.
- Include disclaimers for your promotions.
- Since an unsubscribe link is a requirement, make it stand out.
- Provide a link that enables users to update their preferences, particularly contact frequency.
- Consider including an "add to address book" link.
- Include your mailing list.