Make your message look like a winner
Effective e-mail design is important to the success of your program. A consistent template will resonate with your customers, help them easily move through your message and provide them with a customized experience.
But designs can become stale. Just as you continue to redesign, enhance and improve your Web site, you should revisit your e-mail template. If your program has been in place for more than 18 months, or if your click-through and open rates are declining, it may be time for a new look.
Your design template should prominently feature your logo; this reinforces your brand. And once you have developed a flexible template, use it for all your communications. Over time, recipients will become familiar with your format, which can increase response rates.
A two-column format has been shown to enhance readability and usability. Reading on a computer screen is different from reading offline; it is hard for the eye to track or follow copy that runs across a full screen. So, a two-column format can provide easy access to your content. It breaks each article or feature into digestible blocks and gives the recipient faster access to more content in your e-mail. Many marketers use a variation of this format. The featured item or content of the e-mail may appear in a one-column format as the lead, and then the balance of the e-mail changes to the two-column display.
Graphics add interest, but make sure you optimize all visual elements so they load quickly. I’ve received e-mails where the images slowly fill in, which certainly is not a good user experience. Most digital imaging software packages include optimization capabilities, and there also are free online utilities that can help. It’s important to keep the file size of your e-mail campaigns under 30K; 15K to 20K is even better.