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8 Email Design Tips to Help Your Business Convert

email design tips

Email remains the best way for businesses to communicate with their customers. In 2015, the number of emails sent and received per day totaled over 205 billion. This figure is expected to grow at an average annual rate of 3% over the next four years, reaching over 246 billion by the end of 2019. This means your single email is competing for attention each and every day!

So how do you capture your audience’s attention with your email marketing efforts? Start with a clearl email design.

This may seem like a very daunting task when you’re not actually a designer by trade (and can only draw poorly). Fortunately, incorporating elements of design don’t actually involve actual art.

Here’s a list of eight elements of design any marketer—no matter their skill level—can use as a foundation to create effective email communications, for improved performance and conversions.  

#1 - Alignment:

Proper alignment adds purpose and a sense of organization to your message. Think of this as the scaffolding for your email; if the elements don’t line up your audience could be distracted or confused on what action to take.

#2 - Proximity:

Proximity between elements creates a relationship and group of ideas. Grouping these similar ideas and messages together makes it easier for the reader to get the full message.

Considering both the proper alignment and proximity in your design will help drive an action by those who are skimming your content. This means more conversions for your business (hooray!).

#3 - Imagery:

Having effective images that support your main CTA is important. But, before you get intimidated by the idea of combining color, pictures and words, consider the fact that 43% of gmail emails are viewed with the images turned off. This means that the graphic you spent hours creating may not be seen by a majority of your audience.

To ensure that your image is being read by your full audience, even those with their images turned off, be sure that you’re incorporating alt. text into your email design. This will help support the information you are trying to relay in your image allowing all readers to consume all the relevant information. Also, be sure to include your CTA within the body of your email (just incase images are turned off).

#4 - White Space:

White space does not have to actually be white - it really refers to the space around each element in your email. It adds breathing room and increasing comprehension (up to 20% if used correctly). Use this effectively to help different elements (buttons, headlines, images, and offers) stand out and be easily digestible by your audience.

#5 - Emphasis:

If you have an important point or action you want to make sure isn’t lost in the body of your message, adding emphasis can help draw attention and increase audience conversions. Do this by bolding, making the font size larger, or changing the color.

That being said, don’t over emphasize within your email (because then nothing will be emphasized). Be sure that your button stands out, that your background image isn’t distracting, and that your text is easy to read and is visible.

# 6 - Color:

Color is important; it can help add emphasis to your message and can help you convey a tone in your communication. That being said, don’t go too color crazy. Ensure that your colorful elements compliment one another and don’t detract from your message.

# 7 - Fonts:

It’s easy to go font crazy to try and make your email fun. That being said, in a professional setting font is important. You want to be sure that your text is easy to read, and that it sends the right message. So, be sure to select the right font to get your point across.

There is a place for fun font choice, but an email may not be the best place. Remember that a growing number of people are reading email on a variety of devices and screen sizes.

# 8 - Hierarchy:

It’s a common trend that most of your customers will only skim your email. For this reason it’s important to organize your content in a way that the meaning and action is crystal clear. Successful email designers use hierarchy to influence user behavior, convince subscribers to click, set expectations, and enhance comprehension.

These tips were taken from a presentation given by Justine Jordan, VP of marketing at Litmus,  for a MarketingProfs PRO Seminar. This seminar is only available to those who subscribe to MarketingProfs PRO.

So there you have it: eight design tips you easily use for your next marketing email campaign. Now go forth and create clear and concise campaigns that lead to increased conversions for your business! Do you have any additional tips you would like to share? Post them below in the comments!

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Ashley Lauwereins

Written by Ashley Lauwereins

Ashley is a creative soul who loves making jewelry almost as much as marketing. With an extensive B2C background and a love of history, she enjoys researching new trends and applying them to get the results her clients desire.

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