One solution is to use a professionally designed email template. This will ensure your email looks great on all devices, and you'll have various options to choose from to find the perfect template for your needs.
Why email design matters
Ever receive an email, text, or visit a website that's so ugly you think, "Nope." So you immediately click away from it and do something else without even reading the content? Yeah, we have too. The thing is, content matters–but the design allows your content to shine in its best way. A giant block of text is difficult to read, and most people aren't going to bother with it. An email with no images or too many images or text just all over the place is a turnoff to the viewer. Old websites (like this one) use multiple fonts and colors and didn't focus on things like UI or UX to make them smoother and easier to read.
Good design in an email:
- Creates a flow for the user to follow
- Helps the reader know exactly what the email is about or the theme of it
- Complements the words on the page to emphasize to the reader what action(s) to take
- Invokes emotions
- Allows the email to respond in a dynamic way and across multiple platforms like mobile or desktop
- Encourages the reader to keep reading or click on a link
- Can increase sales
Bad design in an email:
- Discourages reading all the way through
- Wastes time and money
- Leads to more unsubscribes or blocks
- Causes you to lose customers
- Invokes negative emotions about your brand and products
- Is easily ignored
- Costs you sales
Simply put, great email design is not just an option; it's mandatory. Fortunately, even if you have no designers on staff or no design skills yourself, there is plenty of information, templates, tools, and experts out there to help.
The basics of good email design
There are always exceptions to the rules. But, what makes a good design for most companies is similar across the board.
Putting your logo at the top of your email provides consistency and lets the reader know who this email is from. It builds a connection between your brand and your audience. If your logo doesn't fit well within your email design (too light, too big, or too dark), find a way to modify it or organize your email design differently. Whatever you choose, be consistent with logo placement and look.
Images need to be high quality (no pixelation) and optimized for mobile (able to size up or down depending on the device). Bad images look like spam. Bad stock photos look too fake. Choose images wisely and only use them sparingly within your email. At most, one image for the header (banner sized) and one for each new section. Too many images could put off the reader with their first glance.
Text placement and formatting
Remember that we read on digital screens by scrolling top to bottom. Make sure your text placement and formatting work well with that. This doesn't mean your text should be centered; instead, it should be left-justified. Center-justified can be used sparingly for headlines or call-to-actions.
Be careful to test your text placement and formatting on mobile! You can get very bad surprises.
Colors and fonts
A rainbow of colors might seem fun, but it can be painful to the eyes. Keep it simple. Stick to one font choice - the simpler the better since your recipients' email readers might automatically replace it by another font if their system don't have it, and one or two font sizes (can be bigger for headers or emphatic parts of the email). Choose a black font (or white if adjusting for dark mode). Many fonts, sizes, or colors are a sure sign of a spam email.
For colors, beyond the text, you want to choose colors that complement each other. Find a color wheel (like this one from Canva) and play around with different colors that match your logo or industry and products. Think also that your email will be read in screens you don't have any control on. So pick wisely your colors to make sure they display properly.
Calls to action
A call-to-action is a request from you to the reader to do something specific with the email. It could be to visit your site or landing page, buy a product, learn more information, or just about anything else. It's common and best practice these days to make your call to action into a shaded button. The color helps it stand out and catches the eye of the reader. Each email you distribute should have a purpose.
Gifs, animations, and videos
Moving images help draw attention. They can also be more enjoyable. Using gifs and animations helps you communicate a message better and quicker. If you can, try to replace blocks of text with images to convey important information. Moving images also give your reader the sense that you're more advanced and hip with the times.
People check email from multiple devices these days. It's estimated that more than 60% of emails are read on mobile. But, some still choose to read email on desktops and tablets. Instead of creating an optimized email for each device your audience has, you can work with a dynamic design that automatically optimizes for the device they are on.
Not using dynamic design can completely wreck the design of your email and whatever percentage is on the device it wasn't created for are getting an email they're likely going to hate.
What if your reader has a question or wants to follow up with you? Ensure that your contact information (email, phone numbers, address, etc.) is somewhere within the email–typically, it's at the bottom–and clear.
No one wants to think about users unsubscribing from their emails, but it happens for many reasons. Every email should offer an unsubscribe option somewhere (typically in the footer). This is best practice. There's no reason to keep emailing someone who doesn't want them anymore. Making it difficult for them to unsubscribe will cause animosity toward your brand.
How to use designed email templates
Now, we get to the fun part. The part where we tell you that we got your back! We offer over 700 email templates to ensure that you never have to start an email from a blank page. Even better, those email templates are designed around holidays and special occasions to connect even deeper to the audience you're sending emails to.
Using each one is simple, too! You simply click the template you're interested in and then customize it using our online email editor tool. You can plug in new images, replace logos and icons, choose between different button options, and more.
There's no reason to pay for an expensive design team or spend hours learning to use a complicated design software. You can have a dynamic email ready to publish in mere minutes.
And the most important: all templates are done to be displayed perfectly on a computer or on a phone!
Email design, while it may seem like a daunting task, is actually quite simple. Following a few basic rules and using a professionally designed template can create an email that will engage and excite your audience. So don't be afraid to take a step toward better design–you may be surprised at how easy and rewarding it can be.
And if you need a little extra help, our email templates and our team of experts are always available to help you out. And, we can help with distribution, too.