With the overwhelming number of emails being sent and received every day, it is obvious that your subscribers would not have time to go through all the emails in their inbox. It is expected that 361.6 billion emails will be sent and received in 2024. Now, that’s pretty huge!
To overcome the problem of plenty, your subscribers will simply scan through the emails rather than reading them. As a matter of fact, the average time spent by a subscriber has decreased by 12% from 2018.
To overcome the challenge of dwindling attention span, you must make sure that your emails follow all the email design best practices and render well across all email clients and devices.
A good email design makes all the difference. Here’s how.
- A good email design keeps the subscriber hooked and makes them go through the entire email.
- A well-designed, logically ordered email will guide the reading flow of the users.
- It will leave a deeper impact on the user’s mind and prompt them to take action.
- Easy email navigation will facilitate a better conversion rate.
That being said, we shall now discuss the email design best practices that will help you to produce more appealing emails.
Keep the email layout free from any distractions.
The way you organize your email is of utmost importance if you want to impart a smooth experience to the user. Have plenty of white space, thereby making the email content easy to consume. Stick to the inverted pyramid design pattern with the logo placed at the top of the email followed by the header and hero image. The imagery and supporting copy will come next. Place your CTA at the end of the email in such a way that it stands out and draws the subscriber’s attention. It is advisable to use grid-based layers with a vertical layout to design a minimalistic email.
See how Homage has designed a straightforward cart abandonment email without beating around the bush.
Make your emails accessible.
Did you know 2.2 billion people all over the world are living through some kind of visual impairment? Therefore, it is inevitable to abide by the principles of email accessibility so that every user can understand your emails.
Here are some tips to swear by:
- Assemble the content from left to right and top to bottom to give a logical reading flow to your email.
- Use headers so that subscribers using screen readers can understand the hierarchy easily.
- Refrain from using center-aligned copy so that dyslexic patients can read your emails without any difficulty.
- Be mindful of the colors and contrast used in the emails, otherwise it will be a challenge for color blind people.
- Maintain the right contrast ratio. Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 has suggested that 4.5:1 is the minimum contrast ratio required to make the fonts easily readable in the background.
- Keep the links easily clickable and accessible by using bold fonts or simply add >> symbol to the link.
Here’s an accessible email example by Cameo.
See how they have used a left-aligned email copy with all the links displayed in a different color to separate it from the remaining content.
Use rich media and interactivity correctly.
Visual marketing has gained immense momentum in recent times. Emails are no exception. Most of the email marketers prefer to use rich media in their emails to convey more information in the limited space. They incorporate GIFs, videos, and interactive elements such as menu, accordion, sliders, and carousels in emails to make it more effective for the readers.
However, they must keep in mind certain tips as mentioned below.
- Never send an only-image email otherwise it will trigger the spam filters.
- While using GIFs, make sure that the flashing rate of the animations is not between 2 Hz and 55 Hz.
- The text to image ratio should be 80: 20 in every email.
- Always add a suitable alt-text to the visual elements. This is also important to make the emails accessible for people using screen readers.
- In case you are using interactive elements or gamification in the emails, you must add a fallback for the non-compatible email clients.
- Your email loading speed should not be hampered because of the visuals. Use compressed images or animations to ensure fast-loading emails.
Place your CTA strategically.
Besides drafting an actionable CTA, you must also pay attention to its placement. It is recommended to place it in the first fold of the email so that it grabs the subscriber’s attention and makes them take action. As far as the optimum size of the CTA button is concerned, 44×44 px works the best. The font size of the CTA copy should be 16 px or more.
Scott’s Cheap Flights sends out a nice email to promote their referral program.
See how they have placed the CTA, right in the first fold.
Design responsive emails.
Most of your subscribers are accessing emails on their mobile devices. To ensure a pleasant experience to such users, you ought to design responsive emails with a single column layout.
- The title font size should be kept at 22 px or more.
- The copy line width should have 6 words at the most with 12-14 px font size.
- The line spacing should be around 1.5 times the font size.
- Keep the CTA button easily tappable on these devices.
- Make sure that the email is not too lengthy and the user does not have to keep scrolling to read till the end.
- You can divide the content into readable chunks by using bullet points, dividing lines, and negative space.
Do not overlook the email footer.
Your email footer is as important as the header and email body. You can use a footer template to render a consistent experience across all your emails. Retain visual hierarchy even in the footer section. Add enough space around every cluster of information so that it is easily readable. Have a different background color to separate the footer from the email body.
Do not forget to add your contact details and the unsubscribe link. They are a must according to the anti-spam guidelines.
You can also let the recipients know why they have received the email from your company. This will reduce spam complaints while building your credibility as a brand.
Uncommon Goods sets the perfect example of how an email footer should be. They have even followed all the visual hierarchy guidelines in this section.
Over to you…
If you are looking for more insights into the subject, you can go through the infographic below in which Email Uplers has discussed all the email design best practices as well as email inbox best practices.