Part 1: Redesigning Your Email for Maximum Results
MAY 9, 2012:
Grant Evans, Director of Operations and Digital Publishing
Email Marketing Mobile Results
Whether you’ve just updated your brand or it’s just been a while since your email was designed, a redesign could be just the trick to help increase your open and click-through rate.
Technology moves fast these days and obviously users are changing their email viewing habits. That means best practices for designing emails are changing. With such a wide variety of platforms in the marketplace, it’s no wonder why your email from 2 or 3 years ago is likely a bit out of date.
To help illustrate my points, I’ll be referring to our recently redesigned email newsletter, INSPIRE
. Here are the first 3 of my top 6 tips to consider when redesigning your email:
1. Make it clean and easy to read.
This may sound obvious, but many emails are over-designed. There are graphical elements all over the place, boxes around each copy block and rounded corners and shadows around all of them. This point really has two main reasons behind it. One, it’s easier for the viewer to read your content if the content isn’t competing with graphical elements. And two, the more design elements you have the more complicated the HTML needs to be, which can increase the time to open and cause problems when the email renders on all the different email programs out there.
If you take a look at our email
there are simple design elements used to define the areas of the email, but they’re not over-stated. The main content on the left utilizes a simple gray bar to break each content area apart and the sidebar is in a simple gray background with a small triangle calling attention to it.
2. Include share-to-social.
These days everybody is on at least one social site, therefore it’s a good idea to include share icons allowing viewers to share your email on various social channels. We included the 3 main channels we participate in, but there isn't a limit to how many you can add. Just don’t bury the icons. We placed them right on top where they’re easy to find.
3. Add a mobile version or develop a dynamic email optimized for mobile.
People are viewing emails more and more on mobile devices, so you should include a link to an optimized version of your email. We chose to create a separate mobile layout, so when you receive the email on your mobile device you can view the optimized version by clicking the “View on Mobile
Once you open the mobile-optimized version you will see that the layout has been stripped down to just one column and most of the images have been removed. (View a before and after screenshot
.) This makes it quicker to download and allows more room for the text and less scrolling.
The second way to optimize an email is to create one version of your email and add in code that dynamically changes the layout of the email based on the size of the screen it’s being viewed on. This method works best when your email starts off as a one column layout, so since we have a sidebar we chose the first method mentioned.
Now, read the second part of my tips for 3 more helpful tips to inspire your next email redesign