When you send an email for your business, you want it to arrive in inboxes, get viewed and, presumably, encourage some sort of action – whether that be a click-through, a download or a phone call. Here are seven “dos” and seven “don'ts” to help you optimize your email design and delivery for maximum effectiveness.
Don't use flash or video embeds do not work in emails. You can link to a video on a landing page but actual embeds will not operate properly or, really, at all.
Don't use animated GIFs. Most versions of Outlook use the MS Word rendering engine, which only shows the first frame of a GIF animation.
Don't use top banners. Top banners are often flagged as promotions in Gmail clients.
Don't use HTML bullet points. They simply don't render well in email. Plain text alternatives such as dashes or asterisks are a safer bet.
Don't use PNGs. The PNG file type is not recognized by Lotus Notes – meaning some of your images may not come through to some inboxes. Use JPEG and GIF (non-animated) instead.
Don't use large images. Large files can increase email load time and directly effect campaign success.
Don't use large blocks of text. Readers have a tendency to skim emails in order to determine relevance. Large text blocks limit the ability to highlight key messages and are more likely to see the trash bin with minimal engagement.
Utilize white space to break up space and emphasize key messages and content.
Use A/B splits to test design changes and subject lines (testing a single element at a time).
Use a responsive template. Research has show approximately 50% of emails are now read on mobile devices. Responsive templates allow your emails to remain attractive across platforms.
Design with tables. While tables for website design have become passe. A large number of email clients are still unable to read the most up-to-date design code. Your best bet to reach inboxes without sacrificing layout or design is to stick to tables.
Stick to single-column designs whenever possible in order to optimize appearance across platforms.
Keep email widths below 650 pixels. Outlook's preview pane can properly display emails up to 650 pixels. Larger emails require side-scrolling.
Add social media buttons to increase and encourage shares – even beyond your current network.
Email marketing has become much more competitive as consumer and business focus shifts more and more to online platforms. Ensuring emails are attractive, informative and optimized cross platform is important to keeping interest, boosting interaction and maximizing the benefits of a well-planned email campaign.