Make sure that your key message and call-to-action are ‘above the fold’ – in other words, that your
customer can see and click it without having to scroll down.
• Include web version
Include a link to a web version of the email, preferably at the top of your email.
• Use pre-header
Put your key marketing message in the pre-header area – a “super” subject line.
• Plain text
Always make sure that you include a plain text version of your email that clearly states your key point
See your email from your customer’s point of view and make allowances for diﬃculties in reading,
comprehension and even the setting in which they might conceivably receive your email – for
example, at work in a busy oﬃce or at home with their family.
Make your format decisions based on your email’s function.
For example, if your email is an update for commuters, you might need to format appropriately for
on-the-go, patchy mobile network or low-data smartphone consumption. But if your email relates to
a desktop oﬃce solution, you might expect your customer to view it on an older desktop machine
and behind a strict company ﬁrewall and so opt for a plain-text approach ﬁrst and foremost.
• Email size
Consider the total size of your email including html and images.
Email size, combined with your customer’s bandwidth, will determine how long your email takes to
load and could have a big impact on open rates – especially on mobile devices.
Email design needs to be practical and eﬀective as well as on-brand – so evolve speciﬁc email design
rules around colour, particularly for key elements such as headlines and calls-to-action.
• Mood and tone
Make sure the mood and tone encourage your customer to want to engage before they have even
read and digested the full content of your email.
• Individual design elements
The eﬀectiveness of individual elements, such as button design, can make literally millions of pounds
worth of diﬀerence to the conversion rate of big brands.
Do not rush over these design features – research the latest ideas thoroughly and make these
elements an important variable in your testing.
Typography is important in establishing the tone of your message before your customer even reads it.
Use typography – including headings, sub-headings, font size and colour – to control your customer’s
path through key information points and calls-to-action.
Typography is also an important factor in legibility. Avoid hard-to-read fonts and stick to the core
webfonts that will display consistently across all email providers.
An image can make or break your email – so choose wisely and make sure that it is correctly sized and
in an appropriate ﬁle format.
Use appropriate ﬁle formats for images and keep byte size of the images as small as possible.