Welcome back to Mail Designer 365 Newsletter Academy where it’s time for another #TipTuesday! This week we’re talking all about the recipe for a perfect email layout. Of course, every designer likes to do things differently, but for all of you beginners out there, or for those of you in need of a bit of advice we’ve created a five step guide which covers the most important aspects of your email layout. All of these steps can be easily completed with Mail Designer 365, so let’s get started!
Step One: Create an Eye-catching Header
First impressions are everything. Your design’s header gives you the chance to introduce your brand together with the core message of your email campaign. It is important to include your logo and/or company name so customers can immediately recognize who has sent them the email. Additionally, you may also want to consider including a prominent header image, or a snappy slogan to grab your readers’ attention straight away.
We are big fans of this email design from ASOS advertising their wedding shop. Not only can customers identify them as the sender of the email, the quirky and vibrant text style is eye-catching and alerts you to the theme of the email. Simple, yet super effective.
Step Two: Make Your Text Engaging
Your text is of course a super important aspect of your email campaign, as it is the key way to communicate your message to customers. There are three rules we always try to stick to when it comes to writing the main body of our emails.
Firstly, it is important to choose a font and text size which is clearly legible and not difficult to read. Bear in mind that many of your customers will be reading their emails on a smaller screen, so a tiny, calligraphy-style font is not ideal for a clear message. We recommend a simple font such as Arial, Open Sans, or Helvetica for your body text around 11pt, as this will come across clear and clean in the majority of designs.
Secondly, it’s a good idea to be as concise as possible and break up big sections of text. Much of you audience will just skim-read your emails to pick out key information. If there is too much text, they will quickly get bored. Use paragraphs and only include essential information.
Lastly, to make sure the main points of your message are identified, try highlighting key words and phrases in bold so they stand out to your readers.
This design from Soap & Glory does a great job of summarising their welcome messages to their readers, and also highlights key points in pink so they stand out.
Step Three: Let Your Graphics Bring Your Design to Life
“A picture speaks a thousand words” – it’s a saying we’ve all heard before and it’s definitely true for your email designs too. Your graphics can make or break your email design, so it’s important to get it right. As well as using your own images, you also have the option to use a stock photo. Mail Designer 365 offers Unsplash integration directly in the app menu so you can drag and drop HD, license-free images into your email design. Use an image as your background, or simply as a feature in your design to showcase your products.
You can also experiment with fonts and text styles for a more minimalist effect. It is important to remember not to go overboard on images and graphics. We would recommend using a maximum of 2 to 3 main images in your design, in order to clearly outline your star products so it does not become overwhelming to readers. Alternatively, you can also create a grid or collage made up of several smaller images for a catalogue effect. As long as the graphics are relevant to the design, you should have no problems.
Forever 21 do a great job of outlining a star product in this email design, as well as using a catalogue-style layout to showcase other products. The sizing is a great way to indicate the star product while still including a sneak preview of what else they have to offer.
Step Four: Make Your CTA Buttons Stand Out
As with a lot of our other posts about email best practice, we of course wanted to touch upon the importance of an effective CTA. The call-to-action button is a critical part of your email design, as it is essentially responsible for getting your main message across and transporting your customers from their email inbox to your target landing page. The two key things to remember with a CTA is to make it bold and visible, and to make the desired action clear. We suggest using a font and/or color which contrasts to the rest of your design and using as few words as possible to communicate your message.
The CTA in this design from Butter London is great, as the color stands out from the rest of the design, and the message “Shop Now” is clear, concise and gets straight to the point; enticing customers to visit their online store.
Step Five: Round Your Design Off With a Fabulous Footer
Last but certainly not least, the footer. As well as giving you the chance to leave a lasting impression on your readers, this is also the most common place to insert any useful company information, disclaimers, and contact details, as well as the super important unsubscribe link. We recommend that you always use a standard footer and only edit the information when absolutely necessary. That way, your designs remain consistent for your readers and you can be sure that you have all of the necessary information. Use the footer to link to your social media sites, your blog, or your customer support system.
This footer by Ann Taylor is informative and provides readers with all important links such as social media sites and the sign up page for a customer loyalty card. In addition, the company also protect themselves by including a legal disclaimer and an unsubscribe link.
You can easily build up stunning HTML layouts in Mail Designer 365 and save them to use again and again in future designs. Save individual layout blocks, or select multiple layout blocks and click and drag into the “My Layout Blocks” tabs to access and edit at any time. We hope you found our step-by-step guide beneficial and will try these tips out in your next designs.
Until next time,
Your Mail Designer 365 Team