Email Design for the Graphic Design Challenged

Email Description

I’m a writer. At the end of the day, if I think back to what I did most, it’s writing. I write blog posts, emails, press releases, etc. You name it, I’ve probably written it. That’s why top ten lists of email design best practices have never really mattered to me. I just write the email. I don’t make it pretty.

Or do I?

As it turns out, marketers who write more than design can get into the email design business (or at least talk intelligently about it). It never hurts to learn something new and my resolution for 2016 is to think more as a designer and less of a tactician. Think of email design as a strategy. It should be the goal of your email to cause an action such as a link click, reply or forward. How can you design your email (content included) to generate a better than average reaction?

Step 1: Think Mobile

Your content, images and text, must be mobile friendly. Emails shouldn’t be so long that recipients are turned off because they don’t want to scroll down.

Step 2: Sharpen Content

Yes, fancy images can help with click-through rates; however many inbox providers like Outlook for Mac block images by default. Make sure that your message gets across with or without the pretty pictures.

Step 3: Look at the Data

Sure, industry averages on open rates and click-throughs are great to use as benchmarks but the best data you can focus on is your own. Your database is unique and it’s your audience that matters most. Dive into where your audience is opening their email and how they are responding to your messages.

So while I can’t whip up an image as well as a graphic designer, I can use the resources a designer brings to the table along with my content to put together compelling email designs contacts can enjoy, regardless of the device they utilize to check their inbox.

What other email design tips can you share with those of us who are “graphic design challenged”?