The beginning of a new year signals the time for new email campaigns. But what about your email design – is it optimized to give you the best response rate possible?
Email design is part science and part marketing savvy, but there are a number of best practices to you can employ to ensure maximum results. Let’s start with one of the most important items – the subject line. There is an art to writing compelling subject lines that get peoples’ attention. Start by limiting the number of characters to less than 50 (about six words). Avoid spammy words like “free,” “act now,” “open,” and “reminder.” Avoid capital letters and exclamation points too. Once you’ve got a great subject line it’s time to turn your attention to the layout and copy. How does your email communicate visually? Is it simple, yet compelling? Is your call to action located prominently toward the top of the email and definitely above the fold? Keep in mind that, according to MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Benchmark Report, only 33% of email recipients have images turned on by default, and more than 80% of business people use preview panes. So, it’s vitally important to design your email to be readable and visually appealing even without images, and take into consideration how it’s going to display in a preview pane. And when it comes to copy, less is definitely more. It’s well known that people tend to skim rather than read content in detail, so make sure that your message is well crafted and succinct. Use subheads, bullets and paragraphs to set off your most important points.Here are a few other layout best practices to consider:
- Keep the width of your design within 600px
- Limit the number of fonts you use
- Use color sparingly for emphasis
One other important thing to consider when designing emails is mobile devices. A recent blog post by HubSpot states that 70 million U.S. consumers access their email via a mobile device, and 43% of them check email on it four or more times a day – so if you aren’t optimizing your emails for mobile it’s time to start thinking about it. Limit your email file sizes to 20k or smaller to support fast loading. You’ll also want to use a larger font size (at least 13 point), and increase the size and padding of text links to at least 10 to 15 pixels. Lastly, once you’ve got a compelling email with a fully thought out design, it’s time to test it across various web clients and mobile devices to ensure it displays properly. There are a number of services that make this easy, including Litmus, CampaignMonitor, Email on Acid, and MailChimp. Want help optimizing your emails or filling your lead generation pipeline? Turn to Launch Marketing. We’ve got the expertise you need to make your emails really perform.