People form an opinion of your content within 50 milliseconds of clicking.

This is because our brains are always going to process design over matter first. In fact, first impressions are 94% design related.

So how can you leverage your email design to create a great first impression and promote engagement?

Email design best practices

1. CTA

A call-to-action button is essential.

When it comes to user experience, the first thing people notice is how easily it is to find what they’re looking for. A visible CTA that emphasizes it’s interactive with a bold colour scheme. This allows users to effortlessly continue through their email journey.

Quick tip: Make your CTA text active and pressing like “Start your 30-day trial” rather than “Click to visit our site.”

2. Positioning

Here’s the secret: people follow an ‘F’ pattern while consuming content on their screens. Keeping this simple knowledge in mind will result in a design that has been optimized according to the customer’s reading habits. This will also ensure that even if the customer is skimming through your content, they will more often than not consume the important bits.

Quick tip: Test, test, and test! Test with your internal employees, test with your friends and family, test with your pets. The more you understand how people read and interact with your email’s format and positioning, the more you can optimize it for conversions.

3. Colour

We know the impact of color on various elements. They affect our psychology, our emotions, and our moods. When deciding on which colours to use, follow this simple guide which explains the use of colour in boosting conversion rate.

Quick tip: Memorize your brand’s colour scheme and hexcodes. Remember, email is just one pillar of your marketing efforts – it has to remain consistent with everything else you produce.

4. Images

A simple A/B testing was conducted to find the impact of the proximity of the product image and CTA button on the conversion rate. The results concluded that there was a 28% increase in conversion when the product image was placed directly above the button.

Quick tip: Most marketers know how important it is to personalize content. But did you know images can also be personalized? Product recommendations and liquid scripting mean you can insert a relevant image (such as a product that the recipient had previously purchased or viewed) in the email. This creates great upsell and cross-selling opportunities.

5. White Space

Too much of anything is bad for you. The same applies to your design elements.

Email design best practices require an adequate amount of white space around your CTA button which signals its importance. The resulting email is not only good to look at, but also increases the reader’s comprehension. It is about time people stopped calling it “negative” space, eh?

Quick tip: White space doesn’t have to be neat or even. There’s an argument for deliberately ugly and strange formats – while not for everyone, it can provide that extra bit of differentiation that closes the deal.

6. Directional Cues

Directional cues are a simple yet effective way of guiding the reader to the most important part of your email. It could be anything from an image of a person looking in the direction of your CTA. This makes the action-process easy for the user, resulting in a higher click-through rate for you.

Quick tip: Integrate the directional cues from your email to your larger campaign and journey. Remember: it’s important to have a consistent visual language so the user never feels lost or confused.

7. Visual Hierarchy

Creating a visual hierarchy is another effective way of guiding the user. This is done through thoughtful placement of text, images, and design elements. This ensures the customers read your content in the order you intended.

Quick tip: The majority of people aren’t going to read every word, but will usually see the images. It’s crucial that your email is still coherent and gets the point across if the recipient is just scanning — make use of sub-headers and bold text.

8. Above the Fold

Although most people don’t mind scrolling for information, it’s still important to show the most crucial details above the fold. This plays into the fact that you only have 0.05s to influence a user and even the fastest reader will form a first impression before scrolling.

Quick tip: Your above the fold content should be both informative and a teaser for the full-length copy. If the recipient only reads above the fold, they should still come away with the gist of the message.

The last thing you need is a problem with your marketing platform, to avoid issues implement Maropost for Marketing, – everyone wants to know how the promotion went and you want to get them an answer ASAP. Download Neil Patel’s Guide to Email Marketing below to learn how to make the most of your next email marketing campaign:

[sc name=”guide-NeilPatel”]

Need to chat about your mobile marketing strategy?

More than 10,000 marketers use Maropost to engage with their prospects and customers through emails, SMS, social media and more. We’re here to help you grow your business!

Chat Now