Email Marketing Design: Its Importance and All You Need to Know


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There is more to email marketing than just sending emails, and one of the most critical aspects is email marketing design. Design goes a long way to ensure a more efficient result in your marketing plan. While the content of the email is essential, you need a good email design to help you convey all the vital information as clearly and succinctly as possible. This is one of the ways to stand out from other emails with clustered content and poor design.

The primary goal of email marketing is to get the most important information regarding your brand to a specific audience. This can get you up to $44 for every $1 you spend, and the image below shows that Email delivers the highest ROI for marketers compared to other channels. So, if you must go the email marketing route, you might as well do it properly to get the best results. 

The good thing, however, is that you don’t have to be a designer to get the right design concepts for your emails. Your email marketing service provider (ESP) should make this process easy for you, such that the design elements are readily available for you to drag and drop. The drag-and-drop feature is a common feature today seen in MailDrip, MailChimp, etc, and should be one of the key things to consider when choosing a service provider.

This article highlights everything you need to know about email marketing design, including how you can use it to your business advantage.

Benefits of Good Email Marketing Design

The benefits of good email marketing design are numerous but we have streamlined it to the most important ones you should know. This includes:

1. Faster Load Time

The human’s attention span has markedly decreased over the past decade and this can also be seen in how we use the internet. If your email takes forever to load, you might lose a lot of users in the process. A study by Microsoft found that the average human being now has an attention span of 8 seconds. With an attention span this low, Google advises that the average page load time for any page on the internet should be about 2-3 seconds. If your page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, it increases the bounce rate, as illustrated in the image below.

Bounce rate; email marketing design

This also applies to your emails, as an email design that loads quickly is more likely to grab a reader’s attention. You can achieve this by using responsive design elements in your email and not making the entire email an image format.

2. Improved Reader’s Experience

A clean and simple email design can improve the reader’s experience. It’s best to design a clutter-free email with legible fonts and a clear message. This approach makes your email clean and easy to read, which further prompts your readers to take action. With an improved reader experience, you are more likely to retain your subscribers and increase your open rate. 

3. Increased Conversion Rate

The conversion rate shows the number of users who took action from your email or completed the desired goal. To get users to take action and increase your conversion rate, you need to have a responsive email design. Over 70% of people read emails from their mobile, which tells you to consider a well-optimized design for mobile viewing. A smooth and responsive design would ultimately encourage readers to take the desired action. This increases readability and spurs them to act.

4. Higher Click-to-open Rate

If your emails constantly have a clean design that is scalable and that readers love to see, you might record a higher click-to-open rate. A study by MarketingProfs shows that responsive emails have a 21% higher click-to-open rate (11.9%) than non-responsive ones (9.8%). So, your goal should be to make your email design as responsive as possible. 

5. Consistent Branding

Brand consistency today should not be undermined, as the average internet user may form a relationship with your company simply by its online branding. Also, consistent branding can increase revenue by 33 percent. Your email design can be a part of your company branding and you can stick to a particular style of design or template. You don’t always have to create an email from scratch every single time. By using the same template and design approach, you instill your brand into your subscriber’s minds. This can further help you form a bond with your users. 

5 Different Types of Email Marketing Design

1. Plain Text and Rich Text

Plain text emails contain only texts and no graphical content, stylized fonts, or hyperlinks. This is the best type of email to communicate important information without distracting the texts with images and other things. The downside of this is that they are not as aesthetically pleasing as the other forms of email. They are however unique, as they look like typewritten letters, and are also responsive on mobile. 

A rich text file is the default for word processors such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs and can also be referred to as plain text. This form of email can have hyperlinks but no graphical element. This is illustrated in the image below as plain text. 

email marketing design
Source: HubSpot Blog

2. Rich HTML

basic html vs rich html
Source: Peppercontent

This is an advanced form of email design created using HTML and CSS and often used by developers, making it similar to a website’s landing page. The aim is to create something unique to the brand, and this may include brand elements, such as colors, typography, layout structure, and more. While the average person would use a template or the drag-and-drop feature, some brands would rather employ their developers to create a unique one from scratch. This form of email is especially best for industries that rely heavily on graphical content. Examples include e-commerce and heavy product sites that would want to make their emails as responsive as possible.

3. Custom-made

If you would rather have an aesthetically pleasing design for your emails, this is your go-to option. With this, you can customize your email however you want by adding graphical elements. This may include images, videos, buttons, and more, alongside the text. You will also need to add your brand colors to make a statement with your emails. However, keep the graphics to a minimal level to ensure you have a responsive email design. The average email marketing platform today has templates readily available for you to edit to taste. 

4. Interactive

Interactive email designs are creative emails that differ from the usual way of getting users to take action. It is designed to be visually appealing and also engaging. The image from Google below shows an example of an interactive design where users are asked to explore their options. 

Google store design
Source: Email On Acid

Below is another image asking users how they intend to start their day.

interactive email design
Source: DesignModo

This form of email design is quite interesting, and research conducted by Martech Advisor found that interactive email content increases the click-to-open rate by 73%.

5. Magazine-style

This form of email design works for newsletter emails and gives your email a magazine feel. You can create different sections in your newsletter by using this format while making it as aesthetically pleasing as possible. The tricky part is that it is easy to get your content clustered, but with a simple structure and well-blended colors and fonts, you can create magic from this.

magazine style newsletter email design
Source: GraphicRiver

Make a custom email design that aligns with your brand and marketing goals and keep it as simple and engaging as possible. 

5 Elements of Successful Email Marketing Design

For your email marketing design to be top-notch and yield results, these key elements are vital: 

1. Layout

The layout of your email design can help determine the email flow. The image below shows some layout examples as seen in most ESPs, like MailDrip.

Your choice of email layout may depend on your brand and the message you want the email to convey. Make it as exciting as possible. For example, instead of just pasting your CTA in the text, you can use a customized button. A study from Campaign Monitor found that button-based CTAs increased click-through rates by 28 percent over link-based ones. You can also include a hero image and a header to grab your reader’s attention.

2. Rich Media Elements

Rich media elements include images, GIFs, cinemagraph, and video. Adding any of these to your texts can move your email from simple plain content to intriguing and engaging content. Including video in your email can boost click rates up to 300% and increase the open rate by 19%. This is a brilliant way to tell your brand story while switching things up a little from the usual texts most people are familiar with. 

However, while you include these media elements, remember to keep the text-to-media ratio within 80:20. This is to ensure that your email design is still responsive and won’t take forever to load. Instead of videos, you can take advantage of animations and GIFs, which will require a lower bandwidth and load faster.

3. Imagery and Color

Colors are crucial in design concepts and should be used appropriately in email designs. They not only help you gain your readers’ attention but can also help you make a statement with your brand. A study from the University of Loyola, Maryland, found that color increases brand recognition by up to 80 percent. Use this to your advantage and stick to specific colors that you want to be associated with your brand. 

4. Typography

You can have a specific font you use for brand communications or you can use a random one. The goal here is to ensure it is legible enough for anyone to read. This also means you should choose your font type and size carefully for both the header of the email and the text body. Avoid using three or four or more fonts per email; rather, stick to just two to avoid your email looking messy. This increases readability and helps your reader understand your content even better. 

5. Minimal and Interactive Design

You may want to introduce a minimalistic concept into your email design, as it shows simplicity and eliminates unnecessary things. Most readers would view the emails from a mobile phone; you want to ensure that your design fits into the mobile screen and is as simple as it can be. Interactive design is as we have discussed in the previous section. With this, your readers can now take action within their inboxes.

In Email, Less is More

Your primary goal in email marketing should be to convey your message to your audience properly, such that they are compelled to take action. This increases your conversion rate and ultimately your ROI. It might be difficult to accept that less is more in this case, but you also do not want to bore your readers with excess information. Keep your email succinct and most importantly, make your design appealing enough to stand out from the crowd. 

Before creating your email marketing design, you need to have a working marketing strategy. If you are struggling with creating one, we at MailDrip can help you. All you have to do is feel the form below to get a free template to guide you.

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