Effective Email Design Inspiration & Best Practices


Your inbound marketing is only one piece of a much larger strategy. You need to consider mobile design, creating targeted content, CTAs, landing pages and more when working to develop your brand image and identity.

The marketing channel that best leads prospects through your sales funnel is email. For many businesses, email marketing is their go-to channel and they often assume that their email list is the most important piece of the puzzle.

While your list is an important component of any email marketing campaign, the truth is that effective email design is just as important as having a great list. The quality of your email design can tell your prospects a lot about your brand, what you do and why they should do business with your company.

Designing your emails with your end user in mind can help you to establish your brand identity, engage your readers and grow your business. Email design inspiration can come from many sources. First, let’s examine some important numbers courtesy of “Technical Challenges of Email Marketing”:

  • 33% of recipients opened an email based on the subject line alone
  • 23% say that a personalized subject line encouraged them to open an email
  • Short subject lines (10 characters of less) have an open rate of 58%
  • For B2B companies subject lines that contained the keywords “money,” “revenue, and “profit” performed best.

The takeaway, small changes in what you say and how you say it can increase the effectiveness of your email marketing in a big way, take a look.


Email Design Inspiration Starts with Knowledge

Consumers are suffering from digital overload. In order to make your email stand out, you need to understand your readers and avoid alienating or annoying them. Keeping your subscribers interested, engaged and invested requires knowledge and a strategy.

Market research can help you determine what information your readers are most interested in and can help you to create content targeted to address their needs and pain points. Targeted content will grow your subscriber base by providing readers with engaging, relevant information.

Once you understand your reader's needs, use email design inspiration to visually stimulate and provide them with the information they’re seeking. Your targeted and specific emails should lead subscribers through your lead funnel by building trust and authority.

Create Content That Encourages Action

Make your content short and to the point. Ask questions that engage and create subject lines that encourage readers to open your email. In order to reinforce your brand, always add a custom brand element to each email. Make it stand out along with your content the second your email is opened. Your goal is to encourage readers to engage. By creating content that is directed towards their specific needs and stirs emotion, you can elicit clicks and drive traffic to your site.

Email Design Best Practices

The next step to email design inspiration is creating the deliverable. Using best practices, you can inspire subscribers visually, keep them engaged as they read your copy, and move them to act. Employ these best practices:

Make Links Look like Links!

To get the best click through rates, keep links simple. Make them stand out from your body copy by underlining them or making them bold or blue. Save “buttons or images” as links for your landing pages.

Minimize the Use of Images

Images can produce visually compelling results, but most inboxes won’t load images unless prompted. Avoid adding this extra engagement step! Images are useful in an email when depicting a product, but don’t rely on images alone. Keep your text separate so your message is seen even if your images remain hidden. If your content is compelling, readers will engage and download images. Don’t present them with a blank email because your message is trapped in an image file.

Whenever Possible Personalize Subject Lines and Body Copy

Personalization works. Emails work better when you use a personalization field such as a first name or user name in the subject and body copy. Personalization will improve both open and click through rates.

Make Sure Your Emails are CAN-SPAM Compliant

This is a best practice, but it’s also the law! Ensure your physical address is in the email and give subscribers an out with a single click unsubscribe, or by replying directly to your email. Make sure they understand that your email is an advertisement.

Best practices and email design inspiration go hand-in-hand when developing your email strategy. Email is an effective marketing channel that can be optimized to increase its effectiveness. Remember, quality will always trump quantity when it comes to engagement and click through rates. Focus on your readers and provide them with the information they’re seeking with every email you send and your business will grow.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing

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