Email Design Mistakes That Can be Avoided

Normally, when writing about email marketing, I’m usually harping on about content. But this post is more interested with design.

email marketing mistakesIf your email design is flawed, it could lead to a flood of unsubscribers and you don’t want that.

Here are the top 3 mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Difficult to read

It’s worth bearing in mind that many people will be reading your email on their smartphone or tablet, so it’s wise to increase your font size – about 14 is ideal.

Talking of fonts, a simple one is best (not a script font) and try to stick with the same one throughout your email. If you do want to add a bit of variety, stick to one for your headlines and a second one for your body text.

The idea of your emails is to spread news about your brand and, to that end, your emails must be recognisable. That means sticking to the same layout and font for consistency.

Colours are also important. When it comes to text, make sure you use either black or dark grey on a white background, as it’s by far the easiest to read. If you want to use brighter colours, keep those for your call to action. Oh, and whatever you do, avoid patterned backgrounds, they’re very off-putting.

2. Confusing images

Images can be great in emails, but only if they are relevant, simple and fun. Make sure the image you use has an obvious link to what you’ve written about. There’s nothing worse than a confused audience.

3. Inconsistency

The key is for your recipients to instantly recognise your email so they open it and read it. If you constantly change style and colours they may not realise that it came from you and unsubscribe.

To that end, it’s essential the voice you use, template and colour scheme remain the same. Plus the other elements of your email, such as contact details, should stay in the same place so they become familiar.

None of this is rocket science, or ground-breakingly new, but nonetheless they are important points. Consistency is essential in any form of marketing if you want people to recognise and engage with your brand.

Author: Sally Ormond, Copywriter and MD at Briar Copywriting Ltd. Follow her on Twitter and Google+
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#1 Paul Gourhan on 09.04.13 at 5:19 pm

I agree completely with everything you just said but would like to add a bit more. Your email is not an island. It’s design should reflect or coordinate with your website and any other marketing materials you use. Consistency within the email template is critical but if a reader clicks to a link and the site is entirely different they will experience brand disjoint. Also include your logo in your email. It will also add brand recognition.

#2 admin on 09.04.13 at 7:42 pm

Thanks Paul, some very valid additions there.

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