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Key Elements of Email Design

In this article, Amy Black talks about the key elements of email design. Here are some of the takeaways:

  • a well-designed email campaign is easy to read, it's simply designed, it's scanable, and it's professional looking.

    Next to that it should be inviting and professional, represent your company, and show your customers that you value them.

  • Use white space as a resting place for your eye. It's a part of the design and it helps the reader. If your email is completely filled, it's just visual noise; the person experiencing the communication doesn't know where to look. You use white space to create pauses between different elements on the page.
  • Longer copy can work for a newsletter, because the reader is expecting to learn something new. Shorter, more promotional copy works when you're trying to create action, like making a sale or inviting someone to an event.
  • Keep the "1-5-10" rule in mind. The reader will definitely give you one second; if you pass, they may give you five seconds, and then if they're really interested they'll give you ten seconds.
  • Limit the number of fonts you use as a means of keeping the communication easy to read. Make sure that the fonts you use are very legible, not fancy or distracting. And limit headline fonts to a single style.
  • Use colors for a little bit of flavor.

    Use color for emphasis. Use it to call attention to an offer or a call to action. If you use a very different color than what you have in the rest of the email, there is a dissonance that happens in the brain of the reader that says, "Oh, this one's different," and their eye goes there to see what's going on.

  • The human eye recognizes color and form more than anything else. Think of your colors and logo as the face of your business. People know my face. If I came into work every day looking like a different person, you wouldn't know it was me.

    Your emails can be different, but there has to be something that's consistent in everything that you do, so pick what you're going to keep consistent.

  • Make sure the image and the copy complement each other, that they are related and that the image supports your message. Avoid using images that are busy and have many patterns, like cats playing against an oriental rug and a printed couch. The point of the image is for the viewer to look at the cat, but there's so much else to see.

SourceLink: Constant Contact

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