What’s on the inside of your email marketing campaign is just as important as what’s on the outside. Each email should serve a clear purpose, whether it’s customer retention, direct response, informative, etc. Once you’ve established what kind of email you want to send out, there’s a lot to think about once you hit the drawing board. Do you want to make sure your emails render perfectly across all web and mobile devices? I thought so. Below, I have listed five things to consider with your next email marketing campaign.
Think Mobile First
Mobile designs have become so incredibly important, that you should first start laying out your email in terms of how it will be viewed on a mobile device. Make sure your message is simple, clear and has a concise call-to-action. Single-column layouts are preferred over multi-column layouts that can create some difficulty when stacking on mobile. Use large fonts and big buttons as mobile users will need better visibility, and bigger buttons to click through on.
Standard Email Width
When laying out your wireframe (or blueprint) for the email, start with 600 pixels width. Although it’s important that your email looks similar to your website (so visitors don’t get lost or confused if they land on a page that looks nothing like the email they just saw), you should keep in mind that your email will most likely need to sell itself within an email preview pane, no matter what email service provider it’s sent to. Once again, a clear call-to-action and an easy to digest value prop will really help you hook your reader to open up the entire email and engage.
Text and Images
Most email clients block images by default. When you’re creating your email, you want to keep in mind that it should contain equal part images as it does text. As a result, you want to make sure that your message doesn’t rely on the images; that way if the images don’t load, your message and call-to-action will still go through. When an email consists of too many images or too much text, it can occasionally get flagged as spam. Keeping an equal ratio of text and images is important. However, make sure to keep the overall length of the email short, so you can send your subscribers back to your website to read more or shop.
Recommended Text and Images
Outlook will not display background images and hasn’t done so in almost ten years. Make sure you assign a fallback color for those subscribers using Outlook. Also, move away from coding in Cascading Style Sheets (CSS). CSS isn’t guaranteed to render across all browsers. Another thing to take into consideration is your choice of font. A “web-safe” font will render across every browser on every device – these fonts are Arial, Helvetica, Tahoma, Times Roman, and Georgia. You can still have a premium font, but make sure you have a fallback that will render everywhere.
This is one of the most important best practices, and it’s also the law. To follow CAN-SPAM compliance, you’ll need to include your physical mailing address and an unsubscribe link in the email. And as crazy as it sounds, make it easy to unsubscribe. If it’s too difficult to unsubscribe, subscribers could get annoyed and mark your email as spam.
Pleasing everyone on every device and every browser is incredibly hard unless you follow the tips above. The last bit of advice I can give you about creating an email marketing campaign if you’re still unsure is to test your email’s rendering in Litmus or Email on Acid.