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A Beginner’s Guide To Email Design

Email Design

Why Bother With Email Design?

Hate to break it to you: we’re in the era of skimming and scrolling! People have increasingly short attention spans and need to see a very special email design to award their attention. 

Every day, 121 business emails are sent and received on average. In fact, people consume so much information online that you can’t expect them to read every word in your email design. That’s true even if your audience is very loyal to your brand. 

For that reason, if you want to stand out, you’ll no longer be able to get away with long, boring blocks of text. But no worries – it’s not rocket science to be able to create great email designs nowadays. There are lots of amazing tools that let you use HTML or drag-and-drop editors to create attention-grabbing emails. Many of them will even give you access to ready-made templates that pop. That’ll give you a head start. 

Types of Email Design

Generally speaking, there is 3 main types of email designs:

1. Plain Text Email Design

Plain Text Email Design

I think you know what I’m talking about. Just plain emails that have some version of “Hey (First Name)” with a few paragraphs of text, and then usually an email signature. 

However, these emails have their time and place. Plain text emails are great if you are sending a very personalized email and want to encourage a response. If you want to start a conversation but want to avoid the impression that you’ve sent this to 100 other individuals, try sending a plain text email. Even so, I’d still suggest inserting a logo and an email signature.

2. HTML-Rich Email Design


Indeed, these emails have images, designs, colors, call-to-actions, headings, text, and more. They really resemble landing pages and websites, but are just a little smaller in width. It’s true, HTML-rich emails can have some interactive aspects

You can create this type of email design using HTML. Or, if you are not a coder, you can simply use an email marketing tool with a great drag-and-drop editor. There are many high-caliber and affordable options for this.

3. Interactive Email Design

These emails are highly interactive and require javascript code to create. Most email software doesn’t support javascript email design. If you want to get very high user engagement and invest some money into fancy emails that grab people’s attention, then this might be the thing to consider.

How To Create High Performing Emails?

  • Create a well thought-out structure for your email before diving into the actual email design. You need to think about what sections you’ll have and in what order. Moreover, think about this logically & strategically and come up not only with a strong message, but a strong delivery of your message. This is the part where I would just start with a blank document and plan your email out using multiple levels of headings and text. 
  • Don’t have big chunks of text – break your text up into small paragraphs. That way, you can style it and enhance it with all types of fun visuals. Additionally, make sure that your text is consistently aligned and let me reiterate, use various levels of headings to organize the email’s information as best as you can. This will create a delightful reading experience.

When Creating Your Email Design

Remember, emails are like mini-landing pages. You can use just about all of the things in your emails that landing pages have.

Some of the things you should consider having in your email are:

  • A header
  • A footer
  • Helpful links
  • Buttons
  • Visuals
  • Emojis
  • Bold and italic text
  • Multiple levels of heading
  • GIFs
  • Social Media Links
  • Contact information
  • Logo
  • Contact information

However, make sure your emails aren’t too wide. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to have emails wider than 600 pixels. Make sure that your visuals are balanced with your text. You want them to support each other and tell a story together, but neither should be dominating. Some tactics you can use to make your email design stand out are adding popping background images and colors, fun fonts, and typographies.

Finally, to make your emails more enticing, you could look into color psychology. Different colors elicit different emotional responses and resonate better with various demographics of readers. Your color scheme should depend on your customer demographics such as gender, career, etc. Plus, you should only use one Call-To-Action in your email design so as not to confuse your message or your readers.
Hopefully, this helped! Now don’t forget to be creative, and remember you need to focus on nailing both the message and the delivery. Here are 14 top newsletter content ideas for you, and different email marketing campaigns you could run to engage your audience.

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