Jul 18

Designing Effective HTML Emails

Posted on Saturday, July 18, 2009 in General Tips, Marketing, Web Design

  • Don’t give up on graphics, but understand that many of your recipients just won’t see them.
    • Make sure not to contain any important “Call to Actions” in an image.
  • Alt tag copy is an art.
    • When Images are not displayed, often time alt text is shown in its place.
    • Use alt text to describe the benefit they are missing by not being able to view the image. EX: “50% off our entire stock, July 4th only!”
    • Also, be aware not all email clients, such as Hotmail, do not display alt text.
  • Make sure your graphics don’t depress response.
    • Use graphics to reinforce messaging, not for messaging itself.
  • Make sure the reading pane* contains a call-to-action, not just graphics.
    • Always state benefits for the reader in the vary top of your email because this text is often used in the “*reading pane” displayed before they open your email.
    • If using columns design the smaller less important column on the right. (People read LEFT to right).
  • Use your subject lines, sender name and “From” address to their best advantage.
    • The sender name should include the name of your company or brand
    • Use an email address that makes it clear who you are and what you do. EX: newsletters@mycompany.com
    • Use the subject to state a benefit to the reader not you.
    • FYI: You have less than 10 words to catch the readers attention
  • Use inline CSS, expect the <head></head> to be ignored
  • Use a proper width for your email.
    • Due to Multiple side bars (inbox, ads…), and standard screen resolutions, expect the width of you email to be between 750-800px.

Overall state the benefit the person reading is getting weather it’s a super deal IE: free shipping / 15% off or a knowledgeable tip you are giving. Make sure this is the forefront because after you have them interested they are more likely to find out what your true call to action is, whether it be making money, generating traffic or providing helpful information.

Have fun with it and everything else you do!

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