Email design: A guide for marketers and designers.

Email design, can be fraught with challenges, as highlighted in the article “Crushing the 4 biggest email design challenges” by Ros Hodgekiss on Campaign Monitor.

As a result, there’s a lot of noise around what makes for great email design and how to get the best results from email marketing. Things are continually changing and evolving, so keeping pace can be challenging.

To help out, we’ve pulled together our own views on the basics.

Email design: 12 considerations for how to design for success

Here are 12 considerations for how to use and design for email success in 2014, based on our experiences with NZ clients and other sources.

Key take-aways

– Make the subject line and the pre-header as compelling as possible.

– Aim for 80% of the message in the first 20% of the email.

– Set a clear expectation of the action required and the incentive to click in the call to action.

– Do the squint test on the call to action to make sure it highlights key reasons to act.

– Align content and message type to your audiences mode of use (laid back or on the move?).

– Email design should be responsive to screen size.

– Text is illegible by default in fixed width emails opened on your phone…

– Separate the headlines from hero graphics in responsive email design.

– Optimise images to support retina displays.

– Avoid ragged edge typography.

– Remember that sometimes intuition trumps best practice.

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About the author

Jack Cunningham is head of digital at Twenty NZ. He has worked in the digital industry ever since there was one. Jack was the co-founder of a UK-based agency in 2001, and has worked on numerous global brands before emigrating to NZ. At Twenty he is involved in all aspects of the agency’s online output, applying the Science of Persuasion at every stage of the development of our digital comms. When he’s not at work he lives and surfs at Muriwai on the wild west coast of Auckland.


Twenty NZ
2/29 Pitt St, Auckland Central
Auckland 1010
New Zealand

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