eCommerce Tips & Trends

10 Email Design Best Practices to Boost Conversions


by Jules

On 2019 M08 26

by Jules

As the old saying goes: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The same principle applies to email design too!

Since the average person is bombarded with email promotions and newsletters from countless companies on a daily basis, it’s crucial to catch their attention immediately and hold it, hopefully converting them into buying customers. That’s why it’s so critical to use email design best practices to give your email marketing efforts an edge in the battle for their inboxes.

To that end, here are just some of the best email design tips to keep in mind to boost conversions and keep your eCommerce business’ customers engaged and coming back to your online store!

How Can I Improve My Email Design?

There are many email design best practices to keep in mind to improve your email blast designs and convert readers. Here are just 10 of them!

1. Strategically-Positioned Calls To Action (CTAs)

It’s not enough to just include CTAs in your emails. Instead, it’s very important that you position them where they’re easily visible to the email recipient.

Make it easy for them to see the CTA clearly and quickly. Your CTA should be large, eye-catching and strategically-positioned above above the fold. You should also use active, direct and detailed language in your CTAs. For example, “Start your 7-day trial” is much preferable to just “Click to find out more.''

Zendesk uses large, clear CTAs in the center of their emails to attract attention to them quickly with minimal confusion

2. Add Color

This is a very simple yet effective email design tip, as color significantly impacts readers psychologically and emotionally - even if they don’t realize it at first! For this reason, it’s important that you add interesting and relevant colors to your emails.

If your brand already has a color scheme, you should always try to use it in designing your emails. This will go a long way in portraying your brand as being consistent in everything it does and with helping with your overall branding efforts.

3. Use Images

Not only is it a smart move to include images in your emails, you can take it to the next level by personalizing them. This means including images of products that are relevant to your target customer’s searches and shopping behavior.

This way, you can further increase their interest in the product. For an especially significant impact, the product images should be inserted directly above the CTA button.

4. Use More White Space

Even though color and images are important, the best email designs always make adequate use of white space too!

In order not to distract the recipient’s attention away from the product images or CTA buttons, you should always have an adequate amount of white space around them. Not only is this white space visually appealing, it also makes your email blasts easier to read!

Adequate whitespace makes this SXSW email simple and intuitive to read

5. Keep Important Content Above the Fold

Remember how first impressions are everything in email design? Make sure that the most crucial elements of your email, like the CTA, are positioned right above the fold in the case of a visually-lengthy email.

This makes sure they won’t get lost in the shuffle below the fold and never even be seen at all by the email reader.

6. Keep a Visual Hierarchy in Mind

This is another email design best practice that shouldn’t be overlooked.

This entails the thoughtful and coherent of positioning of images, text and other design elements to make sure the email is read exactly as intended.

A key tip to keep in mind is to use bold visuals when developing your visual hierarchy, as most email recipients will only scan through it - not reading every word but remembering what they see visually! In addition, use bold text and subheaders to make scanning it easier for the reader.

7. Use Directional Cues

This is a unique way of directing your target readers to the most important aspects of the email blast you’ve sent to them.

Try using the image of a man or woman looking in the direction of that crucial element of your email, such as the CTA. This strategy is known to improve the click-through rates of online stores that utilize it and can also be used effectively in email design. However, you should always be consistent with the placement of images in order not to confuse your target audience.

8. Maintain a Clean Layout

The best email designs always adhere to a clean, simple and intuitive layout.

Always separate your email into three distinct sections: the header, the body and the CTA.

Doing this will guide the email recipient along in an intuitive way, making it simpler for them to read and ultimately making them easier to convert effectively.

A clean, simple layout makes this InVision email very effective

9. Keep Your Customers in Mind

Research has shown that people usually follow an “F” pattern visually when it comes to reading content on the screen of their mobile devices or computers, meaning that most look at the top-left part of their email blast content the closest.

In order to ensure that the important aspects of your email are not overlooked, you should optimize your email blasts according to this reading pattern. This way, your target audience will be able to effectively engage with the format of your email and, in turn, stand a better chance at converting.

10. Don’t Stop Testing

Finally, when it comes to email design, it’s important to understand what doesn’t work just as much as what does work!

In order to ensure that your email marketing yields great results, always test a variety of strategies. You can try sending out sample emails to your staff, friends and family members to find out how they interact with the various email formats and strategies you’ve used to better gauge how effective they are.

Using A/B testing tools and heatmaps to find out which email formats work better and where your recipients are clicking is very useful too!

Boost Conversions with Email Design Best Practices

Making the most of the first few seconds that your target audience open their emails is the first step in achieving success with your email marketing campaign and converting the email recipients. With the above email design tips, your online business can potentially not only keep email readers engaged immediately after they open the email, but increase your conversion rates too!