Best Practice for Email Design

Best Practice for Email Design

26th June 2015 in Email Marketing

How to maximise the success rate of your email marketing campaigns.

The aim of sending an email is for the recipient to read and act on the content. Here’s where the first issue can occur. People now access emails through mobiles and tablets, not just desktop, all of which have different screen sizes. In fact over half of emails are read using a mobile device, and this figure is only going to increase.

So your email that looks great when opened on a desktop, may not translate when viewed on a small screen (even if mobile phone screens seem to be getting bigger with each new release - iPhone 6!). And this is significant as research has shown that a huge 71.2% of subscribers delete emails that don’t display correctly on their phones.

What are the official stats?

  • 53% of total email opens occurred on a mobile phone or tablet in Q3 2014. – Experian “Quarterly email benchmark report” (Q3 2014)
  • 75% of Gmail users access their accounts on mobile devices. Gmail now has 900 million users. – Google / TechCrunch “I/O developers conference” (May 2015)
  • Responsive design results in a nearly 15% increase in unique clicks for mobile users from a 2.7% average to 3.3%. – Litmus and MailChimp “The Science of Email Clicks: The Impact of Responsive Design & Inbox Testing” (December 2014)
  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of campaigns initially opened on mobile devices were later opened a second time by consumers - 70% on the same device, 30% on a different device. – Campaign Monitor “Email interaction across mobile and desktop” (Q1 2014)
  • By the end of 2018, worldwide mobile email users are expected to total over 2.2 billion. – The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018″
  • By 2018 80% of email users are expected to access their email accounts via a mobile device. – The Radicati Group “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018″
  • The biggest turnoffs people have with mobile email are: Receiving too many (44%), Not relevant (37%), Too small to read and interact with (32%), Website and landing pages not mobile optimised (26%) and not well formatted for mobile phones (21%) – LiveClicker and The Relevancy Group “Exploring the Benefits Real-Time Email – Driving Marketing Effectiveness” (2015)
  • 46% say if newsletters are too poorly designed to be read on a smartphone, it reduces the chance they buy something from the vendor – Apsis “The email Barometer, Email on mobile devices” (2013)
  • If an email does not display correctly, 71.2% will delete it immediately. BlueHornet “Consumer Views of Email Marketing” (2014)
  • 52% of marketers has adapted a simpler email design that renders well on all devices – eConsultancy – “Email Marketing Industry Census” 

So what is the best practice for email design in today’s multi-device world?

1. Size matters
Think about the smallest screen your email will be viewed on and design with that in mind. 

2. Can you read it?
It stands to reason that if you’re viewing on a small screen you need to make the text legible, so increase the font size accordingly.

3. Key messages
What is the key message you want to communicate? What do you want recipients to do? Think about what you want the outcome to be, and make sure that this is communicated ‘front and centre’ in a simple, clear manner.

4. Visual content
In their 2014 Science of Email report, HubSpot found that the number of clickthroughs was inversely related to the number of images. The more images, the lower the click through rate.

5. Analyse
Using the right email software to distribute your content will give you access to really useful analytics that can then be taken into account when putting your next email campaign together. This is particularly true if you run an A/B test to see which approach generated the most click-throughs.

6. Personalise
‘Hello Steve’, ‘Save Money Andrew’, ‘Just For You Ellen’ - It’s not hard to do and makes a real difference.

7. Be social
Studies indicate that clicks and shares increase by 130% on emails with social sharing enabled.

8. Test
Always! Don’t distribute your email campaign until you have tested to see how it will look across all devices - desktop, tablet and mobile.

As part of a programme of ongoing content marketing activity, we manage email campaigns for a number of clients including invitations, monthly newsletters and special offers. We are constantly tweaking these to ensure they continue to perform and meet the latest best practice.

If you need assistance with your email campaigns give us a call on 01484 302010.


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