Know how directly from the Microsoft 365 mail merge experts

The Winning Guide to Email Design (3 Examples + Templates)

In today’s digital landscape, attention spans are dwindling, and competition for engagement is fierce. As a result, design and aesthetics are now just as important as the actual content of a given communication.

Ideally, the two should work seamlessly together where the visual layout, typography, images, and other elements amplify and draw attention to key messages and call to action.

In this comprehensive guide to email design, we will learn the significance of thoughtful design choices to help you optimize your email marketing campaigns and foster stronger connections with your recipients.

Let’s start!

The Importance of Email Design Templates

The Importance of Email Design Templates

An email template is a pre-designed layout that allows marketers to create and send professional, visually appealing emails easily. These templates provide many benefits that streamline communication, save time, and elevate brand consistency.

Here are the top reasons why incorporating email design templates into your email marketing strategy is a game changer.

1. Promotes Brand Consistency

Email design provides an opportunity to reinforce your brand identity. Consistency in design elements such as color palette, typography, and imagery creates a cohesive brand experience.

A report by Lucidpress that surveyed over 200 brand management professionals indicates that consistent brand presentation increases revenue by 33 percent.

2. Enhances Visual Appeal

The visual aspect of email design can significantly impact engagement. Templates incorporating eye-catching visuals, balanced layouts, and appealing typography can enhance your emails' overall aesthetic and allure.

3. Ensures Mobile Responsiveness

More than 41 percent of email views come from mobile devices. An email template with a responsive design that adapts seamlessly to different screen sizes and resolutions ensures a positive user experience, leading to higher click-through rates.

This optimization enhances the user experience, resulting in higher open rates, improved engagement, and increased conversions.

4. It Is Scalable

Email templates provide a scalable solution by offering a framework that can be replicated for different campaigns and segments. Reusing templates ensure a consistent visual appearance while allowing content customization to align with specific goals and target audiences. This versatility enables effective outreach to a wider customer base, maximizing the impact of email marketing efforts.

5. Adds Identifiable Call-to-Action Buttons

Successful email designs center on clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs). A skillfully designed CTA button strategically positioned in an email holds power to enhance click-through rates and drive conversions.

Incorporating email design templates into your email marketing strategy can revolutionize how you create and send professional, visually appealing emails. A useful free plugin for email templates in Outlook is TemplateManager365. This lets you create and send beautifully designed emails that captivate your audience and drive meaningful engagement.

How to Create an Email Design?

How to Create an Email Design?

A well-designed email visually appeals to recipients, effectively communicates your message, and motivates them to act. Every element plays a role in creating an email design that stands out, from layout and color choices to compelling visuals and persuasive copy. Below, we will explore key principles and best practices to guide you in creating exciting designs that effectively convey your message, inspire action, and deliver results.

1. Define your goals

Start by clarifying the objectives of your email campaign. Whether promoting a product, sharing valuable content, or nurturing customer relationships, clearly outlining your goals will guide your design decisions.

2. Understand your audience

Get to know your target audience's preferences, interests, and behaviors. This understanding will influence your design choices, including color schemes, typography, imagery, and tone of voice, allowing you to create emails that resonate with your recipients.

3. Keep it Clean and Simple

A cluttered and overwhelming design can deter recipients from engaging with your email. Aim for a clean, minimalist layout highlighting your key message and avoiding unnecessary distractions. Use white space strategically to enhance readability and guide the reader's focus.

4. Maintain Consistent Branding and CTAs

Incorporate your brand's visual elements consistently throughout the email design to build recognition and trust.

Emphasize a clear and persuasive CTA that prompts recipients to take action. Incorporate contrasting colors to make your CTAs distinct from the rest of your email content. Ensure your CTAs utilize concise and straightforward language to minimize obstacles between your recipients and their intended goals.

5. A/B Test and Optimize

Before sending your email, thoroughly test it across different devices, email clients, and web browsers to ensure it renders correctly.

Conduct A/B testing to experiment with varying design elements and measure their impact on open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. Analyze the results and iterate on your design to optimize your email campaigns.

6 Elements of Good Email Design

The Importance of Email Design Templates

Creating a well-designed email involves carefully considering a mix of elements that collectively contribute to the email's effectiveness and impact.

This section explores key components of crafting engaging and visually appealing emails. From the pre-header to the footer, each element serves a specific purpose in capturing attention, conveying information, and driving desired actions.

_Create visually appealing and engaging emails by considering the following elements when designing or picking out an email template. _

1. Pre-Header

The pre-header and preview text are crucial components of an email as they provide a glimpse of the message before opening it fully. To create a good pre-header, keep it concise (between 30 and 70 characters), personalize it, avoid repeating the subject line, add value, and ensure its responsiveness on mobile devices.

2. Header

The header serves as the packaging of your email, making it the first impression on recipients. A compelling header should be visually appealing, meaningful, and a glimpse of what's to come.

Combining text and relevant images should feature a catchy headline, important links, and succinct descriptions that summarize the email's main gist.

3. Email Copy

Even while focusing on design, well-written copy is still essential to the overall effectiveness of a given email. Keep the message concise, engaging, and tailored to your audience's preferences. Avoid exceeding 200 words and adapt the language to resonate with the reader. Clear and effective copy ensures that recipients grasp the intended message and take the desired action.

4. Font

Choosing the right font is critical for ensuring consistent and legible display across various devices and email clients. Opt for simple, on-brand, and easy-to-read fonts. Stick to a maximum of two fonts throughout the email, use sans serif fonts for body text, and determine appropriate font sizes for body copy (14pt to 16pt) and headers (22pt to 24pt).

5. Images

Images are powerful elements in email design, catching attention and conveying messages quickly. Opt for high-resolution images relevant to the content and aligned with your brand's style. Keep file sizes below 1MB in PNG format to ensure quick loading times and engagement.

Keep in mind the following considerations for images.

  1. Size

    Consider the size of your images and overall email design to optimize loading times and accommodate different screen sizes. High-resolution images should balance visual impact and file size to maintain audience engagement.

  2. Purpose

    Ensure that each image in the email serves a strategic purpose and adds value to the content. Avoid adding images for the sake of inclusion alone. Each visual element should enhance the message and resonate with the audience.

  3. Stock Images vs. Custom Images

    While custom images allow for unique branding and messaging, stock images can also be utilized effectively. If using stock images, ensure they are distinct and not commonly used by competitors. Strive for originality to reinforce your brand's identity.

  4. Backgrounds

    When incorporating text over images, select backgrounds that are not overly patterned or complex, ensuring they provide sufficient contrast for text readability. Carefully chosen backgrounds enhance the visual appeal and encourage recipients to explore the email's content.

  5. Alt Text

    Including alt text for images is crucial for accessibility purposes. Alt text ensures that recipients who have images disabled or use screen readers can understand the content and context of the images. This practice improves user experience and prevents confusion or frustration.

  6. Colors

    Selecting harmonious colors is essential for creating a visually appealing email. Stick to a defined color palette aligned with your brand's identity, highlight sections with contrasting colors, and use no more than three colors throughout the email. Ensure that the background and text colors complement each other for optimal readability.

The email footer often contains important information and actionable elements. Include contact details, social media profiles, and an unsubscribe link. Leverage the footer creatively to showcase your unique selling proposition, core brand values, company slogan, store locations, or exclusive coupon codes.

To learn more about seamlessly integrating great design into your emails, check out our in-depth guide on how to create email templates that win you, clients.

Email Layout

Achieving a successful and engaging email design requires more than following individual best practices. It's essential to strike a balance between different elements to avoid confusion and frustration for your readers.

Consider the following aspects: text-to-image ratio, white balance, and spatial balance.

Text-to-Image Ratio

Overloading an email with excessive text or images can be visually unappealing. To maintain balance, it is recommended to follow the 60/40 rule, where 60% of the email comprises text and 40% consists of images. This ratio creates a visually pleasing layout and helps avoid spam filters that may flag emails with excessive imagery.

White Balance

Creating white or negative space within your email design is crucial. Like coffee beans when shopping for perfumes, white space allows elements to breathe and provides a sense of clarity and focus. Ample negative space reduces eye fatigue, enhances readability, and gives your email a clean and polished look.

Spatial Balance

Achieving spatial balance is vital for properly displaying essential elements in your email, such as images, body copy, and calls-to-action (CTAs). There are three common layouts: the one-column, the inverted pyramid, and the zig-zag. Each design offers different arrangements to distribute elements effectively and create visual harmony.

3 Real World Email Design Examples

In email marketing, drawing inspiration from real-world examples of effective email design can be a valuable resource for enhancing your campaigns.

In this section, we explore three standout brands—Calm, Uber Eats, and J.Crew—and delve into their email designs that have captivated recipients and achieved notable success.

Examining these three real-world examples allows us to gain insights into the elements and strategies that make exceptional email design.

1. Calm App: Brand Consistency

Calm App: Brand Consistency

Calm, the mental health app, demonstrates the power of brand consistency and simplicity in email design. With a consistent color scheme, serene imagery, and purpose-driven headings, Calm creates a cohesive brand experience that resonates with recipients. For several reasons, the brand’s email newsletter is a great example of an effective email design.

Let's delve into the key elements that contribute to its success.

Purpose-driven headings

The email begins with a clear, purpose-driven heading: "Reminder: rest is not a reward." This heading immediately grabs attention and conveys the central message of the newsletter, emphasizing the importance of rest. It sets the tone for the content that follows.

Clearly identifiable CTA buttons

Throughout the email, distinct and well-designed CTA buttons are strategically placed. For example, the "Read More Here" and "Download Here" buttons provide clear directions and encourage engagement with additional content. Using contrasting colors makes the CTAs stand out, guiding recipients to take action.

Brand-aligned colors and images

The email design aligns seamlessly with the Calm brand. The color scheme, predominantly featuring calming blue tones, creates a sense of serenity and reflects the app's purpose. Additionally, serene and nature-related images enhance the overall aesthetic and reinforce the brand's focus on mental well-being.

Structured content layout

The email's content is organized into sections, making it easy for recipients to navigate and digest the information. Each section is visually distinct, allowing for quick scanning and comprehension. Headings and subheadings further enhance readability and guide readers through the different topics.

Relevant and personalized content

The newsletter provides a mix of curated content, including sleep stories, meditations, and wisdom. It offers value to recipients by addressing their needs and interests directly. Including a sleep chronotype quiz and a monthly Calm calendar further adds personalization and encourages engagement with the app.

2. Uber Eats: Clear CTAs and Personalization

Uber Eats: Clear CTAs and Personalization

By utilizing distinct and well-designed CTAs, Uber Eats prompts recipients to take action, making it easy to claim offers or explore restaurant options. Exploring Uber Eats' designs provides insights into creating targeted and relevant content that enhances the email experience.

Here’s a look at some of the things they’ve done right.

Attention-grabbing subject line

The subject line, "40% off delicious dishes just for you!" immediately captures attention and entices recipients with a tempting offer. It creates a sense of exclusivity, making recipients feel valued and motivated to open the email.

Clear and compelling call-to-action (CTA)

The email prominently features a CTA encouraging recipients to "Claim and save." The CTA is concise, action-oriented, and stands out with a contrasting color. It effectively prompts recipients to take advantage of the offer and engage with Uber Eats.

Eye-catching visuals

The email incorporates visually appealing images of food from different cuisines, enticing recipients with various options. The images are high-quality and reflect the brand's focus on delicious dishes. The use of mouth-watering visuals enhances the overall appeal of the email.

Personalized recommendations

The email provides personalized restaurant recommendations based on the recipient's likely preferences. Each restaurant suggestion includes a brief description and customer ratings, helping recipients make informed decisions. This personalization adds value to the email, catering to individual tastes and increasing the likelihood of conversions.

Simplified layout

The email design follows a simplified and easy-to-read layout. The content is concise and to the point, allowing recipients to grasp the main message and offer quickly. Clear sections with bold headings and minimal distractions make the important information stand out.

3. J.Crew: Focus on Visual Storytelling

J.Crew: Focus on Visual Storytelling

By letting images take center stage, J.Crew evokes emotion, intrigue, and delight, drawing recipients into their emails. By exploring J.Crew's email designs, we can learn the art of using visuals to tell a compelling story and create engaging experiences. Here's why this email stands out as a good example of design.

Visual storytelling

Rather than relying solely on text, J.Crew lets the picture talk. The email features a captivating, high-definition image of an ice cream cone that immediately grabs attention and evokes delight. The visual is the focal point, drawing recipients in and piquing their curiosity.

Subtle promotion

While the email promotes a sale, J.Crew takes a subtle approach by not mentioning it in the initial copy. The teaser "This is worth the scroll" creates intrigue and encourages recipients to explore further. This subtle promotion engages recipients and entices them to discover the message behind the image.

Interactive visual elements

The design incorporates an interactive element by using the tip of the ice cream cone as a directional arrow. This clever use of the visual guides recipients' attention towards the call-to-action (CTA) and encourages them to take the desired action. It adds a playful and interactive dimension to the email, enhancing the user experience.

Attention to detail

The email demonstrates attention to detail in terms of visual composition. The choice of a long, scroll-worthy image encourages recipients to scroll through the email, revealing additional content as they progress. This technique increases engagement and ensures recipients don't miss important information.

Simplified design

The email design is clean and uncluttered, allowing the image to take center stage. The minimal use of text ensures the focus remains on the visual element. This simplicity in design enhances the overall aesthetic and readability, making it easy for recipients to navigate through the email.

Personalized Email Design for Outlook with Secure Mail Merge

Creating Outlook email templates can take your email design to the next level by equipping you with efficient and easy solutions.

Email templates provide a structured and efficient way to engage with clients, streamline your messaging, and leave a lasting impression. They allow you to improve response rates, simplify workflows, and lead to more conversions.

Personalized communication has become more critical as businesses strive to build strong relationships with their target audience.

A recent study revealed that every $1 spent on email automation and marketing leads to a return on investment (ROI) of $40. This emphasizes the need for tailored templates that resonate with recipients and drive them to take action.

SecureMailMerge is the ultimate plugin for Outlook that is a must-have for entrepreneurs, email marketers, and anyone managing multiple correspondences.

With SecureMailMerge, you can send many emails directly from your Microsoft 365 account, ensuring they appear as if you sent them personally. This enhances deliverability and significantly boosts response rates, as recipients are likelier to engage with personalized and authentic emails.

Some of the standout features include:

  • Seamless integration with your personal or shared address book to automate personalized emails.
  • Support for various spreadsheet types for recipient selection. Whether you have your recipient data stored in Excel, CSV, TXT, Numbers, OpenDocument, or other formats.
  • Unlimited message and attachment size, allowing you to send files in mail merge, lengthy messages, videos, or multiple images as needed.

By leveraging the power of SecureMailMerge, you can achieve faster results and streamline your email communication.

Install SecureMailMerge for Outlook and experience the communication revolution your business needs and deserves.

Final Word

Designing compelling emails is a crucial aspect of successful email marketing. By incorporating the key principles and best practices discussed throughout this article, you can elevate your email designs and create engaging experiences for your audience. From understanding email templates' importance and scalability to leveraging clear CTAs and captivating visuals, each element significantly drives engagement and conversions.

Remember to prioritize mobile responsiveness, maintain brand consistency, and continuously test and optimize your designs for optimal performance. By mastering the art of email design, you can create impactful campaigns that leave a lasting impression and deliver remarkable results for your business.