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Does UX Really Affect Your Email Marketing Success?

June 9, 2015
By Phil Davis


When it comes to the design of a website or application, there’s really no denying the effectiveness of a great user experience. We often hear positive UX increases subscriber engagement while poor UX drives users away. You’ve probably experienced this for yourself after visiting a visually pleasing, easy-to-navigate website, and again when you’ve landed on a cluttered, confusing page. 

But, what factors make up UX and, when it comes to email marketing, does it even matter? Here’s what we’ve discovered:

What Makes Up the User Experience?

For those of you new to the subject, user experience (UX) refers to the interaction a person has with a website, program or other digital application. Don Norman, Apple Fellow and director of The Design Lab at the University of California, San Diego, coined the term in the mid 1990s. According to Norman, user experience “encompasses all aspects of the end-user’s interaction with the company, its services and its products.” 

In other words, nearly everything you do, from a digital perspective, affects your brand’s user experience. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Consistency of logos, colors and trademarked characters
  • Aesthetics of all layouts and designs
  • Ease of navigation
  • Website speed
  • Findability of key items, such as products and services
  • Consistency of communication (i.e. social media, blogs and email)

How Does UX Impact Email Performance?

Now that we’ve discussed what user experience is, let’s talk about how it affects the way subscribers interact with your emails.

  • Look and Feel
    The theme of your emails should reflect your website. From colors and fonts to mood and tone, keep your branding consistent. Keeping the look and feel cohesive reinforces the impact of your email messaging, and offers subscribers a memorable and recognizable experience. 
  • Mobile-Friendliness
    About half of your subscribers will be reading your email on a mobile device. If you lack the development resources to make your emails responsive, at least make sure they’re mobile-friendly. In other words, keep messaging short and to-the-point, keep buttons large and easy to tap and use a single-column design.
  • Landing Page Design
    While it’s not part of the email itself, your landing page plays a major role in the UX of your email marketing strategy. If your subscriber has not only opened and read your email, but clicked through to your landing page, you’re seconds from cinching the deal. Make sure the landing page maintains a similar look and feel in both design and content. Keep it clean, easy to navigate and free of distractions to improve your chances of achieving a conversion.


As you can see, UX is not only an important consideration in your email marketing strategy, it can be the determining factor between a conversion and a lost opportunity. By making sure your subscribers enjoy a positive experience, you can make a memorable first impression and establish immediate brand loyalty. 

Looking for more ways to wow your subscribers? Check out our new infographic The 3 Stages of Personalization.

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