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Essential Tips for Email Design in 2019

May 20, 2019
By Lizzie Hoffman


Email design is a bit like building a great burger – If all the best elements aren't used appropriately, it just isn't going to taste right. Use these awesome tips to design a great email in 2019 and increase engagement for your next email marketing campaign.

Create a clean eye-catching design

If ideas aren't clearly communicated to customers, unsubscribe rates will soar. There are a few ways to make sure the message is crystal clear:

  • Utilize animated GIF images to capture attention and draw recipients into the email copy.
  • Be sure that the email design is accessible, responsive and intuitive to give readers a great experience across all devices.
  • Build out responsive templates that are both attractive to the eye and ensure accessibility for all readers.

By creating overlapping and eye-catching elements, the digital marketer can decide how readers' eyes travel through an email.

Reduce barriers to engagement

In UX, reducing friction is a common concern. To make it simple, friction occurs at any point where an email reader gets lost, confused, slowed down or blocked. It's essential to reduce the friction between the reader and the intended action of an email. An easy way to do this: Use CTA's to direct subscribers to the most relevant landing pages. Other ways to reduce friction for higher engagement and conversion include:

  • Keeping it in the inbox: Create a micro-site, landing page or shop within the body of an email so that readers don't have to navigate away to complete an action.
  • Add forms to emails: Save users' time and collect valuable information by dropping a form directly into email. Many brands are able to collect user feedback efficiently by using a form built-into the email they deploy.
  • Use video in emails: Drive home the message and boost engagement rates by dropping a video directly into the email. Research shows that email marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than those who don't.
  • Images that make an impact: Use images in designs that relate to the target demographic. If the recipients are able to emotionally relate to the images, they are going to have a much higher chance of engaging with a brand. For example, an online shoe store you might target younger women with images of ladies in heels or wedges. On the flip side, they would show an image of more mature women in comfort-branded shoes to older women.

Get comfortable with AI

After years of segmenting email lists based on behavior, demographics and more, the digital marketing team probably has it down to a science. The caveat, though, is the segments need to remain broad enough to assign everyone on the list into one of a few buckets. With AI, brands can actually customize content to each individual user and automate that customization. This means businesses now have the power to give subscribers a human experience without paying for human labor. Pretty cool, right? Once the subscriber has clicked over to the website, AI also has the power to help automate chatbots to answer initial customer questions, vet prospects pre-funnel and generally assist all of the team's marketing efforts.

Create an experience

If a company wants to stand out and captivate its audience, the brand can't give them a plain burger that's been sitting on the warmer - they've had plenty. The burger needs some toppings; toast that bun and serve it fresh. Make the emails fun by peppering in exciting colors and animated GIFs. Entice audiences with imagery that appeals to their needs. Lead buyers down a clear path that guides them to the right call to action without distraction.
The bottom line is that companies can use data to power engaging content. Checkout our Email Intelligence services to learn how brands can use other demographic and interest data points about their audience in their next campaign.

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