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Email Design for the Non-Designer

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Think you’re not a designer? Think again!

Design doesn’t require innate talent or a fancy degree—in fact, there’s a method to the design madness. This presentation breaks down the design process, exploring the use of white space, content hierarchy, color, images, and more. Marketers of any skill level can learn basic design principles, using these foundations as a framework to create effective communications and demand more clicks and conversions from their email program.

Published in: Design, Marketing

Email Design for the Non-Designer

  1. @meladorri @litmusapp Email Designfor the Non-Designer
  2. everyone designs
  3. “Everyone designs who devises courses of action aimed at changing existing situations into preferred ones.” @meladorri @litmusapp —Herbert Simon (1969) The Sciences of the Artificial. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  4. Have you ever made something that was… @meladorri @litmusapp << open << click << conversion Read? Interacted with? Used?
  5. Design is not art. Design is: • a plan • a strategy • a process discover + define research + brainstorm create test + assess improve + evolve @meladorri @litmusapp
  6. Good design is… Innovative Useful Understandable Unobtrusive Honest Long-Lasting Thorough Aesthetic @meladorri @litmusapp 1. Helps to achieve your goals 1. Shows respect for your audience A well-designed email serves tw o purposes: 1 2 1. What do you want them to do? Problems design can help solve: 1. Who is your audience? And how will you target them? 1 2
  7. STRATEGY @meladorri @litmusapp Who is your audience?
  8. TACTICS @meladorri @litmusapp What do you want them to do?
  9. design tips
  10. Alignment
  11. Alignment Creates order and organization. The scaffolding for your email.
  12. Left Alignment Is natural to read since it mirrors the way we read. It’s easy for the eye to follow.
  13. Center Alignment Is harder to follow from line to line. Use sparingly.
  14. Right Alignment Is also harder to read for Western languages. Use sparingly.
  15. No alignment Alignment
  16. Email services such as Yahoo! don’t support alignment strategies equally. RUN A QUICK TEST Preview your emails before every send to ensure they look great in every inbox.
  17. Proximity
  18. These are related @meladorri @litmusapp
  19. Are these? @meladorri @litmusapp
  20. Proximity @meladorri @litmusapp Creates relationships and groups between elements. Makes things easier for the reader.
  21. @meladorri @litmusapp Note the relationships here can be easily defined.
  22. @meladorri @litmusapp Identify areas of proximity improvement.
  23. Proximity + alignment @meladorri @litmusapp
  24. Negative (or ‘White’) Space
  25. @meladorri @litmusapp Increases readability, usability, and clarity. White Space
  26. White space can be any color. It’s just breathing room.
  27. Surround something with white space to make it stand out.
  28. Cheap: less white space Luxury: more white space h"p://alistapart.com/ar0cle/whitespace Use white space to set the tone. Same content (copy and image)…
  29. Use white space to improve legibility + comprehension
  30. “…good use of white space between paragraphs and in the left and right margins increases comprehension by almost 20%...” @meladorri @litmusapp h"p://www.smashingmagazine.com/2009/09/24/10-‐useful-‐usability-‐findings-‐and-‐guidelines/
  31. • Around graphics and images • To create a margin or “gutter” • As line spacing in blocks of copy • Between columns • On buttons Use white space…
  32. @meladorri @litmusapp The rule of thumb 40–60 pixels between elements
  33. White space in all the wrong places can reduce clarity and readability. PREVIEW YOUR EMAILS Preview tests allow you to see and fix any quirks before sending.
  34. Hierarchy
  35. Hierarchy @meladorri @litmusapp Has to do with the order, number and scale of the elements in your message
  36. ORDER: Put the important stuff first @meladorri @litmusapp
  37. Multiple Categories Single Category ‘design’ ‘marketing’ ‘hot offthe press’ +30% clicks
  38. @meladorri @litmusapp NUMBER: Don’t provide too many choices.
  39. 21% CTOR 40% CTOR Many CTAs Single CTA
  40. @meladorri @litmusapp SCALE: Use scaling to increase readability
  41. Use actionable insights to send smarter emails Knowing your audience is key to building emails that look great and drive performance. With the addition of Email Analytics to your account, you have access to rich audience insights that will help you optimize, target and track trends in your campaigns. Optimize conversion rates Act-On saw a 130% increase in clicks and 93% increase in sales- ready leads by optimizing emails for their growing mobile audience. @meladorri @litmusapp
  42. Use actionable insights to send smarter emails Knowing your audience is key to building emails that look great and drive performance. With the addition of Email Analytics to your account, you have access to rich audience insights that will help you optimize, target and track trends in your campaigns. @meladorri @litmusapp Optimize conversion rates Act-On saw a 130% increase in clicks and 93% increase in sales-ready leads by optimizing emails for their growing mobile audience.
  43. Create Hierarchy @meladorri @litmusapp By using size, color, alignment, contrast, and position
  44. I LIKE z BIG BUTTONS @meladorri @litmusapp …AND I CANNOT LIE
  45. Wine Merlot Cabernet Chardonnay Beer Stout Amber Pale Ale @meladorri @litmusapp Wine Merlot Cabernet Chardonnay Beer Stout Amber Pale Ale
  46. Use a grid to articulate hierarchy @meladorri @litmusapp
  47. Use hierarchy to… @meladorri @litmusapp Influence user behavior Guide subscribers to click Set expectations Enhance comprehension
  48. Email clients don’t render styles consistently. PREVIEW NOW Be sure your hierarchy styles are functioning across inboxes.
  49. Color
  50. Build your brand, ensure legibility, and enhance important elements. Color choices
  51. Source: http://wecreatebrands.com.au/brand-strategy-2/colour-meanings-in-graphic-design/ Consider the emotional effects of your color choices. Create synergy through color branding
  52. Color contrast increases readability.
  53. Style your blue links to increase legibility and brand synergy. LEARN HOW
  54. Von Restorff Effect An isolated item “sticks out” and is more likely to be remembered.
  55. Color Theory ANALOGOUS MONOCHROMATIC COMPLEMENTARY @meladorri @litmusapp
  56. HEX VS RGB HEX RGB Email Supported Limited Support in Email #FF6600 R(255), G(102), B(0) @meladorri @litmusapp
  57. @meladorri @litmusapp Color blindness effects 8% of the male population. USE A COLOR BLIND FILTER
  58. Images
  59. Over 50% of our brains are dedicated to processing images.
  60. Many inboxes block images by default. Preview your campaigns with images disabled readability with and without images.
  61. Use styled ALT text to communicate your message when images are disabled. CHECK OUT OUR GUIDE
  62. @meladorri @litmusapp thenounproject.com istockphoto.com unsplash.com stocksnap.io Stock photo sources:
  63. 43% of Gmail users preview emails with images off. TEST WITH IMAGES OFF In addition, various inboxes automatically block images. Be confident your emails look great even with images off.
  64. Fonts (typography)
  65. Font Guidelines @meladorri @litmusapp Don’t use too many. Use them consistently.
  66. Choosing Type
  67. Serif No extra stroke features at the end of characters. Sans-serif Stroke added to the ends of characters.
  68. Comic Sans Papyrus Brush Script@meladorri @litmusapp
  69. Display Decorative, adds accent visual interest. Usually needs to be captured as an image. Web-Safe Type that’s supported online and most operating systems. Arial, Helvetica, Times New Roman, Courier, Palatino, Garamond, Bookman, Verdana, Georgia, Comic Sans, Trebuchet, Arial Black, Impact.
  70. Turkey pig tongue jowl meatloaf meatball, shankle Bacon ipsum dolor amet spare ribs turkey flank boudin, pastrami turducken rump cupim chuck jowl alcatra ham hock doner. Turkey pig tongue jowl meatloaf meatball, shankle Bacon ipsum dolor amet spare ribs turkey flank boudin, pastrami turducken rump cupim chuck jowl alcatra ham hock doner. Line Height/Spacing 1.4–1.6 font size
  71. Bacon ipsum dolor amet spare ribs turkey flank boudin, pastrami turducken rump cupim chuck jowl alcatra ham hock doner. Turkey pig tongue jowl meatloaf meatball, shankle cow chuck venison flank sausage picanha prosciutto. Line Length Bacon ipsum dolor amet spare ribs turkey flank boudin, pastrami turducken rump cupim chuck jowl alcatra ham hock doner. Turkey pig tongue jowl meatloaf meatball, shankle cow chuck venison flank sausage picanha prosciutto. 50-75 characters
  72. There’s more to typography than meets the eye. GET THE DETAILS  Learn how to make your typography responsive.
  73. Emphasis
  74. Emphasize the important stuff @meladorri @litmusapp
  75. When you emphasize @meladorri @litmusapp EVERYTHING, you emphasize nothing.
  76. Repetition
  77. Keep it consistent Develop an email style guide and use type, color, and structure the same way consistently.
  78. Use a style guide @meladorri @litmusapp Headlines: 22px+ Subheads: 18-20px Body copy: 13px minimum 15-16px is better
  79. From name ~25 characters 25% of the inbox Subject line ~35 characters 25% of the inbox Preview text ~85 characters 50% of the inbox @meladorri @litmusapp
  80. Now that you’ve mastered the design basics… CHECK OUT THE GUIDE It’s time to learn how to get responsive!
  81. Data driven design
  82. 70% read on mobile 15%read on mobile Design based on your audience
  83. Data-driven design Outlook-heavy audience Adjust design for preview pane, code for limited support Image-blocking email clients Code with styled alt text and bgcolors to create interest Large Blackberry environment Code using a fluid layout for legibility Large number of retina devices Adjust photoshop file for retina sizing Large Lotus notes audience Start looking for another job
  84. Better data means better design. GET BETER DATA Find out which platforms and email clients your recipients are using. Start measuring the success of your responsive designs.

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