It is easy to overthink the design of your email marketing messages. When you go to all the trouble of building a mailing list and writing strong, compelling content, you want to be sure that it is presented in an attractive format that gives your hard-won readers a positive impression of you and the things you have to offer.
A great email campaign format can be the difference between a message that gets read and a message that gets ignored. When you choose a format for email marketing, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
What makes a great email campaign format?
The most important thing to remember when designing an email marketing template is to keep it very simple. Focus on readability first, and then add in small amounts of graphic flair to draw in and maintain your reader’s attention.
If you try to do too much in your layout, you are not only risking overwhelming your readers with too much visual distraction from your message. You also risk delivering them a message that will not display correctly in their email reader.
There is so much variance in the way that HTML will be displayed from one email reader to the next that it is extremely difficult for the average marketer to design a template that displays correctly for most recipients.
A good alternative is to use one of our professionally designed email marketing templates, as these have been tested against every major email reader released in the last 10 years.
I have spoken with many users of our ActiveCampaign Email Marketing software who called in to ask for advice on how to best use CSS in their email templates. My advice? Don’t even think about it.
The unfortunate truth is that there is a huge disparity between the way that even simple table cells are displayed in various email readers.
You definitely want to avoid Flash and video in your email messages, and remember to include a plain text version of your message in addition to the templated HTML version.