1 min read

Email design – 7 essential elements

Written by Andriy Boychuk
1 min read
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    When you design for emails, it’s not only about the looks, but also about deliverability and conversions. Email service providers are finicky these days, but luckily there are best practices you can follow to make sure your email not only looks good, but also lands in your customers’ inboxes and drives revenue.

    In this video, we cover 7 essential elements and share the do’s and don’ts of an effective email design.

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    Seven essentials of email design. I would like to show you and walk you through seven essential elements of email design. I will show you different email examples from different companies that I receive explain to you what they did great and where they need some kind of improvement and why.

    #1. All you need to know about a logo in your email

    So number one, the top part of your email is the logo. For this example i’ll use Magic Spoon email, so here is a Magic Spoon they doing a great job. It’s very simple sometimes as you can see, half of the cereal they put here it’s very clean, it’s small and it does not attract a lot of attention but it gives us the branding so we can see the logo who they are and so forth.

    However, if I switch to their next email and this is a big No! No! No! However, it might work because it’s a kind of transactional email. You see track order and us versus them. Why I’m saying this is a bad example? Because we do not want to add any additional call to action.

    So this is a call to action number one, call to action number two, and people can click here. It’s not a real call to action, but people typically click on the logo. That’s why we do not like to use this kind of header. I would rather remove this so people can scroll and click on the track order or us versus them if they want to convey that information.

    It’s a great email. But if I care only about my order I will click here or I click us versus them. So basically it’s too much information in the header. This email does not give me the desire to scroll because of too much information in the email. Like we always want to design like in this format so people are scrolling from top to bottom and with one call to action.

    This email is perfect, as I said I like one logo, very simple and additional point about the logo. Do not just put a link to your homepage, but the same link which you use for call to action. For example, if you use the shop now or back to the abandoned cart, use that link and add it to your logo.

    #2. Tagline

    So number two is the tagline. Some brands use a tagline under their logo, some brands use a tagline at the bottom of the email. Some brands don’t use tagline at all but I’ll show you an example of how one company does it the proper way.

    It’s very simple and well-designed. So the company is RSVLTS, and this is their email. This is the latest email I received from them and their tagline as you can see here at the bottom, Dare Mighty Things. It’s well-designed and well-placed in the email so it does not obstruct or does not break email weirdly it’s in the flow. So it’s correctly placed and works perfectly.

    #3. Hero image

    The third component is a hero image. A lot of people ask me how can I design like 50 emails, 60 emails? And like, for all those flows? Recently, we released our new course, “Customer Life Cycle” where we include 10 different flows and approximately 40 or 50 emails. People ask me, how can I design so many emails? And the advice we give them do not design each email as a unique email.

    Create one template, and just design the hero image. So here’s an image of the Training Mask brand. As you can see, they have one template, every email looks the same, almost exactly the same but the copy is different. Call to action is different. But what they really designed and changed is this hero image.

    First of all, it will save you a lot of time, and second, it will keep your emails simple and consistent.

    #4. Body of your email

    So number four is the body of your email where did you put all of your copy. A great example is Hydrant and I will show you. Here’s their email, as you can see, they do the one hero image and they also have the footer. In this case, they need to do two image designs.

    But what I said in the previous point about hero images, we highly recommend to start with one because it will add you a lot of work already and in the future. You can revise and maybe add more images. They do a nice layout. I like their title, some copy, and everything well laid out and very clear. Not too much text and also a nice space between paragraphs. And an additional thing, I like that they have one CTA.

    Remember what I said in the first part about Magic Spoon, where they had few options in their header. In Hydrant, as you can see the clear logo, hero image, one call to action, clear call to action. And here’s another one. I mean, it will direct me to the same things but it’s very clear as you can see even if I scroll down it is the structure.

    So it’s very clear on drives you from one part of your email to the next one. It’s a very clear design and nice layout and is easy for the eyes. Text is not too small, not too big and formatted correctly. I like this email a lot.

    #5. Your conversion will be higher

    Number five is the product carousel. It’s optional, you don’t have to do it, especially if you don’t have many products. I’ll show you how it’s done and give you some examples. Here’s a brand Sports Edit and they have big images which are totally fine for their brand because they’re visual.

    It’s not easy to stay consistently creative. That’s why we created a full-year campaign content idea calendar, to give us inspiration when we need it.

    But as you can see here, they have a running and they show you different kinds of brand products. So they show you the jacket, and then the shorts, then sneakers, and there are a few other sneakers. If you use software like Klaviyo or any other software, that dynamical pool product that shows your shopping behavior, your conversion will be much, much, much higher because the person will see the product they’re most likely to buy.

    #6. Email is not a website

    Okay, number six is the store category. I know a lot of brands like to include store categories. Like, let’s say you’re a sports store and like shoes, pants, t-shirts, and so forth on the top of the email. But remember, email is not a website. You don’t have a navigation menu at the top of the email.

    It’s one of the mistakes I covered in the video about email design mistakes. So the video was called five email design mistakes. I strongly recommend for you go and watch it. It’s a very short watch, but if you watch it, you will stop doing those mistakes. If you’re doing them or it’s just a checklist for you.

    I’ll show you examples about store category and their right placement. So here’s the Design Public company. As you can see, they have a shop favorite, and this is their store category and it’s not included at the top. So a person will have to scroll and see it here.

    Also, I want to show you the Pottery Barn and another furniture brand. They’re doing a great job as well. At the bottom, they show you see bestseller bedding, pillows, and so forth. So those are categories, but they are at the bottom of their email.

    This is to my previous point, the product carousel you see recommended just for you so I’m not sure what software they use. However, I think those were pooled based on my purchase behavior or my browsing behavior which is its AI artificial intelligence, but it’s very cool and it will help your store get more money and more conversions, more sales.

    #7. Person can easily find you

    Number seven is the social CTA. Each folder might not be as effective that each person will click on it. However, it’s a standard you need to include social icons so person can easily find you. If somebody wants to follow you on Instagram and they do not know your Instagram and any other social media they want to follow on.

    I will show you here a few examples. So here’s Barukas brand and this is how they show it. Discover the healthiest nuts in the world, I believe this is their tagline. And simply they have just two social icons and we can follow them on Instagram or Facebook.

    Another example, Training Mask does it the right way as well. In Training Mask I want to point out that they doing the carousel for Instagram and if I click here, it’s supposed to go to the Instagram page. Yes, this is correct. They showed icons however, in addition to the icon, they show visuals like what’s going on on that specific social media. And I believe they want to drive the majority of their traffic to Instagram that’s why they show snapshots from Instagram here.

    Okay, and the last one is Designed Public right here. Just simply follow us and they doing the same thing, GIF of their Instagram images. It’s just visually appealing and you want to click on that.

    Bonus Tip

    Bonus tip number eight, I know I didn’t say that at the beginning of the video, but I just saw the great example on Pottery Barn and I would like to mention it. So if you do some kind of promotion, let’s say the month of discounts or you’re trying to promote your loyalty program or you’re trying to promote your app design.

    If you want quantifyable results when measuring your customer loyalty, NPS is the way to go. We have a NPS calculator to make it easy for you to understand how likely your customers are to stay.

    What you can do is like in Pottery Barn as you can see at the bottom, earn 10% back. So they basically cross-promote or just promote their credit card. They include this banner probably in all their emails. So let’s say if you promoting your loyalty program, you can add the banner to all of your emails.

    As Firestone, unofficial e-commerce king, he calls it PS banner. And he uses for his BOOM by Cindy Joseph I believe a brand. He also included that PS banner tool in his emails.

    I hope it helps. If you have any additional questions or ideas about email design blogs, please leave them under this video also if you’re new on this channel and not subscribed yet, please subscribe to help our channel to grow. And yeah, if you like the video click like, and again, leave your questions below, I’m checking them daily and responding in a few days or sooner. So yeah, I would like to answer your questions. Thank you, bye.

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