6 min read

Email design – STOP making these mistakes!

Written by Andriy Boychuk
6 min read
Table of Contents

    Email design, especially during the holiday season, can help you stand out among the competition. But your design process won’t matter if your design negatively affects your deliverability.

    Watch this video where Andriy covers the 5 mistakes in email design we’ve seen over the years, explains how they affect deliverability, and shares tips on how to fix them.

    Don’t forget to check out our Responsive Email Design Tutorial.

    Mistake #1 – Not making emails mobile responsive

    A few months ago, or maybe even a year ago I created a detailed video of how to convert not responsive email into responsive, so check this out.

    Did you know that 40% of people are opening emails on mobile? And it does not mean the 60% they open a desktop, they can be opening on other devices, but 40% is almost half of your audience, half of people, so it’s very important for you to have all of your emails to be responsive for mobile.

    That text should be bigger when they open on the mobile, it should be responsive for dark mode.

    So it’s very important for you to make your emails responsive, and if you don’t make it, the biggest mistake right now in the industry, not making your emails mobile responsive.

    Mistake #2 – Making the header of your email looks the same as your website

    Meaning adding that menu, and I’ll show you on my laptop right now. So this is Forever 21 company. Sorry Forever 21, I know you’re a big brand, but I will highly recommend to remove that menu style header.

    Why? Because there should be one main call to action, and maybe down below, you might include other call to actions if you want.

    So this website menu style, you can move to the folder, but not in the header. It defeat the purpose of single CTA, single call to action. So when you give people more options, they might be confused what you’re trying to tell them, and it will reduce your click through rate, it will reduce your conversion. So do not add menu style to header of your email.

    Mistake #3 – Making your email as one image

    I see a lot of companies and a lot of people are hiring designers who are not experienced with designing emails, they design nice picture, which is, I mean, it looks cool as the image, you opening on your computers, it’s like image, it looks cool. But when you’re sending it to your client as an image, assuming they have images disabled, they will just see a blank email.

    So here’s the blog post I wrote on January 16th, 2019. Almost two years ago. So I received an email from MeMoi company, and as you can, this is what I received. It was just blank email. Just assume you’re a customer who sees this kind of email, they will either mark it as spam or just delete it, and I mean, is this service for your customer?

    So this is what they actually send me, and this is what I received. So in their mind, when they were sending this email, they were thinking that I’m receiving this kind of email, but actually I received that one.

    So mistake number three, it’s very important to remember, do not make your email as a single image, do healthy balance at least 50-50, so 50% images, 50% response of tasks. This is a rule of thumb, and this is what I highly recommend for you to do.

    Mistake #4 –  Using custom Google fonts and/or custom Adobe fonts

    Yes, they are great, they are great fonts, they’re attractive, they’re unique to your brand, and I do understand. However, when you use an email marketing service provider, MailChimp, Klaviyo, any other service providers, I highly recommend for you use internet standard fonts, try to find internet standard font for your brand font. This is the best solution I can offer you.

    Why? Because the same thing that I said was a mistake number three, you’re sending one thing, and you think that people are seeing your cool font, but if your font is not installed on their computer, they will not see your font, and it will default to Ariel, Calibri, or any other font which is sat in your email service provider.

    It’s mistake number four, do not use custom fonts.

    Mistake #5 – making your email too busy

    Okay, and the last mistake, mistake number five, is making your email too busy. So you trying to add a lot of stuff, like one, call to action, we have a new release, we have a new product, we have 50%, somebody new joined our company, somebody posted on social media about us. And it’s just like a dump of everything that you’re trying to say into one email, and when people receive those kinds of emails, they tend to just archive, skip, go to the next one. You did not capture their attention.

    So it’s better to think and create only one piece of content with one call to action, and just to show you the bad design example.

    Here’s CVS email, and as you know, CVS is like pharmacy, they sell a lot of different stuff and I don’t understand them. They’re trying to push everything there, but this kind of email does not work.

    It’s not your paper flyer where people take them, spend time looking for something, it’s email, and the people that receive those kinds of emails, like, I don’t know, like thousand per day. So they tend to archive or delete, so do not do this kind of emails, do not make your emails busy.

    And also I have a bonus step for you, but before I tell you that, we released holiday guide, how to prepare for Black Friday, Cyber Monday, other holidays, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year, we created the guide, we invested a lot of time, we combine all resources, and it’s free. So just go to flowium.com/holiday and download the guide.

    Bonus step

    So the bonus step. The bonus step does not make your emails heavy, code-heavy. What do I mean by that? If you make your emails too heavy, they will be clipped, clipped at the bottom. I have another video explaining how to avoid it, what does it mean? But most importantly, if your emails are clipped, you are not compliant with the law and you might be in trouble.

    So I highly recommend for you make your emails as light as possible, meaning code, and as short as possible, which will make code lighter. If you are a designer and if you have any other suggestions, please put them in the comments. Thank you.

    Talk email strategy with an expert