Contact Us | 1-866-488-4474 |

Email Design Tips & Tricks From Greenfield's Programmer

This post is by Jeff Chabot, Web & E-marketing programmer at Greenfield Services Inc.

Tips And Tricks from the Web Designer
My experience programming lead nurturing messages, e-newsletters, and special offers has led me to compile the following list of tips to maximize the deliverability and effectiveness of your email marketing.
  1. Too many pictures, not always a good thing: It is tempting to make an e-mail entirely picture based to showcase your hotel room renovations or expanded meeting space Unfortunately  having too many photos can work against you by negatively affecting your email’s deliverability. When in doubt, keep it simple. A nice banner at the top, usually including your company logo and one or two photos in the body of the e-mail is all you need. 
  2. Never put paragraphs in an image:  Another way to negatively affect your message is to lay out your text in an image. This can be devastating to your communication goals. If something in that image is a key component of your message and the image doesn’t load, then what? Save yourself from failure by ensuring that your text loads as text, and not as an image.  If you are worried about the text rendering properly, just lay it out in a table
  3. Take a step back and breathe: When designing or coding I can miss things.  It is the reality almost every designer faces; we stare at code all day long and then often rush to testing. This simply isn’t sustainable. The biggest time and grief-saving tip I can give you is to step back about five feet, clear your eyes and really just look at the e-mail. This change in perspective will bring to light things like mis-alignment, problems with visibility or readability, poor use of whitespace and general layout problems.
  4. Fresh eyes can be your best friend: Now sometimes the last tip just won’t work and it’ll seem like you almost constantly find new things wrong with your e-mail. That’s when it’s time to ask for a lifeline: send it to someone else. Fresh eyes will help you spot typos, pesky font-changes or color discrepancies.
  5. Avoid too much white space or lack of color:  When laying out images and text and taking a look from a distance, it is fairly clear whether your e-mail is missing that appeal or not. If you don’t find it attractive it’ll be hard for you to engage your clients. You have to be confident in the fact that this e-mail looks and feels how you want it to. A good way to do this is by blending in a healthy mix of colors and images, while keeping in mind that you don’t want too much of either. You can also “cheat” so to speak by making the background of the entire e-mail a very neutral color like a light gray, and then keep your e-mail body background in white. This really brings your copy front and center and has the reader's eyes pinned before they knew what hit them.
  6. Stay away from blinding colors: It’s hard choosing colors. It’s usually tempting to keep it simple with a nice white layout, and although this is great, some color never hurt anyone. It’s what you do with that color that really matters. Spicing up the links, adding a keyline (border), filling in a box or form and even picking very bright imagery can all help, but it is easy to get caught up in the whirl of color schemes. I suggest avoiding very bright colors with a very light body. This invokes an almost nauseating feeling and having to squint just to read the copy. Also, never use dark colors on a dark background or light colors on a light background. If the reader has to highlight the text just to read it they’ll likely press the “delete” button. 
When you hit send you should feel confident that this is exactly what your client needs and wants. I am always told to put myself in their shoes, and that is probably the most valuable tip I can offer.