Email Design Guide
The Email Design Guide is filled with tips and advice to help you convey your message in style. Learn how to better use images, fonts, calls to action and more.
Focus your message
- Some of the most effective emails have one clear message. If you have multiple messages to send, try breaking them up into a series of emails.
- Reduce the length of your email until you can simplify no more.
Create a hierarchy
- Put the most important information first for people who are short on time.
Break it up
- Use headings and bulleted lists to divide content into sections that are easy to understand. This helps scanners and skimmers.
- If you have a lot of information to convey, link to a page on your website (or someone else's website) where subscribers can learn more.
Start from scratch
- Sometimes it's easiest to start from scratch. Select the basic template that best matches the layout you’d like to use, then use the drag and drop editor to add other content and apply colors and styles.
Save your template
- Instead of starting over every time you send an email, create a template you can use and modify again and again.
- Make sure the reader knows who the message is coming from by putting your logo or name at the top of the email.
Pick a palette
- Choose just one or two colors for your emails. The fewer colors you use, the cleaner your design will look, which means the reader won’t be distracted from your message. Pick colors that your brand uses elsewhere.
Separate your header and footer
- Add background colors to the header and footer to visually separate them from the body content.
Use your brand assets
- Include your company's logo or mark at the top of the email, so people know where it's coming from.
- Make a statement with photography. If you’re using photos, try paring down the color in the surrounding design to make the images the central focus. You don't have to be a photographer in order to get professional quality photos. There are a number of stock photography websites to choose from, like Unsplash, Stocksy, New Old Stock, Can Stock Photos, Little Visuals.
Organize for quick reading
- Most people spend less than 15 seconds reading marketing emails, so keep it short and sweet, prioritizing your content from top to bottom.
- Use plenty of white space to give your content some breathing room and make your design more approachable.
Align your content
- Centering can work if your content is minimal, like one large photo and just a few sentences. If you have more content, left align it to make it more legible. Always keep alignment consistent across the entire email to maintain harmony.
Define your sections
- If your email features different types of content, clearly define sections by using dividers or borders.
Keep it legible
- We recommend setting the body text size within the 14-16px range, with 14px text appropriate for longer emails and 16px best for short ones (two or three sentences).
Choose your fonts
- Use a font that matches your message. The word "serif" refers to the small lines that extend from the end of letter strokes in some fonts. Some fonts have serifs, some don’t. Serif fonts tend to suggest sophistication, while sans serif fonts feel a little more casual. You can use a mix, but we recommend limiting your email to two fonts, three tops.
Calls to Action
Know your CTAs
- CTAs (Calls to Action) link readers to external content or ask them to do something. You can link images, buttons, or text. Choose whichever suits your purpose, but don't include too many CTAs in one email or readers won't know what to click.
- Write short and clear CTAs that motivate people to act (for example: Buy Now or Sign Up). Tell your subscribers exactly what you want them to do, using active language.
Make it obvious
- Size your CTAs by importance. The larger they are, the more important they'll feel to the reader. Make your links and buttons are obvious by using a different color or style, and position them so they stand out. Use white space around CTAs, and give them a prominent spot in your emails.
- Tell readers exactly what they're getting into before they click the call to action. For buttons, you can use subcopy to provide context.
- Focus your message
- Be concise
- Create a hierarchy
- Break it up
- Link out
- Start from scratch
- Save your template
- Pick a palette
- Separate your header and footer
- Use your brand assets
- Use photos
- Size your images
- Organize for quick reading
- Make room
- Align your content
- Define your sections
- Keep it legible
- Choose your fonts
- Know your CTAs
- Be clear
- Make it obvious
- Set expectations