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9 Do’s and Don’ts for Email Template Designs Optimized for Inbox Delivery

Designing templates for your organization’s email marketing campaigns can make your emails appear more professional and effective. Whenever you need to shoot out emails, all you need to do is to add the email copy, images, social media links, call-to-action buttons and texts and other elements, as required. Therefore, marketers can simply launch the email campaigns. However, the only problem or challenge in creating own email templates is that marketers may risk of design consistency issue.

Therefore, we’ve compiled a roundup of actionable techniques, dos and don’ts to avoid such probable email template design issues.

1.  Keep the design short and simple

The first and foremost rule of email template design to follow is to keep the design simple and easy to use. Your email design must deliver the message in your email and should not baffle or distract the recipients from the main links or information. Distraction from main action message can deter the clickthrough rates and conversion rates from the campaigns. Also, lesser design elements will make your emails more readable and can prevent SPAM filter.

2. Maintain the width of within 650 pixels

It is important to maintain the width of your emails within 650 pixels to ensure that your emails can be viewed in the vertical preview pane of Microsoft Outlook email client clearly. Huge masses of email recipients open their emails from diverse email clients open on Outlook by syncing those accounts with Outlook, that’s why no marketers should ignore their Outlook subscribers. HubSpot enables its users to duplicate their email templates for all email campaigns to make sure their emails do not exceed the width of 650 pixels.

3. Make use of CSS wherever possible

All major email clients including Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo!, have a common feature that is these clients are all browser-based platforms. All these browser-based email clients) will remove tags like DOCTYPE, BODY, HEAD and other tags causing display issues in emails unless marketers use inline CSS. Marketers who write full CSS codes can avert this design risk.

4. Choose the right images in right quantity and size

The smaller size of images works better in emails – hence, the smaller you choose, the better display you get. On the other hand, larger image files in emails can delay the email load time and cause the emails to not load properly leaded in the  subscribers’ inbox properly and this might cause them to move to the next email without reading the email copy. This loading failure can deter the success of your email campaigns terribly. Additionally, too many images in email will also create the same negative impact in email loading and increase the risks of getting your emails landed up in SPAM folders and decrease in customer engagement.

5. Don’t ignore the impact of image Alt Text

The Alt Text of images play a crucial role in enabling search engines to scan images, but also help subscribers to figure out which images are incorporated in emails when images fail to load on their inboxes. That’s why we recommend adding descriptive and relevant Alt Text in images to help recipients understand what images are present in the email

6. Don’t include PNG formats of images

While choosing the images for your emails, it is important to remember the correct image formats are “.jpeg” or “.gif” as PNG formats of images are not supported in many email clients such as Lotus Notes.

7. Don’t incorporate HTML tags in bullet points

Though pretty-looking bullet points may make the email copy look better, marketers should limit the use of HTML bullets. Bullet points if not loaded properly may appear as unrecognizable special characters. Instead of HTML bullet points, it is better to use plain text alternatives such as asterisks (*), dashes (-) or other characters that make the cullet points stand out without any display issue in email messages.

8. Do consider using URL shortener for links

Use of URL shortening tools might seem necessary in email marketing since in HTML email versions, links are masked behind anchor text. But, in plain-text email versions, wherein URL appear as long chain of parentheses and other special characters, especially when the link is too long URL is long. In such cases, URL shortening tools in will market your URLs more customized such as bit.ly.

9. Add Unsubscribe link in emails

Adding physical address, unsubscribe links and company names are significant elements in email template design as these elements help marketers to make sure that their emails are CAN-SPAM compliant. Incorporating these elements in email template will make adding these elements in every email much easier.

Though most marketers render emails in HTML versions, but plain-text versions are necessary too. Plain text versions are necessary as not having plain-text versions may trigger SPAM filters. At the same time, marketers also need to check that the copy in plain-text email version is exactly the same as in HTML versions. Marketers need to run their emails through A/B tests throughout the design process and continue testing after launches to improve the design. Ensure that emails are being delivered properly and loaded perfectly across multiple devices and email clients, to see how your audience is responding to delivered emails, buttons and links they are clicking and processing visual and textual content.