Here’s the thing about your email template -- when your past, present and future customers think of you, there’s a good chance that the first image that pops in their head is going to be your emails. That’s because, unless they are visiting your website four or five times a week, your email is the most direct form of contact between you and your subscribers. Unless they buy a product of yours once a month, your email is how they know you.
So show them the best you that you can.
Email templates aren’t the most complicated things in the world, but they can’t be just thrown together either. Here are 5 things you should think about when getting your email template together.
Elements Of Style
The first thing to consider when designing your email template is figuring out where your subscribers are going to be reading your email.
Since smart phones surpassed laptop sales oh so long ago, the smart money is on saying that a good chunk of people will be checking their email on their phone. I even know people who, with their laptops open in front of them, still check their email on their phone if for no other reason than thats what they are used to.
What does this mean for you? It means your email template has to be clean, simple and if possible, it has to look the same on an iPhone as it does on Google Chrome.
Testing and Retesting
In the last section I mentioned an iPhone and Googles browser, Chrome. As I’m sure you are well aware, there more than one brand of smartphone out there and more than one browser. if you want to make sure that your email template is the best it can be, get ready to do a lot of testing. You need to borrow phones, download every browser you can think of and try loading your email on as many different mail clients that you can get your hands on.
AOL will render your email differently than Outlook. Same with Gmail. Keeping your email template flexible and testing with every platform under the sun will save you a great deal of hassle down the road.
Get The Picture?
One of the most common occurrences in the email template world is the overuse of images.
Think of it this way. Email template design is like cooking. Images are the seasoning, the content is the meat. However you design your email template, make sure to keep the images to a minimum. I find it best to assume that the images won’t load, that way you are focused on the message, the meat of the email. And remember, images not loading aren’t going to ruin your email. Use alt-text tags so people will know what those images are in case they don’t show up.
Establish Your Brand
These days it’s all about branding. It’s how people connect with your company, it’s how they learn to love you. Make sure that your company logo is always at the top of your emails and that the colors you choose in your template accentuate that logo. The main thing is to keep it simple. No more than 2 colors, 3 tops. You don’t want anything distracting from the content of your email.
Help Your Subscribers Help You
No email template is complete with the addition of social sharing buttons. Add in buttons for all the big social media sites like LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Digg, so that the people who read your emails have a chance to share them with everyone in their network. More views means more sales, it’s that simple.