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    How to create an email template

    by Tatyana Prikhodko

    You’ve decided to send up-to-date email campaigns and stand out from the crowd of email messages. Finally, you made a decision to use a unique, eye-catching design for your mailings. That's great, and congratulations! We recently talked about attractive email signature, today we are going to talk about the right design of an entire email and how to create an email template that is both pleasing to the eye and efficient in terms of conversion.

    So, let's start…

    Your email template is an extension of your website

    A high priority of email template design lies in recognizability, because your template should inherit (but not duplicate) your website design. If you want to get an email template that differs from your website style, or a topical template (a greeting card template for a holiday, and so on), please let us know via email.


    What is the difference between your email template and your website?

    Though your email message is an HTML page that is similar to your site, this email will have some differences, imposed by technical requirements:

    • You are not allowed to use large background images, because this kind of background would not be visible to one segment of your recipients, and to the other part, it might be duplicated across email width and height. I doubt you really want this.
    • You cannot use Javasscript or CSS that is activated from a header; as a result, there cannot be any sliders in your email template. It's possible to achieve a similar effect using an animated .gif image. But in this case your email will be much "heavier", since some mail clients may not detect animated images. Some of them will show the first slide only.
    • We recommend avoiding the use of large images for your email template, particularly in a header — this is only permitted if you need to put the image it there for a special purpose (for example, to draw the client's attention to a limited-time offer). For example, alarge constant, large header may discourage recipients from scrolling down, as they receive "identical" emails regularly.
    • Do not use non-standard fonts in your email template. If the recipient's mail client does not have the font you choose, this font will be changed into another one, and "broken" page proofs may appear.illustration-big-header

    A very large background image is a point of issue.


    What should you write?

    Your email template is a designed and structured frame for your email message. You can add and change text content yourself, and use this template for multiple mailings. However, there are some nuances you should know to avoid having your e-newsletter fall into recipients’ spam folders:

    • Avoid extremes and contrast colors (like bright blue  #0000FF, bright red #FF0000,  yellow #FFFF00, green #00FF00, and so on)
    • Avoid using text written with “CAPS LOCK”
    • Do not use many exclamation marks !!!!, even if you want to emphasize a certain phrase. It's better to highlight important text in bold.
    • Do not abuse readers with "calls to action", especially in the subject line. For example, "Win a million in an hour"
    • Always specify width and height for images. These attributes should correspond to the actual size of the image.

    Is the message for onetime use

    Do not try to fill a single email message with a full load of information about you and your company (for example, price lists, news, activity description, links to related articles, and so on). Theoretically, your email message should fit on one screen. Be smarter — build your email marketing strategy in the best way, placing the most interesting content on the first place, and a recipient will notice it. Divide your information into multiple mailings and form a series of email campaigns. Send actual prices only, and favorable offers.


    Can I add a video

    Once again, we want to direct your attention to the fact that you cannot use Javascript and iFrames in your email messages. In order to add a video, a simple preview is used, and wrapped into a link. This kind of video will be displayed in a new browser window, in a pop-up window, or under the message, depending on the recipient's email client.

    Click to enlarge

    Email messages and forms

    Do you want to get feedback and your subscribers’ personal data? What should you do for this? Of course, add a form. But you again need to restrict yourself to the main requirements of email messages. This may be the simplest form that you can generate using HTML code; but without verifying data correctness, without an error message, cryptographically unsafe, and with open data transmission. It goes without saying that the form handler should be placed on your website.

    Have some empathy for your recipients – do not make them take such a risk. It would better to add a noticeable button that is linked to a webpage with your form.

    "Fashionable" email messages


    Each sphere of technology continues progressing from day to day, and email message design also gets innovations. More and more e-newsletter recipients view letters using mobile devices, smartphones, and tablets. Want to be in step with the times? The following rules will help you to stay up-to-date:

    • Use a pre-header. This is information displayed right after the email theme, when the message is not opened, but displays in a recipient's inbox folder. Very often, this information is presented with an "alt" image attribute, company name, or even an unsubscribe link. Do not do that. Use the pre-header to your benefit: for example, write an extended email subject idea in it.
    • Use a single-column layout. If you want to add hot news into your email delivery, it’s better to insert it into the bottom of your email message. There must not be any news parallel to your message main content.
    • It's preferable to place no more than two products in a row, because while scaling and proportion wheel, message content will be more readable.
    • Use large buttons. After several attempts to click small links, recipients no longer want to read your newsletters.

    And remember that we are always glad to help you get the most out of our products. Make valuable and effective e-newsletters!

    Want to send an originally designed newsletter? Order an html email template. We also create email templates that are freely available to people who use our bulk email sender.


    Written by:
    Tatyana Prikhodko
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