Dos and Don’ts for Designing an HTML Email

Hostway Marketing - January 26, 2010

By Mac Cassity

How are your emails faring? Do they look dynamic and eye catching? Or are you still writing plain text emails that are begging to be deleted the moment they arrive in someone’s inbox?

There is no doubt that HTML emails are more attractive, more eye catching and more visual than text based ones. Just imagine how much more professional your business would look if you can direct people to your Web site via a well designed HTML email. The fact that many big Internet based companies use them points to how popular and well received they are.

So you need to consider how to design your HTML emails so they receive the best possible response. Some rules regarding email communications will apply to any kind of email format, so you should bear these in mind first and start planning accordingly.

Have a Plan

For example, plan the layout and content of your email before you start constructing it. What is the purpose of sending the email, and how are you going to get that purpose across? You may find it helpful to sketch out some ideas on paper before doing anything else.

Balance Images and Text

The most important thing to remember is that not everyone will be able to see your images. Some email programs are set up to block images, so you need to find a balance between images and text to appeal to those who won’t see any images at all.

Create a Strong Call to Action

The most important part of this is your call to action. If the focus of your email is to get people to visit your Web site, you will want that call to action to be visible to everyone. If it is embedded in an image, it could be lost.

Include Text Link to Online Version

One absolute must is to include a text link in your email telling people they can view it online if they cannot see it as an actual email. The place for this is at the very top of the email. This way if the recipient cannot see any of your HTML email at all, they will at least be able to read your message telling them they can see it elsewhere.

Make Conversions Easy

The question of positioning a call to action button should also be considered. You don’t need to place it in a particular spot however. All you have to do is position it where it will easily be seen. Experiment with the colors you use for the button too. Which ones will be eye catching and which ones will simply fade into the background?

If you have several items to share in your email—perhaps you are writing a newsletter for example—make sure you add a short summary at the top. This gives your readers a chance to see what the email can offer them and whether to read through it or not.

Experimenting with your ideas and designs is essential to the success of email marketing. Learn all you can about your successes and failures—your Web site will thank you for it.

About the Author

Mac Cassity is a seasoned internet marketer with more than 13 years of
experience in making money online. His Web site www.PerfectNetworker.com has allowed Mac to grow and service a client base in the tens of thousands and reach a presence in more than 40 countries.