Email Design Best Practices (A Brief Checklist)

Sometimes I just want a simple checklist to make sure I’m checking all of the boxes. Here’s a helpful list to keep close when you’re designing a good marketing email:

  1. Make sure that your most important info – headline, call to action – is delivered in text, not an image.
  2. Use an opt-in list.
  3. Provide an unsubscribe option in your email footer.
  4. Provide your physical address and contact info in the footer
  5. Send the email as both HTML and text (multipart). Most email campaign providers do this for you automatically.
  6. Use images thoughtfully and sparingly. Clickthrough rates are highest for emails with 3 or fewer images.
  7. Use ALT text for all images, so if they don’t load, as is common on smartphones, the reader knows what is missing and is enticed to load images.
  8. 16px is a good size for text to be readable on mobile devices.
  9. Provide a link to view the email online for those who have problems viewing it in their email client.
  10. Keep the layout to 600 pixels wide or less.
  11. Use a single column or mobile responsive design or template.
  12. Write clean HTML – ugly HTML can trigger spam filters.
  13. Avoid all-image emails. They can trigger spam filters.

Also check out our step-by-step instructions for getting an email marketing system set up for your business.

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