Email Design Tips

How to Design Emails –
For Marketers who Aren’t Designers


We all agree that sending personalized, well-timed, well-planned emails can benefit your marketing efforts in a huge way. Salesmanna makes it possible to plan out these campaigns well in advance or send quick newsletters at your convenience.

We have been over how to have catchy subject lines that grab attention and that you shouldn’t use all pictures or “salesy” language… But what about how the email looks? Most marketers aren’t designers, and many small businesses can’t afford a full-time designer to send out emails for them.

This leaves us designing emails ourselves. That doesn’t have to be a bad thing, as long as all of the non-designers who are designing these emails can have a basic set of rules.

1. Format


Try to stick with this tried and true, elementary process of writing. A catchy header, likely including your logo and a catchy phrase or title, at the top will get attention.

The body should be as concise as possible. We can’t say that the body of every email should be short, because there are some really great, beautiful emails with a lot of content. The key is only including the content you think readers will actually want to read.

Don’t put anything unnecessary in the email- you can always put more information in a landing page that you link within the body. I suggest using photos and text, and making it clear to visually navigate. If the email looks confusing to you, I promise it will be less effective!

The footer will usually wrap up what you’d like to get across and have your company’s information as well as social links.

2. Fonts

This is one of the easiest tips to get right! It is extremely simple – only use 2 fonts MAXIMUM. Header text is larger and sometimes a different font. Or you can use your second font to add emphasis to a section of your email.

Whatever you do, please don’t switch to a new font with every line! This is visually unappealing which encourages readers to click away faster.

Another pointer is to keep your body text around 16px. The larger, bolder your body text is, the most it feels like the reader is being screamed at. Nobody wants to be screamed at.

3. Obvious Call-To-Actions

Anyone sending an email knows you need some kind of call to action. Usually this is a button within your email. The button can encourage readers to RSVP to your event, buy a new product, share with friends, or direct them to a new page. If you have buttons on your page, make it clear.

It would be a huge mistake to spend time and effort on a good email but make it harder for the reader to take action! Unfortunately, this is a trend with bad design. If your reader doesn’t know precisely where to click or what to do next, your email is simply informative and has little value to both sender and recipient.

4. Quality Photos

The most effective photos are high quality and relevant. Ideally, you’re using your own photos. If you don’t have your own high quality photos, you’re either buying them from a trusted site online or you’re attributing credit to the source. If this isn’t the case, stop using that photo! To use someone else’s art without giving them credit online is illegal- and it discredits your brand. The good news is that there are tons of great websites that give away high-quality photos that you can use for free or a very cheap price! Here is a list of a few good ones.

Email Example

Keep It Simple

When in doubt, always refer to the tried and true method of “keeping it simple.” If you read your own newsletter and it seems jumbled and wordy, listen to your heart. Try to condense the message and increase white space. Simplify your headers and photos, make the layout more appealing by simplifying colors and photos.

If you’re still struggling to create beautiful emails, don’t hesitate to contact a marketing consultant at Salesmanna! Together, we’ll help your business send great emails and simply sell more.