How To Design Attractive Emails That Will Increase Your Open Rate

Visually appealing emails can capture your customers' attention and entice them to engage further with your content. This article will highlight the essential email design elements to consider when designing an email.

How To Design Attractive Emails That Will Increase Your Open Rate

The most important trait that an email can have is a compelling copy and attractive design. When it comes to email design, there are many factors to consider like the type of visuals, logo, brand colors, call-to-action, and much more. The combination of these design elements is what makes a visually appealing email.

In this article, we'll throw light on each of these email elements, tips on using them to design your emails, and the type of visuals to include in your emails.

Let's get started!

Table of contents

  1. 7 essential email design elements
  2. 6 types of visuals to include in your emails
  3. Wrapping up

7 essential email design elements

In this section, we'll explain seven essential design elements to consider when creating visually appealing emails.

1. Email headers

Your email header is one of the first things your customer will notice. So, you need to ensure that it is visually appealing and eye-grabbing.

An attractive email header will more likely keep your customers engaged and enticed to keep reading. When designing an email header, ensure that it is simple with a consistent color. It should also include your brand logo and what your customers should expect from the email content.

Your email header doesn't have to change all the time, so you can stick to an email template that works best for your brand.

2. Brand colors

Your brand identity is what makes you unique in your industry and from your competitors.

Your brand identity should include brand voice, color, font, and logo. Ensure that you choose a brand color, font, and logo that is consistent throughout your email marketing campaigns.

Avoid using one color or logo and then another one when communicating different marketing messages. If you do, you may confuse your customers and won't be creating a good impression.

Also, pay attention to your fonts. Your email layout should include your brand font. With a consistent brand identity, your customers will be able to recognize the voice of your brand anywhere.

Here's an example of the right mix of brand colors:

Noom: An example of the right mix of brand colors (Source).

3. Email signature

An email signature is also part of creating a visually appealing email. You can add an email signature to make your emails personalized and to increase your brand awareness. It also helps to create a connection between your brand and customers.
Here's an example of an email signature from Clickup:

Clickup: An example of an email signature.

4. Headings and subheadings

Creating a visually appealing email is even more important when your message includes many texts.

If you have multiple stories to share in an email, ensure that you divide them into sections with subheadings and headings.

This will make it easier for your customers to read your message and engage further with it.

5. Visuals

Emails that contain good visuals are more visually appealing and can increase the chances of getting your customers to read your message.

Divide sections of your email layout to contain relevant visuals in your content. Also, you need to consider email size when adding visuals because some email clients accept different email sizes.

Even if your email service permits a larger email size, you need to consider if your customer's email client will accept the same size. So, you need to check your email management software for size limits and always compress your images before sending them out.

6. Call-to-action

A good call-to-action is what drives conversions in your email marketing campaigns. The best visually appealing emails have a well-placed and designed CTA.

Here are some tips you should apply when designing your email call-to-action:

  • Your CTA color should stand out from the rest of your email so that is easy for your customers to identify it
  • When using a CTA button, keep your text short. Two - three words are Ideal. If you're writing an anchor text, you can hyperlink a text
  • Avoid using too many CTAs in your email else you risk confusing your customers. Instead, stick to one-two call to action

7. White space

Your email layout needs white space to make it more readable. If you have a giant wall of text and email elements crowded together, your customers won't be able to read the content.

Even worse, users may develop a negative sentiment about your brand and be tempted to unsubscribe.

So, it's crucial that you include white space in your emails to make them visually appealing. It also makes your customers more likely to engage with your content and improves the user experience.

6 types of visuals to include in your emails

So far, we've explained the essential design elements to include in your emails, now let's move on to the best types of visuals you add to your emails.

1. Photos

As the popular saying goes – a picture is worth a thousand words. In most cases, you don't need to rely on communicating your message via text alone, even one great picture can trigger the right emotion in your users.

The best visually appealing emails contain strong product images, just like the example below. An email that includes strong visuals like photos will not only trigger the right emotion but will also keep your customers engaged.

2. Infographics

An email that contains well-designed graphics is more attention-grabbing than an email with texts. If you have plenty of information to share with your customers, you can turn it into an infographics email with clear demarcated sections.

Each story should contain a header that tells readers what to expect from your email. An advantage of this is that your customers that receive multiple emails in a day will more likely notice a graphics email because it stands out from an only text email.

3. Videos

Videos are engaging content that will easily hold your customer's attention as long as they're not too long.

When applying videos in your email marketing campaigns, you need to:

  • Decide what type of videos to make
  • Figure out how to measure success
  • Decide the story you want to share in your videos
  • Set your budget and figure out the tools you need to create videos

You also need to consider responsive email design rules when creating emails.

4. Gifs

Gifs are another type of visual that can keep customers engaged. A good thing about Gifs is that they can tell a story without any related texts.

There are different types of online Gif makers that you can use to create branded or product Gifs.

As you use Gifs to create visually appealing emails, ensure that you consider responsive HTML email design rules so that various email clients accept your emails.

Here's an example of using Gifs in an email:

Ilia: An example of using GIFs in an email (Source).

5. User-generated content

Another way that you can create visually appealing emails is by including user-generated content. Applying this strategy takes less time and energy and is more effective if you have less time for content creation. So how do you get started? Simply outsource the process to your customers.

You can decide to ask your best customers for a testimonial or you can interview them for a case study.

Adding these types of user-generated content to your emails can reduce your workload and build solid relationships with your customers. Besides, your customers will be glad that you get to feature their content in your brand's email.

Ensure that your email design reflects your brand personality including color, logo, and font. By highlighting your loyal customers, you'll be implementing social proof in your emails and raising your brand awareness.

6. Illustrations

While photos and Gifs are ideal for sharing messages with your audience, illustrations are another visual example that can leave room for interpretation.

Illustrations can be time-consuming and challenging to create. So, you need to understand your content production and your business needs before you incorporate them into your email marketing efforts.

You can decide to outsource them to an illustrator if your budget permits it.

Wrapping up

While text emails can be useful in communicating messages, they require more effort to consume. This is why you need to make email design a part of your email marketing strategy. It will make your content visually appealing and attractive.

Even more, a well-written email copy with a great design is the ideal combination for increased customer engagement. This combination will make your audience more likely to engage with your content and take your call to action.

To create the best visually appealing emails, you need to consider important email design elements such as brand color, logo, email headers, email signature, call-to-action, and more. You also need to select the best type of visuals to add to your emails. Use the tips mentioned above to guide you as you create visually appealing emails for your brand.

At Engage, you can create automated workflows and send pre-built email sequences to your customers.

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