Email Guide

Email Guide
November 15, 2016 Adam

A Beginner’s Guide to Emails

Hello, this page is here to answer all your newsletter questions.

What is an Email?

  • Emails are sent out directly to 1000s of email addresses on a regular or semi-regular basis, to promote a message.
  • An email may include news articles, tips and interesting facts or savings and special offers – they also offer multiple advertising opportunities.
  • Emails are designed in HTML and most feature a call to action with hyperlinks to a landing page.

E-mail design and limitations

When designing an e-mail there are many more aspects to consider compared to designing a print advert. Every different email client renders email differently and all have their limitations with regards to what code is compatible with it.

How do we do it?

1

Size

We keep our emails at 600px wide as this tends to be the size that views best across desktop clients

2

Fonts

We only use ‘web-safe’ fonts. These are fonts that are universally supported – meaning that the recipient of the email will have them installed on their device so will see the email as intended – more info here We can use fonts not on this list if they are included as an image…

3

Images

The majority of email clients block images by default – more info here So creating an email made up of just images is not advisable. Especially as this could also mark the email as spam – meaning it could end up in the junk folder and not the inbox. We still want to create and engaging design so obviously images will still play a part, but we try and stick to a 50/50 split of html and images.

4

HTML

All styling needs to be in line as some clients will strip out the <head> part of the email. It also needs to be designed using <tables> and not <div> as tables are more supported. (You only need to worry about this point if you are supplying a third party email.)

If you consider an email sent to a Gmail account, it will render differently if it is viewed through the Gmail app compared to if it’s opened in the apple or android mail apps. It will also render different if viewed by logging into the Gmail website to read your email – which then will look different again depending on which browser you are using! E-mails tend to look great in Chrome whereas Explorer is a lot more restricted with what code it allows. Obviously these two aren’t the only browsers available and even different versions of each can view differently.

Next you have to consider what the email is being viewed on as Desktop and mobile will be very different and android and apple products will differ too. So one email sent to a Gmail account could be viewed a hundred different ways… and that’s just Gmail! Outlook, yahoo and any other client that is used will also have as many combinations which is why design is really important as the email has to be able to be rendered in multiple ways but still look great.

Can you base an email on this print advert ?

Well… YES and NO

Print adverts are designed to inform people about an event / product or service whereas usually the purpose of an email is to invoke a response from the recipient, usually in the form of a click through to a web page, or to send an email asking for more information.

So rather than presenting a lot of information on email is more affective when it is short and sweet with a clear call to action – ‘book now’ / ‘find out more’ etc.

Print adverts and emails are also designed using completely different programs, with print adverts having a lot more freedom with their design. Whereas emails have to be a lot more restricted (as explained above).

Over 50% of emails are opened on mobile devices so all of our emails need to be designed with this in mind. Where possible, our emails are made to be responsive – meaning they will respond to the device they are displayed on.

the message in an email needs to be short and sweet with a clear call to action”

1

Styling

We will use the same colours and styling (and fonts where possible) to make sure there is continuity between print and email but an exact copy is not always possible… and not always advisable!

2

Engage

Print adverts are designed to inform people about an event / product or service whereas usually the purpose of an email is to invoke a response from the recipient, usually in the form of a click through to a web page, or to send an email asking for more information.

3

Call to Action

So rather than presenting a lot of information an email is more affective when it is short and sweet with a clear call to action – ‘book now’ / ‘find out more’ etc.

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