Denise Cox, our lead consultant at Newsweaver, recently conducted a webinar about Design Strategy. I worked with her in covering the approaches needed to make sure your email marketing design displays well and as intended on all platforms – from desktop, laptop, tablets to mobile. This article is a quick look at how this can be achieved and why it is important.
Right now we look at work email at home, home email at work, we check it on our phone while we’re sitting at our desktop, at the airport, even when stuck in traffic; we’re looking at email everywhere. So you need to take this into consideration in your email design. The design is where you need to start in order to have the best chance of your email campaign being a success.
At Newsweaver we design, build and test for the widest possible range of platforms – whether it’s iPhone or Android, Blackberry, Outlook or Lotus Notes. This is because often at the start a campaign you won’t know or haven’t been able to gather information on the reading habits of your subscribers. Once you’ve been able do the research, and identify a particular platform that you know your audience uses extensively – let your designer know this.
Things to Consider
In my previous post on smart use of images, I outlined a few important things to consider including making sure your email still looks good with images off. This is very important to take into account; but its not just images you need to consider. In general the preview pane and top left of your newsletter design template are the most important parts of your newsletter – no matter what the device. This is because it is the part of the newsletter that will be seen, no matter what. Your logo and a table of contents in the left hand column is great way to cover lots of different scenarios. You can use other elements as ‘table of contents’ at the top of your newsletter: e.g. letter from the editor; introduction; in this issue, etc.
Also important are clear calls to action. Before you decide on a design, using our ezine software, consider what actions you want your readers to take e.g. visit your website, watch a video, read an important notice, contact you, or register for an event, etc. Once you know what your primary aim is then it’s easy to make sure this ‘call to action’ is seen and clicked in your design.
Robust and Reusable
Making sure you look good everywhere starts with the design, but it’s the technical magic that goes on behind the scenes that ensures everything works and you don’t end up with a broken template. Writing HTML for email is much different to HTML for the web – and it takes skill and knowledge to put that together. This is a main reason why you want to have a professionally built template that you use over and over again, so you don’t need to worry about testing every time.
An example of looking good everywhere
Greenstar waste management uses a standard template that has been designed with the considerations mentioned above in mind. Each time they create an issue of their newsletter they can quickly add content and be confident that it will look good everywhere.
Click the thumbnail of the newsletter to see how their newsletter looks in the internet browser – great right? This is the best case scenario however we also designed it to look its best in the inbox from a desktop, laptop, and tablet to a mobile.