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Email Marketing: How to design a good email?

Updated: Mar 29

In 2019, there were over 3.9 email users around the world, and 50 percent of those users prefer communicating with brands via email.

These stats show that there’s no reason for you to not utilize email-marketing into your business’ marketing plan right now. There may be someone, including your target audience, who don’t use social media, but they definitely do use email.

However, to ensure that your email stands out among a hundred emails each target audience has each day, you have to consider putting in your email design.

Email Design: Definition

To answer the question “What is Email Design?”, well, it’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? Email design is the process of strategically placing content and design in the emails to grab users’ attention, in this case, are your target audience, specifically your email subscribers and customers. The design should be attention-grabbing, eye-pleasing, and on-brand so that they can recognize you everywhere.

Email Design: Why is it important?

An average of 1.1 seconds is the time that an email user spends to check one email. It’s also during this period that they’ll decide if they want to keep reading or abandon your email altogether.

That’s why email design is so important to the success of your marketing effort. By utilizing the best of email design, you can keep your audience wanting to read for more, find more about your service, or sell products.

That’s great and all, but what important right now is how to make your email design organized, attention-grabbing, on-brand, and valuable to users?

Let’s begin with these best practices of email design in mind.


  1. Craft your Message: Before starting with ANY actual design, think and write down the content for your email marketing first. What is the message? Some of the most effective email marketing has only one message. It should be clear and concise, so if you have a series of messages, try to divide it into different emails.

  2. Create a Hierarchy: Put the most important message first, then your smaller ones later so that people will know precisely what you want them to focus on. Then use bulleted lists and headings for scanners and skimmers.

  3. Link out: Your email shouldn’t be too long. If there’s a lot of information you want your audience to know, simply link out to your website or your social networking sites.

Grab your audience attention

1. Subject line?

One of the most effective methods for your email marketing

There’s nothing more attention-grabbing than your subject line since it’s the first thing that users will notice when they login to their email accounts. It’s a very short statement that’s supposed to immediately attract the recipients’ interest. It should urge the users to open their email to read what’s inside.

Your subject line should:

  • Grab users’ attention as a few words as possible.

  • Provide some sort of values so that they want to open the email.

  • Summarize the content of your email.

Example of a failed subject line

You can find more about how to write a catchy subject line here.

2. Pre-header

After crafting your subject line, let’s get into your pre-header. This part is just as important as your subject line since it’s the second information that the recipients will see.

It can automatically use the first line of your email to be the pre-header. However, it’s best if you customize the pre-header to your likings to provide a better look at what you offer to the users.



One of the most important goals, when you put out a marketing plan, is that you want people to remember your brand. It should be one of your goals when you do your email marketing, too, to the point that they won’t need to read the sender to know it’s your business who sent the emails.

How can the recipients recognize you? You have to put into the email your identity. Meaning:

  • The tone you use to complement your branding and other marketing materials (like social media and website).

  • Color palettes and fonts are consistent throughout your branding and marketing materials.

  • Your business’ logo and name at the top of your emails, links to your website and social media, and call-to-action buttons to boost conversion and brand awareness.


No one wants to read a disordered, unorganized email. They won’t know where to start, and will leave immediately, or even worse, unsubscribe your email newsletter and/or put your email handles into spam.

Do your best to put UX – or user experience, in mind whenever you do your email’s layout. Keep your content short and sweet, and prioritize your content. You should also leave white space in your email to “make room” for your recipients to breathe through your email. This way, your email will appear more approachable and easier to navigate.

And one more thing! Your email should be able to view either on your laptop or your phone. This increases your UX and improves email subscriber retention.

Personalize your content

Everyone loves feeling cared for, right? When you tailor the email accordingly to your recipients, it will feel more professional and personal, like your brand actually care about your customers’ needs and feelings. This little touch helps you to build a better relationship between your business and email recipients.

Make a statement with visual contents

Too long a text content can easily bore readers’ out pretty quickly. You can add your own visual touch to the email by incorporate images, videos, GIFs, or animations to break up the written content. Visual contents can sometimes send a better message than a written one, so try to use it to your advantage.

Use Calls-to-Action in your email

Calls-to-Action (CTAs) are just as important as any other components when it comes to email marketing since they’re “conversion tools”. They can convert your email recipients to visitors to your website or social media sites, or customers to your products/ services. CTAs should be captivating, visible, and clearly show why they’re valuable to click. Additionally, you might choose to personalize your CTAs to tailor to specific recipients, which we have mentioned how to divide your email marketing leads, which have proven efficient to conversions.

Add an “Unsubscribe” button

You may provide valuable content to your recipients, your email design is great, there’s nothing wrong with your products and services. However, you have to understand that this is a changing world, and your customers can change their minds the next day for all you know. Leave your recipients an option to “unsubscribe” to your email newsletter anytime so that your business can still appear in a good light. And who knows, your once unsubscribers may come back to your service one day.

Note: According to the Federal Trade Commission and CAN-SPAM Act, you’re legally required to include a “clear and conspicuous explanation of how the recipient can opt-out of getting emails from you in the future”. That means the “unsubscribe” button is a must, not an option anymore.

To conclude…

Like any marketing plan, email marketing is all trial and error. You have to put it into work to see how it processes and then continue to make adjustments.

If you have run your email marketing a hundred times already and nothing seems to work or the results are not to your expectation, OC SEO Marketing Service provides you the best Email Marketing plan possible match your marketing goal. Everything is customized to your needs, and we’ll take care of everything to drive the best results to your business.


OC SEO Marketing is a marketing agency that specializes in assisting small businesses in Orange County in solving Online Marketing related issues, specifically related to web-design, content marketing, and SEO. CONTACT US NOW for a one-to-one consultation.

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