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A Guide to Email Design Best Practices

In spite of all the new options that exist, email is still a major marketing tool. A good email campaign can crack open the gates to new business—but only if the design of the email is stellar. In a post at MageMail, Amanda Ng shares a comprehensive guide to email design best practices.

The Email Starter Pack

Ng touches upon almost everything one could think of, so here are just a few highlights to munch on. For one thing, she discusses the significance of content “above the fold.” This once referred to the content that appears on the top half of a folded newspaper, but it now also applies to the content of an open email that is visible before having to scroll down. People spend 84 percent more time reading content above the fold than below it. On a laptop or computer, this gives you roughly a pixel space of 650×350 with which to work, so cram your big message and all pertinent logos in there.

Although, more than half of emails are opened on mobile devices now, so emails need to be responsive to many different resolutions. Toward that end, marketers are working on the idea of “hybrid” email:

Devised by Fabio Carneiro of MailChimp, hybrid email takes the concept of responsive email to the next level. And it doesn’t tackle the screen size issue alone. This can make it difficult, if not impossible, to address some of the finer points of email design. Keeping important content above the fold, and utilizing pre-headers are but two examples of best practices impacted by the end-user’s choice of email platform. Hybrid email implements coding that adapts to restrictions on the way your content is displayed across ESPs.

In essence, hybrid email works by making tables and elements “fluid” by default, and it then leans on conditional comments to tell it when to restrain itself for bigger screens.

For many more tips on many more subjects, you can view the full guide here:

About John Friscia

John Friscia is the Editor of Computer Aid's Accelerating IT Success. He began working for Computer Aid, Inc. in 2013 and continues to provide graphic design support for AITS. He graduated summa cum laude from Shippensburg University with a B.A. in English.

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