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How Email Marketing Design Can Drive High Conversions

How Email Marketing Design Can Drive High Conversions

Email marketing design has as its main objective to create a visual guide that leads people’s eyes (and brains) to the expected result: conversion.

And when conversion occurs in email marketing, it’s a sign that the design of the piece is maintaining a good dialogue with sales strategies.

However, achieving high conversion means the ability to engage the user, and that encompasses work that doesn’t end at the CTA.

Email marketing, as a communication channel, needs to have a visually easy to assimilate and pleasant concept. That’s where design makes all the difference because with it, the piece becomes engaging. And engaging the lead is essential to create conversion opportunities.

“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”
— Benjamin Franklin

Email marketing design is all about that!

In the western world, reading occurs from left to right and top to bottom.

Based on this premise and thinking of texts as images, do you position the titles on top, right? This is the hierarchy of the human brain when prioritizing which images will be processed first.

Online reading is different from reading in printed materials. Faced with a desktop or mobile screen, our eyes select the most important information first.

This visual behavior is called scannability, which is a form of dynamic reading that we instinctively do in online content.

If the user can’t identify the visual content quickly, they will quickly close the email, and you don’t want that to happen!

To optimize the user’s visual experience in your email marketing, texts are produced in the format of an inverted pyramid, containing the main information at the beginning of each paragraph.

One item that also stimulates text scannability are bullet points, italics, and bold distributed throughout the content.

These elements assist the work of design because they signal the path that the user’s eyes should follow until reaching the conversion.

Everything in its place

Organization is a skill that makes life easier, isn’t it? And in email marketing, it’s no different. Each space has a purpose. Let’s analyze each one of them:

  • Top: also called header, it’s where the brand and/or sender’s name of the email are located; link to the website or other materials, and the title, which is positioned below all the previous elements, with the highlight that is pertinent to it.
  • Body: here is the heart of the piece, with the main message and its visual attention elements such as highlights, bullet points, boxes, etc. It’s important to remember that CTAs positioned in the body of the piece generate better results. Many are applied in the footer, however, it’s not the best recommendation.
  • Footer: in this area is the user’s attention decline. Usually, the unsubscribe option, privacy policy, and copyright information are inserted. It’s important to highlight the importance of the subject line and preheader (which is the text that appears right after the subject line).

Both spaces are copy strategies and are present in the anatomy of email marketing, however, they are not directly inserted in email marketing design.


According to Neil Patel, one of the world’s largest digital marketing entrepreneurs, colors are 85% of the reason why people decide to buy a product.

Can you see how color influences user decisions? It’s no wonder that one of the basic principles of email marketing design is to apply a complementary color to the background in the CTA button.

This creates a pleasant contrast to the eyes, while also leading the user to look at the conversion point.

The psychology of colors, an essential working tool for designers, explains the importance of working with color contrasts in pieces. Yellow and purple, for example, are complementary colors that together produce this effect.

Each color produces a different result in the brain. And professionals who have this knowledge are able to trigger mental triggers from the correct application of colors and their meanings.

Color is a very powerful visual communication system. A company’s brand, for example, communicates its personality through colors.

A picture or a thousand words?

Email marketing design has a very close relationship with copywriting. Both work together to promote the best user experience, also called UX (User Experience).

In the eyes of the designer, texts become images. This allows the professional to select the font that best suits the piece’s message.

But besides that, email marketing must work as a whole, right? For this to happen, the designer’s creativity generates the structure for the copy to take effect.

This way, we reach a common denominator of conversion and the piece works. This signals the ideal dialogue between images and sales strategies, as you read at the beginning of this article.

And since we’re talking about images, see below for some important tips on this subject:

  • Never make your entire email in an image. If your piece is created 100% in an image, the recipient’s equipment may not load it. And when that happens, the user is faced with a white screen instead of the email.
  • Pay attention to the number of images you use. Many images mean many cuts in the piece, which can result in visual clutter, with elements out of place.
  • Be careful with page breaks. Keep the text and CTAs at a safe distance from the areas between the header and body, and between the body and footer.
  • Pay attention to the image size: keep all content within 600 pixels wide to avoid the user having to scroll the horizontal bar, and do not exceed 1,200 pixels in height.
  • And finally, don’t forget to create a responsive layout so that the quality of your email marketing remains high on all devices.

Get excited about email marketing design!

Animated gifs are common in email marketing design, but are they being applied correctly?

Just as an email made entirely in an image runs the risk of not being loaded on the recipient’s screen, the gif has the potential to become a heavy file, generating the same unwanted result.

Check out some special tips on using these elements in your emails:

  • Each image of the gif should not exceed 70KB. In the case of CTA buttons and others, the ideal size is 15KB for each.
  • Be discreet. The ideal way to apply the gif is to keep it as an image detail: a blinking button; an arrow that lights up, and so on. Too many things moving in the piece can repel the user.

If applied with caution and correctly, an animation can be a great aid in your conversion strategy.

So, did you like the tips? Get inspired to create your high-conversion campaign and grow your email list!